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Archive for the tag “aerospace”

QUALITY- A PROFESSION ELIMINATING ITSELF?

QUALITY from Birth to Death?

This old 88 year old began his career in Quality Control in 1952. Quality Control was a new name for “Inspection” when they blended Inspection with Statistics and a new Department was born. The Inspection function, was made an independent activity during WWII, that separated inspection from manufacturing. The reason was more of a safety issue to help protect the military from human errors in a critical World War.

I helped input and still have a copy of the first Quality Control Manual created for Temco Aircraft Corporation. I was involved with the incorporation of statics and the inspection function. Quality Control gained stature with a Director who reported directly to the President. This type of Quality Control Department is still not active in the small US business world unless it is mandated by the customer. One exception might be if the company had been fined or caused human fatalities that resulted in excessive legal costs. Most just decided on closure and/or bankruptcy.

In the late 1950’s along came NASA and another gain for the Quality professional, I had advanced to the then title of General Foreman of Inspection. The company name had been changed to Ling Temco with no advancement in management reporting or title. In i960 we acquired Chance Vought Aircraft and the company was known as Ling-Temco-Vought or LTV. In the middle 1960’s the company decided to build a separate plant for missiles and space programs and I spent the next 16 years as Manager of administration or all testing functions. At age 47 I completed a Master of Science degree and a proud 3.92 GPA. NASA over the years had been able to remove the name “Control” as we actually controlled nothing but ourselves. NASA also combined Quality, Safety and Reliability into one department. A giant step for the quality function.

My last two years with LTV I served as dead end Manager of Quality Planning with no chance of advancement after two suffering years completing my Masters Degree.

In 1978 I was offered a position with Otis Engineering, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Halliburton Corporation. This was a significant stature and responsibility promotion for me. My title was Director of Quality for a company with sales of eight billion annually and I reported to the President and had to have my departmental operating plan presented and approved by the Halliburton Board of Directors annually. My need was the first Quality Program Requirement instituted by the Department of the Interior for design, fabrication and testing for Surface and Sub-Surface Safety Valves and named SPPE-1/-2 used in US offshore oil and gas wells. This program introduced a totally new form of Quality for the oil and gas industry. This program was a derivative of NQA-1/-2 created for the Nuclear industry earlier, This was like taking a still inspection industry far beyond itself into the NASA/Nuclear world in one giant leap. This leap was a common giant step for all suppliers. During my time with Otis my department required over 425 employees worldwide

This was a new leap for me as instead of dealing with Air Force, Navy, Army or Nasa the agency that managed the Nuclear and SPPE programs was the American Society for Mechanical Engineers or ASME. This was only the second program that was ever required deal with third party agencies instead of Government agencies. This form of Quality functioned through a committee structure that was responsible for its operation. Operating as ASME Committees the structure was a Representative for what as named the Main Committee and there were committees for Surface Safety Valves, Sub-service Safety Valves, A Quality Committee and a Committee for Testing. Each Committee had a member from the ASME, a member from the Department of the Interior, am member from the manufacturer of each device, a member from the testing organization and a member from the public, Each committee elected a Chairman and a Secretary and meetings were scheduled quarterly. These meetings rotated and usually lasted 4 days. In addition the Chairman of  the Main Committee, the ASME Director of Accreditation, the Department of the Interior representative met semi-annually in Reston Virginia and at ASME headquarters in New York City.

These two programs were the beginning of the current ISO third party, accreditation and registration programs that began later as ISO 9000-1/-2 Requirements that began in the late 1980’s. For credibility reasons I was chairman of both the Main and Quality Committees for over 5 years. Two as the Manufacturer representative and three as the Public representative as I left the Halliburton Cooperation after 5 years to further my career in Quality Training and Consulting that lasted eleven more years before I retired in 1994.

My remaining eleven years of Quality work was both public and in-house training on three continents with a partner for the first several years, Richard, Dick, Kleckner, We trained some 40,000 individuals in both Quality System Auditing and familarism with the ISO 9000 Standards This took us to four Countries and likely 25 states and we also had a special Auditor program for the airline industry that trained people from every airline in the free world. We both had separate Consulting businesses and we did several programs together for some of the larger industries/airlines including an in-depth audit of Eastern Airlines shortly before it went bankrupt.

Another join venture was the forming of a company in 1990 to be accredited to issue ISO 9001/-2 registrations. Quality Systems Registrar, QSR, became the first American owned company to be Accredited to issue ISO Certificates. QSR is still in business with over 400 customers. Being smaller than the giants of Registration we have always limited our size to make sure we can develop bonding relationships and some of our customers have been with us since our Accreditation. I still serve as a member of our Board of Governors that assure credibility to QSR’s operation. There may still be other Quality professionals still functioning that are my age but all of the giants of Quality like Dr Juran, Dr. Demming, Phil Crosby for a few were acquaintances or friends have long ago departed. The only other friend still working is Hank Farlander, another Dallas friend I first met when I was Chairman of the Dallas Chapter of what was still the ASQC in the early 1980’s,

My reason for taking the time to create this article is I am now watching the Quality leadership of today slowly destroy all of the barriers I helped remove to gain stature for the Quality Profession and the Quality Professional. I tried hard to not create a book but without explaining the wars I helped fight for stature many Quality professionals have no idea how hard it was to gain stature for a function that adds no value to the large companies except improved operations and reduced waste. In my career I worked in twenty three countries, visited in nine more and worked forty nine States. In my last eleven years I flew over 3,000,000 miles and spent over 2200 nights traveling. I started or help start nine different businesses in 4 countries.

I wrote this a few weeks ago and sure enough the following events are unfolding. Greed finally tripped up the leaders as predicted.

Watching today’s accreditation organizations like the ANAB, an AQC subsidiary, join with the foreign accreditation bodies keep trying to expand responsibilities for Quality into risk management, and other fields that will fail eventually when the costs of Accreditation and Registration exceed the increasing beyond any possible savings will kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg. When the last cycle of increased costs were introduced a couple of years ago I tried to warn the ANAB they were swimming in uncharted waters and I was ignored. If the AQC does not make certain the top leadership is aware of the shark filled waters Quality as a profession will get the first self inflicted black eye in my 65 plus years. I doubt that the AQC will have the honesty to print this article and at least generate discussion to prove me a wingnut or get some sanity involved before the bloodbath begins. I have nothing to lose or gain as my days are numbered. I just can’t believe the wild intrusions into other areas like design are an act of wisdom.   

Clyde W. Brewer PE, PQE, Member of Mensa and Intertel.   

A SAD DAY TO REMEMBER

 

February 1st 

I worked on the NASA Space Shuttle Program for several years. In fact I worked on the Mercury, Gemini, Scout, Saturn 1 & 5 plus other classified space projects. In all of my 27 years in the aerospace industry, I was never invited to witness a live launch of anything.

I made a major change in 1978 and joined a well known and one of the largest oilfield service companies to guide them in meeting a new government regulation. I Served for seven years and eventually became Chairman of the ANSI/ASME committee that the Minerals Management Service assigned to oversee the program. During this period I served with a retired NASA executive who was serving as a public member of the committee.

This friend invited me to tour the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama and a private meeting with the Director. He also arranged for me to observe the launch of the STS-5 Space Shuttle launch as a special guest of NASA. On November 9th and 10th 1982 I was given a complete tour of the Kennedy Space Center and pre-launch operations. At 7:19 am on November 11th I witnessed the launch of STS-5 Shuttle launch. This was a highlight in my life that I will forever remember.

After working or visiting in 32 countries and forty nine States, we decided in 1991 to relocate and prepare for retirement and moved to Toledo Bend Lake in deep east Texas. Our home is some 7.5 miles from Hemphill Texas by land and 2 miles from Louisiana by water.

On this date, February 1st, 2003, I was watching the landing preparation of the Columbia Space Shuttle when the loudest sonic boom I had ever heard happened. My wife was in the bathroom and watched water splash out of the commode and screamed, “What happened”. Believe me, this was another event that will be remembered forever. Obviously this was the remains of the shuttle and crew that was dispersed over this area. The next few weeks it was sad but heart-warming to see the local people pull together and assist in the search for debris. This reminded me of the way the entire country pulled together after the 9-11-01 tragedy in New York. It’s a shame that it takes a crisis or tragedy for all of us to communicate with a common purpose.

Over the years many local individuals have developed memorials for this horrible event to remember the individuals who lost their life. One individual has provided the funding to build a museum in Hemphill in the honor of his wife, who had recently passed away. This wonderful facility will have its grand opening today. The group of individuals who have worked so long and hard to make this happen along should be honored by all. There will be honored guest from NASA, politicians and many of us who pitched in during the year they searched the woods and water.

There is a special irony for me individually, I helped build the Columbia and this was the STS-5 Shuttle that I had the occasion to see launched in 1982. The sad part of this is I was watching the Columbia blow up and spray this area with its remains. My hat is off to those who have worked so hard to build the memorials to remember the crew forever.

Clyde Brewer

AMERICAN “ROYALTY”- PART ONE

 

Over the next few weeks I will share a vision of a transformation I have watched as a Texas boy,  man and now an 80 year old senior citizen. The recent election, news reports of how Congress and the President have reacted prompted me to share these facts with anyone interested in living in a free country. Is is a fact that we are spending ourselves into a position that “will” reduce the most powerful country in the history of the world, to a second class society. Our President is hell-bent on re-aligning our country from a “Republic” of freedom to a socialist democracy.

For those who are interested in creditability I have been retired for nearly 17 years. I served in manager and executive positions for 27 years in the aerospace industry, 5 years in the oil industry and some 10 years in management consulting and training. I am a retired Registered Professional Engineer with a Master Degree in Management I am a retired member of Mensa, Intertel, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Petroleum and the American Society for Quality. My entire work life was associated with “Customer Satisfaction/ Quality”.  I have been fortunate to have worked or visited in 32 countries and 49 States. I have worked in;  Kingdoms and Emirates in the middle east; Socialist countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France and others; Algeria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Scotland, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore; Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico, Canada. You will note that many of these countries are dominately Muslim. I have also done work for companies in Columbia and India. I joined the U.S. Navy at 17 and served nearly 3.5 years on active duty before my 21st birthday.

Growing up in Texas in the 1930’s was not as pleasant as life today. My first 9 years of school were in Corsicana, Texas. A town of 33% gentiles, 33% Colored, 33% Jewish and 1% who had some money. As most families were either poor, poorer and poorest I never realized we were poor. Texas had nothing but conservative democrats, and Lyndon Johnson. My first realization that people who did have money were not all misers. We had a Andrew Carnegie library that provided me the opportunity to read and learn free at my will. I give this library credit for the beginning of my ability to reach my full potential and success in my life at 63. None of the above countries where I have worked provide the freedoms to allow you to reach your full potential. What scares me is that my heirs will lose this freedom if we the people do not reduce the power of government and alter the current plans of the “American Royalty”.

Over the years we have seen political office holders at every level from County, State, and nationally change from public servants to full-time “Royalty”. Now political offices are full time occupations. The level of “Royalty” is adjusted at each level. When you get to Congress, the Executive and the Judicial branches of our government, the advantages of “Royalty” increase exponentially higher.

To capture your interest in following this series let me use one example that has been predominate in the news this week. This involves Mr. Charles Rangel. The only thing I have in common with Mr. Rangel is that we are both 80. To illustrate the fact that Mr. Rangel has “Royalty Status”, let me state some facts.

1. He has been charged of hiding $600,000.00 in assets ( he says it was an oversight). 2. Failure to pay income tax on offshore assets (he says this was an oversight). 3. Paying his lawyers with illegal funds ( nothing said yet). 4. Zoning infractions in his home district offices ( a misunderstanding). 5. Misuse of free mailing privileges ( I have not heard his response). This is just a sample of the 13 charges he was tried on by a congressional committee just this week. He was convicted on 11 of the charges. I have seen nothing in the news to even say he has paid the back taxes which I doubt as an individual. Let me go on record today, 11-18-2010, and say that his punishment will be, at most, a slap on the wrist and some form of documented sanction that will mean nothing.

Now let me compare this using me, just a common person, as an example of the way us “Non-Royals” would be treated. Hiding assets would get me a prison term, a fine and ruin my life. Income tax evasion would get me a penalty, a fine and an audit every year for the rest of my life. Using illegal funds would get me a fine and prison sentence for money laundering. Zoning infractions would result in a fine as a minimum. Mis-use of the postal system would get me a fine and prison sentence for mail fraud.

If these events alone do not convience you we have a “Royalty” class in America, just read the entire series.

The democratic/progressive/environmentalist leaders had their hand called in the race to socialize America in the last election. Now the republicans have one more chance to show they can manage and lead the country. If they fail this time America will be a one party system and a virtual Kingdom. I will explain my reasoning for this in Part Two.

Clyde Brewer

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