DPMO: What Is It, Benefits, How to Calculate It

Posted by SSP Team | 11/2/23 3:49 PM 0 Comments

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DPMO: What Is It, Benefits, How to Calculate It

Ever wonder why most companies, including SSP, measure and monitor defects per million opportunities (DPMO)? What can DPMO tell prospective customers about a company’s production quality? Although it may seem like an abstract performance metric, DPMO is actually a quantifiable metric that can reveal key insights about a company’s production process. 

Here’s a deep dive into DPMO, how to calculate it, and why SSP’s DPMO metric means customers can trust our product quality.

What Is DPMO?

Defects per million opportunities (DPMO) is the same as measuring in parts per million (PPM). In a million production units, DPMO refers to the number of defects. For example, if SSP sells one million valves, and one valve has a defective o-ring in its packing, the DPMO value of the one million unit run is 1.

Advantages of Using DPMO

DPMO implies much about product quality and process performance. Some of the benefits of calculating DPMO include:

  • It is easily calculable: Calculating DPMO requires just three values. Take the size of the sample being measured, identify the opportunities where a defect can be created, and the number of existing defects within the sample.
  • Standard comparison: DPMO provides a standard measure that allows organizations to compare processes and products across various functions.
  • Versatility: DPMO can measure and calculate defects within various volumes, including millions, thousands, and hundreds of products.

How to Calculate DPMO

A simple DPMO formula allows for quick and accurate calculation. The formula is as follows: 


As mentioned above, calculating the DPMO requires identifying the sample size, the number of defects in the sample size, and the defect opportunities per unit in the sample. With these three variables and the formula above, calculating DPMO is simple.

DPMO in Action: A Leading Tire Manufacturer's Racing Division

Most organizations measure and monitor DPMO but rarely share their findings with the public. SSP is one of the few that does. Several years ago, we met with a renowned tire manufacturing company that publicly reports DPMO.

At a conference at their global headquarters, they highlighted their Racing Division and its achievements. Being the exclusive tire provider for prominent racing leagues, this company provided a tour of their unique facility where ultra-high performance tires for racing are made.

Tires used in certain races need to withstand speeds of 200 miles per hour as drivers maneuver closely, while some drag racing tires must accelerate from 0 to 100 mph in less than 0.8 seconds. Given these rigorous demands, it's paramount that their tires perform without fail.

This tire company has set two DPMO performance targets: one for racing tires and one for regular vehicle tires. Their target for racing tires is less than 350, while for passenger tires, it's less than 5,000.

For comparison, SSP's DPMO target for all products is less than 500.

Ensuring Product Quality

DPMO is a critical performance metric that is easy to measure, calculate, and monitor. It offers insights into production processes for companies of all sizes. SSP is among the few companies that publicly showcase DPMO, instilling confidence in both existing and potential clients regarding their products.

Although DPMO is rarely discussed publicly, SSP is enthusiastic, honest, and open about it. Quality is paramount, and SSP delivers peace of mind with a DPMO that sets us apart from many competitors. 

With a 95-year history of operation, we pride ourselves on having zero product liability claims. Our commitment to quality is evident as 80% of our products are crafted using machines less than four years old. Our associates utilize state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies and select only the highest quality raw materials to produce safe, consistent, and reliable products.

Find a distributor of our products, or contact us to speak with a specialist about your filter, valve, fitting, or other product needs.

Topics: Quality, DPMO