Content By Quality Digest

Gleb Tsipursky’s picture

By: Gleb Tsipursky

When was the last time you as a quality professional saw a major failure in implementing decisions? What about in project or process management? Such disasters can have devastating consequences for high-flying careers and successful companies. Yet they happen all too often, with little effort taken to prevent failure.

For example, many leaders stake their reputations on key projects such as successful product launches. However, research shows that most product launches fail. Nike’s FuelBand, launched with much fanfare in 2012, flopped on arrival. By 2014, Nike fired most of the team behind FuelBand, discontinuing this product.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Quality control and inventory control are equally important to the ongoing success of all manufacturing businesses. Both form the basis of an efficient organization that operates at high productivity levels, minimizes waste, and delivers quality products to meet or exceed consumers’ expectations.

Until a about decade ago, there were layers of quality assurance and quality control steps before products reached the end user. Along with production controls, these steps included quality controls related to warehouse operations, logistics, and inventory verification at retail stores, in order to double-check product quality and order fulfilment accuracy.

Today, more than a million small manufacturers worldwide have forgone any retail sales in favor of a D2C (direct to consumer) model, cutting out warehouse operations and retail stores. The reason is simple: margins. A jewelry manufacturer, for example, selling a bracelet for $20 online, with hard costs of $2, can realize huge profit margins by eliminating the wholesale middleman. That same bracelet would have wholesaled to retailers for $8. But now, while product quality is still a customer expectation, consumers also expect quality delivery and customer service.

Marposs’s picture

By: Marposs

(Marposs: Auburn Hills, MI) -- Marposs has announced the availability of its new data management software—C-THRU4.0, designed to collect and process data from multiple machine tools equipped with Artis machine monitoring systems via a central hub. This information can be accessed remotely, via an iPad, computer or laptop as well as offering the ability to integrate with MES and higher level ERP systems. The data collected can be used to analyze tool life, machine capability and cost comparisons, as well as alarm tracing and counts, profit and loss accounting, profitability analysis and more, all leading to enhanced productivity and profitability.

The software works by feeding real-time information from the machine tools to a cloud platform network, which can then be accessed and used in either a centralized or decentralized manner. This interconnectivity helps to optimize production flow from preventative maintenance, process stabilization, and quality assurance to resource planning.  Production costs and quality are always transparent and traceable through the statistical recording and evaluation of performance indicators.  

Dustin Poppendieck’s picture

By: Dustin Poppendieck

On August 29, 2005, I was starting my first semester teaching freshman environmental engineering majors at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. At the exact same time, Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi with 190 kph (120 mph) winds and a storm surge in excess of 6 meters (20 feet). Levees failed, flooding more than 80 percent of New Orleans and many surrounding areas. This tragedy left more than 1,800 people dead, many of whom had been trapped in their own homes. It took nearly six weeks for the water to recede, exposing more than 130,000 destroyed housing units.

I spent the rest of the semester (and subsequent ones) discussing with my students the lessons that environmental engineers should learn from Katrina and its aftermath (levees, water treatment, mold, air testing, planning for disasters, and more). Little did I know I would still be dealing with some of the issues revealed by Hurricane Katrina nearly 15 years later as a scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Helmel Engineering’s picture

By: Helmel Engineering

(Helmel Engineering: Niagara Falls, NY) -- Helmel Engineering, a 46-year-old American manufacturer of coordinate measuring machines (CMM), has introduced a new CMM developed to take advantage of the capabilities of Renishaw’s PH20 Probe concept. The Microstar Model 320-185 is an evolution of the company’s venerable Microstar line of durable mechanical bearing CMMs that are proven workhorses in labs, gauge rooms, and on the production floor.

Virtually all moving-bridge CMMs today were developed for slower probe systems that index between limited numbers of locked A-B position angles then measure with 3-axis moves. In contrast, the Renishaw PH20 Probe system with UCCT5 Controller provides true 5-axis functionality with infinite positions throughout the 230° × 360° head range in combination with the X-, Y-, and Z-axis motion of the CMM. The PH20 also includes “head-tap” mode where the probe rapidly acquires data autonomously while the CMM remains stationary.

Quality Digest 2020 Editorial Calendar

2020 Editorial Calendar

Month

Editorial Focus

January

Innovation
Product life cycle 
Lean in government

February

Measurement
Digital workplace
Product innovators

March

The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson’s picture

By: The Un-Comfort Zone With Robert Wilson

I recently wrote a column about loyalty, which got me thinking about trust. I wondered who is in my life that I trust, and who that I don’t trust. It didn’t take me long to realize that I trust everyone in my life because I shed those whom I don’t trust.

As I pondered trust, I recalled a woman I once dated, who told me she was a widow. Later on, I learned from an independent source that she was divorced and not widowed. When I inquired about this discrepancy, she admitted that she was divorced, but that her ex-husband died a year or so after their divorce, so she figured that qualified her as a widow. If she wanted to consider herself a widow, that was fine with me, but the problem was that my trust was broken, and I started questioning the veracity of all her stories. As Friedrich Nietzsche observed, “I'm not upset that you lied to me; I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.” Unsurprisingly, a month later, we were no longer dating.

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.
—Ernest Hemingway

Additive Manufacturing Technologies’s picture

By: Additive Manufacturing Technologies

(AMT: Sheffield, UK) -- Formnext 2019 opens today in Frankfurt where Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Ltd (AMT) will launch its proprietary Digital Manufacturing System (DMS). Visitors at Formnext will be the first to witness this innovative and comprehensive post processing system that completes the equation for high volume production applications of additive manufacturing (AM) through digital connectivity and full automation.

AMT will be demonstrating the capabilities of its DMS on Booth E61 in Hall 12.1.

There are myriad AM platform solutions available on the market for industrial applications of AM, many of which will be on show at Formnext this week. Despite the many advantages that AM can bring to industrial applications across various sectors, including medical, aerospace and sports equipment, to name a few; the building of the parts is only one component of the equation. Post processing those parts is also a vital component of the equation, one that can account for up to 60 per cent of the cost of the parts.

Visual Workplace Inc.’s picture

By: Visual Workplace Inc.

(Visual Workplace: Byron Center, MI) -- Visual Workplace Inc. now offers a complete line of high-performance vinyl floor symbols, ideal for the industrial workplace with heavy traffic. Floor symbols and decals create a SMART floor environment and direct behavior, adding visual organization to any environment by communicating clearly defined work areas, lanes, emergency exits, and navigation.

Visual Workplace’s peel-and-stick Floor-Mark symbols are superior in durability, maintenance, and ease of installation compared to typical tape and paint methods. Unlike painted markings that must be repainted when changes occur, Floor-Mark borders and symbols are easily removed with heat. The ultralow profile 14 mil vinyl symbols adhere firmly in place to prevent becoming a tripping hazard or being inadvertently removed by rolling vehicles. Visual Workplace Floor-Mark symbols are available in a variety of colors and shapes, complemented by the company’s line of Floor-Mark marking tapes.

Dileep Thatte’s picture

By: Dileep Thatte

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year 48 million people in the United States get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases. That means one in six people in the United States get sick from contaminated food every 12 months. These statistics are important to take note of and address because the U.S. food supply also represents a huge economic asset, contributing almost $1 trillion to the national gross domestic product (GDP) each year.