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By Jeffrey T. Luftig and Steven Ouellette

Enron. Worldcom. Tyco. Cendant. Bernie Madoff, once chairman of the NASDAQ, is now cooling his heels in jail. The ex-CEO of Comverse is arrested in Namibia, the CEO at United Healthcare is forced to step down, and Patricia Dunn of Hewlett Packard is charged in an ethics scandal. And, of course, AIG has no problem doling out millions in bonuses to the very people who drove the company and the country into a financial crisis. It seems that no matter where we look today, the erosion of ethics and basic moral principles of right and wrong have taken us to the point where trust in our institutions and the very systems that make our society work are in imminent danger of oblivion. Perhaps at no time during the last two or three decades has business ethics, or the lack thereof, been of such paramount importance to the well-being of our business entities and country.

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By David A. Kenyon

In today’s business environment, any organization that wishes to exceed customer expectations and stay competitive needs a long-range strategic plan. This plan must be forward-looking, visionary, and achievable, while at the same time striving toward continuous improvement of the organization’s key business processes. The organization must, in effect, keep both hands on the wheel to move forward successfully. The hoshin strategic planning process in use at Hewlett-Packard Co. has been highly successful in meeting these requirements.

The hoshin process is, first of all, a systematic planning methodology for defining long-range, key, entity objectives. These are breakthrough objectives that typically extend two to five years with little change. Second, the hoshin process does not lose sight of the day-to-day business fundamental measures required to run the business successfully. This two-pronged approach provides an extended period of time for the organization to focus its breakthrough effort while continuously improving key business processes day to day.

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 Vision Systems Directory, featuring information for organizations that manufacture or distribute vision-/optical-based measurement equipment. This guide presents an alphabetical listing of 121 companies that responded to our requests for information, including the company’s contact information (address, phone number, fax number, and web address). Descriptions of their products can be found at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides .

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Manufacturers of all kinds depend on the accurate measurement of products and parts to ensure that they conform to the needs of their customers. Whether for size, shape, weight, length, or depth, proper dimensional measurement can mean the difference between a happy customer and a lost contract.

The three guides in this section will help you ensure proper dimensional measurement. The 3-D Measurement buyers guide provides a listing of major companies offering high-tech coordinate measurement machines and other 3-D measurement equipment. Companies listed in the Optical Dimensional Measurement Systems buyers guide and/or the Vision Systems buyers guide amplify the power of sight for product inspection and approval.

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By Mary F. McDonald

 

Our process improvement consulting company was contacted by a new design client requesting assistance in improving its quality management system (QMS). The company had used an existing system for several years, but it was still experiencing difficulties in making on-time delivery of designs; it had a higher-than-industry average, and missed customer requested dates in some cases. The designs themselves were sometimes nonconforming, having a higher-than-industry average for errors or missing a promised function. We agreed to work with the designers to identify areas of their QMS that could be strengthened, and to develop and implement a comprehensive quality plan to address these concerns.

Closing the Loop on CAPAs with Quality Management Software

by Mike Jovanis

 

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2009 3-D Measurement Equipment and Software Buyers Guide.

This directory includes the contact information. for 91 companies that offer 3-D measurement and analysis products. Further information, including detailed descriptions of these companies’ products and services, is available online at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides.

Only those companies that responded to our requests for updated information have been included in this buyers guide. We don’t intend this directory as an endorsement of any organization; it’s merely a starting point in your data-gathering process. We encourage you to contact these companies directly for further information.

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By Ron Williams

Outside of their jobs, employees make important decisions every day. They vote on community issues. They help teach their children new skills. They purchase homes and cars and life insurance. But on the job, how many people are allowed to make important decisions about their work? How many people have input into how they do their own jobs, lead a team, find out what their customers need or make decisions about what will work better for their customers?

What are self-directed work teams?

Minnesota-based 3M is among an increasing number of companies that involve employees in the daily management of their business through work teams. These teams are empowered to take corrective actions to resolve day-to-day problems. They also have direct access to information that allows them to plan, control and improve their operations. In short, employees that comprise work teams manage themselves.

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 Calibration Software and Services Directory

On the following pages you’ll find nearly 200 companies that can help you properly calibrate your measurement equipment. Included in each listing is the company name, address, telephone and fax numbers, web address, and a key showing whether the company in question provides calibration software (SW), services (SVC), or both. Further information, including detailed descriptions of these companies’ products and/or services, can be found online at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides.

Quality Digest hasn’t evaluated, nor do we endorse, any of the following calibration software and/or service providers. This directory is intended to be used as a guide; please contact the companies themselves for further information.

Good luck in your search for the right calibration software and/or services provider.

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By R. Stephen Flynn

What Is Multisensor Metrology?

Multisensor metrology is dimensional measurement on a measuring machine that utilizes two or more different sensor technologies to acquire data points from features and surfaces of a part to perform more measurements than would be possible on a machine using a single sensor. Most multisensor machines are motorized and use software that repeats predetermined measurement sequences without the need for user interaction.

Most articles about measuring devices, instruments, or systems describe what they do and how they work. The manufacturers of these systems want readers to know about the innovation and technology that went into them. However, the missing part of such articles is how to use the measuring system to get the information that the user needs to make decisions. This article looks at multisensor metrology from a user’s perspective.

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Incredible as it seems, Six Sigma is now more than 20 years old and still going strong. The methodology saves companies huge sums of money by redefining processes and reducing defects. Long a staple of quality improvement at manufacturing plants, Six Sigma is now penetrating into sectors such as health care, government agencies, service organizations, and many more. Increasingly, lean precepts such as eliminating waste and more efficiently organizing workspaces have become integrated with Six Sigma project. The result, lean Six Sigma, has become prevalent across industry.

This section contains the Six Sigma Services and Software buyers guide. This directory can help you implement, maintain, and improve your organization’s Six Sigma efforts. Embracing the Six Sigma path often leads to stunning improvement in a very short period of time—the companies found in the following pages can help you get there. Those with the acronym “SVC” following their listing offer Six Sigma services; those with a “SW” offer Six Sigma software. Many, you’ll note, offer both.