Skill Standards Council Studying Today's Manufacturing Workplace

The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) is spending the summer talking to manufacturing workers and conducting research on what is needed to succeed in a high-performance workplace. This effort follows a spring meeting in Dearborn, MI, where the council focused on a development plan and identified concentration areas on which to focus.

Skill standards development work this summer is being concentrated in the following areas:

  • Manufacturing production process development to develop, implement and improve the processes through early production and process changes; assess product and process design for manufacturability.

  • Logistics and inventory control to plan and control the movement and storage of materials and products in the manufacturing system.

  • Maintenance, installation and repair to ensure that the maintenance of the manufacturing system fulfills customer and business requirements; install and repair equipment on the manufacturing floor.

  • Production quality assurance to ensure that the manufacturing system meets quality system requirements as designed by business and its customers.

  • Health, safety and environmental assurance to ensure that the manufacturing system meets health, safety and environmental requirements.

The developmental activities will include identification of work that occurs in today's fast-paced manufacturing workplace, solicitation of input on how to know when work is being done well (performance indicators) and a focus on the skills and knowledge elements of the skill standards. MSSC says this will allow it to develop core and concentration skill standards, while still meeting its goal of having validated skill standards by this fall.

Skill standards are descriptions of work to be performed, how well it must be performed and the level of knowledge and skill required to perform that work. The National Skill Standards Board (NSSB), which was created by Congress, had recognized MSSC as the first voluntary partnership to develop a nationwide system of work force skill standards for manufacturing and related installation and repair workers.

MSSC membership of nearly 200 includes corporations, labor unions, employer and employee organizations, educators and public interest groups. Committee chairpersons are John Rauschenberger of Ford Motor Co., steering committee; RoseAnn Stevenson of the Boeing Co., standards committee; Chris Olson of the Vocational Technical Education Consortium of States, framework and systems-building committee; Ken Mericle of the School for Workers, skill standards documentation committee; and Gayla Zoz of R.R. Donnelley & Sons, marketing committee.

The next semi-annual meeting of MSSC will be Oct. 21-22 in Atlanta. For information, visit the council's Web site at www.msscusa.org.

Telcordia Earns Highest Level Of Quality Recognition

Telcordia Technologies, Inc. has earned a level five capability maturity model (CMM) rating from the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI). This means Telcordia (formerly Bellcore) is the largest software organization to achieve this status.

SEI created the CMM as a guide for systematically implementing development practices that continuously improve software quality. CMM is composed of five maturity levels, with an organization demonstrating increasingly more mature software processes as it moves from level one to level five.

The level five assessment involves a detailed evaluation of management, organizational and technical processes. According to Telcordia, the results of efforts to achieve the assessment has given it "extraordinary control over its software development costs."

Specifically, Telcordia says its implementation of the program resulted in a 50% improvement in customer satisfaction during a five-year period, as well as a decrease in the software development lifecycle from 18-24 months to 6-9 months. It now is offering a service to assist its customers in achieving CMM level five or ISO 9000 certification.

Headquartered in Morristown, NY, Telcordia provides software, engineering, consulting and training services to communication networks throughout the world. Created in 1984, it employs 6,000 and has revenues of more than $1.2 billion.

SEI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and staffed by professionals from government, industry and academia.

Five Automakers Agree To Develop Common Technology Standard

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG, Toyota Motor Corp. and Renault SA have signed an agreement to develop an industrywide common wiring standard for new vehicles.

The standard will enable automotive suppliers to design their products for millions of cars and trucks, regardless of the maker, and may reduce the cost of these devices by standardizing manufacturing processes.

These devices include dashboard-mounted features such as paging systems and Web hookups, which are expected to be widely available as early as the 2002 model year.

Industry spokespersons say they are pursuing the standard so their new vehicles can accommodate the wide array of communication and entertainment equipment being developed for the auto industry. They expect additional automakers to sign the agreement.

RAB Launches Internal QMS Auditor Certification

The Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB) is accepting applications for a new internal quality management systems (QMS) auditor certification program.

One grade of certification, QMS internal auditor, is available under the new program for an initial certification fee of $250, which includes the first year's annual fee. To earn this certification, applicants are asked to provide verifiable evidence of: education, a QMS auditor training course, work experience in quality assurance activities, personal character attributes and QMS audit experience gained within the last five years.

Training course options that will be accepted until July 1, 2000, include:

  • Successful completion of an ANSI-RAB accredited internal auditor training course.

  • Current certification by ASQ as a certified quality auditor, plus training in ISO 9000.

  • Attendance at an RAB approved, 36-hour QMS lead auditor training course (passing the examination is not a requirement).

  • Attendance at a qualified QMS internal auditor training course that was not RAB approved at the time of presentation. A qualified course is defined as a two- or three-day course given by an outside course provider, either on-site or in a pubic venue or an In-House/On-Site company course. A course syllabus, along with a completed equivalency matrix, is required in order for such a course to be considered.

An annual renewal process after the first and second year and a recertification process after the third year will ensure that certified internal auditors are maintaining audit experience.

Application packages are available from RAB by calling 888-722-2440 and requesting item T960. The cost is $10 per package.

Quality Web Watch

Looking for a quality Web site? Here are quality-related sites the Quality Progress staff has found:

The Benchmarking Dumping Factor at brisc.org/newsletter.html

This is the site of an information-sharing benchmarking newsletter. The newsletter is in both Spanish and English, and the site tells how to get a free subscription.

The National Quality Institute at www.nqi.ca

This is a new location for Canada's National Quality Institute (NQI). Available in both English and French, the site features a calendar, links and information on awards, certification and National Quality Month.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's Ben Franklin Technology Centers at www.dced.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/DCED/business/workbfcenters.htm

This site tells about Pennsylvania's Ben Franklin Partnership, which administers grant programs that offer development and growth funds for the state's technology and manufacturing-based firms. The partnership features four technology centers offering funding and other resources.

Quality Assurance Web Ring at raviv.com/ringsites.htm

This ring, organized by Howard Atkins, quality manager at Raviv Precision Injection Molding in Israel, features 57 sites, both noncommercial and commercial. The links are from around the globe and range from statistical process control in injection molding to ASQ sections to the American Quality Management Mall.

QFD Institute at www.qfdi.org

This site features information about the QFD Institute, which advances quality function deployment (QFD) methodology. It features a calendar and information about membership, the QFD Symposium and the Akao prize, which is administered by the institute.

More Web sites. Links to and descriptions of these sites and past Quality Web Watch sites can be found on Quality Progress' home page at http://qualityprogress.asq.org.

Found an interesting quality site? If you come across a site that could be useful to other quality professionals, contact Susan E. Daniels at sdaniels@asq.org.

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this article

Add Comments

View comments
Comments FAQ

Featured advertisers