Bryan Christiansen’s picture

By: Bryan Christiansen

An important part of production is to carefully monitor and control temperature, speed, volume, weight, or mass. To ensure these measurements are always accurate, manufacturers need to calibrate their equipment and instruments regularly.

Devising a proper equipment calibration schedule can be a challenge, especially if you’re starting from scratch. But don’t fret; this article will explain:
• What calibration is
• What are the main standards and types of equipment calibration
• The basics of the calibration process
• How to set up a proper equipment calibration program 

What is equipment calibration?

Calibration is the process of evaluating and adjusting measurement devices to achieve true accuracy. When equipment is calibrated, you can be sure that the readings are accurate and precise. 

David L. Chandler’s picture

By: David L. Chandler

Terahertz radiation, with wavelengths that lie between those of microwaves and visible light, can penetrate many nonmetallic materials and detect signatures of certain molecules.

These handy qualities could lend themselves to a wide array of applications, including airport security scanning, industrial quality control, astrophysical observations, nondestructive characterization of materials, and wireless communications with higher bandwidth than current cell phone bands.

However, designing devices to detect and make images from terahertz waves has been challenging, and most existing terahertz devices are expensive, slow, bulky, and require vacuum systems and extremely low temperatures.

Now, researchers at MIT, the University of Minnesota, and Samsung have developed a new kind of camera that can detect terahertz pulses rapidly, with high sensitivity, and at room temperature and pressure. What’s more, it can simultaneously capture information about the orientation, or “polarization,” of the waves in real time—which existing devices cannot. This information can be used to characterize materials that have asymmetrical molecules or to determine the surface topography of materials.

Del Williams’s picture

By: Del Williams

With the threat of contamination from harmful pathogens such as salmonella, listeria, and e. coli a continual concern, food processors are seeking to protect not only the public but also their companies’ bottom lines from the massive costs, reputational damage, and greater regulatory scrutiny associated with recalls. The goal is a safe, clean, sanitized working environment.

Given the increasing number of outbreaks and recalls traced to post-processing contamination of foods, it’s no surprise that the preventive controls rule requires manufacturers to implement a food safety plan with the goal of preventing sanitation deficiencies. The rule covers sanitation practices for food-contact surfaces, preventing microbial and chemical cross-contamination, and monitoring potential environmental pathogens for critical equipment like conveyors.

As a result, quality assurance teams are paying more attention to the type and design of conveyance systems used to help meet food safety standards. This includes identifying potential harborage points where debris and pathogens can collect, as well as implementing best practices to save on costs to clean equipment, perform regular testing, and maintain the environment.

Anton Ovchinnikov’s picture

By: Anton Ovchinnikov

In the age of mass production, the demand for customization is increasing. Customers prefer products catered to their individual needs and preferences over standard items—albeit at a cost.

Fortunately, recent advances in information technology, logistics, and advanced manufacturing processes such as robotics and 3D printing have enabled firms to customize products at scale.

In the highly competitive sportswear landscape, for instance, Nike and Adidas offer customizable shoes, while Puma sells only standard shoes. But even though the two sportswear giants seem to see the value of offering customized goods, their approaches to returns policy differ. At the time of this writing, Adidas only allows returns of standard products; Nike accepts returns of both standard and customized products.

In practice, returns of customized products is a tricky problem for businesses. While standard products can be resold, that’s usually not the case for customized items. After all, what is stylish to one may be outlandish to another. Moreover, who would buy a pair of sneakers embroidered with another person’s name? In such cases, should firms allow returns of customized goods? And under what conditions?

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

In 2010 a medical device scandal in France set the stage for a new European Union medical device regulation that, according to most experts in the medical device community, may cause more damage than the problem it was intended to address. An unreasonable deadline, lack of notified bodies to perform audits, and exorbitant costs are driving medical device manufacturers from the EU market, say experts—at a minimum leading to increased medical costs, but, some fear, potentially leading to shortages.

The well-meaning but reactionary enactment of Regulation (EU) 2017/745 and Regulation (EU) 2017/746, meant to address some of the issues raised by the 2010 PIP implant scandal, has placed medical device manufacturers in Europe and the United States in the untenable position of having to meet a standard—which literally cannot be met by all affected manufacturers in the time allowed—or be forced to remove their products from the European market.

Tim Mouw’s picture

By: Tim Mouw

Metallized substrates such as two-piece metal packaging are expensive to produce, and they make print color-control challenging. Although many in the metal decorating sector are hesitant to embrace color measurement, it’s the fastest, most accurate, and cost-effective way to produce consistent color across processing plants to achieve sustainability initiatives.

In this article, we’ll discuss the shortcomings of visual evaluation in a color control program, the components of a digital color solution for metal packaging, and how to determine which color measurement device is best for measuring color on metallic substrates.

First, for those resistant to using color measurement, you can see the results of a beverage can gauge R&R study completed by X-Rite in 2020 that confirms the accuracy and repeatability of an X-Rite digital color solution in a beverage can manufacturing environment. In short, the study confirmed that there was no significant variation due to the instrument’s variability or the process of repositioning and remeasuring a can. Also, it showed that there is zero probability that a part would be misclassified as either good or bad.

Robert Zaruda’s picture

By: Robert Zaruda

Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC), one of the centers that make up the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Extension Partnership, is helping launch student-run enterprises throughout northwest and north-central Pennsylvania. These enterprises connect industry with high schools and career and technical centers for very real and purposeful work. In the process, students develop relationships with manufacturing leaders, and in some cases address capacity issues for these local companies.

The student-run enterprise model isn’t new, and it definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all for high schools. The NWIRC has been effective at bringing together schools with local industry to explore and plan for an enterprise that fits each school’s current capabilities. The focus is kept on future growth and matching the needs of manufacturers in each community.

Multiple Authors
By: Maria Guadalupe, Bryan Ng

Soft skills, the behavioral and social traits that enable individuals to work harmoniously with one another, aren’t just nice to have. They’re essential for the growth of a nation.

In France, 60 percent of employers consider soft skills, such as the ability to organize, adapt, and work in teams, to be more important than technical competencies. However, France is far behind other developed economies when it comes to its stock of soft skills.

In our report for the Conseil d’Analyse Economique, an independent advisory group for the French prime minister, we estimated how much France could benefit by closing its soft skill gaps and enable the expansion of sectors that are projected to see total factor productivity growth in years to come.

Christopher Dancy’s picture

By: Christopher Dancy

Despite the important and ever-increasing role of artificial intelligence in many parts of modern society, there is very little policy or regulation governing the development and use of AI systems in the United States. Tech companies have largely been left to regulate themselves in this arena, potentially leading to decisions and situations that have garnered criticism.

Google fired an employee who publicly raised concerns over how a certain type of AI can contribute to environmental and social problems. Other AI companies have developed products that are used by organizations, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, where they have been shown to bolster existing racially biased policies.

Scott Ginsberg’s picture

By: Scott Ginsberg

Twenty years ago, digital tools were “a thing.” Now they flow through all things.

To some degree, every manufacturer is now a digital company. And with the right modern platform, any manufacturing organization can break down silos of ownership to focus on the intersection of people, processes, and technology. Here at Dozuki, our job is to help companies hold themselves to higher standards. Below, I’ll show you how to choose the right tools to suit your unique needs. You’ll learn how to navigate the balancing act between new technology and cultivating the people-centric processes that make businesses successful.

1. Standardization 4.0

In traditional manufacturing environments, standards are manually recorded and updated using either paper binders or clunky spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. By using digital tools, standards can be effortlessly and continually shared and updated.

In addition to free-flowing information, this new wave of standardization in Industry 4.0 allows for more precise control over revisions and information access.

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