Why Quality Is Always Free?

An Industrial engineer explaining why Quality is always free.

Aamir Kamal 🚀


In Industrial engineering, we have studied that using Six-Sigma we are looking for continuous improvements. Continuous improvement could also be applied in personal development or any field of life. One of our teachers was teaching us about quality and he was telling us that “Quality is free” but never explained it. At the same time, I have asked him; “What does it mean that Quality is free?”

Products cost more money if it is made with high precision. The product that has poor material often break more easily and have a very low service life. To understand why Quality is always free we need to understand the concept of 6-sigma.

Six-sigma is achieved only if you produce 3.4 defective parts out of 1 Million pieces. Statistically, we draw six-sigma using a Normal distribution graph. The height of the humans, the class GPA, and the defects in any product link is observed through the normal distribution.

“Quality is free. It’s not a gift, but it’s free. The unquality things is what costs money.” — Phill Crosby

We are here not talking about why and what manufacturing companies CEOs are doing with using the ISO-9000 standards. The ISO-9000 standard is broken and needed to be fixed.

We use the word “Free Quality” here it means that if we could increase the efficiency of our machines and human resources enough that if we reach 3.4 defective parts out of a million. But, this condition could focus on continuous improvements, find the bottleneck, and improve the system overall. This is why they say “Quality is free”

Quality is free here means that you didn’t need to invest money into new machines, conveyor belt, or increase your human resource to achieve zero waste. You can do that through continuous improvement through finding opportunities that needed to be improved.

There is a lot of quality improvement processes through which you could increase the quality of your manufacturing firm or organization without investing any amount of money. Six sigma and lean are the two approaches used that could help any engineer or manager to improve the quality of any manufacturing firm.