Industry Forum

Glossary of Terms

4M Condition

Ensuring product is manufactured under optimum conditions for the Machine, Material, Method and Man

Alpha Risk

Used in statistics to indicate the probability of accepting the alternative hypothesis when in reality, the null hypothesis is true

Autonomous Maintenance

The 2nd pillar of TPM, which enables the equipment operator to highlight and react to abnormalities and eliminate forced deterioration

Bar Chart

A chart used to graphically summarise and display the differences between groups of data

Bartlett’s Test

A statistical test that determines an assumption of groups or samples having equal variance

Basic Condition

Clean to Inspect, Lubricate and Tighten (CILT) to return equipment to its original operating condition to prevent forced deterioration

Beta Risk

Used to indicate the probability of accepting the null hypothesis when in reality, the alternative hypothesis is true

Box Plots

A box plot, (also known as a box and whisker diagram), is a basic graphing tool that displays centering, spread, and distribution of a continuous data set


A technique for generating ideas. Most effective when undertaken as a group activity

Capability Study

A process capability study uses both the process variability and the process specifications to determine whether a process is capable

Central Limit Theorem

Statistical theorem that explains why many distributions tend to be close to the normal distribution

Characteristic Selection Matrix (CSM)

A means used for prioritising Key Process Input Variables through to end customer requirements

Chi-Square Test

Used to test if the standard deviation of a population is equal to the specific value

Chronic Loss

Small frequent issues or abnormalities that are difficult to see and can lead to forced deterioration

Condition Based Maintenance

Looks at the current condition of components and how close to failure those components are, to determine when physical maintenance should take place. Non-invasive techniques such as thermography, vibration analysis or lubricant analysis are used to measure parameters that directly indicate level of wear

Confidence Intervals

Means for stating numerically the level of confidence about a result

Contingency Table

A chart used in the management of projects to help map the risks associated with the implementation of a plan. A brainstorming activity that is followed by evaluation

Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)

Continuous incremental improvement of aspects connected with a manufacturing process

Corrective Maintenance

Maintenance carried out after fault recognition to restore equipment to its basic running condition

Current State Map

Detailed description of a current process

Critical to Quality Characteristic

Element of a process or practice that has a direct impact on its perceived quality

Defects Per Million Opportunities

A metric that can be compared across processes with varying levels of complexity. Converts to a sigma level by: number of defects divided by the number of defect opportunities multiplied by 1,000,000

Design of Experiments (DOE)

A practical application of a statistical tool that enables low cost experimental methods to optimise the performance of products and processes during development.

Early Management

5th pillar of TPM, establishes systems to shorten the development period, and to enable one-short start up

Evolutionary Operations (EVOP)

Experimental designs and improvements carried out whilst a process continues

Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Technique used to determine what chronic failures are occurring in a product or manufacturing/assembly process and the likely impact and frequency

Flexible Production and Manpower Systems

Way of working that allows operators to move around different machines in response to changes in customer requirements

Flow Process Analysis (FPA)

Analyses a process into a sequence of process elements in the order in which they occur

Flow Processing/Flow Production

An efficient method of converting raw material into finished product eliminating or minimising transportation, handling of parts and work in progress

Focused Improvement

The 1st pillar of TPM, a structured 10 step approach to resolve specific equipment issues through a team approach

Forced Deterioration

Artificially accelerated deterioration due to failure to do what is supposed to be done eg not lubricating moving parts

Frequency Diagram (Tally Chart)

A means of displaying statistical information in order to show the relative frequency in which things (eg problems) occur


A test used to test various statistical hypotheses about the mean (or means) of the distribution from which a sample or a set of samples have been drawn

Future State Map

Value Stream Mapping exercise which portrays the best practice process that sets the direction of mid-long term activities. Creates a vision of how an ideal process would look like

Gauge Repeatability & Reproducibility Study

A statistical method of assessing the amount of variation associated with a measurement system and comparing it to the total process variation


A chart used to graphically summarise and display the distribution of a process data set

Horizontal Replication

Roll out or standardization of improvements identified during Focused Improvement Pillar across all relevant departments

Hypothesis Test

A test based on statistical data, where you must chose between two alternatives

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Chosen factors that directly and indirectly influence the effectiveness of a product or process

Lead Time Analysis

Activity to identify the elements of lead time to measure how long a customer has to wait before receiving a product

Lead Time

The total time a customer, internal or external, must wait to receive a product after placing an order

Lead Time Profiles

Activity to identify and quantify factors that determine how quickly a product reaches the next or end customer

Lean Manufacturing

A business performance improvement tool that focuses on enhancing quality, cost, delivery and people. Exposes waste and makes continuous improvement possible

Levelled Production

A means of evenly distributing both the quantity and variety of parts across a production period avoiding overburden and under-utilisation in the workplace

Levene’s Test

An alternative to the Bartlett’s test to determine if groups or samples have equal variance


Reasons for the gap between target performance and actual performance

Lubricant Analysis

Method for analysis of debris in lubricant to identify if there is any abnormality that may result in sporadic failure

Maintenance Prevention

Designing and building equipment that is excellent in reliability, maintainability and economy from the outset


A statistic that measures the centre of a sample of data by adding up the data and dividing by the number of data points. Commonly referred to as the ‘average’

Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)

MTBF is calculated by dividing the total number of operation hours by the number of failures

Mean Time To Repair

MTTR is defined as the average repair time

Measurement Systems Analysis

A process used to standardise the methods of analysis to ensure measuring systems used in process monitoring are fit for the purposes intended


A statistic that measures the centre of a set of data by ascertaining the value that divides the data in half ie the middle score

Metrology Study

Activity to ascertain the effectiveness and accuracy of a measurement system

Mistake/Error Proofing (Poke Yoke)

Means for eliminating defects by making a process robust to mistakes (foolproof)


A statistic that is the most frequently occurring data value ie the result occurring more than any other result

Multi Variance Chart

A simplified version of a box plot showing only the range

Natural Deterioration

This is the normal decline in performance of a machine, even if it is used correctly

Normality Test

Statistical tool for assessing whether the shape of a distribution is normal

Office TPM

The 7th pillar of TPM, establishing an efficient office where office work loss is eliminated


ANOVA is an acronym for ‘Analysis of Variance’. An ANOVA separates different sources of variation seen in the experimental results

Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Method of measuring and quantifying the performance of a machine being used to add value to a product (The 3 components of OEE are Availability, Performance and Quality)

Pareto Analysis

Based on the principle that states ‘not all of the causes of a particular phenomenon occur with the same frequency or with the same impact’

Pareto Diagram

A chart used to graphically summarise and display the relative importance of the differences between groups of data

Part Families

A group of products that pass through similar processing steps and over common equipment

Parts Per Million

Typically used in the context of defect Parts Per Million opportunities. Synonymous with DPMO

Paynter Chart

Type of pareto diagram where each Pareto bar is split up into subgroups. Enables trends of trouble spots to be identified

Phenomenon Mechanism (PM) Analysis

An advanced problem solving tool that focuses on understanding  the Phenomenon and the Mechanism of the defect or failure

Planned Maintenance

Monitoring the process to establish when natural deterioration may reach its limit and act before this time to resolve

Policy Deployment

A method used to align all the constitutional parts of a company to face the same strategic direction

Process Capability (Cp and CpK)

A statistical indicator that measures how close a process is running to its specification limits

Process Input Variables

Work related elements of a process that can vary and therefore have an effect on a desired output

Process Output Variables

Elements of a product or process requiring means of control to ensure a desired output meets specification

Process Capacity Table

A table used to gather data on a product as it passes through all the processes in an area. Can be used for production planning, equipment improvements and removing process bottlenecks

Process Mapping

Method for depicting a process, material or information flow in a diagrammatic form. Defines key process input and outputs

Pull System

A customer driven work replenishment system involving ‘pulling’ the exact quantity of parts required out of a finished parts stores. A Kanban issues the instruction to replenish the stock

Push System

Description of the process involving manufacturers launching materials and components required to product goods according to a production plan

Quality Function Deployment

A process that interprets and allows understanding of customer needs and expectations and product or service features and functions. Translated as ‘The voice of the customer’

Quality Maintenance

The 6th pillar of TPM, it establishes conditions for zero failures to prevent defects, and establishment of systems for maintenance and management

Representative Parts

Groups of products that bear similar characteristics

Response Surface Methodology (RSM)

A statistical method that uses quantitative data from appropriate experiments to determine and simultaneously solve multivarient equations

Right First Time

Result of mistake free manufacturing process

Risk Priority Numbers (RPN)

A figure that encapsulates the importance of the particular fault of failure. Calculated by the formula: Occurrence x Severity x Detection = Risk Priority Number

Root Cause

The real cause or origin of a problem

Run Chart

A simple plot of process characteristics against time or in a chronological sequence that is used to reveal trends or relationships between variables

Safety, Health and Environment

The 8th pillar of TPM, establishes active plants which are safe and secure for workers


A measure of variation from the mean which when applied to the business process represents the number of defects or failures likely to occur per million opportunities

Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) (Set Up Reduction)

Method for reducing tool changeover times facilitating increased capacity, smaller batch sizes, lower inventory and reduced lead times

Six Sigma

A ‘measure of goodness’ involving the application of statistical methods to business processes to improve operating efficiency, reduce variation, avoid defects and reduce waste

Sporadic Loss

Large infrequent and unusual events that result in losses eg breakdown due to a damaged part

Standard Deviation

A statistical index of variability that describes the spread

Standard Operation Procedures (SOP)

A step-by-step ‘best current method’ guideline aimed at reducing the variability of a process

State Map

Diagrammatic and statistical representation of an entire manufacturing or design process

Statistical Process Control

A standardising technique used for steering a process in a desired direction, reducing variation, increasing knowledge about the process, assessing process capability and providing performance benchmarks

Stem and Leaf Plot

A display that shows the shape and distribution of a set of data

Supply Chain Map

Diagrammatic identification of basic logistical and cost details in the supplier-customer procession

Taguchi Linear Graph

A series of 18 ‘graphs’ used to represent results of experimental designs undertaken to improve processes and products. Can be used an an alternative to ‘classical’ DOE

Takt Time

Takt is the German word for ‘beat’ and represents the pace at which the customer requires the product. Takt time is the rate at which parts have to be produced to match the customer requirements

Time Based Maintenance

Approach to trigger the maintenance of components at a set frequency defined by component history and managed using a maintenance calendar. The calendar is updated as improvements are made and maintenance data increases

Time Series Charts

Depict an orderly sequence of values of a variable at equally spaced time intervals that frequently occur when looking at process or product monitoring and control

Total Cost Model

Diagrammatic representation of an activity to identify and evaluate all cost aspects connected with a particular product or process

Total Productive Maintenance

Activity that targets zero downtime of machinery/equipment, zero defects and zero accidents by the pro-active identification of potential problems

Training and Education

The 4th pillar of TPM, establishes systems to systematically develop personnel proficient in equipment and work


A test that employs the statistic (t) to test a given statistical hypothesis about the mean(s) of a population

Value Stream

A value stream is all the actions, (both value added and non-value added), that are required to bring a product through the main flows essential to nearly every product

Value Stream Mapping

A pencil and paper improvement tool that provides an understanding of the flow of material and information as a product makes its way through the value stream

Value Management

Process that establishes the most reliable performance which a product or process must do to make it work and sell at the least possible cost


Deviation from a standard or norm

Visual Management Systems

Enables the current situation in the workplace to be seen. Examples of applications can be people, resources, inventory, tools, results and processes

Workplace Organisation

Uncluttered and orderly management of the working environment

Zero Defects

Manufacturing free from faults achieved by the elimination of errors in a product or process

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