Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Ready to celebrate: November is World Quality Month, sponsored by The American Society for Quality (ASQ). View materials related to recognizing and celebrating this event.

Readmissions: Kaiser Health News reports that 2,610 hospitals have been fined by Medicare for unacceptable rates of readmission of patients after discharge.

Registration: The 26th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care will take place in Orlando in December. Learn more and register.

Deming Institute: The Deming Institute Annual Fall Conference will take place in Los Angeles this month.

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Excluding the unwanted: Data that doesn’t belong

Matt SavageDo you have data that’s an anomaly or special cause that you want to exclude from your analysis? Do you want the ability to temporarily exclude certain data from your data set analysis? Special causes and outlying data can occur in any data collection process, learn how to easily handle these situations.

If you are calculating and charting average weekly temperature in a room, but find that one night the thermostat has been inadvertently set to 90 degrees, how will that data point affect your average? Clearly, the answer is that it would create a false sense of a higher temperature average for the week, and in effect create a misleading report.

There may be times that it is appropriate to leave out irregular data points such as this one, to be sure, without feeling that you’re “cheating” on the numbers. Additionally, there may be special causes that have been addressed and no longer apply to the calculations, and you’d like to remove these. Or perhaps you’d like to exclude certain pieces of data on a temporary basis, to analyze their effect on the calculations. Having the flexibility to remove or exclude anomaly data from your control chart can help you more easily focus on your process and remove any additional noise from the chart or the calculations.

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Quality quiz (October 2014): A classic quiz from Professor Cleary—and September’s quiz winners!

Mike ClearyWinners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Quality Gamebox are Mike Doke (Foam Molders Inc.); Debbie Hobbs (MAHLE Filter Systems); and Michael Moran (Digalog Systems). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Quality Gamebox, submit your response by October 31.

To celebrate the life and work of Professor Cleary, we are featuring a classic quiz from our archives.

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‘Backbone’ industry is misunderstood

Barb ClearyManufacturing Day, celebrated on the first Friday of October each year, is designed to address common misperceptions about a key industry that is “the backbone of America,” according to The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The NIST website offers data to substantiate a positive image of manufacturing and correct some of these misperceptions. Some facts cited by NIST:

  • Manufacturing is diverse. The wide range of companies and their products reflected on NIST’s interactive, infographic map shows a bit of the breadth the industry provides.
  • Manufacturing supports 17.4 Million U.S. Jobs
  • Manufacturing career opportunities include engineers, designers, machinists, computer programmers and much more.
  • Manufacturing workers have annual average salaries of $77,000.
  • 90 percent of manufacturing workers have medical benefits.

The industry needs skilled workers, but manufacturers have jobs they can’t fill. So while 70 percent of Americans see manufacturing as “the most important industry for a strong economy and national defense,” only 30 percent of parents encourage their kids to enter manufacturing jobs.

The celebration on October 3 is supported by a variety of industry leaders, as well as the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association. For more information:; to participate in a plant tour or other event:

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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

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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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