- THE MAGAZINE
- WEB EXCLUSIVES
When Walter A. Shewhart (the father of modern quality control) described his book as "...an indication of the direction in which future developments may be expected to take place," could he have forseen its enormous impact? This monumental work laid the foundation for this modern quality control discipline, and it remains as current today as ever. It began as an attempt to develop a scientific basis for attaining economic control of quality through the establishment of control limits to indicate when the quality of product is varying more than is economically desirable.
In his search for better knowledge of economy in manufacture, Shewhart touches upon all aspects of statistical quality control. The book includes a presentation of the fundamental concepts and advantages of statistical control; ways of expressing quality of product (a section containing a discourse that has been described as a masterpiece on the meaning of quality); the basis for specification of quality control; sampling fluctuations in quality; allowable variability in quality (which contains the first fully developed use of control charts); and quality control in practice. This is required reading for anyone seriously interested in the study of quality control.
About the Author: The father of modern quality control, Walter A. Shewhart brought together the disciplines of statistics, engineering, and economics in a simple but highly effective tool: the control chart. This technique, and the principles behind it, have played key roles in economic developments from the 1940's through to the present day.
Most of Shewhart's professional career was spent at Western Electric as an engineer from 1918 to 1924 and at Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1925 until his retirement in 1956. In addition, he served for more than 20 years as the first editor of the Mathematical Statistics Series published by John Wiley & Sons.