Content By Quality Digest

Celia Paulsen’s picture

By: Celia Paulsen

Nobody likes business to be slow. If you’re in a fast-paced world like manufacturing, seeing your machines or employees idle can drive a person insane. If you’re used to your production line working to capacity and suddenly business slows down, it can be a frustrating time.

When I was in the U.S. Army, we used our downtime to train and clean. On one occasion, we spent nearly two weeks waiting for a change of orders. By the end of the first week, every weapon, every desk, and every blade of grass was spotless. There was nothing left to clean, so we cleaned it all over again!

Over time, I learned that downtime can actually provide a good opportunity to refocus before driving forward again. It offers time to take inventory, get a little creative, and do some renovation, literally and figuratively. My personal downtime to-do list includes organizing my papers, redesigning my closet, playing with my 3D printer, replacing my stair treads, fixing that one light switch, learning something I’ll soon forget, and though you may laugh, improving my cybersecurity posture.

It’s true; I’m a cybersecurity geek. I’ve been a cybersecurity researcher at NIST since 2011 and am now detailed to NIST MEP as the cybersecurity services specialist.

L.S. Starrett Co.’s picture

By: L.S. Starrett Co.

(The L.S. Starrett Company: Athol, MA) -- The L.S. Starrett Company, a global manufacturer of precision hand tools and gages, metrology systems, and more, is offering the new MetLogix Mx200 Digital Readout (DRO) for its broad line of rugged, accurate and reliable optical comparators. Fully featured and simple to use, the DRO combines an intuitive user experience with current touchscreen conventions and a wide range of functionality.

The Mx200 is a shop-hardened digital readout. A sealed rubber keypad and durable powder-coated enclosure provide lasting performance in any environment from the shop floor to the quality control lab. Capable of optical-edge detection and crosshair measurement, Mx200 probing options are spontaneous. The exclusive EdgeLogic feature enables gesture-driven control of start and end measurement commands, minimizing the need to interact with the digital readout directly. Users simply cross the same edge twice to start and end measurements.

Jason Chester’s picture

By: Jason Chester

Even in the midst of the pandemic, product safety and quality remain critical. For many manufacturers, complex quality management systems and procedures stand in the way of agile responses and effective operational optimization. Cloud technology provides the means to dramatically simplify quality management.

If you’re like many quality pros and manufacturing leaders right now, you’re working crazy hours, possibly on a different schedule or from a remote location. You’re struggling to find new ways to get the data that operators are collecting on the plant floor and support workers as they adapt to rapidly changing demands. You’re also likely scrambling to coordinate with your plant managers and create custom reports for your executive teams.

It’s a challenging time, and if you’re lucky, you’re keeping on top of the unique demands this time has put on you. But even in the middle of this sprint, product safety and quality remain paramount.

Marposs’s picture

By: Marposs

(Marposs: Auburn Hills, Michigan) -- Marposs, a world leader in measurement and process monitoring technologies, has announced the availability of its Automatic Die Match (ADM) option, which automatically controls the die match in form or thread rolling if the dies are not aligned, as an option on its Brankamp X5 in-process monitoring systems. The ADM feature helps the operator find an optimum setting during set-up for dynamic operation at nominal machine speed. After setup, the Brankamp X5 system continuously monitors the rolling process, detecting roll backs and automatically controlling the ADM if the dies are not aligned.

In cold forming, the insertion of the blank into the forming tools plays a crucial role in process stability and reducing the potential of failures. This is particularly true in thread or form rolling with flat dies where the insertion of the blanks into the rolling tools significantly determines the quality of the forming. With ADM, the system transmits positioning information to the machine control system in the event there are changes of the vertical force signals. If the vertical force falls below the specified limit value, Brankamp X5 generates a corresponding warning message, and the adjustment is stopped and only activated again when it is exceeded again.

Tracking Covid-19

We look at several interesting articles on Covid-19 that Quality Digest has run in the past few weeks.

"Tracking Covid-19" series by Don Wheeler, Al Phadt, and Kathryn Whyte.
A look at Covid-19 using a semilog chart.

"Break the Curve and Keep It Broken" by Bill Levinson
A mathy look at R-naught and the impact of various mitigations on Covid-19

"Four Ways Companies Can Support Their Workers During the Coronavirus Crisis" by Paula Caligiuri and Helen De Cieri from The Conversation.
Four research-backed ways companies can promote employees' health and well-being during this crisis.

ASQ’s picture

By: ASQ

(ASQ: Milwaukee) -- The ASQ Inspection Division has announced the recipients of the 2020 H. James Harrington Scholarship.

This fund scholarship was created to help ASQ division members, their family or friends defray the costs associated with college expenses. Scholarship funds are dispersed to one or more deserving students in the spring of each year.

The ASQ Inspection Division’s Scholarship Committee and Division’s Management Committee congratulate all the recipients on this noteworthy accomplishment and wish them the very best in their future academic studies.

$1,500 Christoph Bernas, Carnegie, Pennsylvania

Chris will be graduating from Bishop Canevin High School in Pittsburgh in May 2020, and then will continue his studies at Penn State University in its five-year architecture program. Chris is a member of the National Honor Society and has received his school’s High Academic Honors every marking period. He is a three-year varsity tennis player and is active with numerous school clubs. He participates in the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program and is an active Boy Scout where he achieved the rank of Eagle. Though school, church, and scouts, Chris has contributed more than 100 hours per year in community service including two mission trips.

Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man’s picture

By: Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man

Story update 5/6/2020: The charts and some data have been updated to reflect the data available on the date this article was published.

During the Covid-19 stay-at-home order in Colorado, I've become increasingly frustrated by Covid-19 charts. Most of what I see are cumulative column charts, which don't give any real insight into what's going on. Are we really flattening the curve?

So I decided to use the state's Covid-19 statistics for Colorado and Denver county, and see what I could learn using control charts. Control charts have been around for almost 100 years. They use formulas to calculate control limits that encompass 99.7 percent of the data points. This makes it easy to monitor any process and detect process shifts and "out of control" conditions.


Source: https://covid19.colorado.gov/case-data Click image for larger view.

Michael Dehoyos’s picture

By: Michael Dehoyos

The amount of risk that one is exposed to when running a business is vast. Some risks may result in severe legal or financial trouble or cause the business to shut down. Mitigating these risks is a major aspect of successfully running a business.

Every aspect of a business has certain risk factors attached to it. Those who are in leadership roles within a company or organization must take the lead in risk identification and management. This article will summarize eight basic considerations for those who are responsible for risk management within their organization.

Senior employees must lead by example

The way culture is created within an organization has much to do with what those in senior positions will tolerate and what they will not. This can apply to any type of risk, whether it be personal safety, credit risk, liquidity risk, or operational risk. The leaders within a workplace set the standard for the rest to follow. Failure to set an appropriate standard will ultimately have undesirable consequences.

Leaders should be closely involved in the development, training, and implementation of risk management programs and protocols.

H. James Harrington’s picture

By: H. James Harrington

(Harrington Management Systems: Los Gatos, CA) -- H. James Harrington and William S. Ruggles have released their book Project Management for Performance Improvement Teams.

“We believe this book can be very valuable to you and your organization,” say the authors. “One of the highest failure rates and the most costly are projects that are averaging failure rates up to 75 percent in some environments. We encourage you to carefully read this book, pulling out the golden nuggets that apply to your organization.”

This book is in keeping with the latest revisions to Project Management Institute’s PMBOK and European Prince Standards. It details what continual improvement, change, and innovation are, why they are so important and how they apply to performance improvement—both incremental and transformative.

Julius DeSilva’s picture

By: Julius DeSilva

ISO 9001 certifications have seen a decline during the past two years, per data from ISO. Some say the standard has gotten too complicated with the introduction of organizational context, risk-based thinking, and the removal of mandatory documented procedures. Even a few of QMII’s clients have considered letting their certification lapse because conformity to the new standard was perceived as too complex.

To certify or not

Let’s begin by looking at the purpose of ISO 9001. The standard provides a framework for organizations looking to put in place a system that will enable them to consistently deliver products or services that meet their customers’ requirements and enhance their satisfaction. ISO 9001 certification is external validation that the system meets the requirements of ISO 9001. However, ISO 9001 allows organizations to use the standard and self-declare conformity without incurring the cost of certification. Many argue that there is no value in doing this. This is probably correct if you are implementing a system to meet a contractual or customer requirement. In these cases, certification is a requirement.