Control Limits vs Specification Limits

What is the difference between Control Limit and Specification Limits?

Control limits, also known as natural process limits, are horizontal lines drawn on a statistical process control chart, usually at a distance of ±3 standard deviations of the plotted statistic from the statistic's mean.

Control limits should not be confused with tolerance limits or specifications, which are completely independent of the distribution of the plotted sample statistic.

Control limits describe what a process is capable of producing (sometimes referred to as the “voice of the process”), while tolerances and specifications describe how the product should perform to meet the customer's expectations (referred to as the “voice of the customer”).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_limits(external link)

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