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Lean, Six Sigma & MES Dictionary

Having trouble understanding all terms related to Lean, Six Sigma and MES? Try our dictionary. We have selected the most commonly used words for your reference.

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Adaptive Manufacturing

Adaptive Manufacturing is a product paradigm where a design concept for automation is tied to a concept 'production to product'. It contains the integration of all systems of the production and business level, e.g. SCADA, LIMS, Historian, SPC, MES, up to ERP, SCM, or Data Warehouse. Adaptive production is a large-scale integration, an allocation of intelligent services: Data and information from production and business systems get merged on a common platform to combine with each other and provide significant KPIs.

Affinity diagrams

Business tool for organizing data and ideas. By Affinity diagrams you can sort ideas from Brainstorming into groups for review and analysis.

Agent-based maintenance

An intelligent agent is a software module capable of flexible autonomous action in a dynamic environment. Agents have sensors to gather information, reasoning to evaluate it and the authority to act. Agents allow service engineers to remotely monitor system and product behavior and to act immediately to prevent critical scenarios.

AIQ (Average Incoming Quality)

Average quality level going into the inspection point.


Tool for notification of quality or process problem. It serves to management, maintenance and workers.

AOQ (Average Outgoing Quality)

The average quality level leaving the inspection point after rejection and acceptance of a number of products.

APC (Advanced Process Control)

Indicates a combination of diverse process control technologies. ASP is composed of different kinds of process control tools, for example, model predictive control (MPC), statistical process control (SPC), Run2Run (R2R), fault detection and classification (FDC), sensor control and feedback systems.

APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning)

Framework of procedures and techniques used to develop products in industry. APQP consists of five phases: 1. Plan and Define Program, 2. Product Design and Development Verification, 3. Process Design and Development Verification, 4. Product and Process Validation, 5. Launch, Feedback, Assessment & Corrective Action.

APS (Advanced Planning & Scheduling)

Supporting tool within the production management to plan functions based on the MRP-II method. APS delivers work orders to the plant. It refers to a manufacturing management process by which raw materials and production capacity are optimally allocated to meet defined demands.

AQL (Acceptable Quality Level)

The worst tolerable process average in percentage or ratio, that is still considered acceptable.

ATS Inspect

A solution for collecting, analyzing and reporting defect-related data in many various production environments.


Principle of usage of Control Systems with other application of IT to control industrial machinery and processes. Automation is reducing the need for human interventions.


Also known as Jidoka. This term describes the process of prevention against the production of defective products, elimination of overproduction and focuses attention on understanding the problem and ensuring that same problem never recurs.