Jim Benson’s picture

By: Jim Benson

Untitled Document


From Dust Tracks on a Road, by Zora Neale Hurston (J. B. Lippincott, 1942)

The quote in the picture from Zora Neale Hurston does not end there; it finishes, “It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and they that dwell therein.”

Zora was describing something specific in her life: researching folk music while she was attending Barnard College. She started that quest by walking the grounds of Barnard and asking music scholars if they had any folk music she could listen to.

They looked at her blankly, trying to figure out what “folk music” actually meant and went back to their concertos.

Her search then took her to where folk music actually resided—sometimes putting her in unsafe or even life-threatening situations. Her research required going to the gemba. Not just reading about it.

Multiple Authors
By: Stephen M. Hahn, Anand Shah

Americans may be surprised to learn that many 21st-century medical products are still being manufactured using technologies commonly employed since the middle of the last century. These manufacturing platforms are not dynamic and can increase the risk of shortages, limit flexibility during an emergency, and contribute to the high cost of medical products.

For the past several years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sought to encourage and facilitate the adoption of “advanced manufacturing,” which refers to new and emerging approaches for the production of medical technologies. These approaches are applicable to different medical product areas. For example, process intensification methods, such as continuous manufacturing, can simplify and centralize the production of many essential medicines. Likewise, techniques such as 3D printing can help produce patient-specific medical devices. Furthermore, digital and smart technologies for designing and manufacturing processes also promise to increase efficiency and reduce uncertainty.

Emerson Grey’s picture

By: Emerson Grey

It’s Sunday night, and you decide to make a quick run to the grocery store. You grab five bananas—one for each breakfast of the work week. Then, at home, you immediately throw two of the bananas into the trash.

Who would buy fresh food and throw 40 percent of it away? Americans do, on average, every day. This 40 percent represents the overall rate of food waste in the United States. That amount of waste is the same whether you throw the bananas away immediately upon returning from the supermarket or let them brown and attract fruit flies next to the toaster. And the problem isn’t just at the consumer level; farmers, grocers, restaurants, and other businesses where food waste is rampant are huge contributors as well.

Ron Cowen’s picture

By: Ron Cowen

NIST physicist Zachary Levine doesn’t cook that often, but when he does, it can easily turn into a science experiment.

Two years ago, after he and his wife had endured a week of under-baked cookies and chicken that took forever to roast, Levine wasn’t content to simply recalibrate his oven according to the manufacturer’s directions. In attempting his own calibration, using the boiling point of water as a standard reference, Levine ended up studying the thermal physical properties of water.

More recently, Levine was back in the kitchen, boiling the contents of a frozen package of peas and carrots for dinner, when he noticed something odd: The two vegetables spontaneously parted company, with the peas generally moving to the edges of the pot while the carrots stayed put in the center. Every time Levine stirred the vegetables together—once, twice, three times, four times—they quickly separated, reverting to the same pattern in some 15 seconds.

He had to know why.

Kristopher Lee’s picture

By: Kristopher Lee

ASM International is a nonprofit professional society focused on providing scientific, engineering, and technical knowledge to its members and the materials science community. In its education and experimentation labs, it regularly works with innovative inspection solutions that have the potential to improve quality assurance in manufacturing.

One new application it’s working on is laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF), an additive manufacturing process where a laser is used to weld powdered material to form a 3D object. Think of it like 3D printing, but for metal parts. One of the challenges ASM International is studying is how to assess the quality of the 3D-printed parts.

How does laser powder bed fusion work?

The process begins with a bed of metallic powder on a base. A very fine laser selectively heats the powdered material, causing it to weld together. By creating thousands (or more, depending on the size of the part) of tiny welds in multiple layers and discarding the unused powder material, users can effectively create a 3D metal object.

Multiple Authors
By: Stewart Black, Patrick van Esch

Millions of Americans are unemployed and looking for work. Hiring continues, but there’s far more demand for jobs than supply.

As scholars of human resources and management, we believe artificial intelligence (AI) could be a boon for job seekers who need an edge in a tight labor market like today’s.

What’s more, our research suggests it can make the whole process of finding and changing jobs much less painful, more effective, and potentially more lucrative.

Make me a match

During the last three years, we’ve intensely studied the role of AI in recruiting. This research shows that job candidates are positively inclined to use AI in the recruiting process and find it more convenient than traditional analog approaches.

Tina Berger’s picture

By: Tina Berger

A manufacturing apprenticeship pilot program in Florida is taking a hybrid approach that replaces the traditional classroom element with competency-based, on-demand e-learning. It could help bring the apprenticeship career development tool into the digital age and be a breakthrough for manufacturers who are struggling to fill their skilled worker pipeline. The National Association of Manufacturers, based on a Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte study, estimates that by 2028 manufacturers will need to fill 4.6 million jobs. Unless we take the right steps now, more than half of those jobs could go unfilled due to the industry’s skills gap.

David English’s picture

By: David English

As we all become accustomed to the ongoing restrictions as a result of Covid-19, an increasing number of Brits are looking for new and innovative ways to learn and develop. From home DIY to exercise classes, there are all kinds of weird and wonderful ways the British population is making the most of the “new normal.”

What are people interested in?

With online searches for e-learning courses peaking during the week immediately after UK’s prime minister declared a countrywide lockdown, some people are using the unexpected downtime to take online courses across a wide variety of disciplines. Indeed, ISO accreditation provider British Assessment Bureau has seen a dramatic increase in interest for their online courses.

“Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak we have seen a lot more interest in our online courses, with people taking the opportunity to upskill or increase knowledge at a time when many are working from home or even furloughed,”  says David English, sales and marketing director at British Assessment Bureau.

Brookhaven National Laboratory’s picture

By: Brookhaven National Laboratory

A team of scientists working at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Brookhaven National Laboratory has designed an apparatus that can take simultaneous temperature and X-ray scattering measurements of a 3D printing process in real time, and has used it to gather information that may improve finished 3D products made from a large variety of plastics. This study could broaden the scope of the printing process in the manufacturing industry and is also an important step forward for Brookhaven Lab and Stony Brook University’s collaborative advanced manufacturing program.

The researchers were studying a 3D printing method called fused filament fabrication, now better known as material extrusion. In material extrusion, filaments of a thermoplastic—a polymer that softens when heated and hardens when cooled—are melted and deposited in many thin layers to build a finished structure. This approach is often called “additive” manufacturing because the layers add up to produce the final product.

Tom Taormina’s picture

By: Tom Taormina

Each article in this series presents new tools for increasing return on investment (ROI), enhancing customer satisfaction, creating process excellence, and driving risk from an ISO 9001:2015-based quality management system (QMS). They will help implementers evolve quality management to overall business management. In this article we look at the clauses and subclauses of Section 10 of the standard.

10 Improvement

Define “improvement.” In quality parlance it typically means reducing defects and making processes more efficient and mistake-proof. For the CFO it might be improving the return on investment numbers on the financials. For the marketing director it might be expanding market share. For the CEO it might be exceeding the expectations of the board of directors.

The theme of this series includes “presents new tools for increasing return on investment (ROI), enhancing customer satisfaction, creating process excellence, and driving risk from an ISO 9001:2015-based quality management system (QMS).” To conclude the theme, we will look at Clause 10 from a more holistic perspective.

10.1 General

10.1 and excellence

Syndicate content