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By Brian Teunis

 

Responding to the needs of automakers and their suppliers, manufacturers of instruments that measure color are introducing new technologies to help control the quality of metallic flake, pearlescent, and other special-effect paints that have confounded optical instruments throughout the past 60 years.

New measurement techniques address the thorny problem that has troubled manufacturers since effect paints were introduced during the 1940s: how to get reliable and repeatable measurements of effect coatings that sparkle. The need to accurately quantify the hue shift of effect paints has become more critical as automakers assemble body panels, bumper fascia, and other parts made by several suppliers, each part coated with effect paints that must match under different illumination and observation angles.

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By Nick Moffitt

When Gabe Draguicevich was asked to help fabricate a titanium hip implant based on CT (computed tomography, also known as CAT) scan data, he had to coordinate numerous technologies to complete the project. Because the CT data consisted of 2-D cross-sections, Draguicevich had to stack and align the individual scans to create a 3-D model, which he used to create a polygonal mesh in the form of a stereolithography (STL) file. After creating a prototype, he had to verify it against the original scan data, which was no mean feat considering that software capable of providing deviation analysis of the model surface to the STL file did not exist. Finally, Draguicevich created a wireframe model from the STL mesh to machine the final product. The entire process took approximately two weeks to complete.

That was 20 years ago. According to Draguicevich, “If I had the tools that are available today, I could have simply taken the CT scan data and created the STL mesh in one step, and then machined directly from the mesh. The data-processing capabilities of modern software have made the entire process painless compared to years past. Furthermore, I could have taken the finished piece and inspected it for accuracy using the original scan data as the reference. Any deviations could have been addressed by modifying the finished part in coordination with the inspection process.”

Nicolette Dalpino’s default image

By Nicolette Dalpino

 

Henry Troemner LLC has been in the precision measurements and calibration business since 1838. The company’s work is done under the strict guidelines prescribed by ISO/IEC 17025--“General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories,” with a view toward providing its customers with the lowest possible measurement uncertainties. Before undergoing the ISO/IEC 17025 registration process, however, Troemner first sought to become an ISO 9001-registered company.

“We were one of the first organizations in the Philadelphia area to achieve ISO 9001 registration,” says Tracey Hill, Troemner’s quality coordinator and lead internal auditor. “Once the critical step of ISO 9001 registration was successful, the company’s focus shifted to the rigorous requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. The guidelines make an organization take a critical look at every aspect of performing a calibration.”

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By William Peters

 

 

More than 30 years ago, W. Edwards Deming was hailed in the U.S. workplace as a potential savior of automakers. Years of Japanese automakers’ supremacy in terms of quality had resulted in a steady gain of market share for manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota. Automotive manufacturers in the U.S. were in a period of crisis; they realized that the way they operated had to change if they were to remain competitive.

Health care in the United States is now in a similar state. Instead of a single person bringing the message of change, it’s a nonprofit think tank, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The IHI was founded in 1991 to address the growing concern regarding the quality of health care.

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By Paul Valder

Food safety standards have been well accepted in Europe for quite some time. But as international food trade expanded, it was apparent that the existing private and public food-safety policies could not stave off the food recalls that were occurring worldwide. A representation of common ground between food safety schemes was needed to enhance food safety, ensure consumer protection, and to strengthen consumer confidence.

To address these needs, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was coordinated and launched in May 2000 by CIES--The Food Business Forum, an independent global food business network headquartered in Paris. Founded in 1953, CIES has developed numerous programs for retailers and supply chains, and continues to facilitate the development of common positions and tools on strategic and practical issues affecting the food business. CIES shares best practices throughout 150 countries.

About GFSI

The GFSI is a nonprofit foundation created under Belgian law with a mission to work on continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of food to consumers. The GFSI objectives are to:

Quality Digest’s picture

By Quality Digest

Welcome to Quality Digest's 2009 Quality Sourcebook, a special edition of Quality Digest that contains all of our buyers guide produced during the course of the year, and more.

Due to the size of the sourcebook, we are supplying the information in PDF files. Each link below will download a PDF for that particular section.

Certification

  • Registrar's Buyers Guide
  • ISO Standards Consultants Buyers Guide

 

Test & Measurement

  • Gauge Manufacturers Buyers Guide
  • Nondestructive Testing Buyers Guide
  • Calibration Services and Software Buyers Guide

 

SPC Software

  • SPC Software Buyers Guide

 

Six Sigma Services and Software

  • Six Sigma Services and Software Buyers Guide

 

Dimensional Measurement

Mike Richman’s picture

By Mike Richman

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series looking at how companies can share best practices such as Six Sigma across the supply chain. The second part of this series, focusing on PACCAR supplier Cummins Engine Co., will appear in an upcoming issue of Quality Digest .

Few U.S. manufacturers embrace the challenges and opportunities of quality improvement in quite the same way as PACCAR of Bellevue, Washington. The company, which designs, manufactures, and distributes high-quality commercial vehicles under the Peterbilt, Kenworth, and DAF nameplates, has flourished through periods of vast change during its more than 103-year history. The world of manufacturing is changing more quickly now than ever before, as the advent of global sourcing provides a competitive advantage to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that can partner with others outside their own walls while maintaining quality leadership.

Mike Richman’s picture

By Mike Richman

Click here for a complete version of the salary survey along with all charts.

 

Surveys in general, and salary surveys in particular, lend support to Mark Twain’s observation that “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” In other words, when dealing with large sets of respondents broken down into numerous categories and subcategories, the granularity is such that you can make the numbers say pretty much anything you want.

So, this year we’re going to say less and let you do your own interpreting of the data. We will, however, note that certain general trends keep coming up as we look at these numbers year after year:

Gender disparities. There still appears to be a difference between what men and women get paid. However, the issue may be related to industry or title, rather than sex. In other words, there may be more women working in lower-paying positions or industries than men, but getting the same pay.

by Joe Froelich and Cristopher Del Angel’s default image

By by Joe Froelich and Cristopher Del Angel

 

Six Sigma, lean, and similar disciplines of analysis and control have been used for decades. Ever since GE’s former chairman and CEO Jack Welch sang its praises in his book, Jack: Straight from the Gut (Warner Business Books, 2001), the Six Sigma process in particular has been widely used by companies looking to streamline their operations and capitalize on opportunities. The methodology has undoubtedly helped improve the financial health of organizations such as Toyota, ING Group, and Volkswagen. Six Sigma is often cast as either an organization’s hero or, as was the case for 3M and The Home Depot, scapegoat.

Given the intense scrutiny of Six Sigma, we offer the following perspective on its effectiveness, scale, and alternative approaches.

Six Sigma basics

Six Sigma is a cyclical process used to identify issues and opportunities within an organization. Each step in the process is necessary to ensure the best possible results.

Christopher J. Campbell, Robert Kaehler, and Anne Greco’s default image

By Christopher J. Campbell, Robert Kaehler, and Anne Greco

 

Manufacturing organizations that depend upon high levels of sophisticated equipment can benefit dramatically from a fully integrated value-based equipment management system. By understanding and capitalizing on several significant trends in equipment management, organizations can reduce overhead costs, reduce maintenance costs, and optimize equipment use.

Recent trends in equipment management include:

Broadening of business processes and related software tools to encompass the entire equipment life cycle

Enterprisewide deployment of integrated application solutions, as opposed to the “stovepipe” departmental systems typical of the past

A dramatic shift towards commercial off-the-shelf products vs. in-house custom software

 

Many leading organizations are aggressively addressing these three trends and implementing what is becoming known as a value-based equipment management system because the bottom-line financial benefits are sizable, return on investment is rapid, and numerous “soft” benefits also result.