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Kimber Evans

Quality Insider

Continuous Improvement at Quality Digest

A behind-the-scenes look at a recent live demo shoot

Published: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 15:17


ontinuous quality improvement is something from which any company can benefit. Here at Quality Digest, we are just as much at risk of getting caught in the same-old, same-old as the next guy. However, in the past 18 months, we have taken great strides to bring new and innovative products and the most current information to our readers.

One such endeavor is Technorazzi Live—a live streaming-video program that presents today’s best metrology solutions with demonstrations and viewer participation in real time with the hosts answering questions e-mailed by the viewers. This article shares the exhilaration of producing Technorazzi Live and our effort to further provide relevant and interesting information.

Recently, Quality Digest and Leica Geosystems, a Hexagon Metrology company and pioneer in spatial information solutions for more than 200 years, were invited to Huntington Beach, California, where Coast Aerospace Manufacturing Inc. opened its doors for the latest broadcast of Technorazzi Live. This exciting presentation was the debut and premiere demonstration of the Leica Absolute Tracker AT401, a unique all-in-one coordinate measuring machine (CMM).

Coast Aerospace is a build-to-print manufacturer providing tool design, engineering, machining, and fabrication to military, aerospace, commercial, industrial, and entertainment markets. Louie Ponce, president of Coast Aerospace, not only granted access to a large corner of his facility to shoot the broadcast but also supplied a two-ton aerospace assembly jig (and some very large and interesting accessories) to be measured by the AT401. The cooperation and team effort from Coast Aerospace helped to make this one of Quality Digest’s most creative live demonstrations to date.

As in any joint effort that requires personnel from multiple companies with different agendas, achieving a goal boils down to teamwork. Much of the success of this Technorazzi presentation was due to the knowledgeable and flexible staff from Leica Geosystems including Joel Martin, product manager and presenter of the Leica Absolute Tracker AT401; senior applications engineer, Tim Cordova; and product manager, Dave Armstrong.

The day before the live event, the Leica team set up the AT401 and prepared for the on-camera demonstration, while videographer Chris Smith of Musselman Pictures and a team of four from Quality Digest set up specific lighting and camera angles, network connections, and further planned the presentation. In the midst of the excitement, Coast Aerospace used a forklift to jockey the 4,020-pound jig here and there, accommodating several requests for different placement before the best location was decided—a bit like rearranging the furniture in your house, except that one false move and you’re squashed. Once the scene was set, the crew went through several hours of sound, video, and connectivity checks. Throughout the day and the following morning of the actual event, the crew and presenters completed two full rehearsals of the entire program, buffing and polishing the presentation.

The presentation itself went well. As can happen in a live broadcast, there were a few mishaps. Some camera angles could have been better, some lighting could have been better, and a few viewers reported difficulties with the player feed. Immediately after the 54-minute broadcast, the Quality Digest team began the process of analyzing what went right, what went wrong, and how to continue to refine the experience for the user groups in upcoming live events. Continual improvement is just that, a never-ending process of analysis, improvement, action, analysis, improvement, action. Our goal is a perfect live broadcast with zero defects.

Live events, whether presentations for a trade show or a live video or audio broadcast, present a unique set of challenges for teamwork and continuous improvement. The setting, personnel, or products are rarely the same; different parties have different goals (technical, sales, presentation), and tensions are high. Analyzing and refining the lighting, camera angles, sound, connectivity, and show flow are all part of Quality Digest’s own continual improvement process that must be accomplished while providing clients the means to exercise their creativity and achieve their goals.

Every Technorazzi Live event has provided great learning opportunities, such as discovering the technology’s capabilities, understanding equipment needs, and how to make the system more robust, all of which will enable creativity and new avenues of presentation. Each episode has improved in scope, content, and delivery, thanks in large measure to the talent and ingenuity of Chris Smith of Musselman Pictures, the earnest efforts of our own crew, and most important, from in-depth feedback from the presenting companies and the viewers. That’s what continual improvement is all about: feedback, collaboration, and action. As Quality Digest continues to move forward in presenting even better episodes of Technorazzi Live, please stay tuned. 


About The Author

Kimber Evans’s picture

Kimber Evans


Continuous Improvement at Quality Digest

I agree with the previous comment - it is very non-productive when you must close the same pop up 3 or 4 times to read an article.

Fair comments

Carolyn and Steve, thanks for writing in on this issue. This particular ad program is NOT intended to pop up repeatedly... it was designed to appear only one time in a 24-hour period, regardless of how many articles or pages that you visit on our site. It has come to our attention that certain operating systems are having problems with repeating appearances of these ads much more frequently than that. If you have cookies turned off, it may also create a problem. Please e-mail myself (mrichman@qualitydigest.com) or Dirk Dusharme (dwdusharme@qualitydigest.com) so that we can figure out what's going on in your particular circumstance and patch it so that it doesn't continue to occur.

Thank you again for your comments.

-Mike Richman, Publisher

Continuous Improvement

Quality Digest might start the Continuous Improvement journey by eliminating those aggravating ads the pop up and have to be closed before one can read the articles.