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Help is just a click away for executives, engineers or anyone else looking for an accredited lab to perform vital testing services.

Launched in June, the Web site www.accreditedlaboratories.com lists labs accredited by A2LA, ACLASS, LAB, NVLAP and NQA-LS, among other state and federal accreditation bodies. The Washington D.C.-based company was created to fill the increasing demand for organizations seeking accredited labs, and to make that search easier and less expensive, says David Stuart, the company’s executive vice president.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for users of laboratory services as well as the laboratories themselves,” Stuart says. “I grew frustrated having to search all over the Internet for an accredited laboratory, but now laboratory users can save valuable time and resources, not to mention they can compare costs by having a searchable database of laboratories for every need.”

The Web site lists laboratories by type of accreditation, name, location and keyword. For more information, visit www.accreditedlaboratories.com.

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Global purchasing executives from DaimlerChrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. will speak about the importance of collaboration between automakers and suppliers at the Auto-Tech conference on Sept. 1.

Speakers include Thomas W. Sidlik, DaimlerChrysler Corp. executive vice president of global procurement and supply; Thomas K. (Tony) Brown, Ford Motor Co. vice president of global purchasing; and Bo. I. Andersson, General Motors Corp. vice president of worldwide purchasing, production control and logistics. The speakers will participate in a panel discussion and take audience questions.

Auto-Tech 2004 is organized by the Automotive Industry Action Group and will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at the Cobo Conference Center in Detroit. This year’s theme is “Driving Performance Together.”

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The National Committee for Quality Assurance recently announced that it plans to establish a new certification program for Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set software.

Many types of organizations use the HEDIS software to meet specialized data reporting and quality improvement needs. NCQA’s limited software certification program will validate the system, thus streamlining audit processes.

“In terms of certification, one size no longer fits all,” says Mary Braman, NCQA’s director of licensure and certification. “A growing number of companies don’t provide results for the full HEDIS set because they specialize in particular clinical conditions or regional requirements. This new certification program addresses the needs of companies that report results for specific health care segments.”

The program is based on NCQA’s full HEDIS software certification program, which verifies that commercial products compiling full sets of HEDIS scores do so accurately. Many of the industry’s leading software vendors have already been certified under the current program.

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StatSoft will hold a training seminar for its STATISTICA software program in Toronto, Aug. 12-13.

The course is designed to instruct participants on how to take advantage of the software’s numerous statistical and graphical tools. Step-by-step examples will be given on how to enter and manipulate data (including importing from other file formats such as spreadsheets), perform complete statistical analyses, interpret tabular and graphical results and create and customize many graph types. The course costs $800. The registration deadline is July 19.

StatSoft plans to take the training seminars to various U.S. cities this year. For more information, visit www.statsoft.com.

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After he’s done with his daily duties as an electronics manufacturing service engineer, Bill Clarke uses his skills in creating workstations and computers to re-create a piece of American history.

Clarke uses CoCreate Software’s OneSpace Designer Modeling solution to model the U.S.S. Constitution, the fabled “Old Ironsides” built in the 1790s. He’s worked since 1995 as a volunteer draftsman, recreating master drawings of the Constitution’s design that have either been lost or need to be duplicated for the historical record. Each of the detailed drawings--all of which are created electronically--take hundreds of hours to render. In the nearly 10 years he’s been working on the project, Clarke has logged more than 3,500 hours on the effort. His completed drawings are included in the national archives in Washington, D.C., as well as naval periodicals.

Clarke says Designer Modeling’s unique features make creating the drawings simple. The program offers history-free, or dynamic, modeling different from other 3-D CAD software products.

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Representatives from 14 countries, along with Alan Bryden, ISO’s secretary-general, met in Kazakhstan last month for the 25th session of the Interstate Council of the Euro-Asian Standardization Cooperation.

Bryden delivered a speech on “International Standards in the Global Economy” and gave a joint press conference with the EASC’s chairman and president of KAZMEMST, Kazakhstan’s committee for standardization, metrology and certification. The group has been Kazakhstan’s ISO representative since 1994.

Bryden encouraged Kazakhstan’s public authorities and economic leaders to increase their participation in international standardization, which would increase their country’s economic competitiveness and development. He welcomed Kazakhstan’s current projects to adjust its legal framework for technical regulations, as well as its initiative to build up the country’s infrastructure and promote quality in goods and services. Bryden hopes these efforts will improve the case for Kazakhstan to eventually join the World Trade Organization.

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Caterpillar Inc. and StatSoft Inc. are collaborating to develop and market software solutions for the modeling, optimization and simulation of complex manufacturing processes.

The software will be based on the integration of Caterpillar’s analytic processes with StatSoft’s STATISTICA enterprise analytics software. StatSoft will market and support the software package beginning late this year or early next year.

Caterpillar’s analytic processes are used to effectively simulate, predict and optimize the outcome of complex manufacturing processes. The software solutions are expected to allow organizations to:

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Pilgrim Software, a provider of enterprise quality and compliance management solutions, announced recently that Genzyme Corp. has successfully implemented Pilgrim’s SmartCAPA solution at its Framingham, Massachusetts facility.

Prior to implementing SmartCAPA, Genzyme, a global biotechnology organization, managed nonconformances and deviations using only paper-based solutions. While the system was adequate for maintaining the CAPA process, it was time-consuming and inefficient.

“A solution like Pilgrim’s SmartCAPA system allows continued management oversight into quality and compliance issues as Genzyme maintains its rapid growth,” says Bennett Green, senior vice president of quality operations for Genzyme. “We are pleased to see the successful implementation of SmartCAPA at our Framingham facility.”

SmartCAPA is a Web-based nonconformance and deviation management solution built on Microsoft .NET technology. The system will function as a single CAPA platform, procedure and database for Genzyme that will capture and categorize all CAPAs by location, product, system, noncompliance and other relevant categories.

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Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology and the Italian company Coord3 recently reached an agreement to develop and distribute bridge-type coordinate measuring machines.

Both companies hope the deal will increase their profit shares in the competitive industry. For Carl Zeiss, it also presents an opportunity to close a gap in its portfolio and offer customers already familiar with the company’s many other products in the life sciences, health care and semiconductor industries additional products for large part inspection in the aerospace and car body industries.

The joint venture encompasses mid-range Coord3 bridge-type CMMs, and will bring together Coord3’s decades of experience in mechanical engineering and Zeiss’ knowledge of sensors, control systems, and the CALYPSO and HOLOS software.

The companies have announced their intention to sign an OEM agreement. This will enable Coord3 to manufacture and market a new generation of Carl Zeiss technology--particularly controllers, sensors and software, says Rainer Ohnheiser, Carl Zeiss president and CEO.

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The Quality Group recently entered into an agreement with the authors of the best-selling Memory Jogger series and Sailing Through Six Sigma to supply content for TQG’s online e-learning solutions.

Over the past decade and a half, Michael Brassard and Diane Ritter have authored and edited 10 books in a dozen languages, with cumulative sales of more than 8 million. At the same time, TQG has been developing e-learning architectures that allow enterprising customers to quickly and cost-effectively brand and customize content from existing materials, create online universities, manage students and measure learning. The new alliance, says TQG CEO Rob Stewart, is an effective partnership.

“We are excited about the potential for this relationship,” says Stewart. “By working with Brassard & Ritter, our e-learning customers will have ‘just-in-time’ access from any screen within our existing courseware. The Brassard & Ritter content is a significant step forward toward our goal of delivering world-class e-learning solutions that drive bottom-line results.”