An attempt has failed to add more categories to those covered by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The budget appropriation for the program in fiscal year 1998 is $3 million. It does not include funds for a proposed expansion of the award into healthcare and education fields. Currently, two awards may be given annually in each of three categories: manufacturing, service, and small business. The four winners of the 1997 Baldrige award were the 3M Dental Products Div., Solectron Corp., Merrill Lynch Credit Corp., and Xerox Business Services. This month at a conference in Washington, the firms will analyze their strategies for quality improvement. A new book, written by Baldrige examiner Kicab Castaneda-Mendez aims to help other companies achieve similar quality gains. Titled "The Baldrige Assessor's Workbook," it is published by Quality Resources of New York City. The book offers readers a number of hands-on exercises.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.