J. D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES: NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND FEATURES POSE CHALLENGES FOR AUTOMAKERS WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA—Overall vehicle dependability has improved from 2010, with automakers succeeding in reducing problem rates in many traditional areas, but experiencing some challenges in overcoming problems with newer technologies and features, according to the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 U.S. Vehicle Dependability study. The study, which measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles, includes 202 different problem symptoms across all areas of the vehicle. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality. The study is used extensively by vehicle manufacturers worldwide to help design and build better vehicles, which typically translates to higher resale values and higher customer loyalty. It also helps consumers make more-informed choices for both new-and-used-vehicle purchases. Among new-vehicle shoppers, perception of quality and dependability is the most influential factor in their decision to purchase a specific vehicle model, according to J.D. Power and Associates. In 2011, overall vehicle dependability averages 151 PP100—the lowest problem rate since the inception of the study in 1990—and improves from 170 PP100 in 2009. Between 2009 and 2011, annual improvement for the industry has averaged 6%, which is slightly lower than historical rates of improvement. During the past decade, industry improvement has averaged 8% each year. The slowdown in improvement is largely attributable to increased rates of problems with electronic features in vehicles, including audio, entertainment and navigation systems and new safety features, such as tire pressure monitoring systems. “Automakers, as a whole, have made significant improvements in reducing traditional problems, particularly with vehicle interiors; engines and transmissions; and steering and braking during the past several years,” says David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, as manufacturers add new features and technologies to satisfy customer demand and new legislation, they face the potential for introducing new problems.” According to Sargent, as newer technologies become more widespread, enhancing the dependability of these features has become an important point of differentiation among automakers. HIGHEST-RANKED NAMEPLATES AND MODELS For the first time since the inception of the study, Lincoln leads the overall nameplate rankings in 2011. Lincoln improves by 13 PP100 from 2010. Lexus follows Lincoln in the nameplate rankings. Rounding out the top five nameplates are Jaguar, Porsche and Toyota. The Porsche 911 has the fewest problems in the industry, with just 68 PP100. Toyota Motor Corp. continues to perform well in long-term dependability and garners seven segment awards—more than any other automaker in 2011—for the Lexus RX, Scion xB, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Prius, Toyota Sienna, Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra. Ford Motor Co. Receives four model awards for the Ford Fusion, Ford Mustang, Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln Navigator. General Motors (Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS and Chevrolet Tahoe) and Honda Motor Company (Acura RL, Honda CR-V and Honda Fit) each received three awards. In addition, the following models also received awards: BMW X3, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Mercedes-Benz CLK. The study finds that while domestic brands have closed the gap in initial quality with import brands, there is still a considerable difference between the two in vehicle dependability, with import brands outperforming domestic brands by 18 PP100 in 2011. This is consistent with findings of the 2008 Initial Quality Study, which examined the models included in the 2011 VDS after 90 days of ownership. While domestic brand cars have fewer problems (135 PP100, on average) than import brand cars (147 PP100, on average), trucks and crossover vehicles of import brands have considerably fewer problems than those of domestic brands. In addition to affecting brand image and brand loyalty, long-term dependability also has a notable effect on dealership service and customer service spending. As the number of problems experienced increases, owners are increasingly likely to use non-dealer service facilities for paid service work. In addition, as the number of problems increases, the percentage of owners who say they “definitely will” return to their dealer for service diminishes. Among owners who indicate they have experienced no problems, 76% indicate they “definitely will” return to the dealer for paid service. This proportion decreases to 42% among owners who say they experienced six or more problems. The 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from more than 43,700 original owners of 2008 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded between October and December 2010. SME UNVEILS ANNUAL INNOVATIONS LIST DEARBORN, MI—Honoring both innovation and manufacturing, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announced the 2011 List of Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture. This annual list showcases new and emerging technologies that are making a difference in manufacturing. This is not the usual list of emerging technologies. These are innovations that can be used today or within a few months and have already shown some successful implementation. “Not only has innovation enabled us to make better things at lower costs,” says Boris Fritz of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems and vice chair of SME’s Innovation Watch Committee, “but innovation also leads to the development of things we couldn’t even dream of just a decade ago.” Among this year’s innovations are: • Graphene, which is said to be not only the strongest known material ever developed at a oneatom- thick sheet of carbon, also is lightweight and electrically conductive. Fifty times stronger than steel, graphene is being used for extremely sensitive sensors, electronic switches, aircraft braking systems and touch screens. Companies using graphene include IBM and Bell Helicopter, and is available from companies such as Angstron Materials. • Programmable magnets open the door to self assembling. The ability to manipulate magnetic fields lends itself to many applications from precision switches to snowboard bindings to spinal implants. Using heat to erase a magnetic field, the material can be reprogrammed to have multiple north and south poles of differing strengths. They are available from Correlated Magnetics. • The committee also recognized the Build to Demand (BTD) process as something that can change the way things are manufactured. BTD, an alternative to the Toyota Production System, which works well for suppliers that experience variable demand and are seeking to increase customer service rates while reducing inventories and production costs. Limited or no capital investment is required to implement BTD. John Deere Horicon Works developed BTD in the early 2000s with assistance from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. • Microstructured molding tools will impact manufacturers of products that could benefit from enhanced surface capabilities. Created as square or custom inserts for injection or compression molds, the innovation adds several capabilities to any molded product: superhydrophobic, reduced friction, reduced fluid drag, increased heat transfer and more. This approach reduces microstructure manufacturing cost by 83% to 98%. Developed by Hoowaki, microstructured tooling has been available since the spring of 2010. • Programming light with quantum dots is an innovation that promises not only to change the way things are manufactured, but also change the way we light our homes and offices. Quantum dots are nanoparticles of a semiconductor material that range from 2 to 10 nanometers in diameter. The ability to control the size of a quantum dot enables a manufacturer to determine the color of light emitted. Quantum dots are currently providing brighter images, lower power consumption and improved color purity for electroluminescent displays. Companies manufacturing quantum dot-enabled products include QD Vision and Weinberg Medical Physics. • Controlled through a Web-based application, a remote-presence robot allows a telecommuting worker to remotely attend meetings, drop into the offices of colleagues and otherwise collaborate with people in another office. With cameras in the eyes to capture video, speakers and microphones to relay sound and a laser pointer “finger,” the user sees what the robot sees and directs it around by using a computer’s arrow keys. Companies such as Procter & Gamble are using these remotepresence robots to increase the efficiencies of teams working across the world. • Ten times stickier than Velcro and reusable gecko-inspired glues, Super Velcro is an extremely strong adhesive that comes apart when heated. Using shape-memory polymers, General Motors researchers created a product that allows a strong but alterable bond that replaces liquid adhesives requiring lengthy oven curing, which consumes a lot of energy, or foam tapes that do not provide high adhesion strength. Super Velcro is being used for interior and exterior automotive trims with potential applications for furniture, toys and buildings. In reviewing submissions for the Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture, the committee also highlights an Innovation Watch List. These technologies are showing great promise but, as yet, are unproven in the manufacturing setting. “Because most people use common, everyday products that are frequently outsourced, they think that manufacturing in America is dead,” says Fritz. “Innovations like those identified today should be a reminder that American manufacturing has moved beyond the production of commodities and is one of the most technologically advanced sectors of our economy.” The Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture will be a focus of the Manufacturing Velocity: SME Annual Conference scheduled for June 5-7, 2011, near Seattle. The conference brings together manufacturing professionals and leaders who are interested in innovations and exchanging ideas in one place. CONSUMER REPORTS: SOME USED CARS HAVE FEWER PROBLEMS THAN NEW MODELS YONKERS, NY—With the average new car losing 47% of its value in the first three years of ownership, buying a used car can be the best way for consumers to get the most vehicle for their money, according to Consumer Reports’ annual auto issue. Consumer Reports found eleven 2008 models with about the same or even fewer problems than similar 2010 models in the same class. Among the most trouble-free 2008 models were the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Yaris with 11 and 12 problems per 100 vehicles, respectively. The average 2010 car had 13 problems per 100. While the FJ Cruiser and Yaris did not score well in Consumer Reports road tests, some of the other most reliable 2008 models, such as the Honda CR-V and Fit did, making them better overall choices. Overall, Japanese cars are the most trouble-free, with Honda and Toyota far ahead compared with older vehicles made by other major manufacturers, particularly 2006 and earlier models. Some models have an alarming problem rate even when they are still fairly new. More than one in four owners of the 2009 four-cylinder Toyota Tacoma pickup reported a problem with the radio in the 12 months covered by the survey. For now, it is being replaced free under Toyota’s basic warranty, which expires after three years or 36,000 miles. The survey also found that fiveyear- old models can be good bets for used-car buyers, although problem rates, on average, are worse than rates of three- or four-year-old cars. While three-quarters of the three-year-old vehicles in Consumer Reports’ survey were problem free, so were two-thirds of the five-year-olds. The most problem-free five-year-old model was the 2006 Toyota Highlander V6, which had 19 problems per 100 vehicles. Consumer Reports’ survey also found that cars older than five years are not so trouble-free. Only half of the nineand 10-year-old vehicles had gone 12 months without a reported problem. JANUARY MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY CONSUMPTION 188% HIGHER THAN JAN. 2010 MCLEAN, VA and ROCKVILLE, MD—January U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $371.41 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA) and The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was down 16.3% from December but up 188.3% when compared with the total of $128.82 million reported for January 2010. These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTC program. “Despite the slight decline in orders from December, the January USMTC report confirms that U.S. manufacturers are reinvesting vigorously to improve productivity,” says Peter Borden, AMTDA president. “As equipment deliveries grow longer and commodity prices increase, factories may continue to make these investments before inflation and other factors raise prices further.” The United States Manufacturing Technology Consumption (USMTC) report, jointly compiled by the two trade associations representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. consumption data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology consumption provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity. CORRECTION In the March 2011 issue of Quality, the phone number for Jeff Bibee of Werth Inc., author of X-Ray Tomography: The Basics, was missing a digit. The correct number is (860) 399-2445. Quality regrets the error. BUSINESS NEWS TEKTRONIX SERVICE SOLUTIONS (Beaverton, OR), a provider of instrument calibration, repair and related services, is opening an instrument services lab in Santa Clara, CA. The new facility provides enhanced service options and added flexibility for central California companies that rely on test, measurement and control instrumentation for day-to-day operations. HEXAGON METROLOGY INC. (North Kingstown, RI) announced a new strategic distribution partnership with FORD TOOL & GAGE CORP. (Milwaukee, WI). The company will serve as an authorized distributor of Hexagon Metrology’s Sheffield Measurement and Optiv product lines in Wisconsin and upper Michigan. The new partnership leverages the strong suits of both companies to address the technology needs of manufacturers producing complex, precision parts. At TOYOTA MOTOR CORP.’S (Aichi, Japan) 2011 Global Supplier Convention in Nagoya, Japan, automotive safety system company AUTOLIV INC. (Stockholm, Sweden) was honored for its contributions during 2010. Autoliv was selected as a winner of the global Toyota Excellence Award for outstanding performance in value improvement. Autoliv supplies Toyota in all regions with airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels. In addition, Autoliv’s tech centers in Japan, North America, Europe and China support Toyota with design engineering expertise in automotive safety and with crash testing capabilities. CALIBRATION DYNAMICS LTD. (Andover, UK) has recently opened a fully traceable calibration laboratory at its headquarters in Andover, Hampshire in the United Kingdom. The new laboratory is equipped with WIKA primary standards accurate to 0.008% of reading. A fully automated calibration system has also been installed, significantly reducing instrument turnaround and customer downtime. KISTLER (Farmington Hills, MI), a worldwide supplier of precision sensors, systems and instrumentation for engine, chassis and vehicle development, as well as vehicle component manufacturing systems, announced that construction is underway for a new North American technical center in Novi, MI, to complement the existing sales support and manufacturing activities of its Amherst, New York-based corporate headquarters. Precision component manufacturer MILWAUKEE MACHINE WORKS (Milwaukee, WI) has purchased a Leitz PMM-G ultra-accurate coordinate measuring machine from Hexagon Metrology (North Kingstown, RI). The Leitz measuring machine has a measuring capacity of three meters wide by four meters long, and two and a half meters high. The PMM-G is a gantry configuration machine that allows large scale parts up to 30,000 pounds to be moved inside for precision measurement. PALMER WAHL INSTRUMENTATION GROUP (Asheville, NC) is celebrating 175 years of manufacturing industrial instrumentation in 2011. Originally founded in Cincinnati, in 1836 by James Foster Jr., Palmer Wahl says it developed the first thermometer made in America—the Foster Cup—in 1852. Currently, the company’s customers include the National Space Program, Proctor & Gamble, Anheuser Busch and the U. S. Army, Navy and Air Force. CREAFORM (Levis, Quebec) has announced results for the 2010 fiscal year. The company has had its best year since inception, with annual sales of $27.3 million, which makes for a growth of 25% through 2009. 2010 Q4 sales of $9.6 million have set a new record in the history of the company, representing a 49% increase from Q4 of 2009. ASSOCIATION NEWS Grady Cope, President of Reata Engineering & Machine Works, (Englewood, CO), was appointed to the role of 2011 Chairman of the NATIONAL TOOLING AND MACHINING ASSOCIATION (NTMA) on March 5, during The Manufacturing for Growth (MFG) Meeting in Chandler, AZ. Grady is currently a member of the University of Colorado–Denver Engineering Advisory Board, and has served on the University’s Alumni Board. At the last NADCAP (Warrendale, PA) meeting in Barcelona in February, several individuals were recognized for their commitment to aerospace special process and product quality through their involvement in Nadcap. Nadcap is a worldwide continuous improvement cooperative of major companies within the aerospace industry. Four outgoing members of the Nadcap Management Council (NMC) who were not in attendance were recognized for their service on the NMC: • Mark Crevier • Peter Feind • John McBrien • Michel Pierantoni • Doug Matson of the Boeing Co., Michael Brandt of Alcoa Inc. and John Ewing, a PRI auditor/instructor, received recognition awards for their contributions related to Pyrometry issues. • Scott Patterson of Goodrich received a recognition award for his service as Nonconventional Machining and Surface Enhancement Task Group Chair. • Philippe Pons of Airbus received a recognition award for his service as Electronics Task Group Chair. • Dale Harmon of Cincinnati Thermal Spray received a recognition award for attending 35 consecutive meetings. Harmon has not missed a meeting in 10 years. • Kevin Ward of Goodrich received a Leadership Award for his service as NMC Standardization Sub-Team chairperson. • John Haddock of BAE Systems received a Leadership Award for his service as NMC Oversight Sub-Team chairperson. • Mark Rechtsteiner of GE Aviation received the NMC Chairperson’s Award for his leadership and vision as NMC chairperson. • Lisa Ippolito of PRI received a recognition award for dedication and hard work and playing an instrumental part in the Nadcap Meetings over the last nine years. THE ASSOCIATION FOR MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY (AMT, McLean, VA) has elected its 2011-2012 officers and directors at its 2011 annual meeting in Chandler, AZ. The board of directors of the association, which represents more than 400 American manufacturers of machine tools, manufacturing machinery and related products, elected Eugene R. Haffely Jr., general manager, Dayton Facility at ATW Automation (Dayton, OH), to chairman. Haffely follows Daniel D. Janka, president, MAG Global, Hebron, KY. Janka will now serve the association as an ex-officio member of its board of directors, along with Ronald F. Schildge, president, Eitel Presses Inc. (Orwigsburg, PA). The board elected Timothy B. Dining, president and CEO, Greenerd Press & Machine Co. (Nashua, NH), to serve as first vice chairman in the coming year. Also elected was R. Stephen Flynn, president, Optical Gaging Products Inc. (Rochester, NY), to serve as second vice chairman and treasurer. Kim W. Beck, president and CEO, Automatic Feed Co. (Napoleon, OH), will continue to serve as secretary. Newly elected to a three-year term as a member of the association’s board of directors are Larry G. Schwartz, president and COO, Okuma America Corp. (Charlotte, NC) and Richard L. Simons, president and CEO, Hardinge Inc. (Elmira, NY). Both R. Stephen Flynn, president, Optical Gaging Products (Rochester, NY), and Michael Powell, president, Master WorkHolding Inc. (Morganton, NC), will be returning for a three-year term.
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