Content By Quality Digest

Tom Taormina’s picture

By: Tom Taormina

After more than 50 years as a quality control engineer and having worked with more than 700 companies, it is my observation that the vast majority of quality professionals hold their prime directive to be reducing defects to the lowest acceptable level by minimizing process variability. Most of us are working to comply with ISO 9001:2015, or one of the other harmonized standards, so we have templates that direct how we practice our craft.

We employ many tools to plot our progress and solve problems. We use control charts to help us stay within established limits of acceptability. Histograms depict variables over time. Pareto charts tell us the rank order of problems we need to solve. Fishbone diagrams break process issues into their constituent components to help locate critical issues.

We are skilled in root cause analysis and failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) to diagnose complex issues and identify where corrective actions and process improvements can and should be made. Unfortunately, it is often the case that those who are involved in the processes are the ones attempting to diagnose their own procedures and methods.

Michael Popenas’s picture

By: Michael Popenas

Product development (PD) is the life blood of a company’s success and is the process for innovation. Today, product life cycles are shrinking due to an ever-increasing number of competitive and disruptive products coming to market quicker.

To stay in business, a company’s PD needs to become more effective, more productive, and faster. Product development systems can no longer take years or months to deliver something that the customer will hopefully still want. Planning, design and development, testing, and release can no longer rely on the currently widely practiced sequential phase-gate waterfall methods developed years ago.

L.S. Starrett Co.’s picture

By: L.S. Starrett Co.

(The L.S. Starrett Company: Athol, MA) -- The L.S. Starrett Company, a global manufacturer of precision hand tools and gauges, metrology systems and more, has introduced the new AVX550 Multi-Sensor Vision System equipped with dual optical systems and touch-probe capability to measure parts with a diverse range of feature sizes and geometries.

The large-format AVX550 system can be equipped with two cameras and lenses to be used sequentially in the same program along with touch-probe options, making this system one of the most versatile multi-sensor platforms available today. For accuracy, durability, and stability, including under demanding requirements, the AVX550 system features a granite base and bridge design.

“We are pleased to offer our customers a powerful, easy-to-use multi-sensor measurement system which streamlines and optimizes the QC [quality control] process,” says Mark Arenal, general manager of the Starrett Metrology Division, “Using a single system, production parts can be examined on the shop floor or in the QC lab on macro and micro levels as one comprehensive process.”

LauraLee Rose’s picture

By: LauraLee Rose

The reality for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) is that they are going to have to be good at training their workforce or they won’t make as much money. That’s a blunt assessment, but the need for proficiency in training will only increase, whether it’s retraining current employees for new products, processes, and equipment or getting new employees up to speed more quickly. Effective training should be able to drive down the time for training.

Shobhendu Prabhakar’s picture

By: Shobhendu Prabhakar

Although remote inspection has been a topic of discussion in the oil and gas industry in the past, it has recently been getting more attention during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many oil and gas operators, as well as engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors and suppliers have come forward to discuss this topic with an open mind and explore possibilities. Remote inspection is perhaps the need of the hour, but it can also be the future of inspection.

What is remote inspection?

Remote inspection is an alternative to an onsite physical inspection in which the person performs inspection activities remotely using sophisticated technological tools. It’s many benefits include:
• Elimination of personnel risk exposure to hazardous conditions and dangerous tasks in harsh environments
• Global collaboration and optimization of workforce use
• Inspection cost reduction
• Real-time feedback
• Flexibility
• Eco-friendly by helping to reduce overall global carbon footprint

Success factors for remote inspection

Vision
“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?
—Henry David Thoreau

Dallas Crawford’s picture

By: Dallas Crawford

Manufacturers know the value of automation on the plant floor. The world is more interconnected, with more competitors, and consumers are more informed and thus more selective with purchasing decisions. With increased competition and disruption, manufacturers must leverage automation to achieve operational efficiency.

Automation of any process delivers higher productivity, lower costs, improved workplace safety, enhanced precision, and ultimately allows associates to focus on more valuable activities. Technology, and specifically machine learning, has helped expand the breadth of automation by becoming more accessible and affordable for manufacturers of every size.

Transferring plant-floor efficiency to pricing efficiency

Robotic automation on the plant floor has helped companies produce high-quality goods more quickly and efficiently. Robots perform dull, repeatable steps with reliable accuracy and do not get tired, distracted, or endure repetitive injuries.

Pricing automation is simply transferring the same plant-floor efficiencies to pricing best practices. Physical strain is unlikely from a pricing process, but mentally it can be taxing and often impossible when determining the optimal prices for unique products.

Dutch Toolmaker Wins for Smallest Measured Component

We talk with tookmaker and metrologist Nobby Assman, one of the winners of Zeiss's 2020 Measuring Hero Championship in the category Outstanding Application—Smallest Measured Component. How do you measure something really small? Really carefully.

Assman Verspaningstechniek website: http://www.verspaningstechniek.nl/over-assmann

Zeiss Measuring Hero Challenge: https://www.zeiss.com/metrology/campaigns/measuringhero.html

Exact Metrology’s picture

By: Exact Metrology

(Exact Metrology: Cincinnati) -- From Oct. 11, 2019 to April 26, 2020, the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in New York exhibited “Sisters in Liberty: From Florence, Italy, to New York, New York.” The exhibit was a collaboration between Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, and the Opera di Santa Croce, a nonprofit organization in charge of the Franciscan Cathedral Santa Croce. Through art and multimedia presentations the exhibit looked to start an international conversation about the meaning of liberty and how the concept had evolved.

The exhibit featured an 80-percent to scale replica of Pio Fedi’s “Liberty of Poetry,” housed at the church. It is said to have served as the basis for the Statue of Liberty. “Liberty of Poetry” honors Giovanni Battista Niccolini, a poet who inspired and supported the Resorgimento the Italian struggle for self-determination.


Liberty of Poetry scanned by Artec Eva


Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

About one in two U.S. adults has a musculoskeletal disorder, costing an estimated $213 billion each year in treatment and lost wages, according to a report from the United States Bone and Joint Initiative. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are injuries and conditions to the bones, muscles, and joints that result in pain and can affect activity (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis). About 140 million Americans live with an MSD. The total of direct and indirect costs for people who have both musculoskeletal disorders and other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity is $874 billion, according to the report.

NVision Inc.’s picture

By: NVision Inc.

(NVision: Southlake, TX) -- Hamar Industries Inc. was able to design three new roof rack product lines in just one-third the usual time by utilizing the engineering services of NVision Inc. NVision's 3D laser scanning captured the exact geometry of three vehicles' roof profiles and the data was incorporated into the computer-aided design (CAD) files used to create the custom-fit racks. The time savings were significant: "Without the scans we would have extended our R&D and production time by 300 percent," says Chris Pelley, vice president of operations and engineering at the Fort Worth, Texas-based company.

Started as Cali Raised LED in 2014, Hamar Industries Inc. was incorporated in 2018 and is a one-stop job shop for aftermarket vehicle accessories and custom metal fabrication, including laser-cutting, bending, welding, and more. One of the company's most in-demand services and specialities is building custom-fitted roof  racks.