Measurement System Analysis

Information and overview

“What you cannot measure, you cannot control. What you cannot control, you cannot improve” (Lord Kelvin)

Product Overview

Measurement system analysis is the single most important component of what is known as “Core Tools”. Measurement system analysis is usually shortened to MSA, and is a way to find out if measurement results vary with the circumstances with repeated predetermined measurements on known objects. A measuring system may be very different, but can be:
  • Product measure
  • Determination of customer satisfaction
  • Estimation of CO2-emission
  • etc.

When you need to be sure to take the right decisions and thus fully (i e 100 %) trust you measurement results………then is the right time to perform an “MSA”.


There is when measurements are taken, always a risk that the result may vary. For example, if you measure the diameter of an apple, the measurement results will be different because the apple is not completely round. What measure is the “right”? The results of a measurement system analysis tell you about what may need to be improved e.g. Training, Instructions/Method, Technology or Environment, e.g.
Businessman getting ready to enter the labyrinth with objects in his hand concept


In a measurement system analysis, repeated measurements of several objects are made in order to investigate variations in the measurement system, which may be due to: Instruments, objects, personnel, etc. What can vary is, for example, the number:
  • Object
  • Assessor
  • Repetitions
A measurement system analysis generally does not take that long to complete, but can take time to prepare and plan.


All persons who perform measurements or who make decisions based on measurement results should have some knowledge of measurement system analysis. It’s also fun to learn.
  • Variable measures (slide gauges, micrometers etc)
  • Attribute measures (Go/Non-Go gauges)


In our courses in MSA, we use the Minitab program to teach what measurement system analysis is and how analyses should be carried out. Minitab enables a standardised way of carrying out studies and is flexible and extremely useful in other contexts as well. It is also cost effective for any company to have at least one license in comparison to the time it takes to develop their own solutions. The number of licences should then depend on the size of the company and the need to carry out analyses. We cooperate with Norsys AB/Minitab.

Download a full version of Minitab for 30 days here: