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By Quality Digest

 

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2009 Registrar Buyers Guide. This handy resource includes more than 50 listings of companies that provide registration and auditing services on several standards, from the ubiquitous ISO 9001 for the overall management of quality management systems to any number of sector-specifics.

Included in each description, you’ll find the company name, location, phone and fax number, web site, and abbreviations representing the standards for which each company provides registration services. A key defining these abbreviations is included below.

Be sure to check this buyers guide online at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides for additional information on these companies.

Tom Pyzdek’s picture

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.

The traditional quality paradigm defined a process as capable if the process's natural spread, plus and minus three sigma, was less than the engineering tolerance. Under the assumption of normality, this translates to a process yield of 99.73 percent. A later refinement considered the process location as well as its spread (Cpk) and tightened the minimum acceptable so that the process was at least four sigma from the nearest engineering requirement. Motorola's Six Sigma asks that processes operate such that the nearest engineering requirement is at least plus or minus six sigma from the process mean.

Motorola's Six Sigma program also applies to attribute data. This is accomplished by converting the Six Sigma requirement to equivalent conformance levels (see Figure 1).

Craig Cochran’s picture

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). The manner in which quality objectives are established and managed will have an enormous impact on the organization's performance. The quality objectives will either drive strategic improvements throughout the organization, significantly elevating the importance of the quality management system, or they'll simply become a meaningless exercise in data collection. It all depends on how the task is carried out.

 The basic requirements for quality objectives are quite simple:

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By Thomas Harpointer

Whether you’re a retailer or a supplier to retailers or other businesses, this article is for you. This is the time of year when retailers look at making their web sites more customer-friendly, building traffic and getting them tweaked and tuned for the Christmas season. But the same rules apply to business-to-business operations. We all want our web sites to help us make money, and the methods that work for online retailers will work for nonretailers as well. Consider that according to comScore, $29.2 billion was spent online during the 2007 holiday season, marking a 19-percent gain vs. the same period the year prior. According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, more than 40 percent of shoppers say that they will start the 2008 holiday shopping before Halloween.

Retailers are already deeply involved in the 2008 holiday shopping season. The fourth quarter is vital to a retailer’s overall yearly success, with anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of sales coming during this time frame. Considering that business-to- business sites look for steady income all year long and not just during the holiday season, the following tips are even more relevant.

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By Quality Digest

 

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Test and measurement equipment and service providers are the lifeblood of the quality profession. Without them, quality professionals wouldn’t have the tools they need to accurately measure, test, or inspect vital parts, components, and direct-to-consumer products. Gauge manufacturers and nondestructive testing equipment providers provide the industry with thousands of general-use and specialized tools, including micrometers, thread, height, plug and depth gauges, and digital indicators, to name a very few. Calibration service providers, on the other hand, make certain that the devices used to measure quality in your shop are accurate and working properly.

The three directories in this section are the Gauge Manufacturers buyers guide, the Nondestructive Testing buyers guide, and the Calibration
Services and Software buyers guide.

Craig Cochran’s picture

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.

Documents requiring control

 "Do I need to control this document?" is one of the most frequently asked questions in organizations working toward, or maintaining, a formal management system. Given the universe of documents possibly requiring control, the question is understandable. Besides, most people would rather not control a document if they don't have to.

 The ISO 9001:2000 standard provides a quick answer to the question of what must be controlled. The first sentence of section 4.2.3 on document control states, "All documents required by the quality management system shall be controlled." This means that if a document addresses or relates to any of the issues in ISO 9001:2000, it must be controlled. Here are some questions to ask when determining whether a document should 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.

The problem ultimately is traced to a torque wrench, used during the lug nut manufacturer's final inspection, that hadn't been calibrated in more than 10 years. Consequently, it displayed incorrect torque values. You can't understand how this could have happened because your company is registered to ISO 9000 and recently achieved QS-9000 compliance. Upon reflection, however, you realize that the wrench never was entered into the calibration system and therefore never addressed during the audit.

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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.

Craig Cochran’s picture

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.”

I talked to my daughter, and it was obvious that the vagueness and seeming enormity of the problem terrified her. She didn’t understand the problem; thus it was overwhelming. In my daughter’s mind, the sound in the attic could be bats, snakes, ghosts, vampires, or big hairy monsters. I took my daughter’s hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

“I’m a little scared, too,” I told her. “But if we can learn more about the problem, I bet we can solve it.”

My daughter seemed dubious, but she agreed to help me investigate the situation. We went into the attic with a flashlight, stabbing the beam of light into the dark and dusky corners. It didn’t take long for us to figure out the nature of our problem. We saw tiny eyes and furry little faces staring at us.

“They’re just squirrels,” my daughter giggled. “They snuck into the attic.”

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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.

As users get their first glimpse of ISO 9001:2008, the question on everyone’s mind is, “What, if anything, will our organization need to do differently?” ISO 9001:2008 focuses on changes that organizations might make to better comply with the spirit of the standard without adding, deleting, or altering its requirements. It should not result in an extensive change to existing quality management systems (QMS). The changes are minor in nature and address such issues as the need for clarification, greater consistency, resolution of perceived ambiguities, and improved compatibility with ISO 14001, which relates to environmental management systems ( EMS).

What does this mean for users? Requirements in the standard are frequently referred to as “shalls.” For the purpose of this amendment, ISO 9001:2008 provides improvements for users without adding to or removing any of the “shalls.”