Terri D. Lind’s picture

By Terri D. Lind

Energy generation is a multifaceted industry comprising dozens of major discrete technologies and thousands of companies. For reasons that are at once political, economic, and environmental, the energy industry occupies a central place in modern human society, and it will for the foreseeable future.

Alternative energy resources, such as photovoltaic modules and wind turbines, represent a particularly fast-growing segment of the industry. This article will look at this sector from the perspective of quality assurance and safety testing, two extremely important concerns for producers, as well as consumers, of alternative energy.

Mark Ames’s picture

By Mark Ames

The last few years have provided ample evidence that control of food safety is critical. Recent media reports have clearly documented supply chain shortcomings that have threatened consumers’ health and safety. These ongoing problems and the need for consumer safety cry out for additional tools to dramatically reduce or eliminate risks.

Milestones in U.S. Food and Drug Law History

 

1883
Dr. Harvey W. Wiley becomes chief chemist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Campaigning for a federal law, Dr. Wiley is called the “Crusading Chemist” and “Father of the Pure Food and Drug Act.”

 

1906
The original Pure Food and Drug Act is passed by Congress on June 30 and signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. The Meat Inspection Act is passed the same day.

 

William A. Stimson, Ph.D.’s default image

By William A. Stimson, Ph.D.


One of the most important objectives of an internal quality audit is measuring the effectiveness of an organization's quality management system. For this to happen, executive management must first meet its overriding responsibility of establishing and maintaining a system regarding quality policy, goals, resources, processes and effective performance--including monitoring and measuring the system's effectiveness and efficiency.

ISO 9001:2000 delineates this responsibility into three distinct areas: 4.1 General requirements, 4.2 Documentation requirements and 4.3 Quality management principles. If an organization's executive management isn't active in these three areas, then they won't be addressed and the quality system will be ineffective. Let's look at them one at a time, first in terms of their meaning and then as auditable characteristics.

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By Rich Burnham

During the 1920s, a British statistician named Ronald Fisher put the finishing touches on a method for making breakthrough discoveries. Some 70 years later, Fisher's method, now known as design of experiments, has become a powerful software tool for engineers and researchers.

But why did it take engineers so long to begin using DOE for innovative problem solving? After all, they were ignoring a technique that would have produced successes similar to the following modern-day examples:

• John Deere Engine Works in Waterloo, Iowa, uses DOE software to improve the adhesion of its highly identifiable green paint onto aluminum. In the process, the company has discovered how to eliminate an expensive chromate-conversion procedure. Savings: $500,000 annually.

• Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York, learns via DOE software that it needs only to retool an existing machine instead of making a huge capital purchase for a new one. The solution means improved, light-sealing film-pack clips used by professional photographers. Savings: Setup time drops from eight hours to 20 minutes; scrap reduces by a factor of 10, repeatability increases to 100 percent and $200,000 is not spent on a new machine.

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By Nicolette Dalpino

 

What is quality? An academic definition of quality as it relates to business might be that quality is a product or service that consistently has zero defects, conforms to particular specifications, and is satisfactorily received by the customer. Another aspect of quality is that it is a thought process sought out by organizations to create an overall drive toward efficiency, the reduction of waste, and the continual creation of more streamlined management processes.

“Unlike twenty years ago, when the quality department was viewed as the creator of quality, now the whole concept is more ingrained into the culture of organizations,” says Ron Atkinson, past president of the American Society for Quality. “Quality is created by the people performing the function, whether it be assembling a Bluetooth device or filling out an intake form at a medical clinic. Therefore, a culture of quality is emerging in which the leadership of organizations is emphasizing that the functional areas are responsible for quality in the same way that they are responsible for manpower costs, etc.”

Quality Digest’s picture

By Quality Digest

 

Download directory

 

Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2008 Consultants Directory, listing companies that provide quality consulting services.

Check the abbreviation key on page 48 for a preview of the services offered by each company. If additional information was provided to us, you’ll find it online at http://www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides. As always, we encourage you to contact these companies or visit their web sites.

Quality Digest hasn’t evaluated nor do we endorse any of the following companies listed in this directory.

We wish you well in finding a consultant for your specific needs.

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By Robert Morris

Product integrity occurs when performance, schedule, and affordability converge throughout the product life cycle. The first critical stage in realizing product integrity happens early in the product life cycle during design and development; a second and no less critical stage occurs later, during the transition from development to production. Early in the process, the relationship between design intent and process capability must be established and understood. As the design matures and transitions to production, it must be manufactured in a repeatable and affordable way by an extended supply chain. Achieving these seemingly intuitive objectives continues to be elusive for much of the aerospace and defense industry.

Craig Cochran’s picture

By Craig Cochran

So you have a customer complaint. It’s not just any complaint, but a huge one from your biggest customer. The problem affects millions of dollars in business and threatens the survival of your company. Are you going to take action? Of course! You put together a team of top players and attack it head-on.

Team members investigate the problem and perform a detailed 5-Why analysis. They start with the problem statement and ask, “Why did that happen?” repeatedly, drilling down deeper with each iteration:

Problem: There were seven data errors in reports issued to our largest customer in the last month

Why? Because lab reports are getting in the wrong project folders.

Why? Because the project numbers are written illegibly on the folders.

Why? Because the customer service representatives are rushed when preparing folders.

Why? Because there are only two representatives taking calls for all divisions.

Praveen Gupta’s picture

By Praveen Gupta

For almost 100 years of our quality journey, we increasingly pampered our customers by giving them what they wanted. Customers now assume that quality is a given. Further, in our present information age, customers are more aware of competitive suppliers, as well as suppliers with poor performance. Quality performance has peaked globally, and the faces of quality have moved from the line worker to the corporate executive. Activities that improve quality hardly yield significant benefits anymore. So what else can be done to improve business performance and delight customers?

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By Kicab Castaneda-Mendez


The changing nature of today's health care organizations, including pressure to reduce costs, improve the quality of care and meet stringent guidelines, has forced health care professionals to re-examine how they evaluate their performance. While many health care organizations have long recognized the need to look beyond financial measures when evaluating their performance, many still struggle with what measures to select and how to use the results of those measures. Because a growing number of health care professionals have readily adopted quality concepts, health care organizations should be able to quickly improve their performance measurement systems by following a few simple rules.

History

A brief look at the evolution of quality in modern health care systems may help understand the need to improve performance measurement.