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By Tom Pyzdek


In 1988, Motorola Corp. became one of the first companies to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award strives to identify those  excellent firms that are worthy role models for other businesses. One of Motorola's innovations that attracted a great deal of attention was its Six Sigma program. Six Sigma is, basically, a process quality goal. As such, it falls into the category of a process capability (Cp) technique.

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By Craig Cochran

The most significant change in the upcoming revision to ISO 9001 is probably not what you'd expect it to be: It's not customer satisfaction, continual improvement or even the process-model structure of the standard. The most significant change is the requirement for quality objectives. ISO 9001:2000 requires that quality objectives be established at each relevant function and level within the organization (i.e., just about everywhere).

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By Craig Cochran


Because information in document form drives nearly every action in any organization, the ability to control this information usually means the difference between success and failure. Thus, document control remains the single most critical quality assurance discipline. As with many other systems, document control is more successful if it's simple, intuitive and user-friendly. And the first step toward this end is deciding exactly which documents need to be controlled.

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By Paul W. Ingallinera

Imagine that you oversee the quality control department for a small lug nut manufacturer that supplies the major U.S. automakers. One night, as you're watching the news, the station features a story about a car that lost one of its wheels while traveling more than 55 miles per hour. The car hit a guard rail, and all persons in the vehicle were badly injured. The ensuing investigation determines that the wheel failed because its lug nuts sheered off.

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By Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

The quality industry offers a number of terrific events during the course of the year, but none is more informative, entertaining, and intimate than the Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference. This year’s CMSC occurs in Charlotte, North Carolina, July 21 through July 25. As always, the event is packed with activity, including a bustling exhibition hall, unique off-site events (a tour of Richard Childress Racing is included this year), and white paper presentations demonstrating the latest advances in portable coordinate metrology.

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By Craig Cochran

A few years ago, we had a mysterious scratching sound in our attic. My 5-year-old daughter was terrified, and everybody’s sleep was being interrupted on a nightly basis.

“We need to do something about the noise in our attic,” I told my daughter.

“No!” she cried. “Don’t go into the attic. It’s too scary.”

Lorri Hunt, Denise Robitaille, and Craig Williams’s default image

By Lorri Hunt, Denise Robitaille, and Craig Williams

Editors note: The following is an excerpt of The Insiders’ Guide to ISO 9001:2008 , which was published November 1 by Paton Professional.