Walter Masing

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Walter Masing (1975)

Walter Masing (born June 22, 1915 in Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) ; † March 29, 2004 in Erbach (Odenwald) ) was a German physicist and entrepreneur. Masing is considered a quality expert and is one of the pioneers in quality management in Germany and Europe. He was one of the founders of the German Society for Quality (DGQ), of which he was the first chairman and honorary chairman for many years.


After graduating from high school in 1933 at the state, German-speaking boys 'grammar school in Tartu , German Dorpat ( Estonia ) and then serving in the military at the reserve officers' school in Tondi, Walter Masing studied physics and mathematics at the University of Tartu . In 1935 he moved to the University of Rostock , primarily to continue his physics studies with Pascual Jordan . On the recommendation of Jordan, he then went to the University of Leipzig , where he completed his academic studies in 1940 with Gerhard Hoffmann , who had been appointed to this university in 1937 as the successor to Peter Debye , and with Werner Heisenberg with a dissertation on the subject of “A combined amplifier apparatus for the detection of the smallest quantities of ions, in particular individual β-particles ”.

Walter Masing was a member of the Baltic Corporation Livonia in Dorpat, which was suspended in 1939, and the Baltic Corporation Fraternitas Dorpatensis in Munich, which was founded in 1948. In 1938 he led the comradeship of Margrave von Meißen in the National Socialist German Student Union in Leipzig . The "Margraviate" carried the tradition of the suspended Leipzig Corps and changed to Corps Misnia IV in 1942 .

After completing his doctorate, Masing worked as a teacher for a short time, but soon accepted an offer at the “Laboratory for High Frequency Technology and Electromedicine” in Berlin-Lichterfelde, led by Hans Erich Hollmann . This laboratory dealt with the development and manufacture of military-relevant electronic gearboxes. Since the laboratory was badly damaged by a bomb attack, it was relocated to Georgenthal in Thuringia (near Gotha ).

After the war ended, the Masing family moved to Erbach (Odenwald) in 1949 . There Walter Masing founded the company “Dr. Masing & Co. GmbH ”, which developed and produced electronic controls. The company soon had over 300 employees and became known beyond the borders of Germany as the market leader for special controls for spot and resistance welding machines. In 1969 Masing sold his company to Robert Bosch GmbH . Until 1983 he was also co-owner of Masing-Kirkhof GmbH (later ESAB Masing GmbH) in Dietzenbach , a company that developed and manufactured welding machines. Until 1988 he was a member of the supervisory board of this company.

Working as a quality manager and professor

Masing was only able to meet the customers' demands for a safe function of the control systems developed and produced in his company by introducing a functioning quality assurance system. At the beginning of the 1950s, however, there were no closed and systematic findings with regard to a suitable selection and application of quality assurance methods. As a result, Masing dealt with this matter himself, attended training courses and tried to implement the previously known methods of quality assurance in his company. Impressed by a course on "statistical quality control", which was led by Edward Deming , Masing took the initiative in 1952 to found the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Technische Statistik" (TESTA), whose activities focus on the use of statistical methods "for quality control and testing in the Industry "oriented. Five years after it was founded, the name was changed to “Working Group on Statistical Quality Control” (ASQ); its first chairman was Walter Masing.

In the years and decades that followed, however, not only questions of measuring, safeguarding and evaluating quality played a role, Masing and the members of the ASQ were increasingly concerned with fundamental questions regarding the general organization of quality and its costs, the role of people Development and production of quality and thus overall a comprehensive quality management. As a result, it was decided in 1968 to change the name of the working group again, and finally, from December 1972, it was transferred to the well-known and successfully active in the field of quality management registered association Deutsche Gesellschaft für Qualität (DGQ). Walter Masing was also the first chairman of the DGQ; from 1983 he was its honorary chairman.

Masing was also internationally active in the field of "quality", so in 1956 he became the founding president of the European Organization for Quality Control (EOQC) (today: European Organization for Quality (EOQ)). This organization awarded him the “Georges Borel Medal” twice for his services. He was also a founding member of the International Academy for Quality (IAQ) (its president from 1979 to 1981) and a member of the American Society of Quality (ASQ). The latter awarded him the "Edwards Medal" in 1975 and the "Lancaster Award" in 1995. Masing was also an honorary member of the Quality Society of Estonia and chairman (1981 to 1993) of the board of trustees of the Institute for Production Engineering and Automation of the Fraunhofer Society .

Walter Masing also published the trade journal Quality and Reliability (QZ) published by Hanser Verlag from 1970 to 1997 .

Due to his scientifically based activities in the context of quality assurance and quality management, Masing received a teaching position at the Technical University of Berlin in 1965 - on the recommendation of the then head of the "Institute for Machine Tools and Factory Operation", Günter Spur - and in 1970 he became an honorary professor for the field of "quality theory" . When Gerd F. Kamiske established the first German chair for quality science at the TU Berlin in 1988 , this was also a continuation of the work of Walter Masing. From 1974 to 1984 Masing also taught as an honorary professor at the University of Stuttgart .

His academic achievements were recognized in 1995, especially for his "pioneering role in the development of quality management and his outstanding services to the dissemination and application of quality management in business practice" with the honorary doctorate of the University of St. Gallen for Dr. oec. hc and in 1996 by the Technical University of Berlin as Dr.-Ing. E. h. crowned.

Walter Masing played a key role in establishing quality management in Germany and Europe. He was also the editor and author of one of the most important German-language standard works for quality management, the Masing Handbook Quality Management , which he published up to the 4th edition and which was published in the 6th edition in 2014 (Eds. Tilo Pfeifer and Robert Schmitt ). Masing also dealt with questions about the historical development of his field. As a result of this work, in 2002 under his direction, together with Michael Ketting , Wolfgang König and Karl-Friedrich Wessel , the commemorative publication for the 50th anniversary of the DGQ with the title "Quality Management - Tradition and Future" was published.

For his numerous services and achievements, Masing was honored with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on ribbon and 1st class. The DGQ has been promoting young talent with the Walter Masing Prize since 1988.

Publications (selection)

  • Technical statistics in the practice of the three-cylinder spinning mill. In: Lenzinger reports. Vol. 3, 1954, p. 5 ff.
  • Basics of statistical quality control in practice in the textile industry. In: Melliand textile reports. Vol. 37, 1956, p. 122 ff.
  • Statistical quality control in the cotton mill. Konradin Verlag, Stuttgart 1957.
  • Ignitron controls for single-phase resistance welding machines. Prost & Meiner Verlag, Coburg 1961.
  • Reliability as an economic problem. In: Technical reliability in individual representations. Vol. 1, Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich / Vienna 1964, p. 33 ff.
  • Quality and costs as target parameters in product development. Proceedings lecture series of the German Industry Exhibition, Berlin 1968, p. 45 ff.
  • Realistic Quality Levels. In: Proceedings of the IV. EOQC Conference London 1969. Paper No. 2.
  • Stochastic consideration of current integration as a means of quality assurance of resistance welded connections. The mastered manufacturing process. In: wt magazine for industrial production. 67, 1977, pp. 269-272.
  • Security as a quality feature. In: O. Peter, A. Meyna (Hrsg.): Handbuch der Sicherheitstechnik. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 1985.
  • New Quality-Technologies and Methodologies required to meet the social and industrial needs of the 90 (as a spokesman for 6 academics). In: The Best on Quality. (= Book series of the International Academy for Quality. Volume 1). Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 1988, pp. 13-25.
  • Failure expense. In: QZ. 33, 1988, pp. 11-12.
  • Thinking about quality related costs. In: QZ. 38, 1993, pp. 149-153.
  • Quality theory. Beuth-Verlag, Berlin / Cologne 1972. (8th edition 1994)
  • Planning and implementation of the quality policy in the company. In: M. Bruhn, B. Stauss (Ed.): Service quality. 2nd Edition. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 1995.
  • Masing manual quality management . 4th edition. Hanser Verlag, Munich 1999. (First edition published in 1980 under the title “Handbuch der Qualitätssicherung”; since 5th edition 2007 continued under the editorship of T. Pfeifer and R. Schmitt).
  • with Michael Ketting , Wolfgang König , Karl-Friedrich Wessel (Eds.): Quality Management - Tradition and Future. Festschrift for the 50th anniversary of the German Society for Quality e. V. Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-446-21601-4 .


  • Erich Bauer : From comradeship to corps - the founding history of Misnia IV in Leipzig. In: then and now. (Yearbook of the Association for Corporate Student History Research), Volume 18, 1973, p. 114 f.
  • Herbert Schnauber (ed.): Creative and consistent - Walter Masing, a life for quality. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich; Vienna 2006.
  • Quality science thinkers: Masing, Walter. In: GF Kamiske, J.-P. Brewer: Quality management from A to Z. 7th, updated and expanded edition. Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2011, pp. 45–47.
  • Walter Masing - an autobiography. In: Tilo Pfeifer , Robert Schmitt (Hrsg.): Masing handbook quality management . 6th edition. Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2014, pp. XXVII – XXXIV.
  • Michael Ketting : Keyword Masing, Walter . In: Hans-Dieter Zollondz, Michael Ketting, Raimund Pfundtner (eds.): Lexicon quality management. 2nd, completely revised edition. Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin 2016, pp. 653–655.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. W. Masing: A combined amplifier apparatus for the detection of the smallest amounts of ions, in particular individual β-particles. Dissertation University of Leipzig 1940. In: Annalen der Physik. 5th Series, Volume 37, H. 8, pp. 557-582.
  2. Kösener Corpslisten 1996, 100 , 5
  3. ^ W. Masing: From TESTA to the protagonist of Business Excellence - History of the German Society for Quality eV In: Walter Masing, Michael Ketting , Wolfgang König , Karl-Friedrich Wessel : Quality Management - Tradition and Future. Festschrift for the 50th anniversary of the German Society for Quality eV Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2003, pp. 389–418.
  4. H. Schnauber : Walter Masing - A life for quality. In: QZ. 60, H. 7, 2015, p. 15.
  5. Always on the front line. A life in the service of quality - Walter Masing on his 85th birthday. In: QZ. 45, H. 7, 2000, p. 838.
  6. J. Hermann: In memory of Walter Masing. In: magazine for economical production. 99, H. 4, 2004, p. 143.
  7. Gerd F. Kamiske , Jörg-Peter Brauer: Quality management from AZ. 7th, updated and expanded edition. Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2011, p. 46.
  8. ^ Alma - the alumni magazine of the University of St. Gallen. 5, No. 4, 2004, p. 7.
  9. TU Berlin awards the honorary doctorate to Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. oec. hc Walter Masing. TU Berlin - Media Information No. 90 - April 22, 1996 ( )
  10. ^ Walter Masing, Michael Ketting , Wolfgang König , Karl-Friedrich Wessel : Quality Management - Tradition and Future. Festschrift for the 50th anniversary of the German Society for Quality eV Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2003.