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April 1, 2003
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A ‘NEON’ LIGHT

Dear Editor,

I just finished reading Scott Dalgliesh’s comments in “Probing the Limits.” I want to commend him on his efforts in trying to improve the role of the quality profession in today’s business environment. My experience in this profession spans more than 25 years. I have managed and developed quality management systems, for both large and small companies, to various quality standards.

I am a passionate quality advocate. I totally agree with Scott that our profession needs to be revaluated and determined why we are considered a liability rather that an asset.

I feel like a neon advertising light. When a customer makes a visit, top management turns us quality professionals on. They boast about being ISO certified and their commitment to the quality management system. The customer leaves, top management turns the quality professional off and puts us back in the quality closet.

Scott, I look forward to reading your future articles. Thanks to Quality magazine for establishing the section called Probing the Limits and giving you the opportunity to share your experience.

Robert Swiecki
ISO Quality System Coordinator
Schneider Equipment Packaging Co.
Brewerton, NY


LONG-TERM RISKS

Dear Editor,

I have been in manufacturing for more than 20. I have seen manufacturing shift from the United States to South America, then to Asia and India. Now to China. Sooner or later we will run out of countries willing to operate at 50 cents an hour. Far more important is that we have lost so much of our manufacturing capability and know how. I am not a proponent of our service-based economy. If we lose our manufacturing capability, we lose the foundation that this country was born on. We leave ourselves open for possible downfall. The volatility of world politics no longer guarantees that the long-term future will be peaceful, and therefore, the availability of manufactured goods. In war time, what good are services going to do us? I am truly concerned, isn’t anyone else?

Michael J. Shaw
Quality Assurance Manager
Deltron Inc.
North Wales, PA


WE LET THEM IN

Dear Editor,

These Chinese manufacturers could go after most of the products we manufacture here if they knew how to gain entry into the specific markets. We open Pandora’s Box (February 2003) by giving them the entree they desperately need in sales and distribution in these markets. We do this under the banner of “cost reduction.” Little attention is given to the long-term strategic implications of these decisions.

Thanks for a thought provoking article.

Andy Kunz
VP Operations
Emergency Products Div.
Federal Signal Corp.
University Park, IL


A REVOLUTION?

Dear Editor,

Do I detect a small revolution about ISO 9000? It’s encouraging to see quality professionals speak out in Quality magazine and not just go along with the tide. However, I think the target should be Six Sigma and not ISO 9000. The only problem with ISO 9000 is that the certification requirement has made zillions of unqualified consultants rich. You should hear some of the things that my customers tell me their auditors required.

ISO 9000 is no harder to meet as a standard than is MIL-Q-9858. I question Six Sigma as a concept. Like Total Quality Management, I believe Six Sigma will end up costing the manufacturer money while not offering any improvement.

David C. Crosby
President
The Crosby Co.
Wedron, IL


NOT ‘TOLERANT’

Dear Editor,

Scott Dalgliesh’s “A Goldmine for Quality Improvement” (January 2003) is great. He has the guts to say what he knows. Engineers will be out to “tar and feather” him. I was trained by U.S. Steel in quality control in 1951 and later changed to mechanical engineering and design. I discovered that engineers are trained poorly in applying tolerances to mechanical design by their use of ANSI Y 14.5. Tolerances determine the range within which quality may vary between too big and too small, too thin and too fat, and too tight and too loose. Engineers do not know how to select tolerance values nor how to optimize those ranges and achieve lowest possible cost within acceptable quality. Tom Berilla (Retired)

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