Content By Quality Digest

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By: Quality Digest

(LMA Consulting Group: Claremont, CA) -- Manufacturing and supply chain expert Lisa Anderson, president of LMA Consulting Group, predicts supply chain disruptions to continue through 2023. She suggests implementing a sales, inventory and operations planning (SIOP) or sales and operations planning (S&OP) process to mitigate the swings associated with disruptions. LMA Consulting Group works with manufacturers and distributors on strategy and end-to-end supply chain transformation to maximize the customer experience and enable profitable and scalable business growth.

“You have to get in front of supply chain disruptions,” says Anderson. “For example, bring in strategic inventory stockpiles and gain available capacity before you need them. While this is simplistic, sometimes simple is what works best. When I was VP of operations with a plant in a hurricane zone, we brought in excess materials before the hurricane season because we knew supplies would be delayed if a hurricane hit. Once it hits, it’s too late.”

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By: Quality Digest

(PQ Systems: Dayton, OH) -- PQ Systems, the most recommended provider of quality software solutions, has acquired The Elsmar Cove, the leading quality forum for industry professionals.

Elsmar.com was originally launched by standards compliance expert Marc Smith in January 1996 as a free resource for industry professionals. Since then, The Elsmar Cove has evolved into the leading forum for quality and standards compliance, moderated by the world’s most experienced and influential leaders in their respective disciplines.

The acquisition will benefit PQ Systems’ software clients by connecting them with a global network of experts in specific industries, including aviation, automotive, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and medical devices. Members of the forum will benefit from PQ Systems’ decades of experience in statistical process control, gage calibration management, and measurement systems analysis.

“Making the acquisition was an easy decision because The Elsmar Cove mission is consistent with that of PQ Systems—to help industry professionals succeed in improving quality and exceeding standards,” says PQ Systems president, Beth Savage. “We are honored to build on this vibrant network of people helping people so that this growing community will continue to exchange ideas, share best practices, and overcome challenges.”

William A. Levinson’s picture

By: William A. Levinson

Ryan Day1 describes how the rise of independent auto dealers is a “gray swan” event for the automobile industry. This was not only bound to happen, as observed by the author, but also long overdue. The article states, “...current state laws prohibit OEMs from selling new vehicles directly to consumers (D2C). Selling directly would cut out the dealership franchise—the middleman—and all the associated price markup fees. This could theoretically save car buyers an alleged 30 percent of the cost of a car.”

This problem has been known for decades, and it is not something the supply chain’s value-adding stakeholders should continue to tolerate. Dealerships do not add value to the transaction, but if the 30 percent figure is correct, then $7,500 of the price tag of a $25,000 vehicle constitutes pure waste. My recommendation to consumers, as an immediate recourse in the absence of changes of the laws in question, is to game the system by waiting until the end of the model year to buy a new car. The car is still new but, as it is now last year’s model, the dealership must offer a substantial discount to get it off the lot to make room for more inventory.

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By: Quality Digest

(Fulcrum: St. Petersburg, FL) -- Fulcrum has added intelligent team automation capabilities to its Field Inspection Management platform. Intelligent team automation delivers a way for safety, quality, and maintenance inspection teams to improve productivity, operational excellence, and organization-wide performance at scale.

Fulcrum’s intelligent team automation capabilities include a complete framework for managing issues and tasks, and represents the industry’s first lightly configurable solution for streamlining safety, quality, and maintenance inspections at scale. Intelligent team automation will transform the way safety, quality, and maintenance teams perform inspections, with enhanced functionality to:
• Streamline inspections on day one by automating inspection processes out of the box and at scale
• Unify inspection teams while optimizing each role, using performance dashboards and end-to-end inspection program visibility
• Gain actionable inspection insights throughout the organization by using a single, unified view across teams and projects 

What is smart manufacturing?

If you look up "smart manufacturing," you mostly find a lot of jargon. But what does it look like to the people who use it? We talk with Paul Rogers, president of the North, South, and Central America region for Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division.

Resources:

Digital Transformation for Manufacturing

Smart Manufacturing Whitepaper: Reducing costs through virtual simulation

Anthony Tarantino’s picture

By: Anthony Tarantino

In 2007, Nassim Taleb described black swans as highly improbable events that had dramatic or even catastrophic effects on markets and economies. Until recently, it seemed that such events were indeed rare.1 There’s now a major rethinking with the world entering the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, reshoring and near-shoring of supply chains, and the first major land war in Europe since World War II.

The disruptions to fragile global supply chains are becoming more the norm than the rare exception. Such dramatic and sudden changes call for faster and more-accurate decision-making, i.e., a consensus around one data-driven source of truth.

Bhaskar Ramakrishnan’s picture

By: Bhaskar Ramakrishnan

To ensure vehicular and pedestrian safety, it’s imperative that brake discs are of superior quality to enable safe braking distances, which is a key metric. Any imperfections on a brake disc can cause safety hazards, heating of the brake assembly, and increased wear and tear. Maintaining tighter tolerances enables superior manufacturing that in turn gets better braking distances, and improved noise, vibration, and harshness (NHV) performance.

Surface defects on brake discs are currently inspected by a combination of manual and associated inspection instruments, which can result in quality escapes. Because brake discs rotate at a particularly high speed, even the smallest geometric errors on these components can lead to vibrations and an adverse NHV profile. The result is lower effectiveness and higher wear, which in turn negatively affect driving safety.

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By: Quality Digest

(Shropshire 3D: Cockshutt, UK) -- Shropshire 3D has installed 3D printing and STEM products in its 275th school, enabling thousands of school children in England and Northern Ireland to learn about additive manufacturing.

The students are gaining an understanding of engineering, CAD (computer-aided design) and measurement, and adapting essential skills for every area of manufacturing. One of the schools Shropshire 3D worked with was the Hadley Learning Community Secondary school. Natalie Stewart, the lead on STEM and computer science, delivered a two-hour session with 24 students on reverse engineering in which they were exposed to a real-world design and engineering problem.

The overwhelming interest and excitement among the students led Stewart to start the school’s STEM Club, where more than 60 students arrived at the first event. The club has visited leading manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover and the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, where students had hands-on experience with a state-of-the art 3D printer that now is aboard the International Space Station.

Equipping pupils to understand the application and potential of technology of the fourth Industrial Revolution is important to help prepare them for modern manufacturing.

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By: New Vista

‘I just want to avoid spinning gauges all day.”

We hear this from manufacturing professionals all over the world. We were discussing this recently with a manufacturer in Wisconsin that machines large quantities of threaded parts. Their customer requires them to “go” and “no-go”-verify every part. They were dealing with this requirement the way many plants do: Operators stood by and spun a gauge into every thread with their fingers. Unfortunately, this method was not only burdensome but also allowed plenty of room for operator error and repetitive-motion injury.

Our mission at New Vista is to work with manufacturers like these to provide the knowledge and tools they need to overcome thread quality obstacles, so they can stop spinning gauges with their fingers. This article, as part of that mission, presents an introduction to thread gauging.

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By: Quality Digest

(ForTest: Modena, Italy) -- A world leader in leak-testing solutions, ForTest has launched Dual Absolute T8090, a revolutionary instrument to solve the testing problems in electric car equipment for improving their performance, reliability, and efficiency.

Many parts of an electric car, such as a battery, circuits, cooling systems, and packs, are prone to leaking. To prevent user dissatisfaction and potentially severe loss, these parts must be leak-proof. Off-road vehicles, in particular, require waterproof battery packs to avoid dust from infiltrating the components and generating performance and safety problems.

For car manufacturers and suppliers, leak testing of automobile parts to improve stability and efficiency has become an important aspect of the production system. With the rising demand for electric vehicles, it has become important to conduct more leakage testing on the whole battery pack and also on charging stations. Therefore, leak-test instruments for electric vehicle components must fulfill higher performance standards.