What is AQL for quality control?

In quality control, AQL stands for “Acceptable Quality Level.” It’s a term used to define the maximum number of defective units that are considered acceptable in a particular sample size during inspection.

When conducting quality inspections, a sample of items is typically selected from a larger batch or production run. Inspectors then assess this sample for defects or non-conformities according to predetermined criteria. The AQL is the threshold that determines whether the inspected batch is accepted or rejected based on the number of defects found within the sample.

For example, if a production batch has an AQL of 2.5%, it means that, statistically, no more than 2.5% of the items in the sample can be defective for the batch to be accepted. If the number of defects exceeds the AQL, the entire batch may be rejected, triggering further investigation or corrective actions.

AQLs are typically set based on factors such as industry standards, customer requirements, and the level of risk associated with the product or process. Different industries and products may have different AQL levels depending on their quality requirements and expectations.

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