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  • Author: Peter Thomas x
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Abstract

This article explores the importance of capability building to the success of public service reforms. It draws on the neglected literature on capability to explore how capability is a product (or not) of the interaction between the skills, experience and methods of an individual – and the culture, structures, processes of the organisation they work in. The analysis identifies four key features of successful capability-building reforms in the UK, which are also found in the early successes of the Goal Programme for Public Service Reform and Innovation: an iterative and permissive approach to project identification and scoping; projects on high-priority, cross-cutting outcomes that demand new ways of working; projects that are connected with conducive elements of the organisational and leadership context; projects that are designed to create or adapt ‘enabling routines’ which civil servants ‘learn by doing’. Such reforms have acted as capability factories. And as the early adopters of new routines rise through the organisation and take on new roles, they become advocates and teachers of the routines and practice they have acquired. This is how organisations learn and build the capability they need to succeed.

Slosh-Free Positioning of Containers with Liquids and Flexible Conveyor Belt

This paper describes a method for slosh-free moving of containers with a liquid at which the conveyor belt is flexible. It shows, by means of experimental results, that a container filled with a liquid can be regarded as a damped pendulum. Upon parameter identification of the two single-mode subsystems, theoretical modelling of the complete system is described. With respect to industrial application, feedforward control is used to transfer the container in horizontal direction without sloshing. The applied method requires deterministic and hard real time communication between the PLC and the servo amplifier which is realized here with Ethernet POWERLINK. The principle structure, calculations, time duration and the robustness of the basic types of input shaper are described and compared with each other. Additionally the positioning results of the two-mode system are presented. Finally, a possibility of the principle software implementation is presented.

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Abstract

This paper presents an analysis methodology for establishing the demand stability of the planning environment faced by a company and the impact on the stability from changes to sales order. The methodology focuses on three critical planning parameters derived from customer orders: product mix, volume, and order sizes. Furthermore, the methodology links the delivery performance of a company to the changes made to sales orders. Based on a test case application of the methodology, it is concluded that by accepting changes, the demand faced by the case company has become more unstable on product mix, volume, and the number of order lines per period, while some added stability has been achieved with regards to the order size distributions. Ultimately, by applying the methodology to the case company, it is found that by changing the sales orders, the company does not improve the delivery performance.

Abstract

Cu-Ni-Co-PGE mineralization occurs at Haidbachgraben in the Early Palaeozoic, Subpenninic Hollersbach Complex of the Central Tauern Window, Austria. Massive sulfide ore formed from sulfide melt segregated from silicate melt during intrusion of pyroxenite into magmatic rocks formed in an MORB-type environment. Relics of magmatic minerals include chromian spinel and polyphase sulfide droplets composed of pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite and pentlandite preserved in recrystallized pyrite. Both ore and host rocks were multiply deformed and metamorphosed, leading to hornblendite carrying the ore, enveloped by chlorite-epidote schist. Conditions of – likely Variscan – amphibolite facies metamorphism are documented by relict pargasitic cores in hornblende and actinolite-tremolite, and by ternary sulfarsenide compositions in the Co-Ni-Fe solid solution series that are the most common accessory minerals found in the sulfide ore. Pyrrhotite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite and pyrite are the major sulfide minerals. Chalcopyrite is Cd-rich and retains a high-temperature magmatic signature. High Co/Sb and moderate Se/As ratios in pyrite also point to a magmatic environment of mineralization. The accessory mineral assemblage of small grain size (mostly <10 µm) comprises native Au-Ag alloy and petzite as Au-Ag minerals, sperrylite, a variety of Pd tellurides and bismuthotellurides with elevated Sb, irarsite, and Re sulfides such as tarkianite and a Pb-Re sulfide. In addition, minor molybdenite, bournonite, scheelite and selenides have been identified. Two precious metal assemblages are present in individual samples: (1) hessite associated with Pd tellurides, often accompanied by sphalerite and chalcopyrite; (2) tarkianite forming euhedral inclusions in pyrite. Sperrylite and Au-Ag native alloys are present throughout and were also detected in silicate matrix. Most of the precious metal-bearing phases must have formed during recrystallization of base metal sulfides after the magmatic, and probably during later metamorphic events terminating in the Neoalpine Tauern crystallization.

Abstract

Background

People with chronic diseases are often limited in their workability. Evaluating and enabling workability is central in rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to evaluate validity and utility of workability assessments in German for persons with chronic diseases.

Methods

The study is a systematic review. First, we systematically searched for literature in the databases Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo, Cochrane HTA Database, DARE, CCMed, Sowiport, and BASE using following keywords: evaluation tool, chronic disease, workability, validity, and utility. Then, we evaluated the content and the quality of the studies based on criteria and decided if they were included.

Results

In total, validity and utility of eight workability assessments are described based on 74 studies. The assessments are: Productivity Costs Questionnaire (iPCQ), Work Instability Scale for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA-WIS), Screening-Instrument Arbeit und Beruf (SIBAR), Screening-Instrument zur Feststellung des Bedarfs an medizinisch-beruflich orientierten Maßnahmen in der medizinischen Rehabilitation (SIMBO), Valuation of Lost Productivity Questionnaire (VOLP), Work Ability Index (WAI/ABI), Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ), and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire (WPAI).

Conclusion

The results revealed the availability of eight workability assessments for persons with chronic diseases in German language. They have strengths and weaknesses in relation to the construct, purpose, application, and evidence base. These could be the base for choice of an assessment. Overall, we suggest using workability assessment in order to meet the legal requirements for the use of standardized assessments and the increasing demand to establish evidence of the effectiveness of interventions.

Red Blood Cell Acetylcholinesterase and Plasma Butyrylcholinesterase Status: Important Indicators for the Treatment of Patients Poisoned by Organophosphorus Compounds

Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is regarded as the primary toxic mechanism of organophosphorus compounds (OP). Therapeutic strategies are directed to antagonise overstimulation of muscarinic receptors with atropine and to reactivate inhibited AChE with oximes. Reactivation is crucial within the neuromuscular synapse, where atropine is ineffective, since peripheral neuromuscular block eventually leads to respiratory failure. Patients with OP intoxication have to be identified as early as possible.

During an international NBC-defence exercise anesthetised pigs were poisoned with sarin, followed by treatment with atropine and oxime. Blood samples were drawn and red blood cell (RBC)-AChE activity determined with a fielded test system on-site. Within a few minutes the poisoning was verified. After administration of HI-6, RBC-AChE activity increased rapidly. Blood samples were reanalysed in our laboratory in Munich. Almost identical course of the AChE activities was recorded by both systems.

The more comprehensive cholinesterase status was determined in Munich. Oxime administration can be stopped when AChE is aged completely, but has to be continued as long as poison is present in the body and reactivation is possible.

To aid the on-site physician in optimising diagnosis and treatment, a fielded test system should be available to allow rapid determination of the complete cholinesterase status.

Abstract

Future spacecraft and crew habitats are anticipated to use a moderately hypobaric and hypoxic cabin atmosphere to reduce the risk of decompression sickness associated with extravehicular activity. This has raised concerns about potential hypoxia-mediated adverse effects on astronauts. Noninvasive technology for measuring tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) has been developed for clinical use and may be helpful in monitoring oxygenation during spaceflight. We conducted a technical evaluation of a handheld StO2 monitor during a series of parabolic flights, and then undertook a preliminary analysis of the data obtained during the flights from six individuals. The StO2 monitor operated normally in all gravity conditions. There was considerable variability in StO2 between and within individuals. Overall, transition to microgravity was associated with a small decrease in StO2 of 1.1±0.3%. This evaluation has established the basic function of this technology in microgravity and demonstrates the potential for exploring its use in space.

Summary

An inter-laboratory comparison study on the acrolein biomarker of exposure 3-hydroxypropyl-mercapturic acid (3-HPMA) with 12 laboratories from 7 globally distributed countries was performed. The laboratories received coded triplicates of 4 spiked and lyophilized urine samples (LU, 12 samples) as well as 5 authentic urine pool samples (PU, 15 samples) covering the 3-HPMA concentration range from background (non-smoking) to heavy smoking levels for analysis by using their own (in-house) analytical method. All laboratories applied liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), with most of them (10 of 12) using solid phase extraction (SPE) as sample work-up procedure. The intra-laboratory variation (indicating repeatability) was determined by calculating the standard deviation (sr) and the coefficient of variation (CVr) of the triplicates, whereas the inter-laboratory variation (indicating reproducibility) was determined by calculating the standard deviation between laboratories (sR) and the corresponding coefficient of variation (CVR). After removal of outlier samples or laboratories, the mean CVr values for LU and PU test samples ranged from 2.1–3.6% (mean: 2.8%) and 2.4–3.7% (mean: 3.3%), respectively, indicating good repeatability for the determination of 3-HPMA in both sample types. CVR for LU and PU test samples ranged from 9.1–31.9% (mean: 18.8%) and 13.9–27.0% (mean: 18.5%), respectively, indicating limited reproducibility in 3-HPMA analysis for both sample types. Re-calculation of the PU results by applying an embedded calibration (EC), derived from the reported peak areas for the LU test samples, somewhat improved the CVR values (range: 9.6–28.8%, mean: 16.7%).

It is concluded that the intra-laboratory variation (repeatability) in the determination of 3-HPMA in urine is in general acceptable in the participating laboratories, while the inter-laboratory variability requires further improvement. The relatively small reduction in the inter-laboratory variability (sR and CVR) by applying an EC suggests that other methodological factors than the standard reference material for 3-HPMA have to be addressed to achieve further improvement in reproducibility.

Zusammenfassung

Demographischer Wandel wird als ein zentraler Einflussfaktor auf die Landnutzung und ihren Wandel beschrieben. Die Konsequenzen des demographischen Wandels werden in der Raumplanung bereits seit den 1970er Jahren diskutiert. In der gesellschaftlichen Auseinandersetzung wird dem Thema derzeit eine insgesamt hohe Bedeutung zugemessen. Doch trägt der demographische Wandel wirklich direkt zum Landnutzungswandel bei? Bislang fehlen umfassend erklärende Modelle für Landnutzungsänderungen, die insbesondere die Auswirkungen des demographischen Wandels auf die Landnutzung beschreiben; bisher sind lediglich Teilmodelle für verschiedene Arten der Landnutzung entwickelt worden. Dieser Beitrag zielt auf die Frage ab, ob und inwieweit klare Zusammenhänge zwischen dem demographischen Wandel und beobachtbaren Landnutzungsänderungen aus den vorliegenden Forschungsarbeiten abgeleitet werden können und welche Konsequenzen daraus für die Raumforschung und Raumentwicklungspolitiken zu schlussfolgern sind. Dazu wurde für den Zeitraum von 2005–2013 eine Literaturanalyse für Deutschland durchgeführt. Die Erkenntnisse wurden mit Experten während zweier Workshops intensiv diskutiert. Die Auswertung der Literatur ergab, dass nahezu keine Quellen vorhanden sind, aus denen direkte Auswirkungen des demographischen Wandels auf die Landnutzung ableitbar waren. Das gilt insbesondere für die Handlungsfelder Landwirtschaft, Forstwirtschaft, Tourismus und Naturschutz. Auch indirekte Wirkzusammenhänge können aufgrund der Leerstelle Empirie nur schwer abgebildet werden. Folglich ergeben sich hinsichtlich der Steuerungsmöglichkeiten der Raumplanung und Raumentwicklung erhebliche Unsicherheiten.