||Baldrige Quality Award News
Six organizations have been named recipients of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the United States’ highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence. The recipients are Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc., Monticello, Minn. (manufacturing); DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations, New Orleans, La. (service); Park Place Lexus, Plano, Texas (small business); Richland College, Dallas, Texas (small business); Jenks Public Schools, Jenks, Okla. (education); and Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, Mich. (healthcare). This is the first time that a community college, an automotive dealership and an oil industry business have been named as Baldrige Award recipients.
Starting in 2007, nonprofit organizations including charities, trade and professional associations, and government agencies will be eligible to apply for the Baldrige Award. To lay the groundwork for the new category, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will conduct a pilot application program in 2006 to help train the private-sector examiners who review applications and to determine the readiness of nonprofit organizations to participate. While no awards will be presented to nonprofits during the pilot phase, a private-sector team of examiners will review the applications and all applicants will receive written feedback, including strengths and opportunities to improve. Nonprofit organizations interested in participating in the pilot program should contact Mark Shapiro (phone: 800/898-4506). For more information on the Baldrige Award, including the performance excellence criteria, click here.
ARI and ASHRAE Agree to Mutually Cooperate in Standards Development
The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., have approved a new cooperative agreement for standards development that reinforces their long-running alliance. Preserved and formalized in the agreement is one of the tenets of the ASHRAE-ARI relationship that ASHRAE develops method-of-testing standards that describe how to perform product testing, while ARI develops rating standards that specify rating conditions and details on how to rate the performance of products using those tests. The agreement makes clear that where there is a published ARI rating standard, the ARI rating standard is the appropriate place for inclusion of the product performance rating conditions. Likewise, where there is a published ASHRAE method of testing standard, the ASHRAE standard is the appropriate place for inclusion of the method of testing details. Further, to address both future and all existing standards, the agreement stipulates the mechanism for moving method-of-testing standards from ARI to ASHRAE and for moving rating conditions from ASHRAE to ARI standards.
Grant Advances Web Portal for U.S./China Standards
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has awarded a $250,000 matching grant to support the development of an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-sponsored U.S./China Standards Portal. The Web site will provide online educational materials on the Chinese and U.S. standards systems, as well as translated titles and scopes of up to 1,000 selected standards used in each of the two nations. Developed in consultation with ANSI members and constituents, the U.S./China Standards Portal will feature translations of key bibliographic information pertaining to 1,000 of China’s mandatory national standards and Chinese translations for a comparable number of U.S. standards. The free site will include information on the structure and operation of the standards systems in both nations. ANSI anticipates the site will be operational by the third quarter of 2006.
Testing and Measurement Mergers Heat Up
Mergers and acquisitions in the testing and measurement industry grew at a record pace this year, according to a new report from Robert W. Baird & Co., a global investment banking company. For the first eight months of 2005, there were 72 testing and measurement company merger and acquisition transactions, representing a total value of $3.1 billion, according to the report. During the same period in 2004, there were just 45 transactions, valued at $1.2 billion. Baird attributes the increased merger and acquisition activity to several factors:
• Automated manufacturing. Testing and measurement equipment improves efficiency by reducing scrap, labor and overhead costs.
• Quality control throughout the supply chain. This
results in an increased number of users for testing and measurement instruments.
• Increasing environmental awareness. More stringent regulations require the need for constant testing.
• Time-to-market accelerations. Faster time-to-market creates the need to replace older and slower methods of production and testing.
• Expanded testing and measurement applications. Functional improvements are now offered at lower price points to address a wider range of end markets.
• Globalization. There is increased demand for testing and measurement instruments in fast-growing industrial markets such as Asia and India. (From November 2005 issue of Quality Digest)
Sophisticated Paint Endorsement Program
The American Institute of Steel Construction has revised and updated its Sophisticated Paint Endorsement program, which helps owners and specifiers select structural steel fabricators that are able to provide the special project quality needs for sophisticated painting systems, such as zincs, epoxies, urethanes, and multi-coat systems. The SPE is part of AISC’s program to certify steel fabricating shops. Release of the new criteria as a standard, rather than the previous checklist, is part of an ongoing effort by AISC to support a system-based approach to quality management and to better communicate to project owners and specifiers exactly what the certification programs provide. To view the full standard, visit www.aisc.org/spe. For a list of Quality Certified Fabricators, visit www.aisc.org/certification. For more info on the AISC SPE or certification program, call 312/670-2400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. //