To complement something is to make it complete; to make it perfect.
Although it can be subjective, there are plenty of examples out there. When we think of it in terms of food, we think of peanut butter and jelly or a burger and fries. Some might even say nothing goes better together than a beer and a ballgame.
In biology, the immune system acts as what’s referred to as a complement system with antibodies and cells working together to free the cell of pathogens.
But when it comes to manufacturing, quality is the pure definition of complement. Implementing quality control into a manufacturing process helps ensure that the product being produced is perfect…complete…free of defects.
In this month’s pages of Quality, we profile the breakdown and analysis of our annual state of the profession research. The survey highlights, among other things, the complementary relationship between the investment in the tools that ensure quality control and the people with the knowledge and experience to use those tools to produce the perfect product, to complete a manufacturing process with zero defects.
According to the state of the profession research, 39% of companies have increased the size of their quality staffs in the past year, compared to 49% that kept their staffs the same and 12% that decreased the size of their quality staff.
Just about mirroring the numbers for staffing, 41% of companies plan to increase their commitment to resources, or their purchase of tools and equipment, in the next year, while 52% expect to stay the same and 7% expect to decrease their equipment purchases.
Of those planned purchases, gages top the list of resource investment. Fifty-six percent of respondents expect an increase in gages, which include air, bore, thickness and thread gages, while 33% predicted more investment in measurement software, and 29% in coordinate measuring machines.
The list also included other measurement equipment such as form and geometric, laser, video, and surface finish, gear, and shaft measurement equipment as well as optical comparators and measuring microscopes.