The need for control over manufacturing processes has never been higher than in today's
environment. As this need has increased, so too has the requirement for better management of the equipment used to measure and control manufacturing processes. Fundamental to managing this equipment properly is ensuring that it's correctly calibrated and maintained.
Most in the electronic manufacturing services industry are acutely aware of the growing problem of counterfeit and substandard electronic components within the supply chain, as well as the headaches that they cause.
Although industry and governments are working diligently in addressing counterfeit abatement, you may already have one of the most useful tools in combating phony parts in place right on your production floor.
In 1988, Motorola Corp. became one of the first companies to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award strives to identify those excellent firms that are worthy role models for other businesses. One of Motorola's innovations that attracted a great deal of attention was its Six Sigma program. Six Sigma is, basically, a process quality goal. As such, it falls into the category of a process capability (Cp) technique.
The most significant change in the upcoming revision to ISO 9001 is probably not what you'd expect it to be: It's not customer satisfaction, continual improvement or even the process-model structure of the standard. The most significant change is the requirement for quality objectives. ISO 9001:2000 requires that quality objectives be established at each relevant function and level within the organization (i.e., just about everywhere).
What is quality? An academic definition of quality as it relates to business might be that quality is a product or service that consistently has zero defects, conforms to particular specifications, and is satisfactorily received by the customer. Another aspect of quality is that it is a thought process sought out by organizations to create an overall drive toward efficiency, the reduction of waste, and the continual creation of more streamlined management processes.