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By: Quality Digest

Pilgrim Software recently announced the availability of its SmartAudit Offline solution.

The suite is based on Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, though it’s a new and separately licensed add-on to Pilgrim’s SmartAudit version 7.03.5 internal and external audit management system. It allows users to perform remote offsite audits or any audit where a network or Internet connection isn’t available. Data can be entered into SmartAudit Offline and then synchronized with the centralized database later.

“SmartAudit Offline is a powerful tool that enables collaborative mobile auditing to enhance team-based global audits, improved audit quality and reduced auditing time,” says Atulya Risal, Pilgrim Software’s chief technology officer. “Because audit data can be recorded from remote offsite locations and then aggregated together and tracked over time, SmartAudit Offline provides management with both site-level and enterprise-level visibility into their global operations.”

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By: Quality Digest

National Quality Assurance USA recently announced its accreditation through the ElectroStatic Discharge Association to provide auditing services against ANSI/ESD S20.20:1999.

The accreditation will allow NQA USA to help organizations develop electrostatic discharge control programs. The ANSI standard addresses requirements to design, establish, implement and maintain electrostatic discharge control programs to protect electrical parts, assemblies and equipment susceptible to ESD damage.

With support from major electronic OEMs and government agencies, ESD S20.20 programs and registrations are becoming the preferred means to prevent costly field failures and in-house rework of electronic components in the telecommunications, aerospace and medical device industries. An ESD control program helps eliminate component failures before they occur, saving the organization money while increasing quality and customer satisfaction.

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By: Quality Digest

Carl Zeiss SMT Inc. recently opened a new applications and demonstration lab in Redwood City, California.

The company plans to use the new Electron Microscopy Applications Lab to serve West Coast customers with better applications, sales and service support. Customers can bring samples in for evaluation on the lab’s state-of-the-art equipment, which includes Zeiss’ CrossBeam, SUPRA and EVO technologies.

CrossBeam combines high-resolution, simultaneous-imaging and distortion-free analysis of magnetic specimens with a compact multichannel gas injection system. SUPRA is an ultra high resolution variable pressure FESEM for semiconductor applications, materials analysis, life science and variable pressure solutions. Finally, EVO is a general purpose SEM with superior imaging capabilities and extended pressure.

For more information, visit www.smt.zeiss.com.

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By: Quality Digest

Hexagon AB added to its market share recently by acquiring ROMER CimCore Inc., a consolidation that is already underway.

ROMER CimCore Inc., which has operations in Carlsbad, California, and Farmington Hills, Michigan, manufactures and markets metrology equipment used widely in the automotive, aerospace and general industrial markets. Its products include portable coordinate measuring machines, software and various enhancement accessories. ROMER counts ABB, The Boeing Co., Caterpillar Inc., DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co., General Electric and General Motors, among others, as its customers.

Hexagon plans to join ROMER CimCore and ROMER S.A., which it acquired just two months ago. The companies were one from their inception in 1986 until their split in 1999. By re-merging the companies, Hexagon expects to further expand its market share and manufacturing capabilities. The seller of the company, Homer Eaton, will remain responsible for the continued research and development of articulated arms technology. Hexagon reports that it plans to adapt its PCDMIS software to fit ROMER’s products.

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By: Quality Digest

National Quality Assurance announced it was accredited by the American National Standards Institute-Registrar Accreditation Board to register companies to AS9003.

NQA representatives report the approval demonstrates that its assessors meet the exacting standards and expertise required in the inspection and testing of aerospace systems and that NQA’s certification systems are fully compliant with AS9003—both domestically and internationally.

“The AS9003 certification allows us to continue to support the important subcontractor segment of the industry,” says Jeff Carr, NQA aerospace business unit director. “Being one of the first to provide AS9003 registration demonstrates NQA’s continued commitment and leadership to the aerospace industry.”

For more information, visit National Quality Assurance online.

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A new standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization and international maritime organizations aims at making ports around the world more secure.

ISO/PAS 20858 was adopted by more than 100 member countries of the International Maritime Organization. It contains detailed security-related requirements for governments, port authorities and shipping companies, and is intended to help ports better monitor freight flows, combat smuggling and respond to terrorist threats. It took effect on July 1.

“This is a major maritime security standards initiative,” says Capt. Charles Piersall, chairman of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard. “The document is designed to facilitate a consistent implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code worldwide as a way to create a safe and secure international shipping regime.”

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Randy Dougherty, the Registrar Accreditation Board’s director of registrar accreditation, was recently named chair of the technical committee of the International Accreditation Forum.

The appointment was made at a meeting held in Bern, Switzerland. Dougherty’s three-year term began on July 1. His selection marks the first time an American has been tapped to lead the committee, which governs the application of international third-party certification. As chair, Dougherty will lead the consensus process for developing IAF guidelines.

“My goals are to strengthen the third-party system by building consensus for technical positions and to promote a better working relationship among accreditation bodies and the certification bodies they represent,” says Dougherty. “We need to make sure the system is responsive to the needs of stakeholders and put into practice our commitment to increase harmonization and cooperation among accreditation bodies.”

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The presidents of the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission and the secretary-general of the International Telecommunications Union recently highlighted the importance of international standards in a joint address.

The annual message was delivered in Geneva in honor of the approaching celebration of World Standards Day, Oct. 13. ISO President Oliver Smoot, IEC President Sei-ichi Takayanagi and ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi issued it together.

They stressed that standards are the glue holding international trade together. “The products and services shaped by international standards need to be transported, delivered, transferred or otherwise exchanged between suppliers and their customers or end users,” the address reads. “Exchange necessitates connections and interfaces. International standards harmonize the connections and facilitate exchange by ensuring smoother, swifter, safer and more economical delivery.”

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By: Michael Stanleigh

ISO 10006:2003, guidelines for quality management projects, was released in the fall of 2003. This standard is creating the next wave in our understanding of project managing processes. But how does ISO 10006 compare to the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge? What are the comparisons between these two sets of guidelines? What is their importance to ongoing project management? What are the implications for the management of all projects? What are the strategies required to implement ISO 10006 and how it being applied in organizations?

Overview of ISO 10006:2003
ISO 10006 provides guidance on the quality of project management processes. Because it’s a guidance document, ISO 10006 is to be used for registration purposes. It’s intended to create and maintain process and product quality in projects, therefore requiring a systematic approach that ensures:

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By: Denise Robitaille

There’s a marauding infestation of adverbs and adjectives that infiltrate the text of quality documents and operating procedures, wreaking havoc wherever they are found. The leader of this menacing bunch is called “All.” Among his compatriots you’ll find “Never,” “Always,” “Every” and “None.”

When I come across a particularly virulent case of rampant absolutes during an audit, I’m tempted to violate the prohibition we auditors have against consulting. I want to scour the auditee’s documentation and point out the countless instances where they’ve used “all,” or one of the other offending words, without perceiving the full implication of what they have written.

I generally end up asking the auditee or process owner, “Do you really mean all?” The authors of the documents rarely give adequate consideration to the manner in which they express the requirements. This normally innocuous group of words can skew meaning, making the requirements absurd or impossible to achieve.