For a long time, quality has been one of industry's main preoccupations. It remains so today. There is some foundation for the statement that there is a 'quality crisis' in Europe, the methods traditionally used in our industries being unable to meet today's demands. Consequently it is essential to look for new directions in which to progress, taking account of the methods for achieving quality that have been developed in recent years. These methods impact on all parts of the industrial enterprise - marketing, manufacturing, research and development, after-sales services. All staff, administrative or technical, are involved. The present book describes the tools that can help anyone who is concerned with the concept of 'total quality'; it will also be a valuable educational aid for students reading for degrees or other qualifications in engineering. P. Lyonnet I General questions and concepts 1 INTRODUCTION: HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE TOTAL QUALITY? This book is concerned with the various techniques and methods of analysis that can be used to ensure total quality in a project. In this first chapter we show the costs that result from t achieving quality, so as to make clear how important a quality-assurance service is to any enterprise. We stress also the involvement of marketing, particularly in laying down specifications for reliability.