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NATURAL VARIABILITY

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Natural variability is a quality control related concept. All manufacturing or service exhibit a certain amount of “natural” variability. (Such variability is also known as chance or random variation.) This natural variability is the cumulative effect of several minor factors. The extent of natural variability inherent in a process differs from process to process, and changes over time. For instance, older machines will generally exhibit a higher degree of natural variability than newer machines, partly because of worn parts and partly because newer machines may incorporate design improvements that reduce the variability of their output.

Ideally, only random variation (or natural variability) should be present in a process, because it represents the acceptable amount of variation. Improving the system itself can reduce natural variability. A process that is operating with only natural variability is said to be “in a state of statistical control.”

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  • DOI: 10.1007/1-4020-0612-8_620
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  • Shewhart, W.A. (1939). Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control, Graduate School, Department of Agriculture, Washington.

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© 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers

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(2000). NATURAL VARIABILITY . In: Swamidass, P.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Production and Manufacturing Management. Springer, Boston, MA . https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0612-8_620

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0612-8_620

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-7923-8630-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4020-0612-8

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive