Noted quality management authority and PQ Systems founder Michael J. Cleary dies at age 75

Michael J. Cleary, Ph.D.Michael J. Cleary, Ph.D., founder and president of PQ Systems, Inc. and a professor emeritus at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, died suddenly on September 10, 2014.

Michael Cleary was born June 3, 1939 in Dumont, New Jersey. He was a graduate of Norwich University and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He earned his Ph.D. in economics and business management from the University of Nebraska. He was a member of the Partridge Society of Norwich University, and he was also elected to their Board of Fellows.

Dr. Cleary, a noted authority in the field of quality management and a charter member of the Education Division of the American Society for Quality Control (now ASQ), founded PQ Systems, Inc. in 1984 with headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, later opening PQ Systems Europe Ltd., with sales in continental Europe and the Middle East, and PQ Systems Pty Ltd. in Frankston, Australia, serving the Pacific Rim. The company’s products help organizations demonstrate proof of the quality of their products and services using statistical methods and problem-solving tools. PQ Systems was named among the top 25 Best Places to Work in Dayton in 2014.

Cleary played a principal role in developing the Transformation of American Industry® national training project as well as the Total Quality Transformation® training system. He served on the planning committee for the U.S.-Japanese Business Conference in Tokyo, and presented papers on statistical process control and the applications of quality management principles to a variety of audiences in Korea, China, France, Great Britain, Australia, Singapore, and Japan. He was author of Data Analysis Handbook Using SPSS, as well as co-author of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement.

As a Professor of Management Science at Wright State University from 1971-1996, Cleary was awarded the Business College Associates Alumni Teaching Award. His 25-year professorship in management science enabled Cleary to conduct extensive research and garner valuable experience in expanding quality management methods. He was a leader in bringing quality management into the curriculum of the College of Business, and published articles and papers on issues related to quality management, statistical applications, and decision sciences in a variety of academic and professional journals.

Dr. Cleary was a member of the Miami Valley School Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2014, and of the St. Leonard Faith Community, where he was an usher and sacristan for many years. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for Eagle Registrations, in Dayton, Ohio.

Cleary is survived by his wife of 50 years, Barbara A. Cleary, Ph.D., and their four sons: Sean (Katherine St. John); Timothy (Laura Jackson); Matthew (Liz Hansen); and Dennis (Karina Johansen); grandsons Michael Wyatt Cleary, Harmon Hempstead Cleary; Daniel Cleary St. John, Victor Thomas Cleary; granddaughter Johanna Sol Cleary; sister Joan Buckman, brother-in-law John Rathman, and nieces and nephews.

Friends may call from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at the Tobias Funeral Home – Far Hills Chapel, 5471 Far Hills Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45429. Mass of Christian Burial 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at St. Leonard Church, 8100 Clyo Rd., Centerville, Ohio 45458. Father Lawrence Mick officiating. Burial will be in David’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers: donations to Miami Valley School Faculty Endowment Fund or the St. Leonard Benevolent Fund. Condolences may be made to www.tobiasfuneralhome.com.

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AIAG Supply Chain Institute Certifications – Who Should Get Them and Why?

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) offers several certifications for professionals in the automotive industry, from automakers to retailers, and one particular category is the Supply Chain Institute Certifications. This division comprises two certifications; the Auditor Certification and the Core Tools Certification.

The AIAG Auditor Certification provides internal or lead certification for auditors in the auto industry. The goal of the course is to improve your quality management skills. There are seven courses offered in total, covering topics from how to maintain an effective environmental management (EMS) system in the Exemplar ISO 14001 EMS Lead Auditor course and the ISO/TS 16949 Certification Body Auditor Certification Evaluation. Through the combination of evaluations and courses, a person can achieve the AIAG Auditor Certification.

Meanwhile, the Core Tools Certification is composed of four courses that provide proficiency in the principles of the North American Automotive Quality Core Tools, as well as its practices. Proficiency in SPC, MSA, FMEA and/or APQP/PPAP are necessary in order to pass the knowledge and application exams for each one.

There are many benefits to obtaining AIAG Supply Chain Institute Certifications. For an automotive manufacturer, the Quality Core Tool Certification will give you the knowledge that your employees are performing processes according to the North American Automotive Quality Core Tool reference manuals. That is important, as failure to recognize activities that don’t meet quality regulative standards can set your auto company up for delays or setbacks when testing products or putting them on the market.

For the AIAG Auditor Certification, getting this education will help you if you seek employment as an auditor that specializes in the automotive industry. The courses also benefit managers at your vehicle facility as, after being trained at AIAG, a graduate will understand the process of looking over facility operations, financials and inventory to ensure everything is operating at maximum efficiency.

AIAG students learn about policies worldwide, which is necessary when a supply chain is spread out across more than one country. Since 1932, AIAG has been teaching professionals how to create an efficient and responsible supply chain.

In addition, getting the Supply Chain Institute Certifications provides a great educational basis for when you attend the AIAG Quality Summit coming up in September. Titled this year as “Quality for Emerging Technologies,” the conference takes place Sept 24-25, in Novi, MI. It will showcase how companies are using the newest vehicle technologies and discuss ways to maintain quality, dependability and customer satisfaction levels. Don’t miss out on this informative auto industry event!

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Prove it: Demonstrating convincing proof of quality

Barb Cleary“Proving quality” may seem to be an elusive concept: what can it mean to customers and suppliers? After all, just insisting that your products are of high quality isn’t enough for any of the stakeholders, and yet many organizations adopt this approach anyway. Marketing language won’t mask underlying challenges to predictable, dependable quality.

Just as there are tools to support the improvement process, there are tools to demonstrate once and for all that your organizational practices assure the quality of your products. Among these tools are

No single tool or approach is sufficient in the ongoing need to communicate quality. Instead, you need a panoply of approaches that address your measurement systems, your processes, and the capability of those processes.

One critical part of this communication is the visual impact of control charts that show the behavior of a process, and the ensuing use of statistical process control (SPC). Data alone—in list form, perhaps—does not have the power that a chart carries. This may be because of the chart’s ability to clearly show trends or out-of-control conditions, or because of the inherent analysis of the data that a chart conveys. Data facts are fine, but have limited usefulness without appropriate analysis. Making meaning from statistics is quite different from simply gathering data.

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Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Printing in manufacturing: 3D printing, with its rapidly expanding applications, has implications for manufacturing in the future.

SPC software: Although the concepts of statistical process control have remained the same, software continues to evolve. (PQ Systems Development Director Steve Daum contributed to this article.)

Learning opportunities: With a season of trade shows and conferences opening in September, exhibits and presentations sponsored by NAHQ (Sept. 7-9), IMTS (Sept. 8-13), AIAG (Sept. 24-25), and ASQ (Sept 18-19) offer plenty of chances to see what’s new. Watch for the PQ Systems booth at these shows.

Ice cream recall: Nestlé USA is recalling limited amounts of ice cream due to mismatched packaging, which can put consumers with peanut allergy at risk.

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Trade show season is finally here! See where you can find PQ Systems

On your mark, get ready… the 2014 trade show season is finally here and PQ Systems will be in attendance at several of the shows. Will we see you at these events, too? If so, look for us on the show floor!

IMTS 2014

Leave your calendar open September 8-13 for IMTS 2014. As the largest manufacturing show in the Western hemisphere, this event is a must-attend.

The show provides a quality platform to discuss manufacturing technologies and solutions for the automotive industry. You will find plenty to interest you here as common manufacturing issues are discussed. It’s also a valuable opportunity to network with key people in the industry.

There is a range of exhibits to browse, with in-booth events and conference sessions to attend. The IMTS show takes place at McCormick Place in Chicago, where it is held every two years. Registration is available through the event’s website or on-site any day of the event. Make new business contacts and learn about today’s newest technologies at the IMTS 2014 show. Be sure to visit us at booth #5255, in the East hall.

NAHQ Annual Conference

Download free SPC charting white papers

Learn about control charts at the NAHQ Conference

Another event where you will find PQ Systems is the NAHQ conference on September 7-10 in Nashville, TN. As the healthcare system is changing so quickly, this exciting trade show is a great place to stay up to date on trends, as well as best practices.

Enjoy a range of exhibits and educational sessions during the three-day event. Regardless of whether you are a manager or a front-line worker in the healthcare industry, there’s much to gain from attending the show. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the session “What Makes Control Charts Work” which will be presented by PQ’s own Dr. Michael Cleary, Ph.D. and then network with leading players in the industry.

You can also browse exhibits that specialize in publications, software, accreditation, data analysis and more. Stop by and see us at booth #300.

AIAG Quality Summit

The AIAG Quality Summit provides a wealth of information as a trade show designed for automotive industry professionals. The conference is a popular one for suppliers, customers and manufacturers in the automotive field.

This year’s event runs from Sept 24-25 at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI, and bears the title “Quality for Emerging Technologies.” As technologies for automobiles are constantly in flux, this event promises to provide valuable insights into new designs and also into related issues with technologies. As with the majority of trade shows, the AIAG conference is a great opportunity to converse with experts in the field. We’ll be at booth #13.

Come out and join PQ Systems at these exciting events as we learn about the best practices, newest technologies and up-and-coming trends in a range of industries. The 2014 trade show season is here, and it is one you won’t want to miss!

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The differences between control limits and spec (specification) limits

Matt SavageThe differences between control limits and spec (specification) limits may seem irrelevant or nonexistent to those outside process production, but the gulf between them is in fact huge. In fact, they are two entirely different animals.

Spec limits may be designated by a customer, engineer, etc., indicating the allowable spread of a given measurement. Control limits, on the other hand, emerge from the process. The process data will determine what control limits are and help determine the stability of the process.

If one is tempted to use spec limits as control limits, the advice from process engineers and statisticians as well is simple: Don’t.

For an X-bar chart, for example, such as the one illustrated below, all of the X-bar values are well within the designated spec limits. Things are fine, right?

Not so fast. Remember that an “X-bar” is an average. And as PQ Development Manager Steve Daum points out, if you put one foot in a bucket of ice water and the other into extremely hot water, the average water temperature may be perfectly temperate, indicating a comfortable situation. In fact, the average does not reflect the range of the separate data points, one of which might be 33 degrees Fahrenheit, and the other 180 degrees. Comfortable? Probably not.

A histogram of the same process offers a much clearer picture of the reality of this process (see chart), with some data values well outside the specification limits, indicating an unacceptable result.

Let your data do the talking, when it comes to control limits. Don’t confuse information from the process with requirements for the process.

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