American National Standards Institute ANSI’s picture

By: American National Standards Institute ANSI

(ANSI: Washington) -- The Internet as we know it is about to max out. Within the next 12 to 18 months, every one of the 4.3 billion internet protocol (IP) addresses will have been exhausted.

When the Internet was created more than 30 years ago, 4.3 billion unique addresses seemed more than enough. But what started as an “experiment” within the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has morphed into the mega global communications network we know today.

Since 1981, Internet protocol version 4, or IP v. 4, has formed the backbone upon which the Internet is based. IP v. 4 uses 32-bit addresses to uniquely identify every computer, smart phone, or other device connected to the internet. The entities responsible for allocating IP address space are the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). IANA allocates IP addresses to five regional registries, which in turn distribute the addresses to Internet service providers. The last block of the remaining addresses was allocated to the registries earlier this month.

European Space Agency ESA’s picture

By: European Space Agency ESA

A key technical challenge of the joint European Space Agency (ESA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) LISA mission has been solved: how to maintain precise pointing of a laser beam across 5 million km of space (figure 1).

The next-decade Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission will look for ripples in space-time—their existence predicted by Albert Einstein—known as “gravitational waves.” To do this, a trio of identical spacecraft will fly 5 million km apart in an equilateral triangle formation, linked by laser beams (figure 2).

Figure 1: LISA satellite connected by laser

A precision-measuring method called interferometry can combine these laser beams to identify the slightest movement between free-floating metallic cubes within each spacecraft. Motion within a set frequency range will be scrutinized to search out gravitational waves emitted by massive black holes and similarly energetic cosmic objects.

Georgia Institute of Technology’s picture

By: Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) may possess the secret to baking perfect buns every time. Its researchers have developed a production-line system that automatically inspects the quality of sandwich buns exiting the oven and adjusts oven temperatures if it detects unacceptable buns.

"We have closed the loop between the quality inspection of buns and the oven controls to meet the specifications required by food service and fast-food customers," says GTRI senior research engineer Douglas Britton. "By creating a more accurate, uniform, and faster assessment process, we are able to minimize waste and lost product."

During existing inspection processes, workers remove a sample of buns each hour to inspect their color. Based on this assessment, they manually adjust the oven temperature if the buns appear too light or too dark. But with more than 1,000 buns leaving a bakery production line every minute, there is a great need for automated control to make more rapid corrections to produce buns of consistent color, size, shape, and seed coverage.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

During the last couple of decades we have seen huge advances in laser trackers, portable arms, structured light scanners, laser scanners, photogrammetry devices, and other 3-D measurement technologies that have made accurate 3-D shop floor measurement more feasible than ever before. Each of these technologies has its own set of tradeoffs—accuracy, measuring volume, portability, durability, or ease of use—but the clincher for many small machine shops has been the price.

There are few entry-level, low-cost, 3-D measurement devices suitable for the shop floor and for use in on-machine inspection in particular. This is critical because verifying the accuracy of parts while they are still fixtured in the CNC machine has long been recognized as a key way to reduce cost and improve both quality and throughput for machined parts. According to the 2002 U.S. Economic Census, small machine shops make up more than 85 percent of machine shops in the United States. This presents a huge marketing opportunity for 3-D inspection equipment manufacturers and if the devices were affordable enough, would offer a productivity tool that could greatly enhance the capabilities of small machine shops across the country.

Bruce McDuffee’s picture

By: Bruce McDuffee

If you’re in the business of manufacturing drugs, medical devices, nutraceuticals, or manufacturing or importing any product in the United States that falls under current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMP) regulations, your facility will be inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, “Registered domestic drug establishments shall be inspected by the FDA at least once every two years.” Under some conditions the inspections may be even more frequent, such as when a drug is being manufactured for the first time, if there have been previous problems validating a similar process, if production of a product or a new process is substantially different from past operations, or when a process is particularly complex.

The FDA has put out the word that it is ramping up enforcement efforts, so why not be prepared?

What you should expect

Will the inspector just show up at the back door and sneak in for a quick look, or is it a more formal process? You may or may not receive notice; inspectors have been known to show up unannounced and there is no requirement that they provide you notice. But they are not allowed to sneak in the back door for a quick look around the factory.

Oscar Combs’s picture

By: Oscar Combs

Anyone involved with any type of management system has run across the term “preventive action.”  It leaves many professionals scratching their head, wondering what a preventive action actually is. I must admit, the term and its concept can be quite confusing and abstract.

Webster’s dictionary defines preventive as “protecting, as against failure: ward off. To keep (someone) from acting.” The American Society for Quality (ASQ) defines preventive action as “an action taken to remove or improve a process to prevent potential future occurrences of a nonconformance.”

Kimberly Egan’s picture

By: Kimberly Egan

It turns out that I am not the only one who has noticed that food regulation is sometimes a little, well, silly. The federal government recently “identified a mother lode of government waste and duplication” and decided that getting rid of it “could potentially save billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and more effective service.” This according to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in response to the GAO’s first-ever audit of federal agency overlap.

One of the biggest culprits is food safety. There are more than 30 food-related laws administered by 15 different federal agencies, and still the U.S. public lacks confidence in the safety of its food supply. What to do?

Miriam Boudreaux’s picture

By: Miriam Boudreaux

There’s no more vicious cycle than problems that constantly reoccur because there’s no time to stop and solve them correctly. Although we all would like this cycle to stop, managers can’t afford to let employees waste time with too much researching, and employees don’t always have the time because they are constantly fighting fires. As long as this cycle continues, problems will reoccur, and everyone will have to spend more time on what should not have occurred in the first place.

How do we get out of this vicious cycle? Through training, dedication, and appropriate problem-solving techniques.

Why are we always fighting fires?

We all know that time is not only valuable but also fleeting. Once it’s gone, there’s no way to get it back. At work, time is even more valuable because we have only eight hours each day to achieve our tasks and goals. Although we are all well-intended, somehow time at work just seems to go by too fast. Between reading e-mails and fighting fires, the work day is gone, and there’s no time to look at the big picture or even think of improvements. But why are we fighting fires in the first place?

Angelo Lyall’s picture

By: Angelo Lyall

The business world seems fascinated with the story of how Toyota “invented” lean manufacturing. In actuality, Toyota did not aim to create this heavily marketed tool kit that we call lean manufacturing; the company simply did things “The Toyota Way” as they put it. Unleashing the innovative minds of people at all levels of the organization is the underlying philosophy at the heart of The Toyota Way and should be a part of every business.

Sam Pfeifle’s picture

By: Sam Pfeifle

With stakeholders that include the Palestinian National Authority, the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Apostolic Authorities, it’s hard to overestimate the religious and political importance of the International Project for Survey, Study, Assessment, and Conservation Plan for Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Metadata? How about 20 centuries’ worth?

Yet Sorin Busuioc, president of Quebec-based SCDS, the firm that provided the laser scanning and 3-D modeling of the church said to rest over the birth place of Jesus Christ, says the job went very smoothly, with no difficulty getting permissions.

“All clergies were very responsive and supportive,” he says, speaking from his offices in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada.

Syndicate content