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The American Quality Institute has given Dale Gordon the 2004 Leadership Award for his involvement and influence in aerospace quality.

Gordon received the award during the 12th annual International Conference on ISO 9000 and Related Standards. He has previously served as the past chairman of the American Aerospace Quality Group and was instrumental in the development and evolution of AS9100. Currently, he is an industry leader in aerospace quality management systems and is active in the International Aerospace Quality Group.

Over the past 25 years Gordon has worked in all aspects of the quality function producing products for various civil, defense and industrial aviation markets. He has held key management positions in the areas of nondestructive testing, supplier quality, quality engineering and was director of the Quality Management Program for Rolls-Royce Corp.

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By: Quality Digest

This year’s International Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Forum will be held May 17-19 in Cernobbio, Italy.

Global manufacturing companies, government research and development agencies and funding sources, leading university researchers and small- and medium-sized companies from around the world will be gathering to discuss the future prospects for collaboration and the next phase of the global Intelligent Manufacturing Systems program. The forum is the culminating event of the first 10-year phase of the IMS program, a large-scale, cost-sharing research and development initiative that involves industry, academia, research organizations and governments from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.

Attendees from around the world will discuss the technical results of IMS to date and investigate the potential for future manufacturing research, technology and applications. Sessions will be chaired by the leading minds in their respective fields and will include topics such as innovative design, quality management, modeling and simulation, virtual engineering, nanotechnology, unmanned factories, supply chain performance measures, services, lean manufacturing, education issues, intelligent devices, robots, process controls and fault detection, among others.

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By: Quality Digest

A recent Global Benchmarking Council meeting, "Leadership Development and Succession Planning," has concluded that rigorous succession planning and leadership development programs help companies ensure seamless power transitions and reassure investors and customers.

The findings of the meeting are intended to help organizations benchmark their efforts in leadership development against those of the nation’s leading companies. The conclusions from the meeting, available by clicking here, offer an opportunity to see how companies such as IBM, Dell, American Express and Thomson grow their next generation of leaders. According to the report, leaders successfully build the following initiatives:

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By: Quality Digest

Lean Quality, a methodology developed by Attensity, is gaining acceptance among automotive industry analysts, research institutions and quality experts.

The Lean Quality methodology promises to deliver increased insight into the quality chain, driving quality improvement, reducing warranty expenses and boosting customer satisfaction.

Among the early supporters of Lean Quality are representatives from leading industry organizations such as AMR Research, the American Society for Quality--Automotive Division and the Automotive Industry Action Group. "Lean Quality is likely to revolutionize the quality industry in the same way that lean manufacturing has permanently altered manufacturing processes," says Kevin Mixer, an automotive analyst with AMR Research. "Automotive manufacturers should strongly consider embracing this new methodology as a way to improve quality processes and compress root-cause cycle times."

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By: Quality Digest

Tyco International Ltd. has selected PowerSteering Software’s enterprise program management solution to support Six Sigma and lean initiatives in all five of its business units.

At full deployment, employees across the company will use PowerSteering to manage thousands of Six Sigma projects while allowing the executives at Tyco to compile a real-time corporatewide view of financial benefits, staffing and project status. In addition, PowerSteering software will facilitate best-practice sharing across business units.

"Our Six Sigma and lean program is critical to the company’s future," says Naren Gursahaney, senior vice president of operational excellence at Tyco. "PowerSteering’s solution will provide us clear visibility into our efforts, so we can ensure we are making progress and driving results on all fronts."

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Six Sigma Qualtec, a provider of performance improvement training, consulting and technology, has launched a telecommunications practice.

SSQ’s practice is designed to help traditional telecommunications providers such as Regional Bell Operating Companies, wireless phone firms and competitive local-exchange carriers. By learning and implementing improvements such as voice of the customer, business process management, Six Sigma, design for Six Sigma and lean enterprise principles, SSQ proposes to help companies increase efficiency and improve their operating procedures.

The company’s practice will initially focus on ways in which telecommunications companies can align their core processes to their customers’ requirements, improve performance and reduce their costs-per-transaction. "By using advanced practices such as voice of the customer, business process management, Six Sigma and lean enterprise principals, we will help telecom companies develop ways to increase their ability to listen to and respond to the demands of their customers," says Zachery Brice, a Six Sigma Qualtec managing partner and head of the company’s telecommunications practice.

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By: Quality Digest

The Lean Learning Center has released its Lean Learning Laboratory methodology and training program.

The program is designed to provide a framework for companies to learn, experiment and apply the rules, principles and tools of lean within a shop-floor environment. "The L3 concept is based on our experience that the application of lean within an organization can be accomplished faster and at less risk in a focused team," says Jamie Flinchbaugh, a partner at the Lean Learning Center. "It can then serve as a catalyst for broader application throughout a plant or company."

L3 involves a combination of orientation meetings, on-site training and post-training, application and reflection. Training is modular and applicable to both production and administrative applications. Subjects covered by the program include scoreboards, the Seven Wastes, Five S’s, standardized work, product process mapping, problem solving, visual management, setup reduction and pull systems.

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In an effort to increase the safety of its products, phoenix|x-ray Systems + Services Inc. has created beryllium-free targets in all of its X-ray systems with open tubes.

The new targets eliminate the potential harmful residual effects that can come from X-ray exposure to beryllium targets. They also provide an added advantage to boards and components that are succeptible to overexposure and irradiation. The new material used in the targets acts as a filter, absorbing a portion of the X-ray and minimizing potential damages to samples.

The low-dose method employed by phoenix|x-ray combined with the new targets lessens the risk of exposure to various radiations and extends quality operation. Systems featuring the beryllium-free targets are available on any phoenix|x-ray system.

For more information, click here.

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The European Commission has recognized EN ISO 13485:2003 as a harmonized standard for medical device manufacturing quality management systems for regulatory purposes under the three medical device directives, the Medical Device Directive, Active Implantable Medical Device Directive and In Vitro Diagnostics Directive.

Harmonization means that the ISO 13485:2003 standard is now formally recognized for use to demonstrate that the quality assurance requirements for CE marking of medical devices have been met. It carries a presumption of conformity with the relevant requirements of the medical device directives.

The European Commission also announced that EN ISO 13485:2000, identical to ISO 13485:1996, and EN ISO 13488:2000, identical to ISO 13488:1996, will cease to provide a presumption of conformity with relevant requirements of the medical device directives on July 31, 2006.

Source: BSI Medical Devices E-mail Update

To subscribe to BSI’s medical devices e-mail update, click here.

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By: Dave Wojczynski

The following article, the first of a two-part series, outlines the growing need for Six Sigma initiatives in the outpatient health care market. In part one, we’ll compare a series of health care-specific businesses with parallel enterprises from other industries in order to categorize the means by which all business elements can fit accurately within a Six Sigma framework. Neither article is meant to portray health care providers negatively, but rather to highlight the sector’s skill gaps at various levels of business sophistication.

Multiple skill sets

Most quality pundits agree that successful service-based organizations--whether they’re industrial, manufacturing or financial--are committed to increasing their employees’ knowledge base and core-business skill sets. This increased sophistication is a fundamental and cross-functional element within their respective cultures, and thus spans various business areas such as sales, marketing, communication, finance, accounting, customer service, operations management, process efficiency, credit, risk and collections.