Today's fast-paced lifestyle can leave little time for attending classes to brush up on work-related skills. The World Wide Web offers a variety of outlets for upgrading skills, from online courses to training books, CD-ROMs and videos that can be ordered online. This month's Web site review looks at sites with information on how to get training using the Internet, CD-ROMs, videos and books. Taking classes just got easier. This Web site is the Manufacturing Management and Technology Institute. On the home page, a visitor will find links to News, Courses, MMIT store, Bookstore, Who We Are, Services, Resources, Guest Book and Discussion. Moving the mouse over any of these links activates a pull-down menu. Click Courses. Visitors can then scroll down the page to read an Overview, Course Outlines, Schedule and Feedback. Overview gives a brief explanation of the course content. Courses focus on lean manufacturing. On the home page, click Resources for a guide to sources of hardware devices used in lean manufacturing, industry associations and Commercial sites related to lean production. Under Discussion, visitors can post or search articles or reply to an article. "Your key to online learning." This Web site is designed to help visitors find the best courses, programs and schools. On the home page, there are linked tabs with topics such as Courses, Degrees, Schools, Professional Development, E-Learning, Info, Education Tools and Help. Either click the tabs at the top of the page or click the linked words on the page to navigate to different areas in this site. Click courses, then click Engineering. Engineering courses available range from aerospace and automobiles to manufacturing and materials. Click Manufacturing and a course list with the school offering the courses comes up. This site is good for those interested in pursuing further education in the industry, or just as a re-source reference for the purchase of class materials. The Training Registry Web site is a directory of training courses, trainers, training products, classroom and training facility rentals, business and consulting services, professional speakers and books. On the home page are links to the different pages in this site. A visitor can also use the sidebar to navigate to the different pages. Click Training Courses. A page with different category links comes up. Then click on a category such as Engineering or Manufacturing. Follow the instructions at the top of the page; either choose a topic name or click Quick Navigation for a list of topics and categories. For training software, audio tapes, learning games and assessment tools, click Training Products. For a directory of trainers, click Training Providers. Training Facilities has a listing of facilities available for training and conference-related events. Bookmark for later use. Manufacturers Alliance is a Minnesota-based association that provides manufacturers with peer-to-peer education and resources. On the home page, click Training. Visitors within driving distance can attend the supervisory training series highlighted on the page. For those not able to take advantage of the regional training, courses can be taken via the Internet. Scroll down the page and click Online Courses under New, Convenient Online Training for Manufacturers. This will bring up a home page for Online Courses. Once in the Online Courses, click Courses either on the sidebar or in the middle of the page. Choose a department such as Large Business/Management Courses. Browse the list of course titles. Clicking on a course title such as Total Quality 1 will bring up a brief course description, course requirements, syllabus and instructor. To register, click the link at the bottom of the page. For a demonstration of an online course, click Demo on the sidebar or Course Demonstration in the middle of the page. On the Association home page, there are other areas to browse. For a listing of programs and events, click Programs and Events. Technical Re-sources gives a list of links to various standards sites. This site has some good information.

Site to Hide
Which company was the first billion-dollar corporation, General Motors, US Steel or Texas Fuel Co. (Texaco)? To find out, go to Click the EAP link at the top of the page, then click Trivia, American Busi-ness History, take the quiz and you will find the answer. While on the site, check out the animated clips, crossword puzzles, work-related games and tests also on this page. It is your break from stress.

Need Some Help?
This month, Quality Online visitor Mohsen Zandieh needs some help. Here's his query: "How can we define measurable quality objective in a small organization?"

Can you help Mohsen or any of our Quality Online visitors? Go to the Reader Forum ( and post your quality and manufacturing problems, or see if you can help a fellow visitor.

From Wes Iversen, editor of Quality, posted on the "Reader Forum." Quality is celebrating its 40th year of publication. We plan to take a look at the people and events that have shaped the quality movement. What do you think are the most significant events and trends that have impacted quality--either positively or negatively--over the past 40 years? Which individuals have had the most impact on the quality movement during that time and why?

Please post your answers in Reader Forum. Go to

One response came from Reader Forum visitor Thomas Berilla regarding the trends that have shaped quality during the past 40 years.

In the past 40 years, dozens of different methods have been developed and included in the ASME 14.5 Dimensioning and Tolerancing Standard to such a degree that it is not a "standard," but a dictionary of many standards. Most of the methods produce ambiguities and corruptions to designs and their methods of measurements, which produce less than optimum quality control, incorrect fits, poor product performance and less than optimum cost. The latest methods are not as good as our grandfather's methods. I have rediscovered from 200 years of history that the method used to create the industrial revolution is the American system. Quality must help rediscover the American system, compare it with all other methods, evaluate it, and then select the best method and make "it" the standard--scrapping the rest. I believe, the "D&T With the Basic Method" (Apr. 2001, p.102) does this. If another is better, then let it be the "standard."

From "Reader Forum" visitor Arnie Johansen.

Q: Does anyone know of software for a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that gives measurements based on Y14.5M-1994? If I understand the standard correctly, a plane is defined by a minimum of the three highest points on the surface. A CMM only uses the points on the surface that an operator probes. There is no guarantee that an operator has hit the three highest points. Also, if the operator hits many of the points, a lot of programs use the least squares to define the plane. Perhaps an operator may simulate the plane by placing the part on a relatively flat surface and then probe that flat surface, and assume the three highest points on the part surface touch the relatively flat surface. The same thing is true for holes, which if I understand the standard correctly, are defined by the largest perfect circle pin that fits in the hole. Again, if I probe the hole with a CMM, I am not assured that I have hit the points that a perfect circle pin will touch in the imperfect hole. Any solutions? If the parts were perfect in form, such as perfectly flat, perfectly round and perpendicular to a surface, I could accept the CMM programs I know of. However, we may receive parts that are not perfect, and then the question of measurement of imperfect parts creates a new headache.

An answer came from Quality Online visitor Paul Jackson.

A: The most comprehensive and technically informative material designed to equip CMM operators with knowledge on how to use various software algorithms to extract geometric solutions for such things as tangent plane, related or unrelated actual mating envelope, maximum and minimum inscribed and circumscribed cylinders, is available in a class by Bill Tandler, Multimetrics Inc., Menlo Park, CA. The Web site address is #ApplyingASMEY14.5MtoCMMOperation. Bill explains how to use the software in spite of its shortcomings to get the correct result. It is important to note that there are no perfect solutions for evaluating the imperfect geometry because the gages we use are imperfect and the points we gather are finite. It is however, important to understand how the chosen technique for data generation relates to the geometric tolerance specified.

Please include your name and e-mail when submitting a question, answer or comments to our Reader Forum section.

Survey of the Month.
Participate in our monthly survey on topics related and not-so-related to quality. Results for this month's survey will be printed in the August issue. E-mail your survey ideas to [email protected].

We Need Help.
An upcoming case study will cover rapid prototyping. If your company specializes in this area and has a manufacturer that is willing to talk about how your product helped solve a problem, then e-mail your ideas to Kimberly Schmidt at [email protected]. Make sure to read the editorial guidelines before submitting stories. Other case study submissions are welcome.