150,000 Tons of Food is Wasted in the US: How Automation Can Help

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Jun 29, 2018 / by Emily Ysaguirre

Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day, which is the equivalent to a pound per person, says the Guardian. According to the article, research shows that people with healthy diets that are rich in fruit and vegetables are in fact the most wasteful. The article states that, fruit and vegetables require less land to grow than other foods but in turn, require a large amount of water and pesticides. 

It explains, “This waste has an environmental toll, with the volume of discarded food equivalent to the yearly use of 30m acres of land, 780m pounds of pesticide and 4.2tn gallons of irrigated water. Rotting food also clogs up landfills and releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.”

Lisa Jahns, a nutritionist at USDA and co-author of the study, said, “we need a simultaneous effort to increase food quality as well as reduce food waste. We need to put both of those things out.” Further stating that food waste occurs from farm to plate in the US. A report by the Center for Biological Diversity states, only four out of the 10 largest grocery chains in the US have specific food waste reduction commitments and a further 10 don’t prevent the waste of food considered too cosmetically imperfect to sell.

Jahns also says that consumers in busy households do not prioritize the time and energy it takes to prepare food.

What can we do? I’m glad you asked!

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General Quality Food and Beverage

3 Ways Blockchain is Transforming Manufacturing

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Jun 04, 2018 / by Alexa Sussman

Traditional business methods are enough to handle basic manufacturing processes but can’t keep up with the pace at which markets and technology are advancing.

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General Quality

Using the Quality Management System (QMS) to Support the 8 Principles of Total Quality Management (TQM)

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Jun 01, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Total Quality Management (TQM) emerged in the 1980s in response to economic losses experienced due to Japanese manufacturers producing higher quality goods at lower cost. TQM was a natural outgrowth of the Toyota Production System, eventually giving rise to approaches like Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma.

Companies that adopt TQM and related process excellence methodologies need a specific set of Quality Management System (QMS) tools. With that in mind, today we’re looking at how the QMS supports what the American Society for Quality (ASQ) calls the 8 principles of TQM.

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General Quality

Getting Ready for GDPR

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Apr 16, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Going into effect May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents the most sweeping changes to EU data privacy laws in 20 years. However, signs are growing that companies are ready for the new requirements, including a new UK report showing fewer than half of organizations have made preparations.

Companies that sell products or services to people in the EU will need to comply with the new regulations or risk a fine of up to 4% of revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater.

In today’s post, we’re examining what companies need to do to get in compliance with the fast-approaching regulatory deadlines.

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Life Sciences General Quality

The Industry 4.0 Approach to Quality

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Apr 09, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Experts are calling Industry 4.0 the fourth Industrial Revolution (hence the 4.0). The concept represents a push towards manufacturing digitization that experts say will deliver massive improvements in efficiency, costs and profits in as little as just a few years.

But what will it take to get there, and how can it help improve quality? Today we’re lifting the lid on what Industry 4.0 means in terms of quality, focusing on benefits, challenges and the tools companies will need to make it a success.

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General Quality Industry 4.0

4 Hidden Costs of Poor Document Control [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Apr 02, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Poorly controlled documents are a huge source of risk in organizations today,costing millions in profits and productivity every year. This infographic highlights four hidden costs of poor document control and how automation can help. 

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General Quality

3 Things You Need to Know About the MDSAP

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Mar 26, 2018 / by Alexa Sussman

Audits are an essential part of the Life Sciences as they ensure manufacturers are producing safe products and operating within compliance.

Previously, audits meant surprise business interruptions for manufacturers and a lot of travel and administrative work for auditors. With many Life Science manufacturers operating internationally, they were being audited separately to satisfy the requirements of each country in which they operated. At the end of the day, there was a lot of repeat work on both ends.

So regulatory agencies and legislators have come together to develop single audit programs that create comprehensive audits that satisfy the requirements of multiple countries. This creates a globally harmonized and efficient international audit management system.

One of the major programs is the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP). As the deadlines for these changes approaches quickly, here are 3 things that medical device manufacturers should know about the MDSAP.

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Life Sciences General Quality

Risk-Based Regulatory Compliance for Manufacturing: A Practical 4-Step Approach

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Mar 23, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

In 2015, the Code of Federal Regulations totaled nearly 180,000 pages of requirements. While not all of these will apply to any single manufacturer, regulatory compliance is still a major challenge for companies. In fact, many of them aren’t even aware of certain regulatory risks until it’s too late.

This fact is especially true when companies use manual or paper-based methods for quality or environmental management, which make it difficult to effectively track compliance activities.

With that in mind, today’s post looks at a practical, risk-based approach manufacturers can use to identify and assess compliance gaps.

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General Quality EHS Risk Management

Comparing ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 - What's the Difference Between the Two Standards?

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Mar 19, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

ISO 13485 for medical device quality management shares many similarities with ISO 9001, the leading global quality management standard with more than 1.1 million certificates worldwide.

While most standard revisions now follow ISO 9001’s new high-level structure, ISO 13485 does not, even though it was released after ISO 9001. Clearly there are structural differences, but you may be wondering—how different are they?

Today we’re looking at the similarities and differences between the two standards, and whether life sciences companies and related services need both certifications.

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General Quality

The Charles Dickens Guide to Quality and Safety

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Dec 12, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Author Charles Dickens was famous for his depictions of 19th Century life and the effects of the Industrial Revolution on the working class. Dickens himself had a difficult life, forced into a workhouse pasting labels on shoe polish at age 12 after his father went to debtors’ prison.

Dickens understood factory life well in his era, and he’d probably have a lot to say about workplace safety and quality.

In this post, we take a look at several iconic Dickens stories, mining them for some truly Victorian quality and safety insights.

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General Quality