As the manufacturing sector continues to emerge from the recent recession, this year's International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is the place to visit. Celebrating its 75th anniversary, IMTS will host more than 1,300 exhibitors and convert Chicago's McCormick Place into a "productivity marketplace," occupying more than 1.3 million-square feet.

According to a recent report by the Labor Department, productivity -- defined as the amount of output per hour of work--continues to increase, despite the reduced labor force, making sound quality practices even more essential. The organizers of IMTS recognize the importance of quality and have devoted an entire pavilion to quality assurance, as well a conference track dedicated to quality. More than 15 conference sessions will address various aspects of Six Sigma, measurement uncertainty, process control and other quality issues.

Next month, Quality will feature an IMTS Product Showcase previewing some of the products that will be at the show.

Conferences: Quality TracK
Wednesday, September 4
9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Be Certain of Meeting Standards by Knowing Your Measurement Uncertainty
Dr. Jim Salsbury, corporate metrologist, Mitutoyo America Corp.
Why should managers and quality professionals care about measurement uncertainty? Major standards such as ISO 9000, QS-9000, ISO 17025, ISO Guide 25 and ISO/TS 16949 all require a manufacturer to define the measurement uncertainty in their processes. Accreditation, calibration and traceability all depend on knowing your measurement uncertainty. This half-day session introduces the issues surrounding uncertainty and how it can help a manufacturer make sound quality and business decisions.
1-4 p.m.

Choose the Best Gage for Your Manufacturing Environment
George Schuetz, director, precision gages, Mahr Federal
Like every other manufacturing function, measurement and inspection is subject to cost control. Hard choices must be made when selecting gaging equipment. Consider throughput, accuracy, manufacturing methods, materials, personnel, training, service and warranties. This half-day session will help managers and quality professionals identify and balance the factors they must consider when making a gage purchase.
Thursday, September 5
9 a.m. -12 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Six Sigma Overview
Hari Agarwal, president, AEC International
Six Sigma has been credited with improving productivity, slashing costs and improving profit margins. This session will introduce and offer invaluable guidance on how to choose and use Six Sigma tools effectively. A full range of powerful statistical techniques and concepts -- crucial practical know-how for implementation practitioners and managers--will be covered.

Advanced Optical Measurement for the Shop Floor
Pete de Groot, director of R&D, and Jack Clark, applications development manager, Zygo Corp.
For manufacturers interested in achieving high throughput and yield, advanced 3-D optical metrology tools deliver. This session examines the underlying principles and technology of optical metrology, and then helps the manufacturer identify how it can be used on the shop floor. Case studies show how these tools are routinely used to measure surface roughness, form, assembly height and verification of dimensional tolerances, as well as how a manufacturer can obtain optimal gage repeatability and reproducibility results.
1-4 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Six Sigma Manufacturing Challenge
Understand the tools, operational issues and people considerations to fully realize the potential of Six Sigma. Recognized experts who have implemented Six Sigma share their experience and examples of what has worked and not worked, as well as give recommendations of how to put these practices into place.

Building an Effective Approach for Introducing Six Sigma to the Organization
Suzanne Bertolino, corporate Six Sigma deployment director, Visteon

Six Sigma Project Identification and Launch
John Maar, director, Six Sigma, Motorola

Six Sigma -- The Transformation Journey
Josh Cohen, Six Sigma Master Black Belt, material planning and logistics, Ford Motor Co.

The Bottom Line of Perfection
Marilyn Edling, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Systems, Business Customer Organization, Hewlett Packard

Measuring on the Shop Floor
Traditionally, measurement, inspection and the quality functions have been viewed as activities done in a controlled environment away from the manufacturing floor. By moving quality to the shop floor, right next to the working machines, manufacturers can increase yields, reduce scrap and improve manufacturing effectiveness. This multi-speaker session will examine how various measuring technologies can be implemented on the shop floor.

Quality Control With Noncontact 3-D Gaging
Regula Alon, communications manager, CogniTens 3D Vision Systems Ltd.

The Continuing Evolution of Shop Floor Metrology
John Plohetski, vice president of engineering, Carl Zeiss IMT Corp.

Getting Shop Measurements Right
Hilliard Cox, president, Frank J. Cox Sales Ltd.
Friday, September 6
9 a.m.-12 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Keeping Quality Alive in a Lean Manufacturing Environment
Jill Winkelman, region manager, Economic Development Institute, Georgia Tech
Do quality and lean manufacturing systems clash? While they traditionally have seemed to be at odds with each other, quality and lean manufacturing systems, when integrated correctly, can dramatically improve manufacturing. Learn the basic purpose of both systems and where they conflict. Discover the similarities between the systems and how, when combined, they can help a manufacturer lower costs, improve quality and shorten lead times.
Integration of Quality in the Manufacturing Process: Real-Time Process Control
Is it enough to merely measure and inspect parts and gather data? Manufacturers want to close the loop and use data to correct and optimize the production process while it is actually occurring. Software and hardware combine to increase manufacturing effectiveness by reducing parts that are created out of tolerance.

Visual Process Control: Using a Web-based System to Deliver Cost, Quality and Delivery Gains
Dominic Nocera, quality systems engineer, Lucent

In-Process Measurement -- When Sampling Is Not Good Enough
Mark Hoefing, director, sales and marketing, Perceptron

Closing the Loop: Online Feedback for Dimensional Inspection
Dietmar May, principal, Object Workshops

Six Sigma for the Small or Job Shop
Gary Conner, principal, Lean Enterprise
Small shop or job shop owners will understand how to use and implement Six Sigma tools in their environments after attending this session. Topics include Six Sigma principles and methods, increased quality through reduced variation in the process, common mistakes and real-world success stories.
1-4 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Integrate Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma
Johan C. Denecke, principal, Advanced Integration Technology Group
Participants will gain a strategic and tactical understanding of how to integrate lean manufacturing and Six Sigma to maximize impact. Topics covered include the complementary characteristics of lean and Six Sigma, evaluating improvement needs, how the tools can be applied together and avoiding common failures.
On-Machine Measurement: Increasing Productivity and Effectiveness
Are manufacturers getting the most from their high-priced machine tools by simply churning out parts first and measuring them later? Hear how manufacturers who have integrated measuring tools on their machine tools have actually increased manufacturing effectiveness, even though parts are not spilling out as rapidly. Learn how to overcome objections to integrating measurement tools with machine tools and how to increase overall productivity.

Measurement for Part and Process Control
Paul Mueller, PE, president, Control Gaging

High Accuracy On-Machine Measurement With Volumetric Error Correction
Dr. Charles Wang, president, Optodyne

Buying Parts Off a CNC Machine
Barry Rogers, national sales and marketing manager, Renishaw

Integrating PC-DMIS on Machine Tools for In-Process Control
Ken Woodbine, director of sales and marketing, Wilcox Inc.
Monday, September 9
9 a.m.-12 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

ISO 17025: Supply Quality to Automakers
Cynthia L. Davis, principal, Davis and Davis Associates
The automotive market is the driving force in much of manufacturing, with countless suppliers to the industry. Selling to automakers requires meeting standards such as ISO 17025. Replacing ISO Guide 25 and meeting ISO 17025 guidelines is critical for those wishing to do business within the automotive industry. This half-day workshop focuses on ISO 17025 requirements and how it differs from Guide 25. Learn how it is linked to ISO 9000 and its relationship to GLP. This workshop also focuses on management and technical requirements in meeting ISO 17025.

Choosing an Optical Measurement System
Michael Metzger, department manager, measuring systems, Nikon Instruments Inc.
Measuring a part does not always require a contact measurement tool. Optical systems prevent errors that can occur when a part is handled and measure features too small to be touched. Learn the underlying technology of optics and how they can help in selecting the right tool, from simple microscopes to advanced hybrid technology. Evaluate equipment choices to ensure low risk and high profit returns on investment.
1-4 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Integrating Six Sigma Into Your Supply Chain
Charles Passarelli, principal, AIT Group Inc.
Six Sigma has gained its reputation as a method to improve manufacturing processes; its methods and benefits do not have to end there. By understanding the basic theories and principles behind Six Sigma, manufacturers can use it as a tool to better the supply chain -- resulting in better productivity, reduced costs and profit improvement.
Quality Practices in Small Shops: A Practical Approach
After reading all the books, attending all the seminars and buying the latest measurement tools, it is time to put today's quality practices into action on the shop floor. Smaller shops often have a greater challenge at implementing quality solutions than their larger counterparts because of time constraints and resources. Hear how some smaller shops have made quality a regular and valued part of their daily manufacturing operations.

You Can't Make It If You Can't Check It
Marcus T. Young, president, Acu Twist

Risk Mitigation and Leveraged Learning Through Peer Assessment
Lisa Barnes, corporate quality director, Howmet Castings

Moving From Manual Inspection to Computer-Based Inspection
Bob Rose, president, RoseMetal

Using Video Measurement
Mike Lee, director of quality, and Rich Domaleczny, quality engineer, ATF Inc.
Tuesday, September 10
1-4 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Facing the Quality Future: Critical Issues in Measurement
What are the challenges facing measurement and inspection in today's manufacturing environment? What is needed from tools, software, standards and manufacturing practices to ensure quality is maintained and can keep pace with ever-increasing manufacturing demands? A series of presentations, capped by a panel discussion of experts, will examine some of the most critical issues facing the implementation and optimization of measurement and inspection technology.

Task Specific Uncertainty in Coordinate Measurement
Robert Hocken, Ph.D., professor and director, Center for Precision Metrology, UNC Charlotte

The Drive for Interoperability in Metrology Equipment
Robert D. Waite, manager, Advanced Metrology Group, DaimlerChrysler

Advancing Quality of Manufacturing Through Interoperability
Mark Vinson, manufacturing engineer, The Boeing Co.

Panel Discussion
Experts will examine today's critical issues in an interactive dialogue with attendees.

Make Internal Quality Solutions Work Quickly and Effectively
Steve McCombs, director, Applied Corporate Intellect
When a quality audit reveals that a manufacturing problem can be a combination of machines, materials, environment and people, it can be a lengthy process to develop a solution, and it may not be the correct one. This half-day workshop helps managers and quality professionals, in large manufacturing facilities or in job shops, quickly develop and implement a quality solution that considers all aspects of a process. It also will instruct a manufacturer how to evaluate the success in terms of dollars and cents and its contribution to continuous improvement.

September 4 to 11
McCormick Place
Hours of the
Quality Assurance Pavilion
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all days except Sunday, Sept. 8,
when hours are
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Register at
or by calling
(888) 346-8925.