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.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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