Freightliner Customizes Quality The Quality Magazine 2007 Plant of the Year, Freightliner’s Mt. Holly, NC, Truck Manufacturing Plant, is loud-bring earplugs-and busy, producing about 80 trucks per day, with plans to produce twice that in the coming years. The plant is constantly in motion, with 1,200 employees weaving throughout the shop floor, along with robots, automated carts and, of course, various parts on their way to becoming a truck.
On a recent Thursday morning, I went to New York for a plant visit. I live in Chicago, so instead of my usual drive, my morning commute was a two-hour flight. It was a short trip: one taxi picked me up at 6:30 a.m. and another one took me home 12 hours later. Though I only spent a few hours with the company, I considered the trip a success because I learned a lot and-no small miracle when flying out of O’Hare airport-both flights were on time.
MTI, a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology Inc., officially announced the release of Eve, a stand-alone measurement solution and data acquisition system, on June 18 at their shareholder’s meeting. Eve is compatible with most sensors, including MTI’s noncontact displacement sensors, allowing correlation of displacement, temperature, pressure and other physical parameters for test, research or process monitoring applications.
When customers demand certain capabilities, smart companies respond. Visicon Inspection Technologies (Napa, CA) listened to customer requests, and responded with the Sentry, an alternative to optical comparators or profile projectors.
“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they hope it can be done, then they see it can be done-then it is done and the whole world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”
- frances hodgson burnett, the secret garden.
Document control systems take many forms, but they are essentially computerized systems used to track and store electronic documents, or images of paper documents. The systems often provide storage, version control, security, and indexing and retrieval capabilities. Manufacturers are no stranger to this type of system; according to Quality Magazine’s 7th Annual Capital Spending Survey, companies plan to spend $80 million in document control and management software in 2007, making it the third most often purchased software, behind calibration and data collection.
ideo measurement provides noncontact dimensional measurements with speed, accuracy, and above all, flexibility. Whatever type of system is used, it must match the application. These systems help ensure product quality, so getting the best system is crucial.
Regular calibrations are a necessity in today’s manufacturing environments. Without it, operators have no guarantee that any of their measurements are correct. Improper measurements can drive a company out of business, which may be one of the reasons calibration software was the number one planned software purchase on Quality’s 7th Annual Capital Spending Survey. Companies would be wise to use calibration software and eventually use a system that integrates with other software systems. Not only can it help the business, it can help employees perform this crucial task.
ISO may have driven manufacturers into document control, but today’s systems have a lot more going for them than 10 years ago. After customers see the extent of what document control can accomplish today, “A lot of light bulbs go off,” says Roger Shugart, chief operating officer of Cebos Ltd. (Brighton, MI).
Experts say that document control is almost a given in today’s manufacturing plants. Whether it is as basic as Excel spreadsheets or a full-blown document control system, most companies have some type of document control system in place. What they may not realize is how much more document control has to offer.
Transducers convert energy from one form to another in order to measure a physical quantity or for information transfer. This broad definition includes microphones, thermometers and position and pressure sensors.