Bill Kalmar’s picture

By Bill Kalmar

For some, Labor Day signals the end of summer as preparations for autumn and the accompanying holidays begin. As is customary in some locales, warm weather clothes, including one’s white wardrobe and shoes, are returned to the closet until next spring. Children and students go back to school, much to the delight of their parents, and hopefully to the excitement of their teachers.

Chances are one of the kids’ first assignments will be to draft a report on the activities of their summer vacation. Not to be left out of this assignment, I thought it appropriate that I pen a few lines about one of our recent trips. There were no death-defying rides on some monster roller coaster, no surfing in shark-infested waters or aerial descents with a parachute from a plane, just a sensible trip to Chicago for my wife and me.

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By Quality Digest

 

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Registering to the appropriate quality management stand­ard—and maintaining that registration—is probably the best way to ensure that your organization is serious about improvement. There are standards for practically every industry in the world, in manufacturing as well as service environments. The path to registration can be a long one; fortunately, there are professionals to make the journey a bit easier.

The following section contains two directories. The Registrar buyers guide will help you find the right company to register and audit your organization’s compliance to various standards. These organizations can ease your journey toward the successful implementation of standards for quality management, social accountability,
environmental management, FDA requirements, and others. This section also includes the ISO Standards Consultants buyers guide, which can help you find the right consultant to lead you through the often-complex registration process, particularly for ISO 9001, the world’s most recognized quality standard.

Gil Zweig’s picture

By Gil Zweig

Real-time X-ray inspection systems have been used in quality assurance applications for more than 25 years. In electronics manufacturing, for example, X-ray inspection ensures the registration of drilled holes to internal pads of multilayer printed circuit boards. In electronic assembly applications, X-ray inspection ensures the quality of hidden solder bonds of surface-mounted components such as ball-grid arrays, as seen in figure 1 below.

Now real-time X-ray inspection is becoming an important tool for ensuring the quality of many medical devices. These devices incorporate a diversity of materials, including polymers, rubbers, steel, titanium, ceramics, and glass. Real-time systems employ fluoroscopic imaging devices to display the device’s X-ray image in a video format.

Jeffrey T. Luftig and Steven Ouellette’s default image

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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By Quality Digest

 

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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.

Mary F. McDonald’s picture

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.