Del Williams’s picture

By: Del Williams

Food processors have long sought a safer, more energy-efficient means to convey product with less spillage, breakage, or downtime due to necessary cleaning and maintenance. Although tubular drag conveyors have offered these desired attributes compared to belt, bucket, or pneumatic systems, many in the industry selected the traditional options to move higher volumes or larger-sized products.

Now, however, 8-in.-diameter tubular drag conveyors have become widely available and can almost double the volumes of smaller 6-in. units. This provides comparable volumes and pricing to conventional industrial systems and enables transport of much larger product sizes than previously possible.


8-in. tubular-drag cable conveyors can move up to 2,000 ft³ and 80,000 pounds per hour depending on the bulk density of materials.



Roxanne Oclarino’s picture

By: Roxanne Oclarino

In an ideal world, a project economy would empower people with the skills and capabilities needed to turn ideas into reality. In that world organizations would deliver tremendous value to exceed stakeholders’ expectations by successfully completing projects. Yet research shows that only 35 percent of projects undertaken worldwide are successful. This means that huge amounts of time, money, resources, and opportunities are being wasted. 

Slowly but surely, projects have dominated workplaces as a business-critical driver of innovation, growth, and success. To some extent, the rise of the project economy means the end of job descriptions. The Project Management Institute (PMI) forecast that the value of project-oriented activities worldwide would be $20 trillion by 2027—and will generate countless jobs for 88 million people. Even more interesting, these estimates were made before countries started spending on pandemic recovery projects, which means that the project economy is here to stay with a promise of significant value to the economy and society.

Mike John’s picture

By: Mike John

This article has been republished with permission from Medical Plastics News.

While ISO 13485 sets the standard for quality management systems (QMS) in medical device manufacturing, metrology is often treated as an afterthought and used simply to validate products and detect defects at the end of production. The result? It becomes harder to prove consistent quality, and the validation process can become fragmented.

Edmund Andrews’s picture

By: Edmund Andrews

Even if the pandemic abates enough for a return to normal, all evidence indicates that a substantial share of Americans will continue to work from home, relying on videoconferencing to team up.

Yet, while the ease of gathering virtually has made the shift to widespread remote work possible, a new study finds that on-screen meetings have a significant drawback: They hinder creative collaboration.

The study, co-authored by Jonathan Levav of Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Melanie Brucks of Columbia Business School, finds that in-person teams generated more ideas than remote teams working on the same problem.

Steven Brown’s picture

By: Steven Brown

One of the unexpected rewards of working at NIST has been the opportunity to see other disciplines through the NIST prism of measurement science and standards. By working with NASA scientists, astronomers, oceanographers and geologists, I’ve had the opportunity to witness the lives of scientists in a variety of fields.

Often, my way of interacting with these researchers is by calibrating the sensors on their instruments. These calibrations help ensure that the instruments accurately measure the light and other electromagnetic radiation from objects the scientists are studying, whether it is the Pacific Ocean, a forest fire, or a faraway galaxy. To calibrate these researchers’ sensors properly, we need reliable ways to measure light itself. My NIST colleagues and I are currently engaged in some cutting-edge efforts to make these measurements better than they’ve ever been. But before I tell you about the high-altitude NASA aircraft we use, and the lunar observatory we’re building, let’s talk about the earliest standard for measuring light output: the humble candle.

Megan Wallin-Kerth’s picture

By: Megan Wallin-Kerth

Many industries are embracing apprentice and trade programs in efforts to create a strong and reliable workforce for the future—and the manufacturing field is no exception. The BASF apprenticeship program began as a way for young professionals to find success through practical on-the-job training. Internationally, BASF offers apprenticeship in Germany and Switzerland as well as the United States. 

In an interview with Quality Digest, Susan Emmerich, Ph.D., spoke on BASF’s North American Apprenticeship Development Program. As the program’s project implementation manager, she was able to outline key factors that make it a success.

QD: What progress have you seen so far with the program applicants, and what feedback have you received?

SE: We have had 90 percent of the apprentices successfully complete and place-off in full-time technician roles. According to our apprentice exit surveys, 92 percent of the apprentices said they would stay at BASF if offered a similar role elsewhere, and 92 percent said they see themselves in some role at BASF beyond three years.

Emily Newton’s picture

By: Emily Newton

Staying on top of packing quality-control measures can have positive ramifications for companies. For starters, products are more likely to arrive undamaged if they're in appropriately robust boxes. There’s also a safety element involved. Suppose a fragile item shatters in transit due to improper packaging. If the broken item has sharp edges, a person could be cut while trying to open the product. They might not even realize anything’s wrong until they reach inside and get hurt.

Fortunately, following an established set of checks can prevent such issues. Here are some steps not to overlook.

1. Test the package’s strength

It’s essential to see how a package will hold up when subjected to the many stresses it may undergo from the time it leaves its original location to when it reaches a final destination. The edge crush test is one of the best-known ways to check resilience. It’s a compression-based method to see how well a box retains its shape when placed in a stacked orientation. The most accurate way to perform it is to put the package between two metal plates and program a machine to exert a particular amount of force.

Jeff Dewar’s picture

By: Jeff Dewar

This is the first installment of a five-part series.  

In May, Quality Digest editor in chief Dirk Dusharme and I attended ASQ’s 2022 World Conference on Quality and Improvement (WCQI) in Anaheim, California. It was the first in-person conference since Covid hit the world, and attendance was just over 1,000, about a third of what had been the norm.  

ASQ made their leadership available for wide-ranging  video interviews  covering everything from the future of the quality profession to the society’s new legal structure. Quality Digest  appreciates their efforts to help us provide valuable reporting to our readers.  

In all, we conducted five interviews with:
• ASQ’s CEO Ann Jordan
• ASQ’s board of directors
• ASQE’s (ASQ Excellence) CEO Jim Templin
• ASQE’s board of directors
• Both CEOs together, talking about their “connected journey”

This first installment of the series is our interview with ASQ CEO Ann Jordan. She joined ASQ in 2017 as general counsel, and began serving as interim CEO in January 2020, which was confirmed in January 2021.  

Kath Lockett’s picture

By: Kath Lockett

‘Firefighters are heroes.” We hear it all the time, from children, the media, and young people looking for a rewarding career. It’s probably something you’ve said or thought yourself at one time or another. These brave men and women put their own safety on the line every day to protect their communities.

Yet, amazingly, one of the most dangerous aspects of the job isn’t the fire itself, but the protective clothing they wear on the job. According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, firefighters are significantly more likely to develop cancer due to their exposure to carcinogens.

Multiple Authors
By: Aarin B. Clemons, Lindsey Brickle

Many manufacturers have struggled for years to hire qualified workers. The outlook is for more of the same. With an aging workforce, emerging new technologies requiring more skilled talent, and the continuing decline of trades education in high schools and community colleges, an estimated 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled in the United States by 2030.

If dozens of job prospects viewed a manufacturer’s most recent job listing, but no candidates applied, it may mean that the listing is not attractive to them or isn’t reaching a broad enough audience. It’s time for businesses to rethink their hiring processes, starting with a few common key questions:
• Who are the people the manufacturer is looking to recruit, and would they be a good fit within the company’s culture?
• What does the company offer to help convince people that it’s a place where they will want to spend considerable time and invest in a career?

Because traditional thinking regarding talent pools and pipelines no longer meets demands, manufacturers will need to pursue nontraditional candidates. This can be achieved by recruiting and employing a more diverse workforce.

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