Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

This issue is the first of three consecutive CMSC show-focus issues that highlight the yearly Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference. The CMSC is the largest U.S. trade show focused solely on large-scale 3-D metrology. Attendance has grown each year, with last year reaching nearly 600 attendees. All the key players in large-scale 3-D measurement are there representing every large-scale 3-D measurement technology, including laser scanners, structured-light scanners, laser radar, photogrammetry, theodolites, articulated arms, indoor GPS, and more.

Our CMSC cover story this month focuses on the use of articulated arms (portable coordinate measurement machines) to align collimators at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Steering two high-energy beams traveling in opposite directions around a 27 km-circumference accelerator so that they collide head on at a predetermined point requires the most accurate in 3-D metrology equipment. You can read how they did it starting on page 22.

Quality Digest is proud to have been the sole media sponsor for the CMSC show for four years, and we look forward to continuing our coverage of the ever-evolving field of large-scale 3-D metrology.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

It’s almost like some retailers finally read the memo. They seem to now understand that customer service is the new differentiator. With quality levels and prices across almost all product categories nearly at par, it’s service that sets retailers apart--and smaller retailers have taken note.

I was recently at a new Safeway supermarket looking for dried currants. I asked the nearest floor person where I could find them, expecting a simple “look at the end of aisle 10.” Instead, the clerk told me she wasn’t sure but she could find someone who would know. She came back with a young guy in tow who walked me to the produce department and helped me find the product. This has happened numerous times recently at Safeway, Raley’s/Bel Air, Trader Joe’s, and a few other national and regional retailers. In fact, this rush to help almost seems to have happened overnight.

Sometimes the service has been almost embarrassing. I almost felt bad when a Raley’s employee spent 15 minutes helping me find tahini. I mean, neither of us even knew what it was, but there we were, marching up and down the aisles just so I could satisfy my wife’s craving for homemade hummus.