Grant Ramaley’s picture

By: Grant Ramaley

As the 2020 pandemic threatened world health, a large number of unscrupulous companies began generating fake International Organization for Standardization (ISO) quality management system (QMS) certificates in an attempt to fool governments into buying personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, thermometers, and Covid-19 test kits. The credibility of ISO 13485 certificates used to certify medical devices suddenly became a crisis.

Aside from the obvious fake certificates, other companies were paying to get certificates with little or no oversight as to how they were earned. If the goal of getting certified is to gain worldwide recognition, it’s important to understand what makes an ISO certificate valid, especially when paying thousands of dollars for an ISO QMS certificate that may not be considered valid by ISO. Companies may think they are getting a credible certificate but find themselves exposed later when trying to sell their products to those who require certificates issued from accredited certification bodies.

Drew Calvert’s picture

By: Drew Calvert

For the past decade, policymakers and nongovernmental organizations have pushed for greater transparency in supply chains, with the goal of encouraging more responsible sourcing practices. The Dodd-Frank Act, for example, required firms to disclose their suppliers’ involvement with any “conflict minerals” such as gold, tin, or tantalum, a metal used in phones and computers. More recently, France passed legislation to ensure carbon emissions reporting.

At the same time, many companies have pledged to be more vigilant and open about protecting the people who manufacture their products. After the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh in 2013—a building collapse that killed more than a thousand garment and textile workers—a number of brands joined a coalition to hold their suppliers accountable.

MIT News’s picture

By: MIT News

Buildings account for about 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption, and are responsible for one-third of global carbon dioxide emissions. Making buildings more energy-efficient is not only a cost-saving measure, but also a crucial climate-change mitigation strategy. Hence the rise of “smart” buildings, which are increasingly becoming the norm around the world.

Smart buildings automate systems like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, electricity, and security. Automation requires sensory data, such as indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, carbon dioxide concentration, and occupancy status. Smart buildings leverage data in a combination of technologies that can make them more energy-efficient.

Since HVAC systems account for nearly half of a building’s energy use, smart buildings use smart thermostats, which automate HVAC controls and can learn the temperature preferences of a building’s occupants.

Matthew Bundy’s picture

By: Matthew Bundy

Untitled Document


Burning plastic cart carrying a fax machine, a laptop computer, and a three-ring binder. Click here for larger image. Credit: FCD/NIST

Several centuries ago, scientists discovered oxygen while experimenting with combustion and flames. One scientist called it “fire air.” Today, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), we continue to measure oxygen to study the behavior of fires.

Zach Winn’s picture

By: Zach Winn

These days businesses have enough to worry about without thinking about their insurance. Unfortunately, tasks like managing insurance claims and completing annual renewals require a lot of thinking.

The startup Newfront Insurance is seeking to modernize the industry with digital tools that simplify insurance processes for brokers and businesses. The company’s platform automates tedious administrative processes for brokers while streamlining a number of repetitive tasks that have traditionally taken up customers’ time and headspace.

“More than half of a broker’s day is filled with administrative work—filling out forms, data entry, following up with underwriters—stuff they don’t like and they’re not very good at,” Newfront co-founder and CTO Gordon Wintrob says. “If you look at the rest of a broker’s day, it’s this really high-value consulting work where they’re understanding what clients are thinking about, what they care about, what the growth prospects are for the next one, three, and five years, and helping them grapple with the challenges they’re facing.”

ASQ’s picture

By: ASQ

The leading global association for quality professionals, ASQ, announces that Ann Jordan has been confirmed as the society’s CEO, effective immediately. Jordan has served as interim CEO since January 2020. She joined ASQ in 2017 as general counsel and has worked extensively with the board of directors to develop and drive strategic growth and business transformation initiatives.

“Ann’s leadership has been critical over the past year as ASQ navigated the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on our membership,” says 2021 ASQ chair, Janet Raddatz. “Her substantial knowledge in business operations and dedication to delivering greater member value allowed the society to overcome remarkable obstacles and look ahead to the advancement of the mission of quality.”


Ann Jordan has been confirmed as the ASQ’s new CEO

Loretta Marie Perera’s picture

By: Loretta Marie Perera

Recently, the team at 4C Creative Cad CAM Consultants in Emmen, Netherlands, was given a unique task: How to get a vintage Harley Davidson motorcycle back on the road again.

What was fun about this project wasn’t how challenging it was, or how much expertise it required. The joy was in the end itself, to provide a straightforward solution to a question that had been on the mind of one man for decades: How to get his vintage motorcycle capable of starting and riding on the streets. The solution was to scan a broken part that could no longer be found and 3D print a replacement.

The problem was brought to Carl van de Rijzen of Visual First in the Netherlands, who has been working with Edwin Rappard of 4C Creative CAD CAM Consultants for more than two years. Living on opposite ends of the country, the two have never met in person. “I send something to Edwin, he scans it and sends it back,” says van de Rijzen. The same thing occurred in this case.

Kate Saenko’s picture

By: Kate Saenko

Last month, Google forced out a prominent AI ethics researcher after she voiced frustration with the company for making her withdraw a research paper. The paper pointed out the risks of language-processing artificial intelligence, the type used in Google Search and other text analysis products.

Among the risks is the large carbon footprint of developing this kind of AI technology. By some estimates, training an AI model generates as much carbon emissions as it takes to build and drive five cars over their lifetimes.

I am a researcher who studies and develops AI models, and I am all too familiar with the skyrocketing energy and financial costs of AI research. Why have AI models become so power hungry, and how are they different from traditional data center computation?

NordVPN Teams’s picture

By: NordVPN Teams

According to Gartner, 99 percent of the vulnerabilities exploited in 2020 have been ones known about by security and IT professionals at the time of the incident. However, taking care of them is tiresome, as it takes 38 days to implement a patch and in the past year alone 12,174 new common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) were reported.

Software vendors are constantly publishing patches to fix identified problems, but the users themselves are responsible for the updates. Failing to install them leaves the back door open for cyber criminals who can utilize it for a breach.

NVision Inc.’s picture

By: NVision Inc.

NVision’s engineering services are helping managers of coal-fired power plants converting to natural gas to determine more quickly where to install updated instrumentation necessary to retrofit turbines to accommodate the new power source.

“By measuring the equipment via laser scanning, then creating precise 3D models of the turbine assemblies for engineers to analyze for optimal installation points, we can significantly expedite the plants’ transitions,” says Steve Kersen, president of NVision. “This can result in huge cost savings for projects that would otherwise have been budgeted for a lengthier period using less sophisticated measurement methods. In one recent project, a Southeast power plant converting to a combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT*) system will increase wattage output by more than 30 percent and save more than $250,000 by using our services.”

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