Content By Quality Digest

Automakers not prepared for pivot to EV

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence research shows that only 8 percent of automakers recognize current business models as too slow to meet incoming ICE bans. We talk with Keith Perrin, Senior Director of Digital Transformation for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

No matter which quality management methodology, technique, or fad du jour you chose during the past 40 years, from quality circles to TQM to Six Sigma, all had one thing in common: data. In manufacturing this eventually meant measurement data. Whether it was dimensional, time, temperature, frequency, pressure, or some other metric, somewhere in manufacturing somebody used measurement equipment to verify the quality characteristics of the part being manufactured. This person was typically a specialist either by profession or experience.

This specialization prevented the goal of modern quality, which is that quality is everyone’s job. How can a manufacturing employee be part of quality if they can’t measure their own work or verify the parts they’re assembling? And yet, that’s the way it’s been since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Assemblers assemble and testers test. Yes, eventually line workers got go/no go gauges, snap gauges, and some simple dimensional tools, but assembly complexity grew faster than the ability of the tools used by the average worker. It’s like giving a carpenter a stack of precut lumber, a box of nails, plans for a house… but no measure.

Consumers want more from their brands

Consumers want more from their brands than just good quality and prices. They also want to know that their favorite brands consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects. We talk to Mark Schissel, COO for Herbalife Nutrition, about the importance of ESG.

Related article: "A Transparent Supply Chain and Its Impact on People, Our Planet, and Our Businesses"

Henrik Hulgaard’s picture

By: Henrik Hulgaard

As customer demands for more customization and choice increase, the complexity of products and associated product design, manufacturing, and sales processes also increase. Product life cycles are also getting shorter, requiring a constant flow of new products with high-value features and capabilities.

This challenges product design and engineering processes to become leaner, faster, and more inclusive. Addressing and managing complexity is a key success factor. The challenge can be tackled using a three-pronged approach that includes increased collaboration, greater integration, and the use of a configuration life-cycle management system.

Integrating key IT systems

One of the most significant hindrances to companies today is their siloed systems. You might have a product life-cycle management (PLM) system in the engineering department, a customer relationship management (CRM) system on the sales side, and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system on the manufacturing side. These different systems often don’t talk to one another.

The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson’s picture

By: The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson

During the past decade, I’ve seen several dozen variations of the following urban legend posted online:

A large oceangoing ship stalled at sea when its engine broke down. None of the shipboard maintenance crew could repair it, so the shipping company helicoptered a consultant out to the stranded ship. The grizzled old ship mechanic with 40 years experience carefully inspected the engine from top to bottom. He then took a small hammer from his tool bag and gently tapped the engine, which immediately roared back to life. He then told the ship’s captain, “That will be $20,000.” “What?!” cried the captain, “You hardly did anything. I demand a detailed bill.” The mechanic jotted briefly on a scrap of paper and handed it to him. It read: Tap with a hammer: $2; knowing where to tap: $19,998.

I believe this story is so popular because it resonates with people who are still paying their dues and looking forward to the day when they, too, will have mastered the skill set necessary to do a job with ease and aplomb while receiving the big bucks.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

(Exact Metrology: Cincinnati) -- Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company and a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, recently used blue-light scanning technology to mass produce celebrity-themed soaps. These soaps will be sold by a nonprofit for charity.

Blue light scanning, a form of structured light scanning technology, operates by using a combination of projector, camera and a lens system. By using a projector, a pattern of light is created and the shadowed, dark areas on the object get measured for data collection. The scanner utilizes optical noncontact technology to capture millions of accurate points in a single fast scan.

Gleb Tsipursky’s picture

By: Gleb Tsipursky

Any association would love a member-retention rate of 75 percent. Unfortunately, according to a 2017 report cited in the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) publication, Associations Now, retention rates for all associations are falling. While in 2016, 73 percent of associations surveyed in the report had member-retention rates above 75 percent, in 2017 only 65 percent reached that rate. The numbers for new members are even lower, given the consequences of the pandemic.

Certainly, these numbers are concerning. Yet statistics make it hard to grasp the lived experience of new members. So let me share the story of someone who recently joined, and then left, an association.

A new-member story

Sharon recently graduated from college, secured a quality position, and joined a national association of more than 30,000 members. Her main reasons for joining:
• Becoming part of a community of peers
• Networking with others
• Accessing vetted learning opportunities

She got a useful welcome email with resources from the association. She appreciated the discounts on webinars, her preferred method of learning as an introvert.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

(Vision Engineering: New Milford, CT) -- Vision Engineering announces the launch of VE Cam, a new, simple-to-use compact digital microscope for a wide range of applications at APEX 2022. The VE Cam digital microscope was launched at Productronica 2021 in Munich and makes its North American debut at APEX Booth 2917 in San Diego in January 2022.

VE Cam is available in two variants with differing fields of view (FOV). VE Cam 50 (50 mm FOV) and VE Cam 80 (80 mm FOV) offer the power, speed, and efficiency of digital imaging in a compact package. Packed with new and established features that are available on Vision Engineering’s EVO Cam ll, the VE Cam enables users to do more within a smaller footprint making it ideal for many routine inspection tasks. The VE Cam is standalone and does not require a PC, keyboard, or mouse. With Wi-Fi screen sharing, results can be shared wirelessly to smart devices and displays with screen mirroring.

Enhanced productivity features include 10 user programmable presets, six hotkeys for instant one-touch access to most commonly used presets, and a configurable interface that allows most commonly used settings to be shown direct on the screen.

Kate Zabriskie’s picture

By: Kate Zabriskie

They’re with me, I just know it, at least I think they’re with me... OK, maybe not. Oh no! They’re gone. Well, thank goodness that’s over!

Has that happened to you? How about the following:

• I addressed this issue 30 minutes ago. How did they forget so soon? They have minds like sieves—easy in and easy out. Frustrating!

• He seemed surprised when I called on him. It’s his area of expertise. He kind of recovered, but imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t known the topic. Frankly, it wasn’t a great moment for either of us.

Too often, trainers, facilitators, and speakers think people are with them and retaining information, but in truth, they’ve misheard, drawn incorrect conclusions, taken mental vacations to the Bahamas, or worse.

Fortunately, fixing those problems isn’t as tough as it may initially seem. When used consistently, anchors, signposts, echoes, and loops can help improve the clarity and stickiness of a message. These four devices help people find their way to understanding the message, hear instructions or key messages more than once, and recall earlier messages.

Sabine Terrasi’s picture

By: Sabine Terrasi

In intralogistics, there has been a real hype about robotics for some years now, whether in trade journals or at fairs. Most of them are classic six-axis articulated robots that are looking for their way out of a production environment and into logistics. The goal: fully automated small-parts picking.

The main driver here is the labor shortage, and the big challenge isn’t a technical component like the robot or the gripper, but the design of an overall economic process. Because robots can handle only a portion of the items in each assortment, there are parallel streams of goods and thus possible risks with regard to the flow of goods, inventories, synchronization, and consolidation.

The “autopick” picking robot from psb intralogistics GmbH in Pirmasens, Germany, meets this challenge. At its core, the fully automated solution for picking individual items consists of a robot with gripper, the IT network for the entire system, and a powerful image-processing system that’s equipped with two Ensenso 3D cameras from IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH.