It was George Herbert Walker Bush who, in his 1988 presidential nomination acceptance speech, coined the phrase, “a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.” Bush was often ridiculed by those who had not listened to the first part of his speech and did not understand his metaphor. Bush’s “lights” were diverse communities that came together to form the nation.

Just as Bush drew parallels between communities and the night sky, in the community of manufacturing there is a sky called, “quality.” What are the points of light in that section of sky? What image do they form?

Quality magazine has been a part of the manufacturing “sky” for 42 years. It has been chronicling the equipment, methods and manufacturing practices used to create parts and products. It has communicated the latest in technology, software and services that have been developed to increase quality results in manufacturing operations. Has the emphasis in Quality shifted from time to time? Of course. Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, coordinate measuring machines and ISO are some of the technologies, techniques and standards that have come into being since our first pages left the press some 40 years ago. Calipers, Y14.5, GD&T and micrometers are some of the technologies, techniques and standards that have been constantly discussed during almost all of our 40 years. They are all “points of light” in our part of the sky.

So, what shape do these points form? How do they relate to each other? Quality continues to bring readers both the new and familiar as it relates to quality technology, methods and standards. It is the building of a community that includes manufacturers, service providers, associations and suppliers. How is this community to be built? To be served?

Beginning in this issue of Quality, you will notice both small and large changes. We are fine-tuning the redesign of September 2002. The type has increased for reader friendliness, we have introduced more color and we have rearranged the order of the contents in the magazine. There is more industry news, so you will know more of what is happening in both quality and manufacturing. Features will focus on measurement, test and inspection, and we will continue our coverage on quality software and analysis, as well as add more articles on standards as they relate to today’s manufacturing environment.

To connect our community more closely, Quality will offer an electronic means to communicate between suppliers and manufacturers, in addition to our more familiar methods.

In coming months you will see new venues for our community to gain information and experience manufacturing and quality experts in a high-profile role in the Quality community. Points of light are still being discovered.

Bush saw the strength in bringing together different groups into one community; this vision of the Quality community includes a variety of individuals, companies and associations. And like Bush’s sky with each part shining a bit differently, all parts of the Quality sky are important for it to be complete. As Bush was eager to implement his vision for the country, Quality is eager to share its vision with those being gathered, and those already present, in this community.