Major changes are coming late in the year 2000 to the ISO 9000 series of standards for quality management. The revisions promise to be so sweeping that ISO plans to let about 100 organizations in different countries try out draft versions next year. The organizations will report by November 1999 on whether or not the changes have helped them improve their business results. The test-drive is a novel approach for ISO. Usually, user input is limited to a cross-section of experts from stakeholder groups who help draft documents in technical committees. ISO then circulates the documents to its whole membership for comments and voting. That procedure was used for the first publication of the ISO 9000 series in 1987, and again for a light revision in 1994. The forthcoming changes, being drafted by ISO's technical committee 176, will affect the ISO 9001 standard, which covers design, and ISO 9004, which includes services.
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
Clean diesel continues to be the fuel of choice for transportation authorities in major U S cities, in spite of competitive options aimed at reducing emissions, according to a nonprofit agency that represents diesel engine and equipment manufacturers.
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