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Sanitizing Proprietary Manufacturing Information For Public Presentation

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.867.1 - 6.867.14

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Paper Authors

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Mark Chandler

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Kathleen McCollom

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3655

Sanitizing Proprietary Manufacturing Information for Public Presentation

Mark R. Chandler, Kathleen T. McCollom U.S. DOT - FHWA Wisconsin Division/ Battelle Memorial Institute


A need to prepare - or sanitize - a variety of proprietary manufacturing information for public presentation may come about for a number of reasons. Typical situations requiring technical presentations include publishing a technical paper14, 15, 17 or a presentation at a technical conference or classroom, preparing and publishing a technical thesis in a proprietary manufacturing environment, preparing supporting material33, 37 for an announcement by a company of a breakthrough in a manufacturing process, staffing a technical trade show50, applying for a Quality Award - such as the Baldrige Award, the President’s Quality Award, various state Quality Awards, etc. - or preparing content for a corporate (or public agency) web site. The degree of sanitizing can range from a deferred disclosure tactic used at a technical trade show (“Why don’t you give me your business card and let me give you a call back with that information after I confer with ...”) to presenting proprietary manufacturing data that has been numerically modified - such as defect level numerical data improvement ‘normalized’ with an X-Y graph - and published in a technical journal. While a more open and complete discussion of technical details means there may be greater risk of disclosing proprietary information, doing so may achieve tangible corporate needs10, 18, 38 and identifiable benefits. A strategy for communicating technological advances without revealing proprietary information is suggested and outlined.

I. Introduction

This paper was initially written within the context of one co-author’s participation in a manufacturing engineering Master’s program48 while working in a large contemporary manufacturing environment20. The engineering department Master’s theses were predominately non-proprietary, with a small percentage being proprietary. The large, technical manufacturer that supported the author’s thesis had strong ties to the engineering department. After discussions with the engineering department and with the author’s management (to the level of Director of Manufacturing), developing a non-proprietary technical Master’s thesis would be much easier within the manufacturing environment the author was employed in. In the course of developing the thesis topic, getting internal permission and technical reviews, the author located

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Chandler, M., & McCollom, K. (2001, June), Sanitizing Proprietary Manufacturing Information For Public Presentation Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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