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Six Sigma Qualtec has released the latest version of its SixNet Intelligence System, SixNet v. 2.7.

The upgraded version of SixNet offers users more flexibility to control the methodologies, configurations, tools and templates associated with Six Sigma projects. The application fully integrates deployment management, knowledge management, e-learning and an online reference center within a single portal.

SixNet v. 2.7 is available in two formats, via enterprise license or software service license. It enables companies to implement the modules they want for their projects without requiring additional vendor customization. The new version also addresses one of the key frustrations expressed by companies engaged in Six Sigma implementations; a recent survey of more than 40,000 Six Sigma practitioners revealed that 60 percent are dissatisfied with the way they were able to track progress made across their Six Sigma projects.

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The metrology division of Leica Geosystems has successfully completed a landmark data collection project with Caterpillar Inc.

The four-day project captured a D9 bulldozer’s track-in-motion data as well as other important 3-D coordinate data derived from the bulldozer’s surface and movement. This unique data acquisition project generated 123 channels of data collected simultaneously from instruments fixed to the ground, moving with the tractor chassis and more than 40 channels of two-stage telemetry data rotating with the track. Caterpillar engines will ultimately use the data to create detailed 3-D dynamic models to perform analysis, predict traction performance, and evaluate new and existing product designs.

Two Leica LTD800s were used to measure simultaneous forces exerted on the bulldozer track shoe. At the same time, they measured displacement (position and angle) of the track shoe to the ground. The first laser captured X, Y and Z coordinates while the second tracker captured the pitch and roll of the track shoe.

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IBS America Inc. will leverage technology from Trilog Group Inc. to expand its QSi Web system from Lotus Notes and Domino to open platforms, the company announced this week.

The QSi Web system is a Web-based platform independent solution that helps organizations comply with and document a growing array of internally and externally imposed regulations. In addition, the solution bridges the gaps between important enterprisewide departments, such as customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and quality management.

“Compliance and quality management initiatives succeed when they effectively link multiple groups—quality, manufacturing, sales and others—across the enterprise,” says Matthias Grossman, CEO of IBS America. “Trilog’s FlowBuilder enables us to quickly and cost-effectively port the QSi Web system to open systems. Now our customers can scale their compliance solutions to integrate with any other information system in the enterprise.”

Trilog’s FlowBuilder 3.0 provides Java developers with a higher level of development framework with “Domino like” capabilities for creating collaborative core business process solutions.

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The National Association of Homebuilders recently recognized two of its member companies for their successful quality and customer satisfaction pilot programs.

The trade association certified Grayson Homes and KB Home’s Las Vegas division under its new National Housing Quality Program pilot Certified Builder Initiative. The NAHB’s Research Center reports that it performed an exhaustive audit of the companies’ quality assurance system and found them to be in top form. Other builders participating in the pilot NHQ Certified Builder program are also working toward registration by the end of the year, the association reports.

“I am excited about how the NHQ Certified Builder program is developing and am confident that its implementation on a national scale will bring about greater efficiencies for participating builders and even higher rates of customer satisfaction,” says Michael Luzier, NAHB Research Center president. “I’d like to thank the participants in this ongoing pilot program. They are industry leaders whose partnership continues to be a vital part of program development and the evolution of quality assurance in homebuilding.”

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The Society of Manufacturing Engineers recognized several of its members for their achievements in manufacturing, education, science and technology at its annual awards banquet in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 11.

“We are pleased to honor the considerable contributions of these manufacturing leaders to advance manufacturing excellence worldwide,” says Richard C. Peters, SME president. “Their ingenuity in learning new ways to manufacture, leading technological innovation and implementing lean strategies will help secure the future of manufacturing.”

The following SME members received the awards:

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IOtech’s new PC-based data acquisition and instrumentation catalog includes five new product platforms.

The offerings include the ZonicBook 618E family of Ethernet-based portable vibration analysis and monitoring systems, which are available with five software packages tailored to specific vibration measurement and analysis applications. Featured are the Daqboard/1000, a series of low-cost, high-performance PCI data acquisition boards; the DaqLab/2000, a series of Ethernet-based data acquisition instruments for bench-top and laboratory measurement applications; DaqScan/2000, a series of Ethernet-based components for automatic test system applications; and the DaqBook/2000, Ethernet-based portable data acquisition systems supported by more than 40 signal conditioning and expansion options.

For more information or to order the free catalog, go to www.iotech.com/prcat04.

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Blue Mountain Quality Resources Inc. recently added a training facility to its offices in State College, Pennsylvania.

The new facility is designed to accommodate up to six trainees and offers leading-edge technology and equipment specifically for calibration manager training.

“The training facility was built to meet customer needs,” says Jim Erickson, president of Blue Mountain Quality Resources. “We can have smaller, more frequent, hands-on training classes at the convenience of our calibration manager users.”

In addition, Blue Mountain provides regional training across the country, as well as on-site training at customer facilities. All of the calibration manager training provides users the skills and tools to use the software for optimal productivity. The company’s staff guides trainees through each functional element in an instructional format that reflects everyday use.

For more information, go to www.coolblue.com.

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The Registrar Accreditation Board and Hydrogen Safety LLC have agreed to mutually develop and launch a new professional program to certify workers as hydrogen safety specialists.

Candidates will have to undergo a series of classes and testing on the management, generation, use, storage and/or transport of liquid or gaseous hydrogen to receive the certification. The new program represents a departure from the RAB’s traditional industry role as a certifier of management system auditors. Hydrogen Safety will assist the RAB in developing the pilot program, which will be initiated within six months.

“In developing this new certification program with Hydrogen Safety, RAB is responding to the need for more independent evaluation and validation of safe practices in the use of hydrogen as a fuel,” says Robert H. King Jr., RAB president and CEO. “The need for such a program has recently gained traction with the emergence of existing and planned public hydrogen refueling depots for fuel-cell demonstration vehicles and with the increasing number of stationary fuel-cell generators.”

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TUV America will host a series of Webinars aimed at giving quality professionals valuable insights into quality management systems.

The online seminars, which last 90 minutes each, allow participants to join a live Web cast of subject material in their own offices. The next quality-related Webinar, Principles of ISO Management System Integration/Transition: ISO 14001:1996 into ISO 9001:2000, will be held on June 23 at 1 p.m., EST.

The company will also host three Webinars focusing on ISO standards related to medical device quality systems. Overview of ISO 13485:2003 will examine the standards’ relationship to ISO 9001 and its implications in various countries. It will be held on three dates this fall: Sept. 9, Oct. 12 and Nov. 22. All three Webinars begin at 1 p.m. EST.

Online registration is available. For more information, click www.tuvamerica.com/webinars.

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As a result of its acquisition of Entela Inc., Intertek Group LLC will now maintain registrations for Entela’s non-automotive clients.

The change will become effective with clients’ next regularly scheduled surveillance audit. Certificate holders will not need to do anything differently due to the change, and certificates will be revised to reflect the new name by Aug. 15.

As part of the buy-out, Entela’s name was changed to Intertek ETL Entela Automotive Certifications, and will now service only automotive supply chain clients. Intertek System Certification will provide services to Entela’s non-automotive related clients. The restructuring of registrations will provide targeted services to Intertek/Entela clients.

“We look forward to working with the non-automotive clients of the former Entela QSRD,” says Andre Forcier, vice president of Intertek Systems Certification, North America. “Combining these groups will strengthen our ISO 9000 presence in the Midwest. The transition will be seamless for all clients.”