Flowcharting, developed mainly by computer programmers, has become a favorite tool of companies striving to comply with ISO's management standards for quality and the environment. Makers of flowcharting software have redesigned their products to create documents that would appeal to ISO 9000, QS 9000, or ISO 14000 auditors. SPSS Inc. (Chicago), for example, has come out with version 4.0 of allCLEAR. This flowcharting software is loaded with task-specific items for ISO standards, as well as new shapes, structures, and templates. Improved outlining in the new allCLEAR instantaneously creates charts as you type lines of text. The outlining window now features a tree-like structure enabling the user to expand and collapse levels to either hide or reveal details. Users can now attach data, notes, and even launchable URL addresses to flowchart shapes to convey more information on any step. And they can import files from other popular flowcharting programs, such as Visio Corp.'s Visio, Corel Corp.'s CorelFlow, and Micrografx's ABC Flowcharter. Another flowcharting program, Axion Corp.'s 4TQFlow+, automatically generates process documentation in word processors.
The Industrial Internet of Things may be going off the deep end in connecting everything on the plant floor. Some machines, bearings, or conveyors simply donít need to be monitored -- even if they can be.
Wind turbines already are imposing structures that stretch high into the sky, but an engineering graduate student at the University of Notre Dame wants to make them even taller to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.
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