AQL, or Acceptance Quality Limit, is defined as a “quality level that’s worst tolerance in standard ISO 2859-1, it’s a statistical tool to inspect a particular sample size for a given lot and set the maximum number of acceptable defects.
In order words, it is the worst tolerable process average when a continuing series of lots is submitted for acceptance sampling.
There are normally three limits chosen, one for critical, major, and minor. Usually, each of these three limits is different for each category, and most Asia exporters are familiar with the type of setting,
AQL was also named “acceptance quality level” before, it is an important statistic for companies seeking Six Sigma level of quality control. and the AQL of a product would vary from industry to industry,
Companies dealing with extreme sports equipment or medical tools would have more stringent AQL, as acceptance of defective products could result in health risks.
AQL Calculator: Calculate Your Required Sample Size Quickly!
The standard definition of Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) is “the maximum defective percent (or the maximum number of defects per hundred units) that, for purpose of sampling inspection, can be considered satisfactory as a process average”.
Keywords: Three types of defects for consumer goods:
Critical Defects: Totally unacceptable defects, when accepted could lead to harm to the users. or regulations are not respected. It is defined by ZERO (AQL Table c=0)
Major Defects:Defects are usually not acceptable by the end-users, the AQL for a major defect is 1.5 or 2.5 (AQL 1.5 or AQL 2.5)
Minor Defects:Defects, which are not likely to reduce materially the usability of the product for its intended purpose but slightly differ from specified standards. most end users won’t mind it. The AQL for minor defects is 4.0
Keywords: Lot size in AQL Chart
The quantity of each product is the lot size, if you ordered different products, then each product considers a separate lot.
Keywords: General Inspection level (G-I, G-II, G-III)
Different inspection levels will command different numbers of samples to inspect. General Level II in single sampling plans is the normally used sampling method.
Keywords: Special Inspection level (S-1, S-2, S-3, S-4)
The special levels can be applied in cases where only a few samples should be checked, mostly the special levels are used only for certain on-site testings, and spot check during container loading supervision.
Keywords: AQL 2.5
When a product defect adversely affects the performance of the product or varies significantly from the specifications, or the defects cause the end customer to return the product, the inspector will the defects to be a “Major”, and the most common AQL inspection assigned to Major defects is 2.5. (Related: What does AQL 2.5 mean in a quality inspection?)
Keywords: AQL 4.0
Typically, minor defects are relatively small or insignificant issues, these issues won’t affect the product’s functionality or form, and customers won’t return the product based on the presence of one or very few minor defects on the product. but AQL 4.0 is typical for the acceptance of minor defects, your goods may fail inspection if the number of minor defects found beyond AQL 4.0
ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2013): Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes is an acceptance sampling system to be used with switching rules on a continuing stream of lots for the Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) specified.
ISO 2859-1:1999: Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Part 1: Sampling schemes indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection
It provides tightened, normal, and reduced plans to be applied for attributes inspection for percent nonconforming or nonconformities per 100 units.
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