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Jiju Antony

University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

Michael Hughes

University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

Mike Kaye

University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

Keywords

Design of experiments, Introduction Benefits of using experimental

Optimization, Process efficiency, design methods

Taguchi methods Experimental design is a powerful approach

to product and process development, and for Experimental design methods have intensive

Abstract improving the yield and stability of an application in the engineering design and

Experimental design is a powerful

ongoing manufacturing process (Montgom- development environment. Potential appli-

technique for understanding a

ery, 1992). It is a discipline that applies cations include product design optimisation,

process, studying the impact of

potential variables affecting a statistics to the experimental process. It was analysis of basic design configurations,

process and providing sponta- first introduced and developed by Sir Ronald material selection, selection of component

neous insight for continuous qual- Fisher in the early 1920s to study the effect of tolerances and process optimisation. The

ity improvement possibilities. It following are the typical benefits gained by

has proved to be very effective for

several variables simultaneously on the out-

improving the process yield, pro- come. In his early applications, Fisher many experimenters and researchers from

cess performance and reducing wanted to determine the effect of factors such the application of experimental design meth-

process variability. A number of as rain, water, fertilizer, sunshine, etc., on ods:

successful applications of the ex- . reduced product development time;

perimental design technique for

the final condition of the crop (Sirvanci and

Durmaz, 1993). His methods for effective

. assistance to achieve better process

process optimisation have been

reported by both US and European experimentation were a fundamental break design to assure final product quality;

manufacturers over the last ten from the old scientific tradition of varying

. improved customer satisfaction with the

years. This paper illustrates an

only one-factor-at-a-time approach to experi- product;

application of Taguchi methods . reduced excessive variability in both the

(TM) in an industrial setting for mentation. Since that time, much develop-

identifying the critical factors ment of the technique has taken place in the product and process performance;

affecting a certain process and academic environment, but not many appli-

. assistance in discovering a set of process

subsequently reducing process

cations in the manufacturing environment. variables which are most influential on

variability. Both the analysis of the process output;

variance (ANOVA) on mean re- Dr Taguchi carried out significant research

. reduced product and process development

sponse and the signal-to-noise with experimental design techniques in the

ratio (SNR) have been carried out early 1950s. His effort has been to make this costs;

for determining the optimal condi- . reduced product and process sensitivity to

powerful experimental design technique

tion of the process. A significant environmental and manufacturing varia-

improvement in the process per- more user-friendly and apply to improve the

tions;

formance was observed in terms of quality of both products and manufacturing . helped to determine the optimal factor

variation reduction. processes (Goh, 1993). Taguchi developed

settings for better process performance;

both a philosophy and a methodology for . assistance with the development of new

continuous quality improvement based on

processes and manufacturing technology;

statistical concepts, especially experimental . improved process yield, product reliabil-

design techniques. A number of successful

ity and process capability.

applications of the Taguchi method for pro-

The authors would like to cess optimisation have been reported by both

thank the two anonymous US and European manufacturers over a

referees for their valuable decade (Antony and Kaye, 1996; Quinlan,

Case study

and useful comments on

earlier draft of this paper. 1985). Experimental design methodology The following case study was performed in a

based on Taguchi has accentuated the im- certain manufacturing organisation with the

portance of reducing process variability aim of reducing variability around the target

around a specified target value and then for a core process. Owing to the non-disclo-

Integrated Manufacturing

bringing the process mean on target. This sure agreement between the company and

Systems can be accomplished only by making pro- the authors, certain information relating to

10/3 [1999] 162±169 cesses insensitive to various sources of noise the company cannot be revealed in detail.

# MCB University Press and the method is called robust parameter Nevertheless, the data which has been col-

[ISSN 0957-6061]

design (Phadke, 1989). lected from the experiment is real and has

[ 162 ]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes not been modified as a consequence of this Step 4: choice of an orthogonal array (OA)

and Mike Kaye agreement. The case study was carried out by design

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using following the steps described in the Taguchi For this study, seven independent factors

experimental design methodology (Antony and Kaye, 1995). were thought to have some impact on the

technique: a case study response (i.e. expulsion force). As part of the

Integrated Manufacturing Step 1: objective/goal of the experiment initial investigation of the process, each

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169 The objective of the experiment was to factor was kept at two levels. A full factorial

determine the most important factors affect- experiment would require a total of 128 (i.e.

ing a critical quality characteristic (or re- 27) experimental runs. This was not reason-

sponse) and subsequently reducing able and feasible design, as the cost of the

variability in response around the target experiment and time needed to complete the

value. experiment would be extraordinarily high.

Owing to the limited budget and because the

Step 2: selection of the quality top management needed a quick response to

characteristic (or response) the experimental investigation, it was

Having identified the objective of the experi- decided to use Taguchi's orthogonal array

ment, the next step was to identify an (OA) design. The choice of an OA (Ross, 1988)

appropriate response for the experiment. The depends on the number of degrees of freedom

response of interest to the experimenter was required for studying the main and interac-

expulsion force. Here expulsion force is the tion effects. Moreover, the experimenter was

force required to expel the component or interested in reducing the number of vari-

device under study from a certain tube. ables to a manageable number so that further

smaller experiments can be carried out to

Step 3: identification of control, noise and study the interactions among the factors.

signal factors As seven main effects (each at two levels)

The classification of factors (Taguchi, 1987) are to be studied, the number of degrees of

for the experiment was achieved by a freedom required for the experiment must be

thorough brainstorming session with people greater than seven. The closest number of

from production, quality control and shop- experimental trials (from the standard OAs)

floor. Seven control factors were thought to which will satisfy this objective is an L8 OA

have some impact on expulsion force. Control (Taguchi and Konishi, 1987).

factors are those which can be controlled

under normal production conditions. No Step 5: experimental preparation

noise factors or signal factors were identified In this step, the main task was to construct

for the experiment. Noise factors are those the uncoded and coded design matrices for

the experiment and analysis of results

which causes variation in the functional

respectively. The coded and uncoded design

performance of products/processes. Signal

matrices are shown in Tables II and III,

factors are those which affect only the mean

respectively.

performance of the process. As this is the

Having constructed the design matrices, the

first Taguchi experiment performed on the

next step was to run the experiment according

forementioned quality characteristic, inter-

to the prepared matrix. It was decided to

actions were of no interest to the experi-

conduct the experiment in the standard order

menter. In other words, the objective of the

(see Table II). Moreover, the sample size for

experiment was to reduce the number of

each experimental design point was ten. In

factors to a manageable subset of important other words, ten parts were made according to

factors. This is called a ``screening experi- the factor settings in each trial.

ment'' in the context of experimental design.

Dingus (1989) and Quinlan (1985) provide Step 6: experimental run

excellent references for screening experi- The experiment was conducted based on the

ments. design matrix and the response values were

As part of the initial investigation of the recorded on a data sheet for analysis. The

process under study, it was decided to study resulting response table is shown in Table IV.

all factors at two levels. Here, the ``level''

refers to a specified setting of a factor. For Step 7: statistical analysis and

example, in the present case study, the type interpretation of results

of material is a factor and ``material X'' and As the objective is to reduce the variability in

``material Y'' are the two levels. The list of expulsion force and to bring the mean

control factors and their levels are shown in expulsion force as close as possible to the

Table I. All the factors which were thought to target (target being equal to 275gm), both the

influence the expulsion force are basically ANOVA on the mean response and the signal-

machine related. to-noise ratio (SNR) have been carried out.

[ 163 ]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes SNR is a measure of the performance varia- characteristic of products/processes prior

and Mike Kaye bility of products/processes in the presence to shifting the mean onto the desired

Reducing manufacturing target.

process variability using of noise factors. The idea is to maximise the

experimental design SNR and thereby minimise the effect of noise . Stage 2. Identify an adjustment factor

technique: a case study factors. ANOVA is a powerful statistical which has a significant effect on the mean

Integrated Manufacturing technique used for sub-dividing the total response, but no effect on the SNR. Use

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169 variation into useful and meaningful compo- this adjustment factor to bring the mean

nents of variation (Antony and Antony, 1998). response as close as possible to the target.

In Taguchi experiments, ANOVA is used to Based on the above two steps, it was decided

pin point the key sources of variation. Since to calculate the SNR for each experimental

expulsion force is a nominal-the-best type of design point. The SNR for nominal-the-best

quality characteristic, it was decided to quality characteristic (Logothetis, 1992) is

employ the two-step optimisation procedure calculated by the equation:

recommended by Taguchi (Taguchi and 2

y

Yokohama, 1993): SNR 10 log

s

. Stage 1. Identify those factor effects which

have a significant effect on the SNR. Select

the factor levels that maximise the SNR. Sample calculation for Trial 1

The idea is to identify those effects which =

Mean response
y 983.10

affect the variation. It is important to Sample standard deviation (s) = 258.38

reduce variation in the performance Substitute the values into the above equa-

tion, we get, SNR = 11.60 The SNR values

Table I for eight experimental trials are shown in

List of control factors for the experiment Table V.

Factors Factor labels Level 1 Level 2 Having obtained the SNR values, the next

step was to obtain the average response

Type of material (A) Material X Material Y

values of SNR at low and high levels of each

Drum temperature (B) 84 104

factor and hence the effect of each factor on

Machine alignment (C) 134 130

the SNR. The results are shown in Table VI.

Position of the cam (D) Forward Backward

Table VI shows that factors B and D have

Clearance (E) 0.006 0.012

dominant effect on the SNR, followed by

Time (F) 68 72

factors E, G, F, A and C. The main effects plot

Header temperature (G) 190 210

for the SNR is shown in Figure 1.

Table II

Uncoded design matrix for the experiment

Trial

number A B C D E F G

1 Material X 84 134 Forward 0.006 68 190

2 Material X 84 134 Backward 0.012 72 210

3 Material X 104 130 Forward 0.006 72 210

4 Material X 104 130 Backward 0.012 68 190

5 Material Y 84 130 Forward 0.012 68 210

6 Material Y 84 130 Backward 0.006 72 190

7 Material Y 104 134 Forward 0.012 72 190

8 Material Y 104 134 Backward 0.006 68 210

Table III

Coded design matrix for the experiment

Trial number A B C D E F G

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2

3 1 2 2 1 1 2 2

4 1 2 2 2 2 1 1

5 2 1 2 1 2 1 2

6 2 1 2 2 1 2 1

7 2 2 1 1 2 2 1

8 2 2 1 2 1 1 2

[ 164 ]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes Table IV

and Mike Kaye Response table

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using Trial

experimental design

technique: a case study number Expulsion force

Integrated Manufacturing 1 990 1,037 748 1,113 637 1,577 860 818 965 1,086

Systems 2 906 875 638 959 748 807 710 600 525 509

10/3 [1999] 162±169

3 767 578 327 733 653 881 924 583 604 873

4 626 683 669 605 749 760 526 694 632 620

5 549 504 741 566 979 455 468 646 430 468

6 878 540 818 607 1,256 787 953 845 1,168 1,061

7 421 351 350 415 307 508 465 419 596 446

8 691 675 771 940 640 1,053 856 743 587 817

Table for calculated SNR values sponse (Antony and Kaye, 1997). The average

response values at each level of the factors

Experimental run SNR

and their effects are presented in Table VIII.

1 11.60 Having computed the estimates of the

2 13.20 factor effects, it was decided to construct a

3 11.59 main effects plot of the factors. A main effects

4 19.44 plot will provide a visual representation of

5 10.64 the importance of the factor effects. Figure 2

6 11.84 illustrates the main effects plot of the factors.

7 14.14 Figure 2 shows that factors E and B have

8 14.68 significant impact on the mean response (i.e.

mean expulsion force). This will be followed

Figure 1 shows that the most dominant factor by factors A, D, F, G and C. The pooled

effects are B and D, followed by factor effects E, ANOVA table is shown in Table IX.

G, F, A and C. In order to obtain the statistical The ANOVA table has also shown that the

significance of the effects, ANOVA for the SNR most dominant factor effects are E and B.

was performed. The pooled ANOVA table is Having identified the significant factor ef-

shown in Table VII. Pooling is a method of fects, the next step was to determine the

combining the effects with low sum of squares optimal settings of these factors which will

in magnitude in order to obtain a reasonable bring the mean response as close as possible

estimate of the error variance. The rule of to the target. The optimum condition (i.e. the

thumb is to pool the effects with low sum of best control factor settings) based on the

squares till the error degrees of freedom is mean response (refer to Table VIII) was:

nearly half the total degrees of freedom A2B2C2D1E2F2G2

(Logothetis and Wynn, 1989).

The ANOVA table has shown that the most Here factor A is an adjustment factor as it

dominant factor effects are B and D. Having only influences the mean expulsion force and

identified the significant factor effects, the not variability in expulsion force. Factors C,

next step was to determine the optimal F and G have no significant impact on either

settings of these factors which will maximise mean response or response variability. The

the SNR. The optimum condition (i.e., the final selection of the levels of these insignif-

best control factor settings) based on the SNR icant factors have been made based on

(refer to Table VI) was: economic grounds.

A1B2C1D2E2F1G1 As there was trade-off in the factor levels

Having performed the SNR analysis, the next (based on the analysis of the SNR and mean

step was to identify those factor effects which response), it was decided to perform the

Table VI

Average SNR table

Factors Average SNR at level 1 Average SNR at level 2 Effect of the factor

A 13.95 12.82 ±1.13

B 11.81 14.96 3.15

C 13.40 13.38 ±0.02

D 11.99 14.79 2.80

E 12.42 14.35 1.93

F 14.08 12.69 ±1.39

G 14.25 12.53 ±1.72

[ 165 ]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes loss-function analysis for nominal-the-best the standard deviation was constructed. This

and Mike Kaye (NTB) quality characteristics (Schimdt and model is based on the effects which have a

Reducing manufacturing Launsby, 1992), in order to arrive at the final significant impact on the log S. Factors B and

process variability using

experimental design optimal factor settings. The optimal factor E were appeared to influence the log S. It is

technique: a case study settings is the one which yields minimum important to note that the log S of the

Integrated Manufacturing quality loss. In order to perform the loss- observations often tend to be normally dis-

Systems function analysis, the first step was to tributed whereas the standard deviations (S)

10/3 [1999] 162±169

develop a mathematical model for the mean of the observations do not generally follow a

response (denoted by y ^). The model is derived normal distribution (Lochner and Matar,

using the significant effects obtained from 1990). The mathematical model for the log

the ANOVA on mean response. The equation standard deviation (log ^ S)is given by:

is basically a linear combination of regres- ^ S 2:171 ÿ 0:1225B ÿ 0:13E

log

sion coefficients. The model for the mean

response is given by: Having determined the mathematical models

for the mean response and standard devia-

^ 717:0625 ÿ 47:815A ÿ 78:615B 46:115D

y

tion, it was decided to calculate the average

ÿ 118:94E

loss function L
y for each experimental

In the above model, the coefficients of A, B, D design point based on the factor effects which

and E are half of the estimate of the factor have significant effect on either mean re-

effects. Similarly, a mathematical model for sponse or response variability.

Sample calculation

Figure 1

For making the computations simpler, we

Main effects plot for the SNR

replace level 1 or low level by (±1) and that of

level 2 or high level by (+1).

For run 7:

^ 717:0625 ÿ 47:815A ÿ 78:615B 46:115D

y

ÿ 118:94E

717:0625 ÿ 47:815
1 ÿ 78:615
1

46:115
ÿ1 ÿ 118:94
1

425:58

Similarly,

^ S 2:171 ÿ 0:1225B ÿ 0:13E

log

2:171 ÿ 0:1225
1 ÿ 0:13
1

1:92

: ^

: :S 83:18

^ 2
y

L
y k:S ^ ÿ T2

k:83:182
425:58 ÿ 2752

k:29593

Table X summarises the results.

Table VII

Pooled ANOVA for the SNR

Source of

variation Degree of freedom Sum of squares Mean square F-ratio Percent contribution ()

A [1] 2.53 2.53 ± ±

B 1 19.84 19.84 9.27* 32.0

C [1] 0.000831 0.000831 ± ±

D 1 15.71 15.71 7.34* 24.52

E 1 7.46 7.46 3.49 9.61

F [1] 3.88 3.88 ± ±

G 1 5.93 5.93 2.77 6.85

Pooled error 3 6.411 2.14 ± 27.02

Total 7 55.34 7.91 ± 100.00

Notes: The parentheses show those factor effects which have been pooled 20 to obtain a reasonable estimate for

the error variance. Moreover, * shows that the factor effect is statistically significant at 90 per cent confidence

level. The tabled value of F-statistic at 90 per cent, 95 per cent and 99 per cent confidence levels are 5.54,

10.13 and 34.12, respectively

[ 166 ]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes Table VIII

and Mike Kaye Table for average response values and effects of factors

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using Mean response at Mean response at

experimental design

technique: a case study Factors level 1 level 2 Effect

Integrated Manufacturing A 764.88 669.25 ±95.63

Systems B 795.68 638.45 ±157.23

10/3 [1999] 162±169

C 728.98 705.15 ±23.83

D 670.95 763.18 92.23

E 836.00 598.12 ±237.88

F 749.35 684.78 ±64.57

G 739.65 694.48 ±45.17

bold) yields the minimum loss. The as:

optimal factor settings based on the loss- A 2 B2 D 1 E 2

Figure 2 therefore

Main effects plot for the mean response

A2 B2 C2 D1 E2 F2 G2

condition

The predicted mean response at the optimal

condition is estimated only from the signifi-

cant main or interaction effects. The selec-

tion of factor levels to be used in the

prediction equation is dependent on the

nature of chosen quality characteristic for

the experiment. For the present study, the

main factor effects which have significant

impact on the mean response were A, B, D

and E. The predicted mean response based on

the optimal factor levels of A, B, D and E is

given by (Roy, 1990):

2 ÿ T

A

^ T B 2 ÿ T

D

1 ÿ T

2 ÿ T

E

where:

Table IX

Pooled ANOVA for the mean response

Source of

variation Degree of Sum of Mean Percent

freedom squares square F-ratio contribution

A 1 182,882.81 182,882.81 6.02** 3.58

B 1 494,394.01 494,394.01 16.28*** 10.90

C [1] 11,352.61 11,352.61 ± ±

D 1 170109.01 170109.01 5.60** 3.28

E 1 1,131,690.31 1,131,690.31 37.27*** 25.88

F [1] 83,398.61 83,398.61 ± ±

G [1] 40,815.61 40,815.61 ± ±

Pooled

error 75 2,277,144.54 30,361.93 ± 56.36

Total 79 4,256,220.69 53,876.21 ± 100.00

Notes: F0.1, 1,75 = 2.78, F0.05, 1,75 = 3.98 and F0.01, 1,75 = 7.01. Moreover, *** shows that a factor is significant

at 90 per cent, 95 per cent and 99 per cent confidence levels, ** shows that a factor is significant at 90 per

cent and 95 per cent confidence levels

[ 167 ]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes Table X

and Mike Kaye Loss-function analysis

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using Run A B D E y^ log^S S^ L (y)

experimental design

technique: a case study 1 1 1 1 1 916.32 2.42 263.03 k . [480476]

Integrated Manufacturing 2 1 1 2 2 770.67 2.16 144.54 k . [266580]

Systems 3 1 2 1 1 759.09 2.42 263.03 k . [303528]

10/3 [1999] 162±169

4 1 2 2 2 613.44 1.92 83.18 k . [121461]

5 2 1 1 2 582.81 2.15 141.25 k . [115639]

6 2 1 2 1 820.69 2.42 263.03 k . [366962]

7 2 2 1 2 425.58 1.92 83.18 k . [29593]

8 2 2 2 1 755.69 2.18 151.36 k . [253973]

Note: ``k'' is a constant used in loss-function analysis and is generally called the quality loss coefficient

^ = predicted mean response at the optimal of factor levels lies within the confidence

condition limits or not. If conclusive results are

T = overall mean of all observations in the obtained from the confirmation run, a spe-

data. cific action on the product/process may be

^ 717:0625
669:25 ÿ 717:0625 taken for improvement.

638:45 ÿ 717:0625

Step 8: confirmation run

670:95 ÿ 717:0625 Ten samples were produced under the opti-

598:12 ÿ 717:0625 mal conditions. The results are shown in

669:25 638:45 670:95 598:12 Table XI. The mean expulsion force from the

ÿ 3:
717:0625 confirmation run was estimated as 345.2gms.

425:5825 This value lies in the predicted range of

425.5825 115.34 and therefore the experi-

ment was concluded to be satisfactory and

Confidence interval for the predicted mean valid.

response

The confidence interval for the predicted Comparison of results ± before and after

mean response at the optimal condition is experimentation

given by: Ten samples were taken from the standard

s production settings and sample standard

F
;1;2 :MSE deviation was estimated. The standard de-

CI ^

Ne viation at the standard condition was esti-

mated to be 140.30gms. The sample standard

where: deviation at the optimal condition was esti-

MSE = error variance mated to be 66.38gms. The reduction in

F
;1;2 = Tabled value of F with one degree of standard deviation was therefore computed

freedom for the numerator and 2 as approximately 53 per cent.

degrees of freedom for the error

term.

Ne = effective number of replications

Significance of the work

For the present study, MSE = 30361.93, Ne = This section describes the significance of the

80/(1 + 4) = 16 experimental work to the company. Owing to

Therefore, the 99 per cent confidence inter-

val for the mean expulsion force is given by:

r Table XI

7:01
30361:93 Results from the confirmation run

99 per cent CI 425:5825

16 Sample Expulsion force

425:5825 115:34

1 328

Therefore the result at the optimal condition 2 312

is 425.5825 115.34 at the 99 per cent 3 371

confidence level. Having determined the 4 198

confidence level for the predicted mean 5 350

response, it is good practice to conduct a 6 333

confirmation experiment or run (Taguchi, 7 445

1987). The confirmation experiment/run is 8 414

used to verify whether the predicted mean 9 373

response based on the optimal combination 10 328

[ 168 ]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes the significant reduction in process variabil- engineers and business managers'', Journal

and Mike Kaye ity, the actual capability of the process (i.e. of Engineering Design (International), Vol. 9

Reducing manufacturing Cpk ) has increased from 0.534 to 1.69. This No. 1, pp. 89-100.

process variability using

experimental design clearly shows a dramatic improvement in the Antony, J. and Kaye, M. (1995), ``Experimental

technique: a case study process performance and thereby more reli- quality'', Journal of Manufacturing Engineer,

Integrated Manufacturing able and consistent products can be produced Institution of Electrical Engineers, Vol. 74

Systems using the optimal factor settings. Using No. 4, pp. 178-81.

10/3 [1999] 162±169 Antony, J. and Kaye, M. (1996), `` Optimisation of

Taguchi's loss function analysis, the poten-

tial annual savings were estimated to be over core tube life using experimental design

methodology'', Journal of Quality World,

£75,000. It must be emphasised that this is not

(Technical Supplement), Institute of Quality

a saving in traditional accounting terms. The

Assurance, London, March, pp. 42-50.

potential savings result in increased custo-

Antony, J. and Kaye, M. (1997), ``Experimental

mer satisfaction, better reputation, reduced

quality ± a strategic approach to achieve and

customer complaints and increased market

improve quality'', unpublished work.

share for the product. Dingus, G. (1989), ``An application of Taguchi

The engineering team including the qual- methods in the foundry'', Seventh Symposium

ity engineers and managers within the com- on Taguchi Methods, MI, pp. 517-32.

pany are now well aware of the benefits that Goh, T.N. (1993), ``Taguchi methods: some tech-

can be gained from the application of ex- nical, cultural and pedagogical perspectives'',

perimental design methods. Moreover, the Quality and Reliability Engineering Interna-

awareness that has been established within tional, Vol. 9, pp. 185-202.

the organisation has built confidence among Lochner, R.E. and Matar, J.E. (1990), Designing

the engineers and front-line workers in other for Quality, Chapman and Hall, New York,

areas facing similar difficulties. The com- NY.

pany has already taken some initiatives to Logothetis, N. (1992), Managing for Total Quality

apply experimental design methodologies in ± From Deming to Taguchi and SPC, Prentice-

other core processes where scrap rate and Hall, London.

costs associated with rework are exorbitantly Logothetis, N. and Wynn, H.P. (1989), Quality

high. through Design ± Experimental Design, Off-

line Quality Control and Taguchi Contribu-

tions, Oxford Science Publications, Oxford.

Montgomery, D.C. (1992), ``The use of statistical

Conclusions

process control and design of experiments in

Experimental design is a powerful technique product and process improvement'', IIE

for improving the product and manufactur- Transactions, Vol. 24 No.5, pp. 4-17.

ing process quality at low costs. The paper Phadke, M.S. (1989), Quality Engineering Using

illustrates a case study in terms of the Robust Design, Prentice-Hall International,

specific approach from the nature of the Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

problem to verification of experimental re- Quinlan, J. (1985), ``Process Improvement by

sults from a confirmation run/experiment. Application of Taguchi Methods'', Transac-

The results revealed the stimulus for the tions of the Third Symposium on Taguchi

wider application of Taguchi's experimental Methods, MI, pp. 11-16.

Ross, P.J. (1988), Taguchi Techniques for Quality

design techniques in manufacturing compa-

Engineering, McGraw-Hill, Maidenhead.

nies to achieve process improvement and

Roy, R.K. (1990), A Primer on the Taguchi Method,

reduce process variability. The paper high-

VNR Publishers, New York, NY.

lights the importance of loss-function analy-

Schmidt, S.R. and Launsby, R.G. (1992), Under-

sis to arrive at the final optimal factor

standing Industrial Designed Experiments,

settings of the process. The standard devia- Air Academy Press, Colorado Springs, CO.

tion of the process was reduced by 53 per cent Sirvanci, M.B. and Durmaz, M. (1993), ``Variation

using the experimental design methodology. reduction by the use of designed experi-

Moreover, the potential annual savings were ments'', Quality Engineering, Vol. 5 No. 4,

estimated to be over £75,000.The results of the pp. 611-18.

study have made an increased awareness of Taguchi, G. (1987), System of Experimental Design,

the application of experimental design meth- Vols 1 and 2, ASI, Dearborn, MI.

odology to the engineering fraternity within Taguchi, G. and Konishi, S. (1987), Standard

the organisation. Orthogonal Arrays and Linear Graphs, ASI

Press, Dearborn, MI.

References Taguchi, G. and Yokohama, Y. (1993), Taguchi

Antony, J. and Antony, F.J. (1998), ``Teaching Methods ± Design of Experiments, ASI Press,

advanced statistical techniques to industrial Dearborn, MI.

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