Applications Based Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing
James Meadows, Institute for Engineering and Design, 235 E. Main, #254, Hendersonville, TN 37075, 1999, 624 pp., 12 videotapes, $3,990. (Video)

Through a text, workbook, and set of 12 videotapes, author James Meadows presents geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, complete with rules and symbols. Reinforced by demonstrations and more than 320 drawings, the materials work together to create an understandable course on what is otherwise a complex subject.

Author and video course presenter Meadows is an experienced tool-and-die maker and engineering consultant who has trained thousands of professionals for businesses, universities, and the military. Meadows also works on committees preparing standards for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The content is directed at those involved in the design, manufacturing, and measuring of mechanical product, with the text acting as a reference for the symbology of dimensioning and tolerancing. The book introduces a step-by-step system for geometric definition and demonstrates that geometric definitions result in optimum cost effectiveness for design, tooling, gauging, manufacturing, and measuring functions.

The discussions and examples offered by the workbook and accompanying videos are significantly helpful in logically explaining the cost effectiveness of bonus tolerancing, designer's intent of function, and ease of manufacturing and inspection.

Meadows' experience in presenting this subject is evident in the 12-tape video series (each averaging 60 minutes long). Taped during a three-day tolerancing workshop, Meadows demonstrates an approach that is nonthreatening and proceeds in a logical and understandable manner. His demonstrations of tolerance costs reinforce key points. His discussion of symbology is almost a course in itsef and, when combined with calculating bonus tolerancing, provides simple but powerful examples of the ease of manufacturing and inspection while achieving the designer's functional intent. The videos are excellent and add substance toward better understanding the concepts, particularly in addressing the practices of design, tooling, and measuring.

The videos are well prepared, and the overall quality of the sound, camera work, visual aids, and presentation is professional. When participants asked questions, however, it would have been useful for Meadows to repeat the questions, as the sound from the floor was not always audible.

Meadows' method of beginning with simple designs and progressing through complex datum structures is sensible and comprehensible. This complex subject is presented by an individual with internationally respected credentials in a well-ordered, progressive, and logical manner.

Howard N. Wilson

Beyond ISO 9000: How to Sustain Quality in a Dynamic World
William Stimson, AMACOM,1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 1998, 353 pp., $35. (Book)

The central theme of the book is this: Obtaining ISO certification for a quality system standard requires a short-term certification effort and a long-term sustaining effort. Stimson cites three dynamic properties with which to be concerned: stability, capability, and improvability--and the controls to achieve and sustain them. A systems view and the concept of ownership are crucial to quality deployment and sustainment.

One chapter on strategies and tactics used to market quality provides useful suggestions. The key to marketing quality is educating customers about the benefits they receive through ISO capability. Management's failure to measure variation in its processes is prevalent. Apparently few companies measure their capability and, considering what is at stake, Stimson wonders why. In his opinion, the key to sustainment is to proceed through ISO 9000, then work toward stability, capability, and improvability.

Stimson examines each of the ISO 9001 clauses nonsequentially. Areas to consider for sustaining quality are:

  • Management responsibility
  • Quality system
  • Purchasing
  • Corrective and preventive action
  • Training
  • Control of quality records
  • Internal quality audits
  • Design control
  • Statistical techniques
  • Control of customer-supplied product
  • Process control
  • Inspection and testing
  • Control of nonconforming product
  • Contract review

The book focuses as much on what should be considered before registration as it does on sustainment after registration. However, less intellectual rumination and more how-tos would have been useful for the reader trying to plan what to do after receiving an ISO certificate. Seven of the author's statements appear to be unsupported by the ISO 9001 or 9002 standard. This book is not a must-read, but it is a thought stimulator for those approaching certification.

Russ Westcott, president R.T.
Westcott & Associates
Old Saybrook, CT

Customer-Centered Supply/Chain Management (A Link-By-Link Guide)
Fred A. Kuglin, AMACOM, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 1998, 278 pp., $35. (Book)

In our rapidly changing business environment, which includes changes in advanced technologies, changes in global business practices and environments, and ever-changing demands of customers, a company is required to have a customer-centered supply-chain management to survive and prosper in the future.

Kuglin presents a model for changing into a customer-centered supply-chain management company. The book begins with a compelling view of the need to establish a company mission, understand core competencies, and provide a vision. Kuglin points out that without this initial step, no changing process will ever be successful.

Kuglin repeats his proposed model for change in many of the chapters, and although most of these chapters include a methodology section and interpretations of flowcharts, they do not add new insight into the change approach. Quality professionals and business managers who are responsible for establishing a company culture and future direction will benefit from reading this book.

Shin Ta Liu
Lynx Systems

Entrepreneurship and Productivity

Edward E. Williams and James R. Thompson, University Press of America, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, MD 20706, 1998, 343 pp., $64. (Book)

This book provides an entrepreneurial perspective to productivity by clarifying how entrepreneurs as business managers must be insightful decision makers. This book provides today's entrepreneurial and functional business managers with insights into issues affecting the business enterprise. By understanding and applying the practical model outlined, managers can increase business growth and assure its survival and profitability.

Entrepreneurship and Productivity provides guidance for enhancing growth in productivity and improving quality production. It identifies factors that contribute to higher income levels and connects the aspects of entrepreneurship and quality that lead to productivity.

Williams and Thompson perceive market economies as the most efficient forms for organizing production. They present a model describing optimal production investments and financing decisions for entrepreneurs. Chapter 5 supports this model by describing possible actions that an entrepreneur may follow in developing a business plan. Chapter 6 then outlines a complete business plan.

Williams and Thompson stress detailed periodic planning and budgeting to assure the proper evaluation of programs and identify dangers before conditions get out of control. The last four chapters deal with useful topics such as forecasting, time-series analysis, and Deming's Paradigm, and include case studies that illustrate how to control the decision-making process.

The bottom line of this book is: Adopt a new philosophy and work consistently toward improvement of products and services. Your business plan becomes your competitive vision for staying in business. This is an excellent book for entrepreneurs and business managers interested in learning how to modify their competitive behaviors.

John J. Lanczycki Jr.
Creative Planners

FMEA Investigator

Developed by Resource Engineer, P.O. Box 219, Tolland, CT 06084-0219, $895. (Software)

I would like to compliment the development team that clearly did its homework before working on this product. The software provides detailed yet easy-to-follow failure mode effects analysis (FMEA), design FMEA (DFMEA), and process FMEA (PFMEA) training. FMEA typically includes DFMEA, but it is not clear from the title, FMEA Investigator, that PFMEA is also offered.

Extremely comprehensive and accurate, the program addresses the topic through three units: FMEA Overview, covering topics such as FMEA's purpose and the FMEA process; DFMEA, offering a DFMEA example and applicable rating scales; and PFMEA, examining areas such as PFMEA aids and when to do a PFMEA.

The lessons offered in each unit are clear, concise, and specific, without unnecessary or distracting material. Each unit contains a map explaining the content of the training and unit objectives. On-line tips and instructions are also provided.

The units conclude with exercises, but the DFMEA and PFMEA units appeared to have the same exercises. Each unit also contains two investigative challenges, or student tests.

While trainers have the ability to track students' progress, no facilitator's guide is included to synchronize with training. The software includes a companion book summarizing the CD-ROM material.

The software requires the CD-ROM to be in place for operation. Even though this results in slower performance, the program operates smoothly and efficiently. The lower speed, due to the reliance on the CD-ROM, is not significant enough to be of consequence to the user. Screen size remains fixed regardless of the monitor size. I consider this to be a serious drawback; however, this seems to be common practice among software developers.

The program features a clear and easy-to-listen-to narrator, and the screen presentation occasionally guides the user through a useful question-and-answer format. The glossary is concise yet comprehensive. Overall, I * consider this to be high-quality, low-cost training for those interested in FMEA.

T.M. Kubiak
Honeywell, Inc.

Modern Industrial Statistics: Design and Control of Quality and Reliability
Ron S. Kenett and Shelemyahu Zacks, Brooks/Cole Publishing, 511 Forest Lodge Rd., Pacific Grove, CA 93950, 1998, 621 pp., $82.95. (Book)

This text was developed from experiences gained in industrial consulting and from the teaching of various workshops, seminars, and university courses. Keeping in mind the goal of perfection in industrial processes, the authors provide statistical concepts and methods needed to measure and improve new and existing products and services. Taking the reader from the most basic to the most advanced industrial statistical methods, the authors describe the tools necessary to control and improve quality and reliability.

Although this book is intended primarily for academic studies, it can also be used as a reference tool for practicing statisticians and polished practitioners in quality engineering and reliability. It is an excellent guide for learning how to use the computer to solve modern industrial problems and using simulators as learning tools. An advanced statistical software program called MINITAB is referenced throughout the text.

Part 1 emphasizes statistical thinking in industrial settings and employing data analysis, graphical techniques, and database simulations. Part 2 covers basic and advanced methods of control and improvement of quality and reliability. Numerous examples are drawn from real-life industrial problems. In addition, the book includes a CD-ROM with data sets and programs specifically developed for use with the book. The programs are either executable files or MINITAB macros. Access to MINITAB or other advanced statistical software is required to fully benefit from this book.

I recommend this book to anyone teaching courses in industrial statistics, sampling plans, reliability, statistical process control, and statistics for quality design. Any quality professional interested in advanced statistical techniques and current employer applications would also find this book useful.

Bryan Ruggles
Fisher Controls International

Good Company: Caring as Fiercely as You Compete

Hal F. Rosenbluth and Diane McFerrin Peters, Addison-Wesley, 1 Jacob Way, Reading, MA 01867, 1998, 205 pp., $25. (Book)

This book emphasizes the importance of motivation, training, and nurturing of personnel to produce higher productivity and consequent corporate growth. The authors describe innovative personnel practices that are used at Rosenbluth International to extend the company's capabilities.

Rosenbluth International uses telecommuting to extend personnel capabilities and achieves additional flexibility by hiring retirees to help with specific projects. The company also searches for talent in areas of the country where the employment rate is low and invites those people to become a part of Rosenbluth's countrywide operation. Another unusual approach used by the company is asking people who have left the company to participate in single or multiple projects. To maximize its resources, Rosenbluth is currently developing a database of available talent.

The book clearly describes the morale, training, and concerns of the staff at Rosenbluth International. As employees gain a sense of worth and value, client relations improve and company growth results. Rosenbluth's world headquarters resembles an open classroom, where associates and clients are invited to attend almost all meetings and, if they wish, participate in discussions. Consequently, valuable ideas arise from this type of staff and client feedback.

This book is useful to executives and managers who are willing to adopt a people-oriented human resource program that places responsibility on the executives and managers to communicate with their employees. Rosenbluth's goal is to become a worldwide company with a common culture that prevails throughout all of its operations.

I was impressed with the positive approaches taken by Rosenbluth International. I would like to think that many of the concepts explored in the book could work in all companies, but success may be confined to those committed to joining the ranks of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

William F. Foster  

Insuring Quality: How to Improve Quality, Compliance, Customer Service, and Ethics in the Insurance Industry, Hedy Abromovitz and Les Abromovitz, CRC Press, 2000 Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431, 1998, 217 pp., $39.95. (Book)

ISO 9001 Standard and Automotive Requirements: QS-9000 and Aerospace Standard AS 9000 Paraphrased, Robert W. Peach and Dr. Lawrence A. Wilson, Goal/QPC, 13 Branch St., Methuen, MA 01844-1953, 1998, 52 pp., $5.95. (Book)

Manual on Experimental Methods of Mechanical Testing of Composites, C.H. Jenkins, The Fairmont Press, 700 Indian Trail, Lilburn, GA 30047, 1998, 254 pp., $109. (Book)

Principles and Practices of Organizational Performance Excellence, Thomas J. Cartin, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., P.O. Box 3005, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005, 1999, 291 pp. Available through ASQ's Publications Catalog: member price $27, list price $30. (Book)

Quality Team Learning for Schools: A Principal's Perspective, James E. Abbot, ASQ Quality Press, 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., P.O. Box 3005, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005, 1998, 180 pp. Available through ASQ's Publications Catalog: member price $22.50, list price $25. (Book)

Total Quality Essentials, Sarv Singh Soin, McGraw-Hill, 11 West 19th St., New York, NY 10011-4285, 362 pp., $39.95. (Book)

Winning in Business With Enterprise Project Management, Paul C. Dinsmore, AMACOM, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 1999, 220 pp., $39.95. (Book)

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