Shingo Prize Awarded to Six U.S. and Mexican Firms

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced the six winners of the 1999 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.

Considered one of the "triple crown" of industrial awards along with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Deming Prize, the Shingo Prize is awarded to companies in North America that demonstrate outstanding achievement in manufacturing processes, with emphasis on lean, just-in-time production.

The prize is co-sponsored by NAM and administered by the College of Business at Utah State University. It is named for the late Shigeo Shingo, creator of the original Toyota production system. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Shingo Prize.

The winners are:

* Delphi Automotive Systems' RIMIR Operations plant in Matamoras, Mexico, makes driver and passenger-side airbags. It has achieved 100% on-time delivery for service parts and airbags while increasing productivity by 12%. In addition, Dephi RIMIR has accumulated nearly two million man hours without a recordable accident and more than seven million work hours without a lost workday incident.

* Federal Mogul Lighting Products in Hampton, VA, develops, designs and manufactures exterior lighting and was honored this year for its use of lean manufacturing techniques, total quality management problem-solving, and rapid-improvement teams and cellular manufacturing. The facility reduced order-to-shipment times by 83%, reduced defects to 25 parts per million and improved first-pass yield to 97%. It was named one of Industry Week magazine's 10 best plants in 1997.

* Grupo Cydsa Sales del Istmo, SA de CV (SISA) in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, manufactures and distributes salt products for several applications, including food, chemical and animal industries. SISA's success as the premium Mexican salt producer is based on its customer focus, market research and operational excellence. By implementing the principles of continuous improvement, the plant has maintained its market dominance while at the same time reducing operating costs and improving quality and customer service. SISA is the fourth Grupo Cydsa plant to receive the Shingo Prize.

* Spicer Cardanes, S.A. de C.V. in Querétaro, Mexico, produces and commercializes light and heavy-duty driveshafts in the domestic market in Mexico for Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, Kenworth and Nissan, among others. Since 1995, the plant has increased productivity by 78%, raised return-on-investment by 400% and improved its operating margin by more than 230%.

* O.C. Tanner in Salt Lake City makes corporate employee service awards. Serving some 10,000 corporate customers in the United States, O.C. Tanner produces more than four million unique awards and ships 10,000 awards per day. The plant has increased on-time delivery by 44% since 1993 and increased first-pass yield by 17% and reduced scrap by 69% in the last two years.

* The Wiremold Company in West Hartford, CT, pioneered the development of fully integrated wire and cable management systems. Since the institution of its new production system in 1990, productivity has more than doubled, and quality audits showing no defects were at 99.4% in 1998. The system is so successful that top manufacturing companies throughout the United States and the world have visited the plant to observe the Wiremold system in action.

The six winners were honored at the annual Shingo Prize Conference on June 10.

Gerber Discusses Enterprise Quality Improvement at AQC

During this year's Annual Quality Congress in Anaheim, CA, Leo Wright, senior manager of quality systems at Gerber Products Co., the Michigan baby care products manufacturer, led a discussion on enterprise quality improvement (QI).

With the assistance of the Quality Center at the SAS Institute, a provider of integrated data warehousing and decision support, Gerber developed a new system for plant floor statistical process control (SPC) and a strategy to provide management with statistical analyses and reporting capabilities.

"Gerber's quality control data warehouse provides 100% electronic data capture vs. the previous level of 40%," said Wright. "To date we can attribute savings well in excess of $458,000 due to improved accuracy, precision and control of product overfill."

Donna Fulenwider, business manager of the SAS Quality Center, said SAS provided expertise and technology in the areas of statistical quality improvement, data warehousing and data mining, to assist Gerber Products in achieving enterprise quality improvement.

"The center promotes an enterprisewide approach for improving the quality of products, processes and services," she explained. The enterprise approach starts with design of experiments and SPC, then moves on to the integration of data from various sources into an enterprise quality improvement data warehouse.

Once the data warehouse is in place, production and quality data can be modeled and analyzed with manufacturing information from other systems such as manufacturing execution systems or enterprise resource planning systems. Data mining methodology can be used to examine the data and discover patterns and associations that predict characteristics related to quality at each stage of the process.

Fastener Quality Act Amendments Passed by Congress

A series of amendments to the Fastener Quality Act of 1990 were enacted by Congress and signed into law in June.

A Commerce Department study requested by Congress led to the conclusion that the number and magnitude of problems with fasteners are a fraction of what they were when the law was first passed. Among the reasons identified for this quality improvement were advances in manufacturing technology and better procurement procedures.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says the law now clearly establishes protections against the sale of mismarked, misrepresented and counterfeit fasteners, including screws, nuts, bolts and other devices used in critical products and systems such as automobiles, aircraft and tanks, while eliminating unnecessary requirements.

According to NIST, the new law, as amended, reflects many of the report's recommendations, including limiting coverage to only high-strength fasteners, encouraging use of recognized industry quality assurance systems and streamlining paperwork reporting by allowing companies to transmit and store reports electronically.

NIST will continue to operate a voluntary program to accredit fastener testing laboratories, and accreditation organizations may submit their own registration and accreditation guidelines to NIST if they choose not to follow ISO guidelines.

Survey Says Cyberstores Need to Improve Service

Cybershopping is soaring, but a new survey found that improved customer service would help take online sales to new heights.

Online sales are expected to increase to $18 billion this year, up from $8 billion in 1998, but only 5.75% of consumers who visit e-commerce Web sites actually try to make a purchase, according to a poll by Net Effect and published in USA Today on June 2.

About 67% of those attempted purchases are not completed, falling victim to the lack of real time customer service and support, the five month survey showed. Consumer concerns included deliveries, returns and product specifications.

Net Effect, a British Internet consultant, studied two dozen companies, including Amazon.com, eToys and Dell Computer Corp. Net Effect suggests that Internet retailers consider greeting new customers to their Web sites, recognize them on future visits, and have the ability to move customers with questions from an automated response system to personal responses when needed.


by Jim Clauson

Many Cyberquality articles have begun with a "boss needs information" scenario. This article is no different with the exception that the topic--design of experiments (DOE)--was brought to my attention by a Quality Progress subscriber. The subscriber's boss had asked her to locate information on the best approach to DOE and brief him on the findings. I imagined myself in this assistant's situation and hit the Internet to see what I could find.

The following are the sites that I personally found most instructive. Engineers, statisticians and students might each have different needs for DOE information, but remember, the original challenge was to secure enough background to brief the boss on DOE.

"Virtual Book" on DOE

This is a comprehensive virtual book that appears on a single Web page. StatSoft has included several good diagrams to accompany this text from the Industrial Center at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Links to examples, highlighted key points and thorough tables and charts make this site particularly useful for those new to DOE.

Design of Experiments from the Perspective of Competitive Advantage http://mijuno.larc.nasa.gov/dfc/doe.html

I continue to be amazed at the work Edwin B. Dean has done at this NASA site. In terms of quality information, Dean's discussion of DOE is broad and deep. By clicking the table of contents link, the reader is taken to a listing of Dean's work. Topics such as engineering technologies, designing for value and the role of quality costs can be researched--each in relation to gaining competitive advantage.

Twenty Key Elements of a Product Realization Process

ProSci's BRP (Business Process Reengineering) On-line Learning Center home page is not specifically a DOE site. It does, however, list 20 key elements of a sound product realization process, many of which address tools of DOE. The site also includes a list of the 56 best practices of the product realization process including testing skills and design and manufacturing analysis.

Pick a Design, Any Design

Authors C.J. Keller and Richard Scranton write that most people have heard of DOE, but find "the insides of [their] eyelids more pleasant to look at than the books devoted to the topic." The authors describe and compare different DOE designs and the impact these designs have on the number of runs and factor ranges.

Teaching Design of Experiments Using a Job Aid and Minitab www.minitab.com/resources/whitepapers/crowder.htm

This is a good example of the kind of articles commercial sites have begun adding for value added purposes. The article presented by Minitab offers a detailed case study on creating a DOE curriculum and teaching a course on the subject.

MathSoft in Education

If you are involved in either secondary or post-secondary statistics education, this site might be of interest to you as it offers a specific program and a series of products for educators. Use this site to download a free read-only version of Mathcad 8 Explorer, browse mathematical documents and access a Web forum for Mathcad users.

Math Options Inc.

The Math Options home page caught my attention for three reasons: First there is a "Don't like math?" feature--uncommon for a company dealing with DOE. Second, Math Option offers a free experiment--send them data and they will run an experiment for you. Finally, it uses two of my favorite words: free download.

Nonexperimenter Tries Design of Experiments Software

In his review of a StatEase product, Rich Burnham--an individual with only a "fragmentary DOE background"--explains what he learned about the method. "I was in awe of the power of DOE," Burnham writes. "It's an amazing, systematic approach to experimentation that considers all factors simultaneously. It provides information about interactions among factors and the way a total system works, not just a few factors."

Taguchi's contributions and Plackett-Burman designs

It would be nearly impossible for our assistant to properly fill her boss in on DOE without mentioning Genichi Taguchi's contributions and Plackett-Burman designs. Here are a few sites that address each:

Taguchi Methods from the Perspective of Competitive Advantage http://mijuno.larc.nasa.gov/dfc/tm.html

In another of Edwin Dean's articles, he writes that "Taguchi methods were developed by Genichi Taguchi to improve the implementation of total quality control in Japan. [These methods] are based on design of experiments to provide near optimal quality characteristics for a specific objective." The site compares the use of Taguchi methods in Japan and the United States and briefly discusses costs.

Process and Product Improvement with DOE

The home page of Qi2, a consulting and training firm, offers a course on DOE with an emphasis on Taguchi. In outlining the course, this site briefly describes DOE, lists its benefits and highlights Taguchi's methods.

Download Evaluations at Quality America

Quality America offers a download of its DOE-PC IV package for a 30 day trial. Quality America says the software generates designs from a list of design types including Taguchi, Plackett-Burman and central composites.

Plackett-Burman Designs

The Quality America DOE glossary defines Plackett-Burman Designs and Taguchi ratios.

Hadamard Matrices

For the mathematically adventurous, the library of Hadamard matrices at N.J.A. Sloane's site is a great resource when considering this Plackett-Burnman feature.

Web sites will certainly not replace books and live traditional courses on DOE. With a few key words and a bit of time, however, the internet can help users become conversant on the topic. Conversant--not skilled or capable of choosing and running complex experiments. The internet offers access to theories and applications previously difficult for the quality practitioner to find. The key is to accept the process of learning and discovering the medium that works best for you.

JIM CLAUSON is a senior developer at Breakthrough Systems. He is a contributing editor to Quality Progress and has served as membership, electronic-media and section chair for ASQ's Knoxville section. He can be reached at jim@jclauson.com or www.jclauson.com

Quality Web Watch

webwatch art Looking for a quality-related Web site? Here's a site that the Quality Progress staff found.


This site allows users to find and book seminars, conferences and trade shows in fields of interest that include quality, project management, customer service, engineering, training and development, health care and education. There is also a discussion group. The search engine allows event searches by industry, key words, location and date range.

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  qualityprogress.asq.org

Found an interesting quality site? If you come across a site that could be useful to other quality professionals, e-mail it to sdaniels@asq.org


NASA now requires that all of its computer-aided engineering, design and manufacturing systems have STEP-compliant tools that enable data interchange. STEP, also known as ISO 10303, is the global standard for the exchange of product model data.


The U.S. National CAD [computer aided design] Standard, which standardizes CAD drawings for buildings, has been completed. The first edition of the standard promulgated by the National Institute of Building Sciences is built on documents from the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the American Institute of Architects, the Tri-Service CADD/GIS Technology Center and U.S. Coast Guard. According to CSI, the goal of the new standard is to streamline and simplify the exchange of building design and construction data, not only during project development, but also throughout the life of a facility.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reports it has completed the certification of two new reference materials (RM) for the calibration of instruments used to measure the ferrite content of stainless steel welds. The standards were certified in accordance with the American National Standards Institute/American Welding Society Standard A4.2 and the ISO Standard 8249. RM 8480 and 8481 can be ordered through NIST at 301-975-6776 or srminfo@nist.gov

AutoBid software, a program from NIST, is designed to assist police departments in the selection of vehicles. The program uses results of Michigan State Police vehicle tests of attributes such as maneuverability, fuel economy and speed. AutoBid can be used over the Internet (using a Java-capable browser) or can be downloaded to run on a desktop computer (with Java Runtime Environment). Both are available at www.eeel.nist.gov/oles


Tomkins Associates, a Raleigh, NC, total operations consulting firm, has published a monograph, Achieving Logistics Excellence Through Supply Chain Synthesis, to assist in the benchmarking of logistics operation. It includes a 50-question diagnostic tool based on enabling technologies, supply chain synthesis, warehousing, logistics, manufacturing, organizational excellence, maintenance and quality. Call 800-789-1257.


Mark W. Hurwitz has been named new president and CEO of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). He suceeds Sergio Mazza, who is leaving ANSI to pursue a career in the private business sector. Hurwitz is a past executive vice president of the Building Owners and Managers Association International and founder of the Center for Association Leadership, a Princeton, NJ, association management consulting firm.

U.S. Disapproves ISO 9000:2000 Revision Draft; Approves 9001 and 9004

U.S. interests disapproved the second committee draft (CD 2) of ISO 9000:2000, while approving the ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 drafts. The drafts are part of the process expected to lead to revision of the ISO 9000 series of quality management standards in the year 2000.

The U.S. position on the drafts was developed by the U.S. Tech-nical Advisory Group (TAG) to the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 176.

The disapproval of ISO 9000:2000 CD 2 was based on such issues as the document's structure--including the lack of an alphabetical listing of definitions--confusion created by two definitions of quality and a lack of consistency with definitions in ISO 9001 and 9004.

Jack West, chair of the U.S. TAG to TC 176, says the ISO 9000 draft could be approved if the TAG's proposed remedies are adopted. He adds that while the ISO 9001 and 9004 drafts were approved, resolution of certain criticisms will be needed to retain support.

Details of the U.S. position on the drafts will appear in the October issue of Quality Progress.

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