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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2009 Gauges Buyers Guide, which features more than 140 manufacturers and distributors of gauges. Each listing contains the company’s address, telephone and fax numbers, and a web address (if provided). Many of these companies supplied a list of the types of gauges that they provide, selected from a predetermined list of 35 gauge types. Please refer to the abbreviations key for these types.

We encourage you to visit our online buyers guide database at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides  for detailed descriptions of the gauge manufacturers’ and distributors’ products, if this information has been provided to us.

The products listed in this guide have been neither evaluated nor endorsed by Quality Digest . Only those companies that responded to our requests for information are listed. We hope this resource will help you find the right gauge for your specific needs.

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By Dennis R. Arter

Three basic evaluation methods exist for any work activity: inspection, compliance auditing and management auditing. The first method, inspection, measures a process's output against certain characteristics. These characteristics, generally identified as form, fit and function, are specified, and the process output either possesses those characteristics or it doesn't. As a result, an inspection's outcome is always binary: pass or fail.

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By Jeffrey H. Eves and Tim Hack

The term “global” is ubiquitous in our daily lives. Like the economy, human rights, and peace, the environment is often discussed in global terms because that’s the only way to bring about profound change. Now, global warming--even though its full extent is unknown--has brought a sense of urgency to improving the environment.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) brings together stakeholders from around the globe to develop international standards that provide structured means to systematically manage improvement. ISO 14001--”Environmental Management Systems--Requirements,” along with a separate guidance document for its use, is the basic environmental management system ( EMS) standard being implemented globally to help manage environmental aspects of an organization. An EMS can be an effective tool in maintaining compliance with regulatory and other requirements, preventing pollution, and driving continuous improvement.

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By Nick Van Weerdenburg

Quality improvement has stalled in manufacturing due to an inability to capture, continuously improve, and leverage performance knowledge in design and manufacturing activities. Other enterprise systems, such as project life-cycle management (PLM), fail to improve quality because they treat it as a process management problem. The fundamental challenges to achieving quality are knowledge-management and continuous-improvement issues. Recently, quality life-cycle management has received a boost from enterprise software solutions designed to change how manufacturers go about designing quality into their manufacturing processes and products.

Some statistics reported by manufacturers highlight the current dilemma in quality performance:

Eighty percent of all quality issues are repeat issues. These are errors that have happened before and were fixed, yet the lesson learned wasn’t recalled by or communicated to another group so that preventive action could be taken.

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By Anne Willimann

 

L

et’s travel back in time to September 10, 2008, at 10:28 a.m. At that moment, CERN became known to the general public when the first beam was successfully steered around the world’s most powerful particle accelerator—the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This historic event marked the beginning of a new era of scientific discovery.

CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, with headquarters in Geneva. Recognized as the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics, CERN is located 50 to 150 meters below ground under the city’s surroundings, and crosses the Swiss border with France. The LHC is installed in a tunnel 27 kilometers in circumference and provides collisions at the highest energy levels ever achieved in laboratory conditions. CERN physicists can observe these collisions via four huge detectors, exploring new territory in matter, energy, space, and time.

Particle Physics

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By Joyce A. Thompsen, Ph.D.

Efficient participation in today's economy demands high reliance on effective leadership of technical and support teams whose members are scattered across many geographic boundaries. There are unique and distinctive requirements for leadership attention in the virtual project team or remote management situation, where individuals who share responsibilities for common goals reside in geographically dispersed locations.

Key findings from both research and best practices across many industries reveal that effective distance leadership includes the typical fundamentals for leading people and managing resources in a traditional office environment.

However, difficulties in the traditional environment can be significantly magnified in the virtual or remote situation. Difficulty with communicating; working together; and producing high-quality, on-time results is typically heightened by distance. Effective leaders need to quickly, confidently and competently diagnose such issues and take deliberate actions to keep project team relationships, productivity and outcomes on track. There is even more emphasis on the use of appropriate communications skills to fit the needs of the people and the situation.

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By Stanley H. Salot Jr.

IECQ QC 080000: The Standard for Lean-Green Compliance

Although not all manufacturers around the world understand the value proposition of a lean-green, process-based manufacturing program, there are more than 1,250 that do--those that are registered to the IECQ QC 080000 standard.

IECQ hazardous substance process management (HSPM) has proven to be an efficient, effective, and financially prudent way for manufacturers to demonstrate international compliance with hazardous- substance-free components, products, and related material requirements and legislation.

Adding a lean-green, process-based manufacturing program enhances this concept and adds even greater value.

When properly implemented, QC 08000 certification provides its management and stakeholders:

Evidence of due diligence as required by:

--EU RoHS directive, WEEE directive, battery directive, packaging directive, end-of-life vehicle directive

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By Aaron E. Pietras

Qing Rong Zhang (behind computer, center), a Shanghi-based quality engineer with more than 30 years of experience with automotive original equipment manufacturers and tier-one suppliers, handles an overall supplier assessment.

 

It’s hard not to pick up a newspaper or industry magazine or surf the internet without reading that manufacturing industries are relocating their operations to other countries. During the past couple of years, it’s been equally difficult to avoid articles concerning serious quality issues present in consumer and industrial products produced in emerging economies. Even as product lines move to China, India, and Russia, domestic companies are losing significant numbers of experienced employees throughout their organizations due to early retirement or reassignment. Diminished and often lost in this regard is the tribal knowledge of operators who know the pulse of the manufacturing process. This triple whammy of outsourcing, loss of tribal knowledge, and decrease in product quality has emphasized the need for third-party suppliers of supply chain solutions.

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By Quality Digest

 

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Welcome to Quality Digest's 2009 Six Sigma Services and Software buyers guide. This handy reference tool includes more than 200 companies that help you implement Six Sigma within your organization. Included in each description are the company name, location, phone and fax numbers, web site, and an acronym representing whether the organization offers Six Sigma services (SVC), software (SW), or both. Be sure to check this buyers guide online at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides for additional information on these companies.

As with all of our directories, this guide is intended as a starting point to help readers choose the right solution for their needs. Quality Digest hasn't evaluated, nor do we endorse, any of the products listed in this directory. Good luck in your search for the right Six Sigma service or software provider to suit your needs.

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By Philip Hewitt

On-machine verification (OMV) is a recent innovation that combines existing technologies to solve more complex measurement problems on machine tools. Many machine tools are equipped with probing systems, and using the probe for simple part setting is an established process. Simple macro-based probing cycles allow the user to measure basic features such as faces, corners, and bosses, and these can be combined to create rudimentary inspection reports. These basic solutions are restricted to simple 2-D measurement because 3-D measurement is just not practical. Although skilled operators can sometimes adapt probing macros to measure along compound angles, this becomes too difficult and too time-consuming for complex, curved surfaces.

OMV solves these problems using graphical 3-D software methods to program the measuring sequences. The programming and reporting tools from inspection software are combined with machine tool post-processor expertise to create a measuring solution for machine tools.