Quality improvement

Why Control Heat Treatment Temperature?

Posted by Michael Pfeifer, Ph.D., P.E.
Steel heat treating

Whether you are through hardening steel, annealing a cold-worked metal, or solution treating an aluminum alloy, the heat treating temperature is critical for obtaining the desired microstructure, and therefore, the desired metal properties. Using a temperature that is too hot can result in a metallurgical transformation that proceeds too quickly or the formation of undesired phases. Using a temperature that is too low can result in incomplete metallurgical transformations, cold worked metals that do not soften sufficiently, or insufficient stress relief.

When a Low-cost Supplier Becomes Expensive

Posted by Michael Pfeifer, Ph.D., P.E.

This article outlines an eight-step process to help you identify and repair the root cause of a problem that arises when working with suppliers.

I have consulted with manufacturers in many industries. Regardless of the products being produced, they all face the same general challenges and frustrations about product development and manufacturing. Each of them is concerned about the following questions that impact their profitability:

Selecting Capable Suppliers – Part 1

Posted by Michael Pfeifer, Ph.D., P.E.

Suppliers of components and sub-assemblies are critical to the success of most companies. Companies depend on their suppliers to provide an item that always satisfies its design requirements and is always delivered on time. However, companies do not always use a methodical approach for evaluating and selecting suppliers. Instead, they are lured by the promise of a low piece part price, only to find that the costs due to poor quality and delayed product launch quickly overshadow the planned savings. This article explains how to select suppliers that will enable production at the lowest total cost and highest quality.

Selecting Capable Suppliers – Part 2

Posted by Michael Pfeifer, Ph.D., P.E.

Suppliers of components and sub-assemblies are critical to the success of a product. This is the second part of a two-part article that discusses the considerations for selecting suppliers that will enable production at the lowest total cost and highest quality. The first article discussed the materials engineering and supply chain perspectives that must be considered when evaluating and selecting suppliers, and ended with a list of supplier selection criteria. This article explains the considerations for each of the selection criteria and discusses the evaluation process.