Maytag sees talks with Haier ending next week
ATLANTA: Appliance maker Maytag Corp., which has set an August shareholder
vote on a $14-a-share buyout, has said that it expects to complete
discussions with a second potential bidding group that includes Chinese
appliance maker Haier Group next week
Yes, it's bad enough already. If the only stores in your area are
Wall Mart and Home Depot, it's already close to impossible to find an
American made appliance. They simply do not carry them.
If Whirlpool goes East, there will be no choices anywhere.
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and Norge-Fedders... :-)
Frigidaire, however, is now owned by Electrolux.
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Compliance to a shoddy spec simply ensures that <every> item produced is
I've (sadly) also come to the conclusion that most GE appliances have
succumbed to the cost-cutting pressures and aren't what they used to be
30-40 (or even 20) years ago.
Obviously, you are not familiar with six sigma and what it entails---no more
than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. For your enlightenment:
"Six Sigma at many organizations simply means a measure of quality that
strives for near perfection. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven
approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six
standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in
any process -- from manufacturing to transactional and from product to
The statistical representation of Six Sigma describes quantitatively how a
process is performing. To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more
than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A Six Sigma defect is defined as
anything outside of customer specifications. A Six Sigma opportunity is then
the total quantity of chances for a defect. Process sigma can easily be
calculated using a Six Sigma calculator."
I'm totally familiar w/ 6-sigma--worked at/wiith it for years as
engineer in product development for a well-known (in its niche field)
manufacturer of industrial equipment.
The point is, if the specification is for a lesser quality product, all
6-sigma does is ensure that it is <that> specification that is met. The
"defects" addressed by QC are those of the manufacturing process, <not>
those of design. There are two definitions of "quality"--the
statistical/QC definition isn't the same as the consumer one. One can
build a Yugo to 6-sigma but it won't be a Lexus when it's done--that's
the point I'm making.
This is Turtle.
The Six Flags calculator will probley work good in getting problems fixed for
the first year or two, but what the problem most have with this stuff is they
expect it last longer than 5 years when the warranty runs out buy a new one. G/E
says 5 to 8 years is a long life for refrigerators and I say it should be 20
years like it was years ago with quality built in the equipment and not profit
margin build into the equipment.
The number of defect as measured when? On an assembly line? What
about 6 months later, or make it really unreasonble 5 years later.
The refrigirator I posted about in another thread, but referenced
here, was made by GE for Sears. It's 12 years old and I may be able
to fix the cooling problem. But let me add, the plastic (way too
thin) shelf supports are broken and Sears will sell you one for $12
or so, last I checked. Replace all those clearly underdesigned
components and you're half way into a new applience.
What does six sigma have to do with this design for quick absolecence?
BTW, the supports are so designed, that short of sculpting one from
steel, there's no way to strenghten them in any way. That's what I
call crap. Agree with Turtle.
It ensures every one of them will be obsolescent in the target time +/-
a (very) short time, but <after> the warranty period on major components
w/ a very high probability. In many designs, a significant if not the
primary goal of the six-sigma process is to control warranty costs.
And if the failure does occur within warranty period, the cost of
transport and labor will exceed the cost of underdesigned part, by
far. Most warranties are now for shorter pariods, excluding
transport. And it's no longer parts & labor for 1 year. More likely
parts 1 year, labor 3-6 months.
OK--With respect to all the posts in response to my six sigma comment--I
agree with them all!! I obviously was blinded, biased, and my thoughts were
colored by my own work experience with a product that doesn't have loose
specs, has quality, life and safety built into it. It's not a refrigerator,
washer or microwave oven where if a part fails you simply replace, repair,
make thicker or heaver. I dealt with jet engines--here is a product that
must operate at inlet temperatures from minus (-) 65F to 130F. Run at sea
level to 60,000 Ft. at flight speeds of Mach 0 to 2.0 while the pilot is
free to move the throttle over its operating range as often and as rapidly
as he wants. Where the gas temperature in the turbine area is actually
hotter than the melting point of the blading. The engine has shown that it
is capable of operating over its speed range for 20,000-30,000 hours or so
without requiring a shutdown or experiencing a failure---that's approx 2 to
3 yrs.--- try that on your car. When a component failure does occur, both
the Military/FAA requires an investigation as to the cause and then
corrective action to fix it. Granted the engine that I'm familiar with
(installed in the F/A 18) is a bit pricey--about 1.5 million dollars. This
is the six sigma environment that I was thinking about--I concede to the
homeware products and the comments that followed.
The specs for consumer goods aren't necessarily any "looser" and the
useage of 6-sigma may well be as rigorous as in your example. It is
simply the target that is different. Try building that same jet engine
for 2/3 the price or consider how your design parameters would have to
change if the target aircraft were a corporate jet, say, instead of
military--the cost pressure of keeping that Citation competitive in the
marketplace would undoubtedly have a significant effect on the eventual
performance specifications. It's that environment that is, as you now
realize :), more nearly comparable to the consumer market.
None of the above intended as rant/criticism/whatever, just amplifying
on how the environment changes the requirements w/ the specs following--
Comments accepted as intended--You're right, the cost is certainly a direct
result of the application, however, I'd like to add the following: With
respect to Biz Jets--Just about all the engines used in corporate aircraft
are derivatives of a design used in a Military application; for example, the
Lear Jet, Daussalt Falcon engines used derivatives of the GE J85 engine
which is used in the T38 Trainer, F5 Freedom Fighter (along with a number of
others). The GE CF34 used in several Military aircraft e.g. A10(warhog) is
on the Bombardier Challenger. The GE T700 is used in many Military
helicopters as well as many civilian applications. The design requirements
or Specs of these engines are not compromised in any way just because they
are on the commercial side of the fence. In fact, satisfying the FAA is, in
many cases, a much more difficult task than the Military. They (engines) are
less costly since they don't have to perform as aggressively as their
Military counterpart (simpler control systems, reduced complexity etc.) but
not at the expense of flight safety or endurance.
For those that are down on GE and don't want to deal with their
products----cut down on your flying or be more selective with respect to the
aircraft you book on--GE engines are installed on approx 70% of the world's
commercial aircraft. BTW, did I mention that I worked for GE?
But, in fact, those latter considerations <are> "compromised" design
specs for <precisely> the reasons you give and including the fact that
the market would not support the cost structure if they weren't. That
the safety side isn't significantly different is only one portion of the
equation, albeit it is an important one.
I gathered as much... :) Cincinnati?
OBTW, did I mention I had close family ties w/ Cessna? :)
However, the consumer appliance division of GE in its current
incarnation has gone the broad-market, less expensive route at the
apparent loss of reliability and longevity. That said, I'm sure they're
very precisely engineered and the production facilities are
ISO-certified. It's just too bad the American consumer is so
initial-purchase-price sensitive that there's no significant market for
better goods... :(
Lynn, Ma--small aircraft engines, mostly on the F04 (F/A-18)
With respect to Cessna--spent about a week there quite some time ago, most
of the time on the runway <g> At that time they produced a very small
Military aircraft--which for the life of me I can't recall the exact name.
Production line shut down, they gave me a crew, a portable test stand, a
pilot,an aircraft, a two channel recorder and then walked away. I'm sure
they were looking out the windows but they just left me to sink or swim.
Fortunately, I didn't sink.
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