CLEARWATER, FL-More than 120 of the top quality measurement professionals in the United States gathered in the sun for four days of the 2007 Manufacturing & Measurement Conference & Workshop (MMCW) in Clearwater, FL, April 23 to 26. Held at the Marriott Sand Key resort, attendees heard from top professionals in manufacturing about the challenges and solutions of making measurement and quality an effective tool for their companies.
Pat Nugent, vice president of metrology systems at Mahr Federal Inc.
(Providence, RI) kicked off the two-day conference portion of MMCW 2007 with
his keynote address on reducing inspection costs by measuring more. Nugent
explained that this seeming contradiction could be explained by defining
inspection as something done after a part has already been completed and value
has been added. Measurement is done as a part proceeds through manufacturing,
and cost can be avoided both if a part is found defective, as well as by
altering the process itself so that further defective parts are prevented from
being made. Building off this theme, many of the speakers during the two-day
conference examined how techniques and technologies such as in-line
measurement, machine vision and statistical analysis could work to improve
one’s process both in the manufacturing environment and in the laboratory.
Wednesday keynote speaker, Dean Beutel, director of technical resources at
Caterpillar Inc. (Peoria, IL) continued the theme of increasing the value of
metrology, by speaking about it could solve many current and future
manufacturing challenges. Talks given by Praveen Gupta of Accelper Consulting
and Bob Burke of Value Innovation Partners Ltd., addressed how quality fits
into lean systems and must become even more precise. The message of the role of
emerging needs in precision measurement and solutions was emphasized in a panel
discussion that included participants from the Boeing Co., Marposs Corp., Mahr
Federal and Rivers Precision LLC.
Speakers also shared the significance of accreditation, as well as reported on
the results of measurement studies that will advance the industry, during those
Suppliers were on hand to demonstrate their products and services that could
make the conference topics a reality. Attendees spent a great deal of time
sharing challenges and hearing solutions from exhibitors inside the sold-out
area. Both exhibitors and event sponsors reported that they met valuable
decision makers at MMCW.
The two-day conference was preceded by three workshops on Monday. Walter
Nowocin of Medtronic Inc. (Minneapolis, MN), Ted Doiron of NIST (Gaithersburg,
MD) and Dave Harris of Glastonbury Southern Gage (Erin, TN) gave in-depth
workshops on calibration management software, gage blocks and thread gaging,
respectively. Praveen Gupta conducted a hands-on Six Sigma workshop on
Thursday, April 26, where attendees actually reviewed their ongoing Six Sigma
projects and received assistance.
MMCW 2007 also provided opportunities for networking and relaxing in the warm
Florida sunshine. Numerous breaks, evening networking receptions and a
Wednesday night dinner cruise gave attendees a chance to share ideas and
solutions with their peers.
“I was completely energized by this conference,” said one attendee. “It was
great to hear these speakers and meet so many of my colleagues; you sometimes
feel isolated in your shop. I am already making plans to come back next year
and bring my boss with me.”
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