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By Quality Digest

Is “Good Enough” Good Enough?

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By Hilton Hammond and Jeff Neuner

Gems Sensors & Controls, of Plainville, Connecticut, designs and manufactures a broad portfolio of liquid level, flow, and pressure sensors, miniature solenoid valves, and pre- assembled fluidic systems to exact customer requirements. The large number of configurable products, and the company’s high production volumes, create complex testing requirements. For example, many AC and DC voltages and resistance measurements need to be performed on the large number of different liquid level sensors that are built on a flexible production line.

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By Quality Digest

Why, Why, Why, Why, Why

I agree with Craig Cochran that complex problems are difficult to solve or tackle using the 5 Whys method (“Don’t Fail Your Customers With the Five Whys,” February 2009). Companies and consultants have a tendency to want to use the 5 Whys method as a pill for all illnesses.

Another problem with the 5 Whys method is that by the time you get to the fifth why, the root cause of a problem inevitably ends up being something along the lines of “the employee causing the error is not motivated.”

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By Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

After spending this summer attending several trade shows, marveling at equipment that can capture a 3-D point cloud of an entire Airbus A380 to within a few thousandths of an inch accuracy, or measure surface defects of a cylinder wall to within fractions of a micron, it’s easy to fall into the trap of regarding measurement equipment as the semi-autonomous guardians of precision. Push a button, and voilà--red light, yellow light, green light--scrap it, rework it, use it. Why, a monkey could do this job!

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By Nicolette Dalpino

A Different Side to Risk Management

A

s a result of the ongoing credit crisis, senior managers in financial services firms are reassessing their risk management processes. This is leading to a greater emphasis on enterprise risk management (ERM) or firmwide risk management, according to “The Bigger Picture: Enterprise Risk Management in Financial Services Organisations,” an Economist Intelligence Unit survey and report sponsored by SAS Institute Inc.

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By Quality Digest

Regarding H. James Harrington’s video interview with Dirk Dusharme (“Profiles in Quality: Jim Harrington--Episode 2,” www.qualitydigest.com/inside/standards-video/profiles-quality-jim-harrington-episode-2.html): Harrington is highly recognized in the quality management society of China and has made significant contributions to Chinese quality management progress.

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By Davis Balestracci

Take a look at the control chart in figure 1. There are no observations outside the common-cause limits, but there are five special-cause flags:

Observation 5: Two out of three consecutive points greater than two standard deviations away from the mean

Observations 21 and 30-32: Four out of five consecutive points greater than one standard deviation away from the mean

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By Quality Digest

In the world of nationwide retail, margins are tight, timing is essential, and inventory management will make or break a company’s success. Third-party logistics (3PL) providers work with major retailers and provide a broad range of fulfillment services. They make the complex process of delivering goods through the entire distribution process as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

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By Davis Balestracci

This column is in honor of the first anniversary of my late father’s death. In his last days, Dad enjoyed watching golf, and I’d often join him. Watching the recent British Open, I thought I would apply some basic statistical principles to the final scores.

For example, 83 people made the cut, and the ANOVA of their individual round scores is shown in figure 1.

The two ANOM plots are shown in figures 2 and 3.