Content By Quality Digest

George Schuetz’s picture

By: George Schuetz

Inspection is often subject to the management team’s efforts at cost control or cost containment, as is the case with most other areas in modern manufacturing operations. Although it’s sound business judgement to maximize the value of every dollar, it also means that hard choices must be made when selecting handheld gauges.

For example, issues as diverse as training, personnel, throughput requirements, manufacturing methods and materials, warranties, the intended end-use of the workpiece, and general company policies on gauging methods and suppliers may influence both the effectiveness and the cost of the inspection process.

Furthermore, many companies have moved inspection out of the lab and onto the shop floor. By having the gauging at the point of manufacture, bad parts can be found immediately, and corrections can be quickly implemented to prevent others from being made.

Sabine Terrasi’s picture

By: Sabine Terrasi

Strong price pressure combined with high-quality requirements—the beverage and bottle industry faces the classic dilemma of many industries. This is also the case in the quality control department of SOLOCAP, a French manufacturer of plastic caps.

SOLOCAP is a subsidiary of La Maison Mélan Moutet, “flavour conditioner since 1880” and manufactures all types of plastic caps for the food sector at its industrial site in Contrexéville, France. Among them is a top-class screw cap suitable for any glass or PET bottle. Thanks to a clampable lamella ring arranged around the bottle collar, it enables a simple, fast, absolutely tight, and secure seal. However, the slats must be reliably and carefully checked for cracks, tears, and twists during production. This is the only way to guarantee absolute tightness.

But reliably detecting cracks and micro-cracks on plastic caps in 40 different colors and shades running at high speed on a production line is a real challenge, and SOLOCAP's previous inspection system could not meet these high requirements.

Nate Burke’s picture

By: Nate Burke

Search engine optimization (SEO) has come a long way, with continued developments, advancements, and algorithm tweaks giving business owners, brand agencies, and marketing gurus more than just a digital headache.

But traditionally, SEO has been a numbers game, with ranking positions the all-important deciding factor. However, with the purpose of the activity to reflect and cater to user behaviors, can SEO really be simplified to numerical values?

For any business operating online, SEO is an essential element of the digital marketing mix. Forming the foundation of website designs and content output, SEO helps businesses build an online presence by increasing the chances of web pages and products appearing in visible positions on search-engine results pages.

Over the years, the activity has advanced significantly. Of course, it has come a long way since the early days of cramming as many keywords as possible into text or using spam websites to back-link to yours in an attempt to gain authority.

Emily Newton’s picture

By: Emily Newton

Food manufacturers must carry out numerous specific processes to check that the foods they produce and distribute are safe for consumers. Analytical testing plays a vital role in meeting that goal. Here’s a look at how such examinations raise food quality and purchaser trust.

Checking foods for pathogens

Food manufacturers engage in microbial testing to look for the presence of viral and bacterial pathogens. Such examinations analyze the food for contamination or possible spoilage.

“Ideally, we want a test method that does not waste time or resources generating false-positive results [i.e., good specificity] while being able to detect even a single viable pathogen in the sample [i.e., high sensitivity],” explains Thomas Jones, a Safe Food Alliance senior director.

A false positive could result in food getting rejected and discarded when there are no genuine issues with it. Conversely, false negatives may mean tainted items reach consumers and make them ill.

Clare Naden’s picture

By: Clare Naden

The regulatory landscape is constantly changing, and organizations need systems in place to ensure they keep up. But complying with laws and regulations can be so much more than just ticking a box: it can be the result of a deeply entrenched culture of integrity and good ethics. All of which is a recipe for business success. A compliance management system is a way of getting there and a new standard has just been published to help.

ISO 37301—“Compliance management systems—Requirements with guidance for use,” provides everything an organization needs to know to develop, implement, maintain, and improve an effective compliance management system. It replaces ISO 19600:2014—“Compliance management systems—Guidelines.”

Howard Shaw, chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard, says compliance is not just about avoiding fines and should not be limited to one department. It is everyone’s affair.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Motorized drive rollers (MDR) are an efficient and safe way to move large or heavy products down a conveyor line. They are also a key part of zero pressure accumulation, which allows conveyor systems to accumulate product without collision.

In traditional conveyor systems, products can back up behind an accumulation point and potentially exert hundreds of pounds of pressure on the product. Using MDR and individually monitored and managed accumulation zones eliminates collisions. Such zero pressure accumulation systems can easily handle large heavy products on a conveyor line.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

(Exact Metrology: Cincinnati) -- Exact Metrology, a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, is proud to be a part of the restoration of Cincinnati Music Hall’s sandstone ornaments in Cincinnati. The restoration includes 10 finials atop gables and a sandstone lyre.

This project was undertaken by Friends of Music Hall, a volunteer-driven organization; its mission is to preserve, improve, promote, and provide education about Cincinnati Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark. Thea Tjepkema, board member and historic preservationist is leading this restoration project on behalf of the Friends of Music Hall.

When the architect Samuel Hannaford designed Cincinnati Music Hall in the High Victorian Gothic style, he included a Gothic fleuron, or finial, on each of the eleven gables. Over the past 140 years, the original carved sandstone has deteriorated to the point that only portions of these important decorative elements remain.


Partially deteriorated ornament

William A. Levinson’s picture

By: William A. Levinson

The current national controversy over the need for a mandatory high minimum wage is but a symptom of a much larger underlying problem: the offshoring of American manufacturing capability.

Offshoring ruined Spain and Portugal during the 16th century, and it is similarly a clear and present danger not only to the American worker’s standard of living but also to the national security of the United States. The good news is, however, that the quality and manufacturing professions are ideally positioned to help the United States reshore its manufacturing capability, using simple principles that predate the quality profession and industrial statistics.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

The demand for quality assurance and quality control managers in the manufacturing sector has never been stronger, according to Patrick O’Rahilly, founder of FactoryFix. This online platform matches vetted manufacturing workers with companies seeking specific skill sets. They set a new quality standard in how small to midsize manufacturers are hiring talent across the United States.

This solution is not another job board that simply posts quality positions and candidates. Rather, it’s a cost-effective subscription service that uniquely aligns QA/QC professionals with ideal skill sets. Small manufacturers are deeply reliant on quality team members; they are directly responsible for product conformity and oversee inspection and material review board departments. They also rely on the QA manager, who is responsible for the overall quality system.

A person working in a factory  Description automatically generated with low confidence
Patrick O’Rahilly,
founder of FactoryFix

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

(Marposs: Auburn Hills, MI) -- Marposs, a world leader in measurement, inspection, and test technologies, has announced the standalone availability of Merlin Plus gauging software. Formerly only embedded in Merlin hardware devices, this software is now offered for use on any PC running Windows 7 or Windows 10 operating system. Aimed at optimizing industrial production analysis and control, Merlin Plus software combines flexibility and ease of use for managing simple measuring and manual bench applications. It is well-suited for fixture builders and makers, as well as end-users that want to configure their own measurement applications.

Merlin Plus software offers multiple measurement and statistical displays with numeric and graphic layout, trend limits, data traceability, batch management, part counters, and data storage, exporting in CSV or Q-DAS format. It can handle up to 250 different measurements, 1,000 different part programs and offers connection to several type of devices with built-in drivers.