Content By Quality Digest

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By: Quality Digest

Renishaw and its Slovenian partner, RLS Merilina Tehnika d.o.o., have allied their capabilities to produce a new range of miniature magnetic rotary encoders.

The frictionless, noncontact encoders are offered in absolute and incremental output formats. They will be manufactured by RLS in Slovenia and marketed by Renishaw’s network of 25 subsidiaries and representative offices.

To start, Renishaw is offering 9-bit (512 count) miniature magnetic encoders capable of speeds to more than 30,000 rpm with measurement accuracy better than 0.7 degrees. The units are available in industry standard absolute, incremental or linear output formats. Future developments will include higher-resolution variants.

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By: Quality Digest

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has addressed its metrologist training backlog by offering an electronic mass measurement training course.

The free multimedia CD-ROM covers NIST’s basic one-week mass metrology courses. It includes interactive activities, knowledge quizzes, examples, video demonstrations, and specialty graphics and photos for specific products. The disc is designed to introduce mass metrology to field newcomers, offer supplementary training to those seeking to refine their knowledge, and act as a refresher for experienced laboratory staff unfamiliar with the most recent measuring techniques.

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By: John Nycz

Jack Welch had a unique vision of an organization that made data-based decisions. At times his tactics for bringing this about were described as “violent,” “abrupt” and “painful,” but his methods worked. GE’s transformation is still a modern model of how to make quantum shifts in the way a huge company does business. However, most Six Sigma champions simply lack resources and/or a CEO like Welch to crack the whip. If your organization wants to change the direction of the company by creating a Six Sigma culture, the way in which you market the initiative can significantly influence how far down the road you’ll get.Brian Zempel is HSBC/Household’s national director of Household Consumer Lending. He recently presented the following assessment of cultural transformation. Companies that have undertaken Six Sigma or lean Six Sigma initiatives during the last five years basically fall into three groups:

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By: Gary Card

Coordinate measuring machines gather data by means of a probe or sensor. Conventional CMMs equipped with touch-trigger probes can use a stitch-scanning method to record point streams from part surfaces. In stitch scanning, the CMM lifts the probe head from the surface of the part, moves it slightly forward and lowers it until contact is made for every data point collected. This single-point procedure is slow and unsuitable for efficient form measurement. Analog probes for continuous scanning are designed to send an uninterrupted stream of data back to a system computer. These probes avoid the time-wasting auxiliary movements required by point-to-point measuring probes.

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By: Quality Digest

Mitutoyo America has named Kerley Corp. an exclusive dealer of Mitutoyo CMMs and vision systems in Southern California.

Kerley Corp., formed in 1979, boasts a 1,500 sq. ft. facility and a state-of-the-art showroom featuring Mitutoyo’s newest CMM and vision equipment. "Our mission is not only to provide our customers with the highest quality precision measuring equipment and software available but also with the right products for our customer’s application," says Chris Kerley, president of Kerley Corp. "We’re pleased to join the ranks of the most complete metrology houses in the country."

Kerley will handle CMM and vision products for Mitutoyo America, including software training and application support.

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By: Quality Digest

Spectra-Physics has launched a major expansion of its operations in China with the creation of a new subsidiary that provides in-country sales, service and support from its Beijing headquarters.

Spectra intends to use its new, self-contained subsidiary as a springboard to continued success in the rapidly growing Chinese market for laser systems, photonic components and OEM sub-systems. The new Beijing facility will offer a comprehensive inventory of laser spares and phonic components. A satellite operation in Shanghai will focus primarily on supporting the industrial market.

"We see China as an important, fast-growing market for products across the entire expanded Spectra-Physics brand, from simple optics and photonic components to high-performance laser systems," says Guy Broadbent, president of Spectra-Physics. "Setting up a fully integrated and self-contained operation enables us to expand our attention to the growing industrial and commercial markets, where local support and fast service and repair turnaround are particularly critical."

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By: Quality Digest

Solstice Software Inc. has released Integra Enterprise 4.0, a commercialized, enterprise-class integration testing suite.

Integra Enterprise 4.0 enables visibility and control of the messaging backbone of mainframe integration, Web services and other complex software integration projects.

"Solstice has a unique product that allows Radian to handle the special logistical challenges that are part of testing a new system," says Liz Shuttleworth, chief information officer of Radian Group Inc. "The Solstice product allows us to test our critical messaging infrastructure early, when we can really affect quality."

"The people on the front lines of integration projects are feeling the pain of actually implementing the integration," says Lori Gipp, vice president of marketing at Solstice. "Integra Enterprise provides visibility into an integration project’s logic and messaging backbone, where the bulk of work takes place."

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By: Veeco Instruments Inc.

The third quarter of this year has proven lucrative for Veeco Instruments Inc., which has received $5.6 million in orders for its Vx series atomic force profilers from semiconductor customers in Asia and Japan.

The metrology tools, used for in-line process control in 200 mm and 300 mm fabs, include one order for Veeco’s newest, high-throughput Dimension Vx 340 AFP. The Vx340 enables depth measurements for shallow trench isolation, dual damascene etch and planarity for copper, low-k and STI CMP on devices with with features as small as 65 nm. In addition, the Vx340 provides productivity enhancements in throughput with the resolution of an atomic force microscope and the long-scan capability of a profiler.

The orders for the Dimension Vx series AFPs in Asia and Japan reflect the semiconductor industry’s growing need for 90 nm nondestructive in-line metrology," says Lloyd LaComb, senior vice president and general manager of Veeco’s semiconductor metrology group. "Given this challenge, Veeco developed new versions of our Vx products with improved resolution and capability to enable users to accurately characterize and control etch and CMP processes and improve overall yields."

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By: Frank Holland

Many Americans feel like the winds of change have blown away from them. They turn out on Election Day to provide a gust that blows back to local, state and federal power centers, where the clashing breezes become tornadoes. Consequently, many citizens are left with a sticky, humid feeling of stagnation hanging in the air around them. Deep in the heart of Cajun Country, however, change is brewing. It’s bubbling up from the bottom—fermenting at the lowest levels of government and easing gradually higher. The cities of Crowley and Eunice are reinventing government by registering to ISO 9001.

Quality and crawfish: ISO invades Cajun country
Central Louisiana is an unlikely place to sow the seeds of administrative reform. Because the original regional infrastructure was heavily reliant upon the oil industry, much of the work dried up when oil companies began moving south to the Gulf Shore. A list of Eunice city officials includes monikers such as “Goose,” “Poncho” and “Brother,” and French is still spoken regularly in the twangy, rolling dialect that has come to typify the region. Eunice, like other towns its size, has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn. What separates Eunice from the rest of the herd, however, is its ability to respond to hardship.

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By Craig Cochran

Because information in document form drives nearly every action in any organization, the ability to control this information usually means the difference between success and failure. Thus, document control remains the single most critical quality assurance discipline. As with many other systems, document control is more successful if it's simple, intuitive and user-friendly. And the first step toward this end is deciding exactly which documents need to be controlled.

Documents requiring control

 "Do I need to control this document?" is one of the most frequently asked questions in organizations working toward, or maintaining, a formal management system. Given the universe of documents possibly requiring control, the question is understandable. Besides, most people would rather not control a document if they don't have to.

 The ISO 9001:2000 standard provides a quick answer to the question of what must be controlled. The first sentence of section 4.2.3 on document control states, "All documents required by the quality management system shall be controlled." This means that if a document addresses or relates to any of the issues in ISO 9001:2000, it must be controlled. Here are some questions to ask when determining whether a document should be controlled: