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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.

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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.

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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.

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By: Quality Digest

(Nordlocker: Panama) -- The human element remains the weakest link in cybersecurity, as an annual report reveals that 85 percent of all data breaches are in one way or another caused by an employee. As digital technologies become essential in modern organizations, no industry is safe from cybercriminals exploiting their weak spots.

“Identifying where the risks lie is a good start,” says Oliver Noble, an expert in cybersecurity risk management at NordLocker, an encrypted cloud service provider. “But organizations also need to invest in cybersecurity awareness campaigns that address specific risks.” Below, he lays out how security-oriented work culture is put into practice at NordLocker and encourages other companies to implement a similar approach.  

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By: Bryce Austin

There were seven people seated around the table: The CEO, the VP, the CFO, the special agent from the FBI, the owner, the forensics technician, and the company’s CISO (chief information security officer).

“Don’t pay,” was the CEO’s vote. Same for the VP.

“Pay it,” was the owner’s response. The CFO nodded in agreement.

“Paying could be a violation of Federal law,” stated the FBI representative.

The CISO had a hard time getting words out, as this was the largest ransom that he had dealt with at the time. $1.2 million was a lot of money. “I don’t see another option given the status of our backups,” he said. “Either we pay the ransom, or we begin liquidating the assets of the company as soon as possible. Which is the lesser of two evils?”

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By: Quality Digest

(Marposs: Auburn Hills, MI) -- Marposs, a leader in measurement, inspection, and test technologies, has announced its NVH Gear Tester for identifying potential gear defects at the component level prior to gear box assembly. The NVH gear tester, which works on the single-flank testing principle of one master gear meshing with the component under inspection, is able to detect macro-geometry (e.g., nicks, runout) and micro-geometry (gear-mesh excitation, ghost orders) defects that cause gear whine and noise phenomena.

With electrification of the automotive industry, many hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and full electric vehicle (EV) drivetrains are facing challenges such as increased NVH requirements in high-speed e-Drives. And, although the number of gear wheels is significantly reduced in electric vehicles due to the use of one- or two-speed reducers instead of the classic manual, automatic, or twin-clutch gearboxes, these gear wheels are loaded with torque and rpm not previously found in high-volume production.

With hybrids and EVs, the noise from an internal combustion engine (ICE) is intermittent or nonexistent, so that transmission makes the most dominant vehicle noise. Noise, therefore, becomes not only a mechanical issue for the performance of the transmission, but also a comfort issue for the driver.

How companies should respond to vaccine mandates
CEOs are facing many questions from employees when it comes to their rights and safety in the context of vaccine mandates and other issues. How should companies respond? We talk with James Bailey, Hochberg Professor of Leadership at George Washington University.

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By: Quality Digest

(EASE: Mission Viejo, CA) -- Ease Inc., a leading provider in plant floor audits and insights software for manufacturers, has announced the 2021 Champions for Quality Award winners. In this fourth year of the awards there were a record number of nominations from across multiple countries and continents.

Often quality professionals don’t get much attention until something goes wrong: a rise in defects, scrap or re-work, a major quality escape or customer complaint. The Champions for Quality Awards aim to recognize the people who are behind building a culture of quality and building long-lasting quality processes which positively impact the bottom line.

The Champions for Quality Awards combine public award nominations from manufacturers around the world with insight-driven awards from the EASE plant floor audit platform. The awards recognize individuals, specific manufacturing facilities, and entire organizations across a range of categories.

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By: Quality Digest

(ABB: Zurich, Switzerland) -- Global technology company ABB is providing a package of metals industry-specific digital-ready solutions, including drives, controller, and converter infrastructure, to enable Global Steel Wire (GSW), part of CELSA Group, to modernize operations at its Santander steel mill.

GSW manufactures and brings to market a range of steel products, including wire rod, cables, and ropes. Its high-quality steel cables are used extensively in the automotive industry as well as in mattress springs. The steelmaker had been exploring the use of digital technologies to optimize its rolling wire production and will now benefit from the expertise and metals industry domain knowledge of ABB.

As part of the contract, ABB will provide its medium voltage drives for high power applications, MEGADRIVE-LCI, together with AC 800PEC controllers. MEGADRIVE-LCI is an advanced type of converter that enables variable speed control and soft starting of large synchronous machines for many industrial applications. The technology will deliver reliability using a fuseless drive design and robust thyristor components, which enable fast and successful start up. The demand-based medium voltage drives will result in optimized power consumption and higher process efficiency.

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By: Arron Angle

I just received and read the “2021 ASQE Insights on Excellence Executive Brief.” The brief examines how quality initiatives are progressing in the digital era, based on the views and experiences of 542 executives and quality professionals from global enterprises. Here we go again, I thought.

Yes, technology drives change, change drives new quality issues, and new quality issues drive quality professionals to come up with new quality performance metrics and enhancements. I’ve read these same platitudes for years. We believe that systemic issues of quality can be solved with new programs, new spreadsheets, or new ways to calculate quality performance. Obviously, some of the solutions hit the root cause of a specific issue. But the systemic factor, which has always been present and is at the heart of all matters of quality as technology drives change, is management.

Management in most companies is the root cause of not keeping up with technology or the market, or the generational changes needed as younger employees are hired. It’s all about culture and behaviors. As an example, let’s compare and contrast safety and quality.