Blog Archives

SUMMARY OF A NEW PERSPECTIVE

Why is it necessary to discuss the role of people in control rooms? For many of us it has been obvious for decades that we need to create a harmony between technol­ogy and the people involved in steering, controlling, and managing the technology. Countless accidents with very dramatic and severe consequences have been blamed on ‘the human factor’. The human and environmental tragedies of Bhopal, Brent Spar, Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez, MinaMata, and Three Mile Island show what can go wrong when humans engage with machines. However, very early we learned and understood that the operator was not to blame. The reasons for the catastrophes were defined as the lack of compatibility between people and technology. In essence, the interface between technology and people did not match...

>

The Power of the New Renaissance

Companies that develop new products and services do their best to meet the needs, wants, and desires of society today. These needs change, and products and services that meet wants of the past will not perfectly fulfill future desires. No one can predict how society will evolve, but human beings have a hand in directing that evolution through the design of products and services. The common thread that connects the advancement of products and services, such as the OXO vegetable peeler and Starbucks coffee, to technology changes such as the Apple iPod for music delivery, to the Prius hybrid and future alternative-powered vehicles, is that they must be designed! These designs are all part of the human-driven evolution that exists in con­nection with or in spite of natural evolution...

>

Character and location of urban woodland

In her study of public perception of urban woodland in Redditch, Bussey (1996) came to certain

conclusions regarding the character and location of urban woodland that are relevant to large scale ecological plantings of woody vegetation. Bussey found that people have a surprising need for woodland close to their home:

Character and location of urban woodland

11.13

An urban meadow in a formal context—Parc des Poteries in Strasbourg, France

A woodland visit is not an ‘occasional event’ that has to be planned and prepared for. Where the resource is locally available, it is an important part of everyday urban life...

>

Stress and pressure

The SI unit of stress and pressure is the N/m2 or the Pascal (Pa), but from a materials point of view it is very small. The levels of stress large enough to distort or deform materials are measured in megaPascals (MPa). The table list the conversion factors relating MPa to measures of stress used in the older cgs and metric systems (dyne/cm2, kgf/mm2) by the Imperial system (lb/in2, ton/in2) and by atmospheric science (bar).

Conversion of units – stress and pressure

To ^

MPa

dyn/cm2

lb/in2

kgf/mm2

bar

long ton/in2

From j

Multiply by

MPa

1

107

1.45 X 102

0.102

10

6.48 X 10~2

dyn/cm2

10-7

1

1.45 X 10-5

1.02 X 10-8

10-6

6.48 X 10-9

lb/in2

6.89 X 10-3

6.89 X 104

1

7.03 X 1Q-4

6.89 X 10-2

4.46 X 10“4

kgf/mm2

9...

>

Total Quality Management (TQM) Defined

Putting the new definition of quality into the management methods of a company requires a departure from some deep-rooted traditions in American business. Now outdated are the beliefs that the company sets the standard of quality and that the time to measure standards is at the end of the process. If a shrub was unsatisfactory at the time of delivery, it was replaced. If a poinsettia had whiteflies when delivered, the grower apologized to the retailer and replaced it. If the patio wasn’t graded cor­rectly and surface water ran toward the house, it was torn out and done again. Heads may have rolled later back at the company. All such action awaited delivery of the product or service before applying standards or measuring client satisfaction...

>

SOME RECOMMENDATIONS IN SUMMARY

Work in control rooms can either be organised around maintenance, engineering/ field service, and error/fault handling, or around planning and process optimisation. In the first case, work in the control room is in some way combined with maintenance and service tasks carried out in the plant itself. In the other case, the control room operator is given the task of carrying out more advanced planning and optimisation work. Here, for example, computers are used to control and monitor the process and also to carry out other tasks, such as simulating various process conditions. These simulations can form the basis either for controlling the process, planning future tasks, or replanning or redesigning the process...

>

QUALITY DEFINED

While it is not easy to gain widespread acceptance of a new definition for a familiar term, the business world is beginning to understand that there is no quality standard for a product or service until the customers’ satisfaction is registered. Giving the customers exactly what they want plus an extra measure of value without additional charge is or should be the goal of every business in America today.

Quality: Meeting the customer’s requirements and exceeding those expectations.

This new definition means that the customer becomes the judge of quality and that the businessperson must find ways of measuring the customer’s satisfaction. The new definition also means that the product or service must provide additional features that surpass the customer’s expectations...

>

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to

• explain how quality is defined and measured.

• define total quality management.

• explain the empowerment of employees.

• distinguish between internal and external customers.

• outline the steps in a Total Quality management program.

KEY TERMS

quality total quality management

A NEW CONCERN FOR AN OLD IDEA_________________

The end of World War II left the economy of the world tilted heavily in favor of the United States. Europe and most of Asia were left with only skeletal remains of their prewar industrial capability. American factories were intact and able to convert from the production of war goods to the manufacture of countless products and machines needed by the rest of the world...

>

THE FLIP SIDE OF TECHNOLOGY

Just as the development of automobiles negated the need for buggy makers, the use of word processors has sent typewriter manufacturers into bankruptcy. The incorporation of new technology into horticulture companies has created some problems. The one most common to all types of businesses is the impact on the workforce. Most upgrades in technology necessitate the retraining of some employees. That may or may not involve an expense. Some technical advances also displace workers or require their replacement with better-educated workers who expect higher salaries, and who may not be easily recruited. Older work­ers, long in their service and loyalty to a company, and knowledgeable of existing technology, may resist accepting the new knowledge and techniques...

>

PROBABILITIES AND POSSIBILITIES FOR THE FUTURE

Futuring is always fun. Fortune tellers have been reading tea leaves for many years, hoping to foresee what will happen next. The early years of a new century seem to amplify the excitement and the expectations that wonderful new things loom on the horizon. It seems safe to say that Americans are expecting this country to lead the world into the Age of Technology, as the 21st century has already been dubbed, just as we took the lead in science during the 20th century. The businesses, scien­tists, educators, practitioners, and customers of the green industry can anticipate further changes in how ornamental horticulture is practiced and presented in the near and distant future...

>