Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

The demand for quality assurance and quality control managers in the manufacturing sector has never been stronger, according to Patrick O’Rahilly, founder of FactoryFix. This online platform matches vetted manufacturing workers with companies seeking specific skill sets. They set a new quality standard in how small to midsize manufacturers are hiring talent across the United States.

This solution is not another job board that simply posts quality positions and candidates. Rather, it’s a cost-effective subscription service that uniquely aligns QA/QC professionals with ideal skill sets. Small manufacturers are deeply reliant on quality team members; they are directly responsible for product conformity and oversee inspection and material review board departments. They also rely on the QA manager, who is responsible for the overall quality system.

A person working in a factory  Description automatically generated with low confidence
Patrick O’Rahilly,
founder of FactoryFix

Edmund Andrews’s picture

By: Edmund Andrews

Seems everybody has a horror story about health insurance: Kafkaesque debates with robotic agents about what is and isn’t covered. Huge bills from a doctor you didn’t know was “out of network.” Reimbursements that take months to process.

It’s no secret that healthcare in the United States is tangled in wasteful red tape. A study in 2019 estimated that administrative complexity was the single biggest source of waste in healthcare—bigger even than fraud or over-pricing—and imposes an annual cost of $265 billion.

The true extent of that waste, according to a new study led by Jeffrey Pfeffer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is even more shocking. Pfeffer and his colleagues found that administrative “sludge” in healthcare insurance costs employers and the economy billions of dollars in squandered work time, employee stress, absenteeism, and reduced productivity.

Multiple Authors
By: David Darais, Joseph Near

How many people drink pumpkin spice lattes in October, and how would you calculate this without learning specifically who is drinking them, and who is not?

Although they seem simple or trivial, counting queries are used extremely often. Counting queries such as histograms can express many useful business metrics. How many transactions took place last week? How did this compare to the previous week? Which market has produced the most sales? In fact, one paper showed that more than half of queries written at Uber in 2016 were counting queries.

Counting queries are often the basis for more complicated analyses, too. For example, the U.S. Census releases data that are constructed essentially by issuing many counting queries over sensitive raw data collected from residents. Each of these queries belongs in the class of counting queries we will discuss below and computes the number of people living in the United States with a particular set of properties (e.g., living in a certain geographic area, having a particular income, belonging to a particular demographic).

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

Located in Butler, Wisconsin, Accurate Pattern has specialized in wood, metal, and plastic patterns, tools, fixtures, gauges, prototypes, and models since 1985. Technologies and services include CAD design, manual and CNC machining, wood and metalworking, painting and welding, plastic fabrication, and form services such as design, engineering, and production job shops.

Originally known as Accurate Pattern & Model Inc., the company was founded by brothers Bruce and Brian Williams in February 1985. Accurate Pattern supplied its first customers with precision patterns for urethane-molded parts. In 1986, the company was incorporated, and Bruce became president. In November 2007, Accurate Pattern moved to its current location, a plant featuring 19,000 sq ft of shop and office space and 5,000 sq ft of mezzanine. Bruce has used Exact Metrology products throughout the years to ensure accurate, reliable results.

Bruce met Dean Solberg, Exact Metrology co-president, when he was looking to buy an Elm CMM/layout machine with PC-DMIS software. Solberg was in contact with a sales representative at Elm Systems and helped Accurate Pattern by setting them up with the right machine, configuration, and software.

Graham Freeman’s picture

By: Graham Freeman

Here’s an unfortunate truth: The story of the Covid-19 pandemic is one of epic quality failures in almost every area imaginable. Although there have been some admirable successes, such as the food and beverage organizations that have ensured the continued safe delivery of food supplies to most regions, failures both large and small have caused an untold amount of damage to the infrastructure of society and business. Arguably, these quality failures have worsened the impact of the pandemic, including economic devastation and even a higher death toll.

Here are just a few of the quality failures that will become prominent themes in the Covid-19 narrative.

Judah Levine’s picture

By: Judah Levine

As a physicist in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Time and Frequency Division, I have worked in the general area of operating atomic clocks and using output signals from them to distribute time and frequency information for more than 40 years. I am also a Fellow at JILA, an institute operated jointly by NIST and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and I teach in the physics department of the university.

I came to Boulder in 1967 as a post-doc at JILA. I joined NIST when it was still the National Bureau of Standards in 1969, and I was initially a physicist in the Radio Standards Physics Division. This division was engaged in several research projects that used lasers whose wavelengths were stabilized by adjusting them to match the wavelengths naturally absorbed by an atom or molecule.

Multiple Authors
By: Bob Holmes, Knowable Magazine

This story was originally published by Knowable Magazine.

Most of us won’t soon forget that disconcerting moment last spring when grocery store shelves were suddenly bare where the flour, pasta, and other staples should have been. The news told of farmers dumping milk—nearly four million gallons a day, by one account—smashing eggs, and euthanizing chickens that they couldn’t get to market. Crops worth billions of dollars were wasted, some rotting in the field, as restaurants and other food service businesses, shuttered by lockdowns, stopped buying.

The problem was short-lived, fortunately, as growers pivoted to new buyers, shippers and packers adapted, exports resumed, and the food system—the complex web of players that move food from farm to fork—came back to life. “Overall, the food system has been quite resilient,” says Johan Swinnen, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute, a leading international think tank. “It’s hard to imagine a bigger shock than we’ve had now. And despite that, if you look at the rich countries, even countries like China, the food supply has not been a problem almost anywhere.”

Rita Men’s picture

By: Rita Men

Ending the pandemic depends on achieving herd immunity, estimated at 70 percent or even 80 percent to 90 percent of a population. With some 30 percent of Americans telling pollsters they have no interest in getting vaccinated, that’s cutting it a bit close. The numbers are even worse in many other countries.

Jo Napolitano’s picture

By: Jo Napolitano

Artificial intelligence, or AI, requires a huge amount of computing power and versatile hardware to support that power. But most AI-supportive hardware is built around the same decades-old technology, and still a long way from emulating the neural activity in the human brain.

In an effort to solve this problem, a group of scientists from around the country, led by Shriram Ramanathan of Purdue University, has discovered a way to make the hardware more efficient and sustainable.

“We’re creating hardware that is smart enough to keep up [with advancements in AI] and also doesn’t use too much energy. In fact, the energy demand will be cut significantly using this technology.”—Argonne physicist Hua Zhou

Ramanathan and his team used quantum materials—those whose properties operate outside the bounds of classical physics—to develop a device that can sort information quickly and efficiently. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, DOE’s Brookhaven Laboratory (BNL), and the University of California at San Diego helped him learn exactly how it works.

Ramanathan and his team began their experiment by introducing a proton into a quantum material called neodymium nickel oxide (NdNiO3).

Optical Gaging Products OGP’s picture

By: Optical Gaging Products OGP

The RGM Watch Co. was founded by American watchmaker Roland G. Murphy. His career and interest in horology (the art or science of timekeeping devices) began as a teenager while working part-time for a clock company. Later, he enrolled in the Bowman Technical School of Watchmaking, and in 1986, Murphy was accepted into WOSTEP (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program).

After finishing WOSTEP, he worked in product development for the Hamilton Watch Co. until he founded the RGM Watch Co. in 1992.

Roland G. Murphy

RGM Watch sales are conducted on a personal, one-to-one basis. Customers who visit the company are often greeted by Murphy himself, who openly shares his passion for classic watch design, innovation, and craftsmanship as he discusses the custom design features that are often requested. RGM employs a team of 11 people and produces “a few hundred” watches a year, priced from $3,500 to $95,000, depending on design and material.

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