THE statistical method of controlling product quality during manufacture—a technique commonly known by the shorter title, Quality Control—is a very recent development in the field of production engineering. In point of fact the first application of this technique to machine‐shop production in this country took place late in 1940 at the Croydon works of Messrs. Creed & Co. Ltd., a firm whose name is a household word in electrical communications, for the Creed teleprinter is known all over the world. At the same time it must not be thought that quality control as such, or the use of the so‐called quality control chart as an aid to manufacture, is a purely wartime development. Statistical methods have been employed in British industry, notably in electric lamp manufacture, and in the production of both cotton and woollen textiles, for more than fifteen years, whilst the technique of quality control itself was originated by Dr. W. A. Shewhart of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, New York, in 1922. But where engineering practice was concerned, the application of statistical methods did not present itself until quite recently as a necessary or even convenient solution of manufacturing difficulties.
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