Takes Steps to Curb Certification Malpractice
In November 2001, International Organization for Standardization
secretary general, the late Lawrence D. Eicher, spoke out
against unethical practices by certification bodies, boldly
stating, "You need to police yourselves." Onesolution
Eicher proposed was to pool information from various accreditation
bodies about unscrupulous practices. In a move toward this
call to action, ISO recently announced a partnership with
the International Accreditation Forum in which the two organizations
will share information on complaints relating to ISO 9000
certification and on actions taken to deal with them.
A joint working group comprised of the ISO Committee on
Conformity Assessment, the IAF and the International Laboratory
Accreditation Cooperation have identified three types of
problems related to unethical or inappropriate practices:
malpractice by conformity assessment bodies; misleading
advertising of the status of conformity assessment results,
including misuse of conformity marks; and confusion in the
marketplace between the terms "certification"
In a statement, the joint working group encourages dissatisfied
customers of conformity assessment services to file complaints
with the relevant conformity assessment bodies. "When
accreditation bodies have proof that an accredited conformity
assessment body has behaved inappropriately, it will take
necessary action, including
the suspension or withdrawal of accreditation."
The IAF, ILAC and ISO have established procedures to receive
and investigate complaints about malpractice and advise
on appropriate action. Further announcements of measures
will be made as they are implemented.For more information,
See First-Ever Rise in Customer Satisfaction
Marking only the first time airlines have shown improvement
in customer satisfaction, the latest American Customer Satisfaction
Index indicates that passengers are 8-percent happier with
airline service than a year ago.
It's the first time the airline industry has seen a rise
in customer satisfaction since the ACSI was established
The results are surprising given that the nation's airlines
are accruing significant financial losses since Sept. 11,
says Claes Fornell, professor of business and director of
the University of Michigan Business School's National Quality
Research Center. "The decline of air travel, particularly
among business travelers, has meant less crowded planes
and more time available per passenger from flight attendants,"
he says. "But, in order to fill seats, airlines have
also slashed fares and offered bargains."
Southwest Airlines came out on top, earning an ACSI score
of 74 (all scores are of a possible 100). Continental Airlines
and Delta Air Lines follow with scores of 68 and 66 respectively.
Northwest Airlines showed a 16-percent improvement from
last year, jumping from 56 to 65.
In addition to airlines, the ACSI's first quarter report
tracked customer satisfaction in energy utilities, telecommunication
companies, broadcast and cable/satellite television, parcel
delivery services, the U.S. Postal Service, newspaper publishing,
hotels, hospitals, the motion picture industry and health
The ACSI is produced through a partnership of the University
of Michigan Business School, the ASQ and the CFI Group.
A complete list of scores can be found at www.theasci.org.
Eleven Quality Professionals Earn ASQ's
The American Society for Quality presented 11 quality professionals
with Distinguished Service Medals during the organization's
56th Annual Quality Conference held in May. The award represents
the highest distinction of quality service accorded by ASQ,
honoring lifetime contribution to quality through the proliferation
of quality principles, methods and science.
What follows is a list of Distinguished Service Medal
recipients and the text inscribed on their awards:
Yoji Akao--"For sustained distinguished service through
his contributions to the international quality movement
by the creation, development and propagation of quality
function and deployment and policy management."
John E. Condon--"For sustained distinguished service
to the quality profession and his nation through pioneering
work in aerospace quality and reliability improvement of
the NASA space effort and his continuing leadership of the
American Society for Quality."
John D. Hromi--"For sustained distinguished service
to the global quality community through teaching, writing
and promotion of quality methods and principles and his
leadership contributions to the American Society for Quality."
Lloyd S. Nelson--"For sustained distinguished service
as the founding editor of the Journal of Quality and Technology
and for his exceptional contribution to the quality body
of knowledge through extensive writings and teaching, as
well as his personal promotion of the principles and methods
of statistical quality control."
Ralph E. Wareham--"For sustained distinguished service
to the quality profession and to the American Society for
Quality through his dedicated personal leadership, exceptional
contributions to the codification of the quality body of
knowledge and role model example of commitment to public
QCI International President
Donald L. Dewar (left) accepts Distinguished Service
Frank Caplan--"For sustained distinguished service
to the quality profession through his contribution as the
founding editor of the Quality Engineering journal and for
his contributions to promoting quality in education as co-founder
of the National Educational Quality Initiative."
Donald L. Dewar--"For sustained distinguished service
to the global quality community through his active leadership
as co-founder of the Association for Quality and Participation,
publisher of Quality Digest, as well as an international
author and consultant on teamwork and quality improvement."
Frank M. Gryna--"For sustained distinguished service
to the global quality community as a thought leader in quality
management by extensive writing, speaking and teaching over
a lifetime as a consultant, educator and author."
Spencer Hutchens Jr.--"For sustained distinguished
service to the global quality community, the quality profession
and the American Society for Quality by his extraordinary
personal dedication, tireless energy and exceptional contributions
in a lifetime of volunteer leadership."
Yashio Kondo--"For sustained distinguished service
through both his volunteer activities in the global quality
community and his extensive personal academic contributions
as an international thought leader in human motivation and
companywide quality control."
Edward G. Schilling--"For exceptionally distinguished
service through his sustained academic leadership in quality
and applied statistics by his contributions in the fields
of process management and acceptance sampling."
Health Care Improvement Initiative Begins
January, Quality Digest featured a news item about
Pursuing Perfection, a grant initiative under which 12 health
care organizations participated in a seven-month planning
program designed to improve quality in their field. Since
that time, seven of those organizations have been selected
to move on to phase two.
Under phase one of the $20.9 million grant, each group
received funds to devise a leadership and partnership strategy
to reach a near-perfect level of health care in at least
two of its care processes. Under phase two, the seven chosen
health care organizations will each receive two-year grants
of $1.9 million to help implement their strategies. These
organizations are the Cambridge Health Alliance, Cincinnati
Children's Hospital Medical Center, Hackensack University
Medical Center of New Jersey, HealthPartners Medical Group
and Clinics in the Twin Cities area, McLeod Regional Medical
Center in South Carolina, St. Joseph Hospital of Bellingham,
Washington, and Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare in Florida.
The five other organizations will continue to participate
in the program by implementing all or part of their plans.
"All the organizations participating in Pursuing
Perfection can help the nation understand that near-perfect
health care, as shown by measurable results, is within our
grasp," says Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., senior vice
president and director of the Health Care Group of the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation. "We expect that these organizations
will produce compelling examples that show just how good
health care can and should be."
The initiative is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Find out more by visiting www.ihi.org/pursuingperfection.
Optical Gaging Products' Parent Acquires
Newport Corp. has sold its U.S.-based noncontact metrologybusiness,
RAM Optical Instrumentation, to Quality Vision International
Inc. The transaction is the latter part of a two-step plan
by Newport to sell the majority of its Industrial Metrology
Systems Division. QVI is also the parent company of dimensional
measurement developers Optical Gaging Products and View
Last month, Hexagon Metrology, a Sweden-based developer
of coordinate measuring machines, software and precision
measuring systems, acquired CEJohansson, the contact metrology
division of Newport Corp. Hexagon is the parent company
of Brown and Sharpe, headquartered in Rhode Island.
Learn more at www.newport.com
DNV Introduces Web Browser-Based Certification
DNV Certification has introduced e-Advantage, an Internet-based
application designed to help companies coordinate their
certification projects. Marketed by DNV as the first solution
of its kind, the portal provides instant access to all aspects
of a company's system certification process--including audit
reports, scheduling issues, nonconformity notes and data
analysis--from multiple company locations 24 hours a day.
Specific features of e-Advantage include:
n Access to project details,
including number of employees, certification requirements
and audit schedules
n Capability to download/upload
specific audit documents, corrective actions, standards
and news items
n E-mail notification when
new documents are published regarding a company's specific
n Lists of nonconformity
notes that have been issued within the project and information
on the status of each NCN
n Data analysis for benchmarking,
enabling a company to compare its performance against competitors
n A library of DNV's ISO
For an online demonstration, visit www.dnvcert.com.
Automakers Steadily Improving New-Car
quality of new cars in the United States has improved 10
percent in the last year, according to the J.D. Power and
Associates 2002 Initial Quality Study. It's the highest
one-year improvement since 1997, capping an overall increase
of 24 percent during the past five years.
Toyota Motor Sales scored highest, earning top marks in
five of seven segments in the light-truck category. The
non-Toyota models in that category were the Ford Expedition,
which won top billing in the full-size SUV category, and
Lexus LX 470, which received top honors in the luxury SUV
category. For a closer look at the results, see Figure 1.
"With truck sales now surpassing 50 percent of the
light-vehicle market, truck quality is critical to automakers,"
notes Brian Walters, director of product research at J.D.
Power and Associates. "Toyota Motor Sales' consistency
in building truck models with high initial quality certainly
gives them an advantage."
A wider variety of automakers were represented in the
car category, including U.S. brands such as the Chevrolet
Malibu, which earned first spot in the midsize car segment.
It also made the biggest five-year quality gain, improving
58 percent, followed by the Buick Century, Chevrolet Corvette
and the Lexus GS Sedan, each having improved 49 percent.
Toyota Motor Sales and General Motors improved 31 and 30
percent during the last five years respectively. See Figure
2 for the nine segments in the study's car models category.
In 2002, Korean manufacturers Kia and Hyundai improved
the most, by 21 and 19 percent respectively. During five
years, Hyundai Motors America has improved 42 percent. Over
the same period, American Isuzu saw an improvement of 39
percent, Mitsubishi Motor Sales has improved 38 percent,
and DaimlerChrysler marked a 27-percent improvement.
The study is based on responses from about 65,000 purchasers
and lessees of new 2002 model-year automobiles surveyed
after 90 days of ownership. This most recent report marks
the study's 16th year. For complete results of the 2002
J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study, visit www.jdpa.com.
More Than 100 Facilities Registered to
"Humane Workplace" Standard
Social Accountability International has announced that
the number of facilities now registered to the SA8000 standard
has reached 124, just three years since the first certificate
This encompasses 70,000 workers in 24 countries, including
China, India, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, the United
States and others. Clothing, footwear, toys, food, cosmetics
and paint manufacturing are among the 25 industries represented
on the list, which includes Toys"R"Us, the world's
largest toy retailer; Otto Versand, a leading catalog retailer;
Dole, producer of fresh and prepared fruits and vegetables;
and Kesko, Finland's largest retailer.
The SA8000 standard is designed to ensure that companies
produce wares and services under decent conditions. It covers
all human rights recognized by the International Labour
Organization, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The nine tenets of the standard are:
n No child labor
n No forced labor
n A healthy and safe workplace
n Freedom of association
and right to collective bargaining
n No discrimination
n No unjust discipline
n Limits on working hours
n Basic-needs wage
n Management systems for
SAI was founded in 1997 as a charitable human rights organization
to help improve workplaces and communities worldwide by
developing and promoting voluntary standards, independent
verification and public reporting. Visit SAI's Web site
at www.sa-intl.org. For a complete list of all facilities
registered to SA8000, visit www.sa-intl.org/certification.htm.
Service Helps Turn Innovators' Ideas Into
Sensor Systems designs sensors that detect minute
Constant innovation from the Georgia Institute of Technology
has stimulated growth in the areas of engineering, computer
science and a host of other technology-driven industries
for more than 40 years. Now, in order to smooth the process
of transforming ideas into commercial successes, Georgia
Tech has established a $330 million-a-year program called
VentureLab, which provides faculty members assistance in
commercializing their technological innovations.
VentureLab stems from Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology
Development Center, which operates the Faculty Research
Commercialization Program. Since 1993, the program has helped
create 22 new ventures and generate about $1 million in
licensing revenues from research by Georgia's six largest
Intelligent Sensor Systems Inc. recently became the first
VentureLab firm to be accepted into the Advanced Technology
Development Center, Georgia Tech's incubator for technology-based
start-up companies. Intelligent Sensor Systems Inc. is developing
sensors that can read the chemical makeup of a surface and
create a detailed image that reveals microscopic defects,
corrosion and irregularities.
The VentureLab service is designed to encompass all aspects
of commercialization, offering assistance in four key areas:
n Technology assessment.
VentureLab staff members will work with Georgia Tech faculty
at the early stages of commercialization to help them evaluate
the commercial value of their innovations and determine
the best way to proceed.
n Commercialization workshops
and seminars. These events will cover a variety of topics,
including intellectual property, licensing, start-up processes
and venture capital firms.
n VentureLab fellows. For
technologies with the potential for quick start-ups,
VentureLab will provide a network of experienced entrepreneurs
to evaluate innovations and build new companies on those
that demonstrate commercial need.
n VentureLab Pre-Seed Awards.
These awards will provide financing to help innovators generate
prototypes and proof-of-concepts needed in order to show
commercial need for the product.
Learn more about Georgia Tech's VentureLab at www.venturelab.gatech.edu.
Rudolph Technologies, a supplier of film-characterization
metrology tools, has created a business unit dedicated to
integrated metrology and producing a line of integrated
The business unit will provide integrated metrology for
dielectric CMP, barrier/seed deposition, electroplated copper,
copper CMP, OCD for photoresist processing and OCD for etch.
For more information, visit www.rudolphtech.com.
Receives Accreditation for Testing Automotive Glass
Entela Inc. has received accreditation from the Automotive
Manufacturer Equipment Compliance Agency to test automotive
safety glass and safety glazing materials. The AMECA program
notifies government, industry and the general public about
items for motor vehicle safety equipment that have been
tested by an AMECA-accredited laboratory and found to be
in compliance with applicable standards.
AMECA maintains a list of items that have been tested
and currently comply with U.S. standards. It's updated quarterly
and sold by annual subscription to industry and the public.
AMECA maintains regular communication with its accredited
laboratories as well as with local, state and federal governments.
Learn more at www.entela.com.
Comalco, an Australia-based supplier of bauxite, alumina
and primary aluminum, has contracted with Six Sigma Qualtec
to design, implement and support a Six Sigma initiative
to improve internal processes for bauxite mining, alumina
refining and aluminum smelting.
Six Sigma Qualtec provides services for Six Sigma initiatives.
Learn more at www.sixsigmaqualtec.com.
The Institute of Quality Assurance will host the 2002 World
Quality Congress on behalf of the European Organization
for Quality. The event is scheduled for Sept. 29 through
Oct. 1 in Harrogate, England. Q2002 will feature key speakers
from public and private sectors discussing quality issues
in business, health care, manufacturing and education.
As the professional institute for quality and quality
management in the United Kingdom, IQAprovides training and
support for quality professionals and individuals responsible
for quality management. EOQ is a federation of quality management
organizations from 34 European member states, which represent
more than 140,000 individuals and 23,000 businesses. For
more information, visit www.iqa.org/q2002.