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American Society for Quality



ASQ Quality News today



 



Salmonella Fears Cause Global Recall of Millions of Baby Milk Products

Tuesday

French baby-milk maker Lactalis has ordered a global recall of millions of products over fears of salmonella bacteria contamination. The company, one of the largest dairy products groups in the world, said it has been warned by health authorities in France that 26 infants have become sick since December 1. Spokesman Michel Nalet told The Associated Press today that the “precautionary” recall both in France and abroad affected “several million” products made since mid-February. The company said a



A Marketing Team’s Success Is Only as Good as the Company’s Supply Chain Management Process

Tuesday

Steve Olenski, contributor Believe it or not, and many marketers don’t believe it, supply chain management plays a vital role in marketing. Marketers need to realize the impact supply chains have on them. As a marketer, you most likely think that the supply chain management process has nothing to do with you. That’s another department’s focus. You just hope that what they do doesn’t create a marketing nightmare for your team. However, an issue in the supply chain



NHTSA: Half of Takata Airbags Not Fixed After Largest Such Recall in History

Tuesday

Allen Cone Fewer than half of the millions of airbags recalled by Japanese company Takata have been replaced in the largest auto-safety recall in U.S. history. A report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last month said only 19.6 million of the 41.8 million airbags—about 47%—were repaired by the end of October. About 34 million U.S. vehicles were affected. The recalls affected cars from 19 companies outfitted with airbags made by the bankrupt Takata. The NHTSA



New Industrialization Strategy of Leapfrogging

Tuesday

Leapfrogging has been the industrialization strategy for many developing countries by pursuing export oriented manufacturing. Without having the history of innovating industrial products, globalization brought the opportunity of manufacturing those products to many developing countries, creating very large number of manufacturing jobs. For example, Vietnam without having virtually any history in electronics has been blessed with 250,000 hardware-manufacturing jobs. Similarly, globalization created almost 4 million jobs in the textile and readymade garments sector alone in



U.S. Manufacturing to Continue Growing in 2018: ISM

Tuesday

U.S. manufacturing should continue expanding in 2018, with revenue rising by 5.1% and capital expenditures rising by 2.7%, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday. Manufacturing employment should grow by 1.2%, the ISM said in its semi-annual economic forecast. The results are based on a survey. Labor and benefit costs should rise by 2.1%, the ISM said. The U.S. dollar will strengthen against all seven currencies of the nation’s major trading partners. Prices paid for raw



Westinghouse Portable Generators Recalled by MWE Investments Due to Fire Hazard

Monday

Name of product: Portable Inverter Generators. Hazard: The portable generators can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Remedy: Repair. Recall date: December 7, 2017. Recall number: 18-055. Recall details description: This recall involves Westinghouse iGen2500 and iPro2500 portable inverter generators used to power appliances, cell phones or other electronic devices. The iGen2500 has a bright blue plastic cover and has “Westinghouse iGen2500” printed in white lettering on the side and on the front of the generator. The



Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence In Demand Planning

Monday

By Steve Banker, contributor Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used in demand planning applications for close to 20 years. But recently, leading solution providers have begun a big push to develop new ways these technologies can be used to improve demand planning. While machine learning and AI have been used in supply chain applications for some time, there is an ongoing arms race to more effectively leverage both machine learning and AI in demand planning solutions in



GM App to Order Food While Driving Draws Ire of National Safety Group

Monday

By Ryan Beene, Bloomberg News A new in-car application from General Motors Co. that lets drivers order coffee and browse for hotels while behind the wheel has been met with outcry from a prominent safety group. The app, dubbed Marketplace, allows drivers to browse deals and place orders through an in-dash touch screen with several major brands such as Starbucks Corp., TGI Friday’s, Priceline.com and Dunkin’ Donuts Inc. National Safety Council President Deborah Hersman says the app



Kobe Steel Loses More Quality Badges

Monday

Kobe Steel Ltd said on Friday it has been hit with lawsuits over its data tampering scandal and has had two more badges of industrial quality removed, the latest setbacks for the Japanese steelmaker as it seeks to restore its reputation. The class-action lawsuits lodged in courts in Canada are the first legal actions against the company since it announced the cheating in October, while the removal of Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) certifications may cost



A Roadmap for Quality Education Data: SDG 4 Data Digest Sets Out Data Challenges and Potential Solutions

Monday

A new report from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) sets out a roadmap of strategies and tools to help countries produce vital data on education. The SDG 4 Data Digest sets out the measurement challenges around the pursuit of internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goal of providing quality education for every child by 2030, known as SDG4. With a firm focus on national data, this year’s Digest emphasizes data quality as the foundation for effective



43,000 Table Lamps Recalled Due to Shock Hazard

Friday

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the following recall alert on table lamps: Hazard: The electrical wire that runs through the lamps can be cut or fray by the lamp’s adjustable joint, posing a risk of electric shock to consumers. Remedy: Refund. Recall date: December 4, 2017. Recall number: 18-052. Consumer Contact: West Elm toll-free at 866-577-9276 from 7 a.m. to midnight ET every day, or online at www.westelm.com and click on Safety Recalls at the bottom of the page



UPMC, Sharp Case Study Shows How Hospitals Are Already Pushing AI to the Limit

Friday

Early adopting providers such as Sharp Healthcare and UPMC have been keen on seeing how far they can push the complex but extraordinarily helpful technology today, knowing that AI will play a much bigger role in their organizations tomorrow. “Currently, very little artificial intelligence is being utilized across the healthcare sector overall,” said Brett MacLaren, vice president of enterprise analytics at Sharp HealthCare. “At Sharp, we are using predictive algorithms to predict a patient’s propensity to



Top Tips For Managing the Supply Chain

Friday

Dick Friedman Many people think supply chain management refers only to inbound and outbound transportation arrangements and activities, and not to activities within a distributor’s facility. But successful SCM requires problem-free warehouse operations and inventory management. Here are a few problems that limit that SCM success and tips for avoiding the problems. Out of stock but in stock A truck bringing products from a manufacturer arrived, was unloaded and the products were verified against corresponding PO data—everything needed



Recall System Is Still in Need of Its Own Fix; Roadblocks Hamper Efforts to Reach 100% Repair Rate

Friday

Eric Kulisch When Mark Rosekind became the nation’s top vehicle safety regulator in 2014, massive recalls of General Motors ignition switches and Takata airbags underscored the difficulty of notifying millions of consumers about dangerous defects and getting their vehicles fixed quickly. Rosekind, who left his job running the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at the end of the Obama administration, made improving the recall system and maximizing repairs a top priority. In 2015, he hosted a



Just 15 Vehicles Met Tougher Criteria for 2018 IIHS Safety Picks

Friday

Sara Shayanian Only 15 cars this year met tougher criteria for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating, the group announced Thursday. Safety tests this year included a passenger-side crash test, a first for the IIHS award. “Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are,” IIHS President Adrian Lund said. “Manufacturers have been taking this issue seriously since we first shed



BMW Says Exhaust Systems Do Not Shut Off in Road Conditions

Thursday

BMW on Monday rejected a media report that said the software in certain diesel models shut off a gas filtering system in certain road conditions, leading to excessive nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. German broadcaster ZDF’s program WISO and daily newspaper Tagesspiegel had earlier reported that tests by German environmental lobby group DUH showed that the BMW 320d model’s NOx emissions jumped significantly when the car’s speed was increased by 10% in road tests. The Tagesspiegel report



Call for Participants for ANSI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative

Thursday

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) issued today a call for participants for its Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC). The announcement follows the UASSC’s kick-off meeting held September 28 in Washington, D.C. The UASSC’s mission is to coordinate and accelerate the development of the standards and conformity assessment programs needed to facilitate the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—commonly known as drones—into the national airspace system (NAS) of the United States. The collaborative will



FDA Releases Long-Awaited Guidance on 3-D Printed Products

Thursday

Joseph Keenan In a much-anticipated action, the FDA released its first-ever technical guidance for manufacturers using 3-D-printed technology for medical products that include devices, medication and human tissue. The guidance, which was based on a review of more than 100 marketed devices manufactured using the 3-D printing process, provides advice on technical aspects of 3-D printing, also called “additive manufacturing.” Included in the devices studied by the agency were patient-matched products tailored to fit a patient’s anatomy,



The Evolution of Industrial Revolution—IIoT

Thursday

Vertica Asthana, technical journalist at EFY There was a catastrophic incidence of oil spillage from the oil rigs in Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The drilling rig Deepwater Horizon had spilled about 185 million gallons of oil into the sea, endangering breeds of marine creatures. Later, forensic reports proved that a puncture in the pipe due to oil and gas pressure had created the havoc. Had there been a smart automation system in place, the



How Tesla Manufacturing Compares to Other Auto Makers

Thursday

Jeremy Arnold, business analyst, Quora How good is Tesla at manufacturing vs. other automakers? As things stand today, Tesla is pretty far behind. But that’s because they’re still a minnow with little scale or experience. The three largest automakers (General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota) each produce a little over 10 million cars a year. Tesla will ship around 100,000 vehicles in 2017—i.e., a comparative production of about 1%. Of course, this gap is about to close. Tesla is



Design Thinking and Agile Improve Application Outcomes

Wednesday

According to IDC, 30 to 35% of IT projects fail. Other research puts the figure upwards of 50%. Regardless of the exact numbers, the consistent reason cited for the failure of software development projects to deliver intended outcomes is misalignment of user and business needs. Many IT leaders believe that adopting agile methodologies like Scrum will address this problem. After all, applied correctly, agile helps development teams iterate towards optimal outcomes by developing solutions incrementally, with



Dengue Vaccine Found to Worsen Disease Symptoms

Wednesday

By Ben Tinker, CNN The Philippines has suspended its large-scale dengue vaccination effort amid the surprising results of a new study conducted by the vaccine’s manufacturer. On Wednesday, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur published clinical trial data showing that its dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, could have unintended consequences in patients who had never been infected with the mosquito-borne virus. “The analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent (protective) benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection,” Sanofi said



Brexit to Hit Unprepared Supply Chains Hard

Wednesday

By Kate Vitasek, contributor U.K.-EU supply chains are at the breaking point as the fallout from Brexit begins to take hold. The disruption is starting to take shape in terms of actual numbers—and the numbers aren’t pretty. Almost two-thirds (63%) of European Union businesses that work with suppliers located in the United Kingdom expect to move some part of their supply chains out of the U.K. as a result of the Brexit decision last year to leave



Product Recall Risks Growing in Size and Number as Technology Drives New Triggers, Warns Allianz

Wednesday

A faulty pedal causes a car to inadvertently accelerate. An outbreak of contaminated peanuts results in a 25% industry-wide reduction in sales. Each of these incidents triggered major product recalls, resulting in billion dollar losses. Product-related risk is one of the biggest perils facing businesses today, with recall exposures having increased significantly over the past decade, bringing the potential for larger and more complex losses than ever before, warns insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty



Honda Invests in Revolutionary Driving Simulator for Future R&D Activities

Wednesday

Honda will become the world’s first car manufacturer to adopt new state-of-the-art driving simulator technology, based on a revolutionary architecture called DiM250 (Driver-in-Motion). Most driving simulators make use of motion technology derived from flight simulators, and typically use six actuators to deliver “six degrees of freedom.” However, to accurately reproduce vehicle ride, handling and acceleration characteristics within a single simulator, VI-grade’s DiM250 system uses nine actuators to create additional ranges of motion. It is unique in



Kroger Recalls ‘Comforts For Baby’ Water Due to Mold Contamination

Tuesday

Ray Downs The Kroger grocery store chain issued a recall for its line of purified water for babies after receiving complaints of mold in the product, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Monday. The gallon size of “Comforts For Baby purified water with fluoride” tested positive for Talaromyces penicillium, a mold known to cause systemic mycosis, a fungal infection that affects the internal organs. “In general, inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions



Amazon Steps Up Pace in Artificial Intelligence Race

Tuesday

Amazon this week announced a flurry of new machine learning (ML) features for its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing business, raising its challenge to Silicon Valley’s biggest tech firms for the lead in artificial intelligence (AI). The new offerings will enable AWS customers to develop and quickly “train” their own AI algorithms, build software applications capable of translating language on the fly, analyze video, and scan text for trends or key phrases. AI refers



MIT Boosts Speed of 3-D Printing By 10 Times

Tuesday

A team of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are tackling the speed issue. They’ve designed a new 3-D printer that can operate up to 10 times faster than a traditional printer. Three-dimensional printing was supposed to be the next big thing, but a combination of factors have kept it from becoming a mainstream technology. One of the ongoing issues is that 3-D printing is slow, and most of the technological improvements have been



CVS Buying Aetna for $69 Billion; Promises to ‘Remake’ Consumer Healthcare Experience

Tuesday

Edward C. Baig CVS shareholders will assume Aetna’s debt in a deal announced Sunday. CVS Health is buying Aetna for $69 billion in cash and stock. The long-awaited deal was made official Sunday evening. Aetna stockholders are to receive around $207 a share—$145 in cash and $62 in stock—and will own about 22% of the combined company. CVS shareholders will own the remainder. Including the assumption of Aetna’s debt, the total value of the transaction climbs to $77



Warehouses Get Bigger to Accommodate Rising E-Commerce and Automation

Tuesday

Patrick Clark and Kim Bhasin Bloomberg Those boxes piling up on your doorstep over the holidays don’t ship from Santa’s workshop. As consumers spend more money shopping online, real estate developers are sinking record amounts of money into new warehouse space, building bigger, taller structures to meet the needs of e-commerce—and the robots that help it along. Builders spent $2.6 billion on American warehouse construction in September, more than triple the figure in September 2012, according to