Tag Archives: editorial

Anheuser-Busch (A-B) Newark Plant Tour Event Report

The NY/NJ Metro Section was happy to welcome over 50 ASQ colleagues to a Plant Tour and Dinner hosted by Anheuser-Busch at their Newark, NJ Brewery. The Dinner portion of the evening included tasty Beer and Food pairings.

Members from the NY/NJ Metro, Tappan Zee, Northern NJ, and Princeton Sections all attended this SOLD OUT event.

Here are some Comments from questionnaires that were left by our Membership:

· Mary Anne Fink from Integra Life Science: “Excellent! Very interesting. Very professional. Impressive.

· J. Stuart Hunter from Princeton University: “…Overall, an excellent tour, most impressive.

· John Sandy from NJ Transit Rail: “Great tour – for my first time, I was impressed.

The word that stands out is IMPRESSIVE! What a great one word summary of the fun and educational evening that we enjoyed with our impressive hosts.

We would like to sincerely thank Gary Wysocki (Management System Specialist) for leading this terrific event with style and his Beer Ambassadors for sharing their expertise and terrific sense of humor.

When you say BUD you’ve said it ALL!!!

photo: A-B Beer Ambassadors May 2014
A-B Beer Ambassadors May 2014
photo: Gary Beer Pouring Demo Right Down the Center May 2014
Gary Beer Pouring Demo Right Down the Center
photo: A-B Plant Tour May 2014
A-B Plant Tour May 2014

Photos from the QA Foxhole

Photo: Austin Lin
Austin Lin
Thanks for a great Section meeting yesterday and thanks again for Dave and Bill for an engaging QA presentation (with full set props and all!). They presented on Survivor Stories, a set of case studies from “the QA foxhole” out in the field and we covered everything from imported radios and drug testing to Madagascar vanilla extract and computer monitor quality. Continue reading Photos from the QA Foxhole

Quality Control

Photo: W. J. Latzko, Ph.D.
W. J. Latzko, Ph.D.
Walter A. Shewhart, the originator of modern methods for quality, wrote, “For our present purpose a phenomenon will be said to be controlled when, through the use of past experience, we can predict, at least within limits, how the phenomenon may be expected to vary in the future.” (Shewhart, 1931, p. 6)

His definition of “control” was that if a phenomenon, such as the error rate in a call center, was consistent within the upper and lower control limit, it was in control. As long as the process remained unchanged, the phenomenon would continue to generate the same range of errors in the future as it has in the past. If the range of errors is too high for management to tolerate, they, management, must change the process. The workers cannot do any better than the process lets them. To exhort workers to improve without giving the a way of doing this is futile. As Myron Tribus stated in his paper, “Managing to Survive in a Competitive world” (Tribus, 1992, p. 30),”The workers work in the system, the managers should work on the system to improve it with their help.”

Many people think of quality control as an inspection system of output. Workers think of quality control as big brother watching and pouncing if a mistake is detected. Unfortunately these conditions exist and are extremely counterproductive. True quality control looks at the process and determines whether the process is still operating as intended or not. If it has drifted (as evidenced by a special cause of variation) it needs to be brought back into the predictable limits.

One can work with a predictable system to improve it. Improvement efforts on an unpredictable or chaotic system may solve one problem but cause a host of others. Usually, such efforts cause more grief than they solve.

It is unfortunate that the image of quality control degenerated into a perceived police action and so lost its original meaning of cost effective predictable process. One can only hope that as a profession, we re-discover the benefits of true quality control.

Reference List

Shewhart, W. A. (1931). Economic control of quality of manufactured product. Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Company.

Tribus, M. (1992). Quality First: Selected Papers on Quality & Productivity Improvement. (Fourth ed.) Alexandria, VA: National Institute for Engineering Management and Systems.