MATHMET

The European Centre for
Mathematics and Statistics in Metrology

EMPIR 17SIP05
“Software to maximize end user uptake in conformity assessment with measurement uncertainty“

Description

Involved MATHMET members
LNE (France), NPL (UK), RISE (Sweden)
Duration
06/2018 - 05/2020
Website
Overview

The purpose of the project is to enable the uptake of established methodologies for risk-based decision-making taking into account measurement uncertainty through the provision of dedicated software. Such software will enable end-users to perform the required calculations described in related reference documents and will be made freely available. The software is also aimed at supporting testing and calibration laboratories in the application of the new ISO 17025:2017 standard, which requires that “…the laboratory shall document the decision rule employed, taking into account the level of risk […] associated with the decision rule and apply the decision rule”.


Need

The project’s primary supporter, Trescal, is a worldwide specialist in calibration and metrology services: verification, calibration, maintenance and management of test and measurement equipment for aerospace, defence, automotive and transport industries. The primary supporter has stated the need of all industrialists to have control of their measurement processes with regard to their manufacturing requirements. The primary supporter has requested that software be made available for the calculation of conformance probability, customer and producer risks and acceptance intervals in order to provide reliable decisions in conformity assessments. Such software would constitute a crucial improvement for them and their clients by offering adapted automated calculations required for the implementation of a rigorous methodology (described in the Best Practice Guide (BPG) from EMRP JRP NEW04 and in the reference document JCGM106:2012) enabling the reduction of manufacturing costs or improving the safety of marketed products. Incorrect decisions may result in economic losses for the producer; safety or other impact issues for the consumer. The guidance available in the BPG and JCGM 106:2012 provides a methodology to manage the associated risks. However, a wider implementation of the methodology is not currently possible due to the lack of accessible user-friendly software tools enabling users to perform the necessary calculations and have confidence in their results. The software will constitute also an improvement regarding the software provided in JRP NEW04, which enables only the calculation of the conformance probability in cases where two output quantities are measured.


Objectives

The overall objective is to create end-user impact from the results of JRP NEW04, in particular from the outputs of WP3 dedicated to decision-making in conformity assessment. The project addresses the following objectives:

1. To enable the required calculations for risk-based decision-making in conformity assessment: global customer/producer risks, acceptance intervals and conformance probabilities. The management of risk prior to the conformity assessment operation requires to consider both global risks and acceptance intervals.
2. To support widespread adoption of best practice in risk-based conformity assessments by increasing awareness of the software tool available in objective 1, and the BPG from JRP NEW04 and reference document JCGM 106:2012.


Results

The expected final output of the project is software which will be freely available to the end user for performing the required calculations for managing risk in conformity assessment. The software can be used after the collection of a measurement result in order to evaluate the conformance probability of the item submitted to a conformity assessment. Such conformance probability then defines a specific producer risk if the item has been rejected or a specific consumer risk if the item has been accepted.

The software can also be used with the objective of risk management prior to any measurement operation either:
- To evaluate proactively the global consumer/producer risk taking into account the acceptance and tolerance intervals, prior information (from historical data for example) and the standard uncertainty associated with the measurement;
- To determine which acceptance interval should be used in order to ensure that a maximum producer (or consumer) risk does not exceed a stipulated value.

Navigation through the software is intended to be user-friendly so that the user has to fill in successive information in a logical sequence in order to get the required results.

The other final output is a series of communication actions in order to promote the methodology and the developed software. These actions include:
- Articles in the trade press;
- Presentations at conferences and workshops;
- Publicity through the European Center for Mathematics and Statistics in Metrology (MATHMET).


Impact

Conformity assessment is the process used to demonstrate that a product meets specified requirements of standards, regulations and other specifications. However, decision-making in conformity assessment rarely considers risk management, which results either in economic losses for industry, when conforming products are wrongly rejected, or in a risk for the customer to use an accepted non-conforming product. For the Primary Supporter, Trescal, each year thousands of instruments are concerned with a conformity statement. As a result, Trescal is ready to use the software for improving their decision-making and for the determination, in agreement with the client, of a suitable decision rule for each measuring instrument. The acceptance intervals determined by the software will then be used to decide whether to accept or reject the instrument.

The clients of the Primary Supporter will then benefit also from improved services as they will be able to discuss the risk level chosen for the conformity assessment. The control of manufacturing processes will also be possible in order to reduce manufacturing costs as much as possible in order to meet a targeted performance criteria in the conformity assessments.

Beyond the primary supporter, the free provision of the software will make it possible to give all accredited calibration and testing laboratories access to improved decision-making in conformity assessment. Many European industries concerned with high levels of safety issues will also benefit from the release of the software such as: aeronautics, the automotive industry, health, energy, etc. In order to reach this wider group of industries, the projects aims at proposing several contributions to trade press articles in popular journals in industry (Precision Engineering, NCSLI journal, Contrôle, Essais & Mesures, etc.) and to popular conferences in which the industrialists come to seek information about new developments related to measurement and the control of their manufacturing processes (International Metrology Congress, European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics, MATHMET conference, etc.).

Publications

Links

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This work is part of the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) project NEW04. The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.
More information can be found here.
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