General Info

Workshop: Monday, November 18

Acquiring the Skills of the New Manager:
Start with the Quality Process and the Lab Database.

 Monday, Nov 18, 2013, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon 
 Robert K. Smith, Lake Charles, Louisiana

These two hours will provide potential managers with  the tools and philosophy to manage and improve their labs or sections successfully. The workshop will show how to optimize training, sample systems, plant processes, etc, using quality metrics, statistical quality control, and a lab database.  With the lab database, you can find opportunities for improvement, and then monitor when each improvement is complete. The process of continuous improvement will help you learn almost everything about the analytical systems and then optimize every chemical process or analytical test. 

This workshop is designed for present or future managers in analytical laboratories or related chemical or QA organizations, where quality metrics are extremely important.


1. Philosophy and Tools:   Monitoring, Recording, Continuous Improvement, and Optimization
2. Goals and Metrics:  Accuracy, Precision, Reliability, Process Yield 
3. Elements of the Quality Process:
     * Systems approach
     * Lots of data: computer files, charts and statistical analysis
     * Staff training
     * Routine monitoring
4. Use the Quality Process to Achieve Continuous Improvement:
     * Routine monitoring and analysis of control samples
     * Monitor not only samples, but everything else:  equipment, chemicals, record keeping, process design, and the staff
     * Root cause analysis of problems
     * Because of monitoring, you can optimize
5. The Database Reveals:
     * The goodness of your analytical systems
     * Opportunities for improvement
     * When the improvement is complete
     * How well your people are trained
6. Develop and use Control Strategies.

Robert K. Smith has been working in the chemical industry for more than 40 years, starting in the U.S Navy as a medical analytical chemist, and then manager of a navy chem lab. After military service, he returned to Louisiana, and worked successively as an industrial analytical chemist, supervisor, lab manager, and QA manager. Over the decades, he worked at companies devoted to organics, inorganics, polymers and petrochemicals.

Starting in the Navy, he recognized the value of quality metrics, statistical quality control and the work of Deming. These became his most versatile tools, both in the lab and in the plant.

He has been active in quality groups and ASTM, and was his company’s expert on ISO 9000. He helped start and then led for many years the regional Quality Council. He has built four new labs, staffed and trained the staff of six different labs, and taught hundreds of courses.

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