Content By Quality Digest

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Around the world, local agencies and institutions have scrambled to find personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect their essential employees from Covid-19. Not just healthcare workers, but also the men and women who to work to keep our cities and counties up and running, from emergency responders to maintenance workers.

Told by President Trump to fend for themselves, states that couldn’t find local PPE sources have signed contracts directly with overseas manufacturers or distributors claiming to represent them. Given the problems of getting it themselves or competing with the federal government for the same supplies, governors of seven Eastern states even agreed to work together on purchasing medical equipment.

Stanley Chao’s picture

By: Stanley Chao

‘Can you help me source PPEs from China?” asks a caller on the phone. I have received dozens of these inquiries since March from local governments, medical clinics, and mom-and-pop shops after hospitals and first responders began reporting massive shortages of N95 masks, latex gloves, and surgical gowns.

Suddenly, everybody and their brother thinks they know how to do business in China. They know a friend of a friend in China or a Hong Kong distributor who can buy N95 masks at $3 a pop. “We can make millions,” exclaimed another cold caller as he prodded me for some China factory contacts.

No, you won’t make millions. Just the opposite: You’ll lose your shirt. Doing business in China is not for beginners, nor is it a place to make a quick buck.

Worse yet, people may die as millions of counterfeit PPE products flood the United States. AP News reported on May 13, 2020, that hospitals, humanitarian aid organizations, and first responders received counterfeit N95 masks from China. West Virginia State Firemen’s Association President Jerry Loudin told AP, “While trusting the equipment to protect them, our members may have unknowingly placed themselves in situations that put them at further risk.”

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

It’s easy to assume that something as simple as a mask wouldn’t pose much of a risk. Essentially, it’s just a covering that goes over your nose and mouth.

But masks are more than just stitched-together cloth. Medical-grade masks use multiple layers of nonwoven material, usually polypropylene, designed to meet specific standards for how big and how many particles they can block. And they are tested and certified to determine how well they do that job.

Healthcare and other frontline workers usually use either a surgical mask or an N95 mask. Both protect the patient from the wearer’s respiratory emissions. But where surgical masks provide the wearer protection against large droplets, splashes, or sprays of bodily or other hazardous fluids, an N95 mask is designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of submicron airborne particles.

The “N95” (or “KN95”) designation means that the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks.

Argolytics’s picture

By: Argolytics

(Argolytics LLC: State College, PA) -- Following the recent release of TRENDABLE for Data Analysis, Argolytics LLC, has announced the latest addition to its suite of online quality control software: TRENDABLE for Data Collection.

TRENDABLE for Data Collection builds on Argolytics’ commitment to providing cloud-based affordable, accurate quality control software designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. Through fully customizable templates, users can collect measurements, visual defect information, and simple Go/No-Go situations from any online device. Real-time graphs and corrective action prompts allow users to easily identify trends before an out-of-spec product is made.

“This new online data collection tool will help streamline and improve data collection efficiencies on the shop floor. For those manufacturers manually collecting data with paper and pencil, TRENDABLE for Data Collection offers the opportunity to immediately begin collecting data electronically without having to integrate expensive software,” said Tamela Serensits, Founder & CEO of Argolytics.

Fake PPE On the Rise

We talk to Stanley Chao about the problems of fake personal protective equipment (PPE) hitting the market. Where is it from? Does all the blame rest with China? What you can do?

Article: This Time, It’s Not All China’s Fault 

All In Consulting

Book: Selling to China: A Guide for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Carrie Van Daele’s picture

By: Carrie Van Daele

Crossing the street or stepping backward when you encounter another person has already become a habit, as has a routine elbow bump, instead of a handshake.

And that is definitely what is needed during a health crisis. But when the time is right, as a society we must bounce back to social connectivity to prevent productivity and relationships from being forever damaged.

Humans are social beings. Sure, we have varying levels of desire for social interaction; some of us want to spend time alone, while others are more inclined to want to hang out in groups. But in one form or another, we all strive for connection with one another.

The physical distancing and forced isolation was a shock to our social system. Although it is helping the health emergency, in the long run it will hinder companies’ efforts to ramp up productivity.

During the late 1970s, I remember the Big Three automotive companies launched a “Quality of Work Life” workshop to rebuild trust between employees and their superiors after an economic downturn resulting in layoffs. The Big Three knew ramping up productivity would happen only with repaired relationships.

NVision Inc.’s picture

By: NVision Inc.

(NVision: Southlake, TX) -- Two recent projects related to personal protective equipment (PPE) completed by NVision Inc. demonstrate the growing role that noncontact scanning/measurement technologies are taking in the race to create new products and designs to minimize exposure to Covid-19.

NVision Inc., a leader in 3D measurement and engineering services for more than 30 years, has assisted medical manufacturers in a wide variety of projects over the years, from measuring and inspecting surgical scalpels to reverse engineering heart stents and orthodontic braces.

In one recent project, NVision provided engineering services to a Texas PPE manufacturer, helping accelerate the company’s production of a much-needed protective masks earmarked for medical personnel. NVision engineers 3D-scanned plaster models of the mask, using the resulting data to create a computer-aided design (CAD) file which was used to build the special tooling necessary for production.

Learn About the Power of Enact

Designed for quick configuration and rollout, the InfinityQS® Enact® Quality Intelligence platform provides a centralized view of quality and operational data. Enterprise-wide visibility enables manufacturers to support onsite and offsite workers, respond and adapt rapidly to change, and foster better, faster decisions. Watch now.

Learn About the Power of Enact
 

InfinityQS 5-25-20 F Video Banner

Gleb Tsipursky’s picture

By: Gleb Tsipursky

So many companies are shifting their employees to working from home to address the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Yet they’re not considering the potential quality disasters that can occur as a result of this transition.

An example of this is what one of my coaching clients experienced more than a year before the pandemic hit. Myron is the risk and quality management executive in a medical services company with about 600 employees. He was one of the leaders tasked by his company’s senior management team with shifting the company’s employees to a work-from-home setup, due to rising rents on their office building.

Specifically, Myron led the team that managed risk and quality issues associated with the transition for all 600 employees to telework, due to his previous experience in helping small teams of three to six people in the company transition to working from home in the past. The much larger number of people who had many more diverse roles they had to assist now was proving to be a challenge. So was the short amount of time available to this project, which was only four weeks, and resulted from a failure in negotiation with the landlord of the office building.