Students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have been measuring the surface of a highly abrasive material to create a kind of topographic map. The work, being undertaken at the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s surface metrology laboratory, is part of an effort to develop the deepest understanding yet of how abrasive materials work.
In modern manufacturing plants, people still seldom attach importance to hypothesis testing, which they believe is merely a matter of theory. However, the application of hypothesis testing in quality management should be promoted.
First Technology Safety Systems Inc. (FTSS, Plymouth, MI), maker of crash test dummies and computer crash simulation models for automotive, military and aerospace applications, uses the HandHeld laser scanner from NVision Inc. (Coppell, TX) to ensure the accuracy of its crash dummies.
Born July 15, 1848, Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist, theorist and sociologist. Pareto is chiefly known for his influential theory of ruling elites. Also, he is generally credited as the father of a diagnostic tool used by all who apply the very rudiments of quality analysis.
During his recent presentation at the 2009 Quality Measurement Conference, Ted Doiron of NIST called gage blocks, “a zombie technology.” He defined this as, “a dead technology given a semblance of life, but awkward and inefficient, by a supernatural force (human inertia) usually with evil (costly) effects.”
Ask any machinist how statistical process control (SPC) helps him manage his processes. The response is not likely to be positive. It is not uncommon for control charts to be placed around machines and other equipment, showing a history of how certain process parameters or key process characteristics (KPCs) have been performing.
Efficiently managing processes is key to the success of a business. That is all the more true in this tiring economy. An early step in process management is identifying and documenting the main processes. A powerful visual tool, process mapping has been in use for many years.