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009X0701Volunteers Sought for TAG Work Group on Climate Change

Volunteers are being sought to work with the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to Technical Committee (TC) 207 on creation of documents on climate change. TC 207 is the technical committee responsible for the ISO 14000 series of environmental management standards.

The ASQ Standards Group expects the new documents to incorporate guidance on greenhouse gas emissions verification, emissions assessment from entities and projects, and carbon sequestration assessments.

U.S. representatives contributing to the development of these documents will participate under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute, which has mandated ASQ to administer the work of this and other U.S. TAGs on standards development. Information on the TAG can be found at http://standardsgroup.asq.org.

Volunteer experts are expected to make a commitment of at least three years, including being available for and covering the cost of three or four overseas trips a year and three or four trips in the United States. Experts must obviously have the backing of their employers to permit their participation and fund their travel, according to the ASQ Standards Group.

Those interested should contact the U.S. Standards Group administrator, Patty Ghanam, at pghanam@asq.org.
 

NIST To Investigate World Trade Center Collapse

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a $16 million, 24-month federal building and fire safety investigation to study the structural failure and progressive collapse of several World Trade Center buildings following the terrorist attacks in New York City last Sept. 11.

Technical experts from industry, academia and other laboratories and from a private sector coalition will participate in the investigation. NIST expects to issue a final report within 24 months of the start of the program.

In addition to this investigation, NIST is planning an R&D program to provide the technical basis for improved building and fire codes, standards and practices and for an industry led dissemination and technical assistance program to provide practical guidance and tools to better prepare for future disasters.

NIST says it has conducted similar investigations following structural or construction failures, fires and natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes.
 

ISO 9000, ISO 14000 Certificates Reach Record Levels in 2001

Record increases in the number of certificates of conformity issued for implementing quality or environmental management systems that meet the requirements of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 were reached in 2001, according to the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO.

By the end of 2001, at least 510,616 ISO 9000 quality management certificates had been issued in 161 countries and economies, an increase of nearly 25% over the 408,631 issued by the end of 2000.

Of the total ISO 9000 certifications for 2001, 44,388, or nearly 44%, were for ISO 9001:2000, the single standard that is replacing the 1994 versions of ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003. Organizations have until December 2003 to move to the new standard.

At least 36,765 ISO 14000 environmental management certificates had been awarded in 112 countries or economies by the end of 2001, an increase of nearly 61% over the 22,897 total at the end of 2000. ISO says this is by far the largest increase for ISO 14000 since the survey began to be conducted in 1996 for results at the end of 1995.

These developments are revealed in The ISO Survey (ISBN 92-67-10365-2), which is available as a combined 36-page report and CD-ROM from the ISO central secretariat at www.iso.org or from ISO's member institutes. These include the American National Standards Institute (www.ansi.org) and the Standards Council of Canada (www.scc.ca).

The survey also includes the following data for ISO 9000 and ISO 14000:

  • World, regional and country-by-country totals of certificates issued.

  • Country highlights, such as most growth, total certificate milestones and countries with their first certifications.

  • Worldwide breakdowns by industrial sectors.

  • Breakdown by country of withdrawn certificates.

ISO says that because it does not carry out either ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 certifications itself, gathering information for the survey is labor intensive. For this reason, the standards organization will charge a fee for the report beginning this year.
 

Baldrige Regional Conferences To Be Held This Month

The Baldrige Regional Conferences are slated for Oct. 10 at the Marriott in Fremont, CA, and Oct. 23 at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, MI.

The conferences provide an in-depth opportunity to learn about the best practices and results of the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipients and earlier recipients. Presentations are by senior leaders and other representatives of these organizations.

The California conference follows ASQ's Western Regional Conference Oct. 7-9 at the Fremont Marriott.

For online registration, go to www.quality.nist.gov. Or register by calling MACC Inc. at 215-822-3332.
 

Household Appliances Top Latest Satisfaction Survey

TOST01FLHousehold appliances, with an average  satisfaction level of 82%, topped the second quarter of 2002's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The second quarter report covers manufacturing durables, including personal computers, household appliances, consumer electronics and automobiles, and e-business, including portals, search engines, and news and information.

Kenmore, Maytag and Whirlpool, with scores of 83, headed the list, although Maytag showed a decline of 3.5% from its 2001 score. General Electric was close behind the leaders at 82% satisfaction, with "all others" receiving 77%.

The consumer electronics category received an overall rating of 81%, while automobiles were rated at 80% overall. Both categories were unchanged from the 2001 report.

BMW and GM's Buick and Cadillac, all at 86%, had the highest auto scores, although the Cadillac score showed a 2.3% decline from 2001. Ford's Lincoln-Mercury improved 2.4% to 84% satisfaction. DaimlerChrysler and Toyota's scores were 83. At the bottom of the list, but still with respectable scores, were DaimlerChrysler's Dodge, Ford's Ford, GM's Chevrolet and Pontiac, and Hyundai at 78; and "all others" at 77.

Personal computers scored only 71% overall. Individually, Dell Computer led the pack at 76%, although it declined 2.6% from 2001. Hewlett-Packard was at the bottom of the major manufacturers of personal computers, at 71%.

The e-business category's overall score was 68.7%. Among portals, Yahoo was tops at 76%, while AOL was on the bottom at 59%. For search engines, Google was head and shoulders above others with an 80% score. Its next highest competitor was in the low 60s.

For news and information on the web, most sites measured were tightly clustered with scores in the low to mid 70s.

The ACSI is produced by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan, in partnership with ASQ and the CFI Group of Ann Arbor, MI. About 16,000 customers of companies being surveyed are telephoned each quarter.

Claus Fornell, a University of Michigan professor who oversees the survey, says satisfaction is a factor, along with zero interest rates, that has led to impressive sales figures for autos during an economic downturn.

J.D Powers & Associates, a market research company that tracks the auto industry, says its research backs up the ACSI auto findings.
 

BALDRIGE EXAMINERS SOUGHT: The application for the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) will be available online this year. Applications can be made beginning Nov. 5, 2002, through Jan. 6, 2003. Until the application is available, you can get information on requirements, conditions of involvement and the ethical code by viewing last year's application at www.quality.nist.gov.

BALDRIGE ANNIVERSARY: The MBNQA is marking its 15th anniversary this year. President Ronald Reagan signed the act creating the program on Aug. 20, 1987.

DRUCKER HONORED: Peter Drucker, who was a keynoter at last year's ASQ Annual Quality Congress, recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, from President Bush.

NEW ONLINE DEGREES: California State University at Dominguez Hills has added bachelor's degrees in quality assurance (QA) and QA with a measurement science option to its offerings, which are provided via the internet, on campus or at job sites. For information, call 310-243-3880 or visit www.csudh.edu/bsqa.


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