Quality Basics: PDCA & Risk Management

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All good quality management efforts, including those following and/or in compliance with the ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems Standard, include an emphasis on risk management and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle for continuous improvement.

In this article, we give a brief introduction to risk management and the PDCA  cycle and their relation to quality assurance and quality management.

And don’t leave without downloading the free PDCA Cycle infographic from the bottom of this article! 

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Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point for Food Safety Management

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If you’re involved in food/beverage production and have food safety responsibilities, you’re required to fulfill Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, or HACCP, compliance requirements (see 21 CFR parts 120 and 123).

HACCP is a systematic and preventive food safety approach intended to avoid the introduction or and/or contamination of food by biological, chemical, and physical hazards rather than simply inspecting food products after their production to determine if they have been contaminated (this is somewhat similar to the “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound full of cure” adage).

Enjoy learning more about HACCP and it’s important role in food safety, and don’t forget to download the free 7 Tools of Quality download we’ve provided for you at the bottom of this article as well.

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What Are Predictive Maintenance & Conditions-Based Maintenance? (Interview with Dr. Klaus Blache)

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It’s always great to talk with someone who really knows their stuff, and when it comes to issues around maintenance, reliability, and maintainability, Dr. Klaus Blache of the UT-RMC really knows his stuff.

That’s why we’ve enjoyed holding (and publishing here) a series of discussions with Klaus on issues related to reliability and maintainbility (if you missed some, check out our recorded discussion on the benefits of reliability and maintainability and articles we co-wrote on creating a culture for reliability, maintainability, and continuous improvement as well as what reliability and maintainabilty are).

So with no further ado, please feel free to watch our short discussion explaining predictive maintenance and conditions-based maintenance (also known as PDM and CBM) below. If you’d rather read instead of watch and listen, we’ve created a transcript for you below the video.

And before you go, please feel free to download our free PDCA Cycle infographic from the bottom of this article.

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Skills for an Advanced Manufacturing Workforce

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The era of Advanced Manufacturing is coming soon. Industry 4.0. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Great, right? Sounds good, huh?

Except, who’s going to do the work during this era (other than robots and computers)? What skills are they going to need?

There are going to be some skills that are specific to industries, and skills that are specific to sites, and skills that are specific to job roles. But there are also going to be some skills that are required in general. And those are going to be the skills we’ll discuss in this article.

And before you get too far down the page, don’t forget to download our free Manufacturing Training Guide before you go!

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What Is the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System Standard?

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If you’ve worked in the food chain for a period of time, you may well be familiar with the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Standard. However, if you’re new to the industry, you may be unfamiliar with the standard. Plus, it was updated in 2018, so even if you’re familiar, you may need to renew your acquaintance.

In this article, we give a brief introduction to ISO 22000 and give you some resources where you can learn more.

Also, know that we’ve got a free 7 Basics Tools of Quality guide for you at the bottom of this article.

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The Benefits of Reliability & Maintainability (Interview with Dr. Klaus Blache)

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If you’re a maintenance professional, you probably already know you want to minimize the amount of reactive maintenance you perform. And a great way to do that is to focus on reliability & maintainability.

We’ve asked our partners at the University of Tennessee’s Reliability & Maintainability Center, and in particular Dr. Klaus Blache, to help us better understand reliability and maintainability.

If you’ve been reading us for a while, you may have also read our articles on Creating a Culture for Reliability, Maintainability, and Continuous Improvement and What Is Maintainability & Reliability?. If you haven’t read those articles, you may want to check them out. Plus, keep your eyes out for future articles on related topics, including one coming very soon on predictive & conditions-based maintenance.

Also, once you finish this article, you’ll see we’ve got a Free PDCA Cycle Infographic you can download down at the very bottom (or at the link you just passed). You can use the PDCA cycle to evaluate the effects of your reliability & maintainability efforts (or any continuous improvement efforts).

You’ve got two options here: Watch a recorded version of our conversation or continue down to read a transcript. The world is your oyster–enjoy!

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Common Food Safety Problems

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Are you new (or newish?) to food safety? Would you benefit from an introduction to terms commonly used to discuss food safety? Or maybe you’re a more experienced food safety expert and would just like a quick review & reminder?

If so, you’ll enjoy reviewing this article, as we’ve prepared a quick review of some basic and common food safety problems. We’ve drawn the material from a helpful resource created by the US FDA to help introduce good manufacturing practices (GMP and/or cGMP) titled “Definitions of Food Safety Problems.”

And before you go, be sure to download our free 7 Basic Tools of Quality Guide from the bottom of this article.

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Features to Look for in a Compliance-Based LMS

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Organizations get a learning management system, or LMS, for a number of different reasons. Often, for some combination of reasons.

One very common reason that organizations get a learning management system is to stay on top of and document compliance training requirements.

In this article, we’ll give you a few key features to look for if you need an LMS to comply with mandatory training requirements.

And be sure to download the free LMS Buyer’s Guide from the bottom of this article, which has even more helpful information for you. And if you’re interested in compliance for safety training, check out our free Online Safety Training Buyer’s Guide Checklist and/or our Guide to MSHA Training Compliance Requirements.

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What Is 5S in Lean Manufacturing? (Includes Free 5S Infographic)

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5S is central to lean manufacturing, and it’s frequently one of the first parts of a lean manufacturing implementation at the workplace.

In this article, a continuation of a series of articles introducing key lean manufacturing tools and concepts, we’re going to briefly introduce you to 5S.

Before you begin reading about 5S, know that we’ve included a free What Is 5S? infographic at the bottom of this article. 

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What Is Standardized Work in Lean Manufacturing?

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Standardized work is an essential element of lean manufacturing.

It’s also got a non-intuitive name, because although standardized work sounds static, it’s actually a dynamic process (due to its lean manufacturing buddy, kaizen).

In this article, we’ll explain what standardized work is and explain its relation to kaizen within the lean manufacturing methodology, and we’ll give you some tips for getting started with standardized work now.

Before you begin reading about lean manufacturing and standardized work, know that we’ve included a free Five Principles of Lean Manufacturing infographic you can download at the bottom of this article, too!

Plus, free free to check out our online lean manufacturing training options.

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Instructional Design Opportunities In Energy Generation, Transmission & Distribution

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Dr. Tom Baer is an instructional designer with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in the Seattle, WA area.

Faced with changes in the industry, PSE has recently doubled-down on their investment in instructional design and training at their organization. Tom was hired to perform instructional design work as part of that increased emphasis on instructional design at PSE, and he was nice enough to take some time and explain some of the instructional design opportunities in this industry.

We’ve got a recording of the discussion with Tom immediately below. And if you’d prefer to read, we’ve got a transcript below that.

We’d like to thank both Tom and Puget Sound Energy for their contributions to this discussion and tip our hats to them on their hard work. Hopefully, we’ll touch base with them again at some future point for an additional conversation (fingers crossed).

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What Is Value Stream Mapping in Lean Manufacturing?

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As a continuation of our look at key concepts in lean manufacturing, this article is going to explain value stream mapping.

Value stream mapping is an important part of attaining the general lean goal of reducing waste in manufacturing (or in any workplace).

Before you begin reading about value stream mapping, know that we’ve included a free lean manufacturing infographic you can download at the bottom of this article, too!

You might also want to check out our lean manufacturing training courses.

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