Harry W. McLean, ASQ Quality Press, 2009, 208 pp., $43 member, $71 list (book, revised edition).
This book reveals the accelerated life testing techniques helping many of the world’s top electronic and electromechanical companies produce high-reliability products from product introduction through product life cycle. McLean has been involved in the development and application of the techniques in his career at Hewlett-Packard and while consulting with clients.
McLean first defines highly accelerated life testing (HALT) and makes a case for the importance of having high-reliability products at market introduction. The book dives not only into the HALT process, but also provides important insight into implementation, including establishing limits, recording failures and corrective actions, and troubleshooting under stress conditions. All these are supported with examples from the author’s experience.
The book then defines and makes the case for highly accelerated stress screen (HASS) versus traditional stress screening. The basics of HASS include appropriate screening limits and profiles, fixture characterization, defect detection, screen tuning and equipment.
Finally, McLean explains highly accelerated stress audit (HASA). This section takes statistical process control and sampling and applies it to the stress screening process. Examples such as control charts, graphical tools and lot acceptance sampling plans are all developed. The rest of the book covers test equipment requirements and how to sell an accelerated reliability program to management. It also includes a valuable section on common questions and observations.
This book is well written and follows a logical sequence within each chapter. Concepts are developed with numerous examples and illustrations. There is a glossary and an index, making it an easy-to-use reference. Reliability and quality professionals will find this book a valuable resource, as it offers information useful to those at any experience level.
The Boeing Co.
Colorado Springs, CO
FAST: Fast-Action Solution Technique
H. James Harrington, Paton Professional, 2009, 118 pp., $24.95 (book).
If you have a process to improve, this is the book you need. The fast-action solution technique (FAST) is a method designed to rapidly identify issues, begin process improvement and implement solutions. Harrington provides the steps to follow, including how to sell the improvement process to management.
The key to successful use of FAST is in following the steps completely and having the right resources. The details for implementation are developed through the steps of this process. This compact book covers:
- Types of process improvements.
- What is needed to successfully use FAST.
- Identifying opportunities for improvement.
- Preparing for a FAST workshop.
- Planning improvements.
- Implementing changes, including measurements, rewards and recognition.
The book also features examples and figures illustrating the steps and concepts for executing this technique. Some fill-in-the-blank forms are also provided.
Most seasoned practitioners eventually come to develop a system similar to FAST. Harrington, however, has introduced decades of knowledge and experience into a simple, efficient and effective process, saving a lot of time for those tasked with improvement projects.
This book organizes what is needed. When followed, FAST will systematize the improvement activity and define all that is required, benefiting even the most experienced among us.
Juran’s Quality Handbook: The Complete Guide to Performance Excellence
Joseph A. DeFeo and Joseph M. Juran, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010,136 pp., $150 (book, sixth edition).
The idea of a handbook on quality control originated late in 1944 and was part of Juran’s decision to leave Western Electric and become a freelance consultant after World War II. The first edition was published in 1951. With the fifth edition, the name was changed from Quality Control Handbook to Juran’s Quality Handbook.
After more than 80 years influencing the quality world, Juran left us before this sixth edition of the handbook was published. He did, however, write some chapters for this new edition. The 31 total chapters in the book are written by some 20 authors, many with connections to the Juran Institute.
The handbook consists of four sections: key concepts, methods and tools, the most important methods in your industry, and key functions. This edition covers a range of methods and tools for quality engineering, control and management. It is written for anyone concerned with quality in engineering, business, manufacturing and healthcare. Although it is a huge body of work, the book is well structured and has an excellent index.
This edition of the handbook is reorganized to reflect today’s quality management landscape, providing new techniques and applications. New chapters on lean and Six Sigma are included because these methods have evolved and changed since the last edition. The book also emphasizes the need for new quality software development methods.
For more than 50 years, Juran’s Quality Handbook has been a main reference to quality management and engineering around the world. It continues to play the same important role with this latest edition.
Luleå University of Technology
Theory of Constraints Handbook
James F. Cox III and John G. Schleier Jr. (editors), McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010, 1,216 pp., $99.95 (book).
In this comprehensive volume, 44 expert authors with editors Cox and Schleier, provide an in-depth explanation of Theory of Constraints (TOC).
The handbook’s introduction is written by Eliayahu Goldratt, the father of TOC. The purpose of this book is to provide hands-on guidance from the world’s top experts on how to implement TOC capabilities.
While leading practitioners provide guidance based on their experience, academic authors give a review of the wealth of literature on why to move from the traditional discipline to each TOC discipline and a review of TOC literature in that discipline.
The book is organized into 38 chapters and eight different sections:
- Chain project management.
- Drum-buffer-rope management and distribution.
- Performance measures.
- Strategy, marketing and sales.
- Thinking processes.
- TOC in services.
- TOC in complex environments.
The main strength of this handbook is that it gives an up-to-date, comprehensive review of TOC issues from a theoretical perspective and from a practical point of view. I highly recommend this book for practitioners, researchers, managers and consultants involved with TOC. The book is definitely worth a place on your shelf for frequent consulting.
Tecnun (University of Navarra)
San Sebastian, Spain
- The A3 Workbook: Unlock Your Problem-Solving Mind
Daniel D. Matthews, CRC Press, 2010, 171 pp., $49.95 (book and CD-ROM).
- CAPA for the FDA-Regulated Industry
Jose Rodriguez Perez, ASQ Quality Press, 2010, 168 pp., $30 member, $50 list (book).