Six Features

Douglas C. Fair's picture
Douglas C. Fair
Plant-floor quality issues tend to focus on a company’s technical resources. When products fall out of spec, alarms sound and all hands are immediately on deck to fix things. Despite large...
Matthew Barsalou's picture
Matthew Barsalou
As you drive east on I-70 coming from the Rockies, there is a point where you seem to have stopped descending, but a sign says, “Trucks: Don’t be fooled. Four more miles of steep grades and sharp...
Steve Daum's picture
Steve Daum
I have daily conversations with manufacturer plant managers, quality managers, engineers, supervisors, and plant production workers about challenges when using statistical process control (SPC). Of...
Matthew Barsalou's picture
Matthew Barsalou
I n part one of this two-part series, I described the need for empiricism in root cause analysis (RCA). Now, I’ll explain how to achieve empiricism when performing a RCA by combining the scientific...
Matthew Barsalou's picture
Matthew Barsalou
There are many reasons for performing a root cause analysis (RCA). These reasons include determining the cause of a failure in a product or a process as well for determining the root cause of the...
Stefan H. Steiner's picture
Stefan H. Steiner
In his February 2017 Quality Digest column, “Don’t We Need Good Measurements?” Donald J. Wheeler recommends that a measurement system contributing up to 80 percent of the overall variation (on the...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
I have been reading a lot these days about Western philosophy. The most recent book, All Life is Problem Solving (Routledge, 2001), is by Karl Popper, one of the great philosophers of the 20th...
Jason Furness's picture
Jason Furness
In a previous column based on our recent book, Manufacturing Money (Amazon Digital, 2015), we explained how to maximize ROI. Here we describe some changes that business owners and managers can make...
Michael Causey's picture
Michael Causey
Former FDA Chairman Robert Califf, M.D., stepped down on Jan. 20, 2017, and it’s not always easy to predict what the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), or any FDA agency, will...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
As our new year unfolds, I wanted to write an article to remind myself of three pieces of advice. They are from Epictetus (55–135 AD), Marcus Aurelius (121–180 AD), and George Pólya (1887–1985)....
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
What can be done when a test is destructive? How do we characterize measurement error? How can we determine if a test method is adequate for a given product or application? How can we check for...
Kyle Pheland's picture
Kyle Pheland
Change is inevitable in every organization. Planned or not, forces inside and outside the enterprise can sometimes encumber a workforce and lead to nonvalue-added processes. Growing spurts, major...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Who can be against apple pie, motherhood, or good measurements? This is why everyone stands up and salutes when we are told to maintain our measurement systems in good calibration. But what is good...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
Have you ever heard something like: “I’m committed to Dr. Deming’s approach [or Six Sigma or lean or TPS, it doesn’t matter], but executives don’t seem to listen anymore. All they do is keep...
Anonymous's picture
James Kline
The United State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that $60 billion is lost annually from workplace injuries and illness. Using the administration’s $afety Pays Program...
Joel Bradbury's picture
Joel Bradbury
Healthcare professionals have a long history of caring for their patients and improving the quality of their services. During the Crimean War (1853–1856), British nurse Florence Nightingale...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
One of Shigeo Shingo’s popular status quo targets was engineers, whom he placed in three categories: table engineers, those who just sit around a table and talk about problems; catalog engineers,...
Jason Furness's picture
Jason Furness
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Manufacturing Money (Amazon Digital Services, 2015) by Jason Furness and Michael McLean. See the article on the Manufacturship blog. I n martial arts, the...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
Client A came to me for a consultation and told me upfront his manager would allow him to run only 12 experiments. I asked for his objective. When I informed him that it would take more than 300...
GBMP's picture
GBMP
Ellis Medicine is a 438-bed community and teaching healthcare system serving New York’s capital region. With four main campuses, five additional service locations, more than 3,300 employees,...