Tom Spendlove’s picture

By: Tom Spendlove

Simulation is a necessity for automotive companies in the 21st century, and there’s pressure to use more of it for many reasons: 1) Electrification produces more heat sources that need CFD and thermal analysis to design dissipation strategies; 2) industrywide moves toward minimal or “zero” prototype builds make crashworthiness and structural simulation more important; 3) advanced driver automation systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles require constant data collection and processing via simulation; and 4) smart connected systems in a car have increased the number of chips and the need for electronic system design (ESD) and simulation.

The engineers at VI-Grade are especially keen to move the industry toward zero prototypes. The German simulation and driving simulator company even has a yearly event called the ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit. To help bring this future to fruition, earlier this quarter VI-Grade announced AutoHawk for the North American market, a hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) simulation platform. The company hopes the tool will reduce prototypes because the simulators are highly configurable and can therefore meet the validation needs of internal combustion engines, electric vehicles, and many other customer and consumer use cases.

Javeria Salman’s picture

By: Javeria Salman

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America are better known for homework help and volunteering opportunities than for cutting-edge career development. But ask the kids in some of the Boys & Girls Clubs across states such as Indiana, Montana, and Washington, and they might say they’re surrounded by high-tech tools that help them envision their future.

Lana Taylor, executive director of the Indiana Alliance of the Boys & Girls Clubs, says her staff began to look for ways to reengage students—especially middle schoolers—as the pandemic eased and kids returned to in-person programs. Since most kids love technology and hands-on learning, Taylor thought it was only natural to develop programming that uses both.

In February 2022, the Indiana Boys & Girls Clubs launched a partnership with immersive technology startup Transfr to introduce students in 10 of its clubs to new career and workforce opportunities. The collaboration dovetailed with a new emphasis on workforce readiness at the Indiana Department of Education. Now, the partnership between Transfr and the clubs is expanding to 21 additional clubs across Indiana, thanks to a grant from the state.

Angie Basiouny’s picture

By: Angie Basiouny

In the hustle of a busy hospital emergency department, teams of doctors and nurses react quickly to determine whether a patient needs to be admitted, referred, or released. Providing such complex care requires a high degree of skill and seamless teamwork, the kind that usually comes from years of working together.

But like many modern workplaces, emergency departments are staffed based on availability—not familiarity. During any given shift, it’s quite possible that the attending physician, residents, and nurses barely know each other.

In her latest paper, Wharton professor of operations, information, and decisions Hummy Song investigates how this ad hoc assignment strategy affects the overall performance of temporary teams, and why the role of each team member matters. Previous research has neatly established that when members are more familiar with each other, they perform better. But Song’s research examines performance under a different microscope: What happens when attending doctors, residents, and nurses—colleagues with differing skills and authority—are thrown together to accomplish a task?

Vahed Qazvinian’s picture

By: Vahed Qazvinian

Yearly, employers typically spend $3,000 to $15,000 on employee satisfaction surveys, hoping to detect if an employee has plans to leave the company. Despite that, research has shown that only 33 percent of employees in the U.S. are engaged at work, while 45 percent consider their work an emotional drain.

Employee attrition costs to companies are less modest. They are estimated to be more than $1 trillion annually in the U.S., and replacing a resigned employee might cost anywhere between 60 and 200 percent of the employee's annual compensation.

Beyond the monetary aspect, the attrition rate directly and tangibly affects business expansion, weakens the brand, degrades corporate culture, and lowers employee morale.

Joshua Sadlock’s picture

By: Joshua Sadlock

Yup, that’s me in the photo. You’re probably wondering how I ended up hanging under a bridge over the Mississippi River. I’m a certified bridge safety inspector.

If you have questions after seeing people hanging under a bridge, in a basket suspended from the long arm of a truck, or have seen people crawling over the steel structure with seemingly nothing preventing them from falling off, I’ve got some answers.

After a long ride in a windowless van with 10 other people into the middle of Louisiana, a scramble over a barrier, I go down a ladder to get on a pier of the Horace Wilkinson Bridge on Interstate I-10, which carries traffic in and out of Baton Rouge. In order for it to continue to do so, the bridge will undergo a rigorous inspection. Our team will spend the next two weeks climbing and crawling over every single inch of the 54-year-old “new bridge,” as it is referred to by locals.

There’s nothing glamorous about bridge inspection—especially during July in Louisiana—but, in the interest of public safety, we carry on.

Making my way out of a shallower floor beam using beam clamps

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Updated 12/12/22

At a meeting of EU health ministers in Brussels on Dec. 9, 2022, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council announced it will be proposing an extension to the transition date for Regulation (EU) 2017/745 (MDR) and Regulation (EU) 2017/746 (IVDR). On the table will be the possibility to extend the deadline to 2027 for higher-risk devices and 2028 for lower-risk devices. 

The European Commission had come under increasing pressure to extend the deadline after EU member states, notified bodies, and medical device companies told the commission that it would be impossible for all medical devices currently approved under the old medical device regulations to transition to the newer regulations by the May 2024 deadline. This was something the Commission’s own studies were bearing out.

This is good news for the medical device community and the EU healthcare system. 

Megan Wallin-Kerth’s picture

By: Megan Wallin-Kerth

Founded in 2012, GoFormz is a uniquely flexible documentation platform for professionals in all industries—and a long-awaited solution for those chasing lean efficiency without sacrificing quality.

What does that mean? Well, unlike using a fillable PDF or Adobe document, GoFormz is an online software platform that allows workers to use current industry-specific—or even company-specific—documents, incorporating automation and other time-saving elements for an easy way to digitally document, file, and share information.

Rather than thumbing through literal papers to find that repair request or inspection report, for instance, a construction site worker can simply pull out their phone, locate the document on GoFormz, and fill it out onsite—all in real time.  

Rob Brewster, GoFormz CEO. Credit: GoFormz

Stephanie Ojeda’s picture

By: Stephanie Ojeda

Corrective and preventive action (CAPA) is a core function in any quality management system (QMS), and a critical piece in the plan-do-check-act process approach. Like any quality process, tracking CAPA key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial to continuous improvement.

It’s also a focus of regulators and auditors, and is consistently highlighted in the more than 500 warning letters issued to date in 2022 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Many companies take a reactive approach to corrective actions. Unfortunately, reacting to issues that get the most attention isn’t an efficient way to manage quality issues. Rather, tracking CAPA KPIs is a proactive strategy that helps prioritize issues and improve root cause analysis as part of best practices driving quality improvement.

Let’s look at eight CAPA KPIs that can help manufacturers achieve these goals, plus best practices for setting targets.

Rob Press’s picture

By: Rob Press

Without the perfect balance of efficient workers, adequate resources, and satisfied customers, manufacturing businesses risk sending their operations into a tailspin.

Workforce optimization (WFO) streamlines manufacturing workflow by cutting costs and increasing productivity—allowing you to equilibrate critical manufacturing tasks such as product planning, resource allocation, staff scheduling, and product shipping.

Here, we’ll show you four tips that will help you easily optimize your workforce.

1. Implement better communication systems

It’s time to think outside of the suggestion box—a good bottom-up communication system allows the plant management and the factory floor to better coordinate. This prevents work-related misunderstandings that can lead to poor product quality, delays in the production process, and workers feeling like they aren’t appreciated.

In any manufacturing plant, the factory floor workers have the information on why production is slacking, what machines are acting up, and why there are a lot of late deliveries—and they might have ideas to solve these issues.

Rashan Dixon’s picture

By: Rashan Dixon

The ability of flawed and inherently limited humans to lead others like them toward a common goal takes a special skill set.  Even if a leader has the talents required to lead a business, that doesn’t mean they’ll immediately see positive results. Good leaders know that they need to find ways to step out of their egos and truly see themselves from a rational, unbiased perspective.

If you’re a leader who is struggling to remove the blinders, here are some ways to help you accurately measure your leadership effectiveness―as well as a few tips to address any shortcomings you might discover along the way.

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