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**experimental design technique: a case study
**

Jiju Antony

University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

Michael Hughes

University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

Mike Kaye

University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

Introduction

Experimental design is a powerful approach

to product and process development, and for

improving the yield and stability of an

ongoing manufacturing process (Montgom-

ery, 1992). It is a discipline that applies

statistics to the experimental process. It was

first introduced and developed by Sir Ronald

Fisher in the early 1920s to study the effect of

several variables simultaneously on the out-

come. In his early applications, Fisher

wanted to determine the effect of factors such

as rain, water, fertilizer, sunshine, etc., on

the final condition of the crop (Sirvanci and

Durmaz, 1993). His methods for effective

experimentation were a fundamental break

from the old scientific tradition of varying

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

mentation. Since that time, much develop-

ment of the technique has taken place in the

academic environment, but not many appli-

cations in the manufacturing environment.

Dr Taguchi carried out significant research

with experimental design techniques in the

early 1950s. His effort has been to make this

powerful experimental design technique

more user-friendly and apply to improve the

quality of both products and manufacturing

processes (Goh, 1993). Taguchi developed

both a philosophy and a methodology for

continuous quality improvement based on

statistical concepts, especially experimental

design techniques. A number of successful

applications of the Taguchi method for pro-

cess optimisation have been reported by both

US and European manufacturers over a

decade (Antony and Kaye, 1996; Quinlan,

1985). Experimental design methodology

based on Taguchi has accentuated the im-

portance of reducing process variability

around a specified target value and then

bringing the process mean on target. This

can be accomplished only by making pro-

cesses insensitive to various sources of noise

and the method is called robust parameter

design (Phadke, 1989).

Benefits of using experimental

design methods

Experimental design methods have intensive

application in the engineering design and

development environment. Potential appli-

cations include product design optimisation,

analysis of basic design configurations,

material selection, selection of component

tolerances and process optimisation. The

following are the typical benefits gained by

many experimenters and researchers from

the application of experimental design meth-

ods:

.

reduced product development time;

.

assistance to achieve better process

design to assure final product quality;

.

improved customer satisfaction with the

product;

.

reduced excessive variability in both the

product and process performance;

.

assistance in discovering a set of process

variables which are most influential on

the process output;

.

reduced product and process development

costs;

.

reduced product and process sensitivity to

environmental and manufacturing varia-

tions;

.

helped to determine the optimal factor

settings for better process performance;

.

assistance with the development of new

processes and manufacturing technology;

.

improved process yield, product reliabil-

ity and process capability.

Case study

The following case study was performed in a

certain manufacturing organisation with the

aim of reducing variability around the target

for a core process. Owing to the non-disclo-

sure agreement between the company and

the authors, certain information relating to

the company cannot be revealed in detail.

Nevertheless, the data which has been col-

lected from the experiment is real and has

[ 162]

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169

# MCB University Press

[ISSN 0957-6061]

Keywords

Design of experiments,

Optimization, Process efficiency,

Taguchi methods

Abstract

Experimental design is a powerful

technique for understanding a

process, studying the impact of

potential variables affecting a

process and providing sponta-

neous insight for continuous qual-

ity improvement possibilities. It

has proved to be very effective for

improving the process yield, pro-

cess performance and reducing

process variability. A number of

successful applications of the ex-

perimental design technique for

process optimisation have been

reported by both US and European

manufacturers over the last ten

years. This paper illustrates an

application of Taguchi methods

(TM) in an industrial setting for

identifying the critical factors

affecting a certain process and

subsequently reducing process

variability. Both the analysis of

variance (ANOVA) on mean re-

sponse and the signal-to-noise

ratio (SNR) have been carried out

for determining the optimal condi-

tion of the process. A significant

improvement in the process per-

formance was observed in terms of

variation reduction.

The authors would like to

thank the two anonymous

referees for their valuable

and useful comments on

earlier draft of this paper.

not been modified as a consequence of this

agreement. The case study was carried out by

following the steps described in the Taguchi

methodology (Antony and Kaye, 1995).

Step 1: objective/goal of the experiment

The objective of the experiment was to

determine the most important factors affect-

ing a critical quality characteristic (or re-

sponse) and subsequently reducing

variability in response around the target

value.

Step 2: selection of the quality

characteristic (or response)

Having identified the objective of the experi-

ment, the next step was to identify an

appropriate response for the experiment. The

response of interest to the experimenter was

expulsion force. Here expulsion force is the

force required to expel the component or

device under study from a certain tube.

Step 3: identification of control, noise and

signal factors

The classification of factors (Taguchi, 1987)

for the experiment was achieved by a

thorough brainstorming session with people

from production, quality control and shop-

floor. Seven control factors were thought to

have some impact on expulsion force. Control

factors are those which can be controlled

under normal production conditions. No

noise factors or signal factors were identified

for the experiment. Noise factors are those

which causes variation in the functional

performance of products/processes. Signal

factors are those which affect only the mean

performance of the process. As this is the

first Taguchi experiment performed on the

forementioned quality characteristic, inter-

actions were of no interest to the experi-

menter. In other words, the objective of the

experiment was to reduce the number of

factors to a manageable subset of important

factors. This is called a ``screening experi-

ment'' in the context of experimental design.

Dingus (1989) and Quinlan (1985) provide

excellent references for screening experi-

ments.

As part of the initial investigation of the

process under study, it was decided to study

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

refers to a specified setting of a factor. For

example, in the present case study, the type

of material is a factor and ``material X'' and

``material Y'' are the two levels. The list of

control factors and their levels are shown in

Table I. All the factors which were thought to

influence the expulsion force are basically

machine related.

Step 4: choice of an orthogonal array (OA)

design

For this study, seven independent factors

were thought to have some impact on the

response (i.e. expulsion force). As part of the

initial investigation of the process, each

factor was kept at two levels. A full factorial

experiment would require a total of 128 (i.e.

2

7

) experimental runs. This was not reason-

able and feasible design, as the cost of the

experiment and time needed to complete the

experiment would be extraordinarily high.

Owing to the limited budget and because the

top management needed a quick response to

the experimental investigation, it was

decided to use Taguchi's orthogonal array

(OA) design. The choice of an OA (Ross, 1988)

depends on the number of degrees of freedom

required for studying the main and interac-

tion effects. Moreover, the experimenter was

interested in reducing the number of vari-

ables to a manageable number so that further

smaller experiments can be carried out to

study the interactions among the factors.

As seven main effects (each at two levels)

are to be studied, the number of degrees of

freedom required for the experiment must be

greater than seven. The closest number of

experimental trials (from the standard OAs)

which will satisfy this objective is an L

8

OA

(Taguchi and Konishi, 1987).

Step 5: experimental preparation

In this step, the main task was to construct

the uncoded and coded design matrices for

the experiment and analysis of results

respectively. The coded and uncoded design

matrices are shown in Tables II and III,

respectively.

Having constructed the design matrices, the

next step was to run the experiment according

to the prepared matrix. It was decided to

conduct the experiment in the standard order

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

each experimental design point was ten. In

other words, ten parts were made according to

the factor settings in each trial.

Step 6: experimental run

The experiment was conducted based on the

design matrix and the response values were

recorded on a data sheet for analysis. The

resulting response table is shown in Table IV.

Step 7: statistical analysis and

interpretation of results

As the objective is to reduce the variability in

expulsion force and to bring the mean

expulsion force as close as possible to the

target (target being equal to 275gm), both the

ANOVA on the mean response and the signal-

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

[ 163]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes

and Mike Kaye

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using

experimental design

technique: a case study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169

SNR is a measure of the performance varia-

bility of products/processes in the presence

of noise factors. The idea is to maximise the

SNR and thereby minimise the effect of noise

factors. ANOVA is a powerful statistical

technique used for sub-dividing the total

variation into useful and meaningful compo-

nents of variation (Antony and Antony, 1998).

In Taguchi experiments, ANOVA is used to

pin point the key sources of variation. Since

expulsion force is a nominal-the-best type of

quality characteristic, it was decided to

employ the two-step optimisation procedure

recommended by Taguchi (Taguchi and

Yokohama, 1993):

.

Stage 1. Identify those factor effects which

have a significant effect on the SNR. Select

the factor levels that maximise the SNR.

The idea is to identify those effects which

affect the variation. It is important to

reduce variation in the performance

characteristic of products/processes prior

to shifting the mean onto the desired

target.

.

Stage 2. Identify an adjustment factor

which has a significant effect on the mean

response, but no effect on the SNR. Use

this adjustment factor to bring the mean

response as close as possible to the target.

Based on the above two steps, it was decided

to calculate the SNR for each experimental

design point. The SNR for nominal-the-best

quality characteristic (Logothetis, 1992) is

calculated by the equation:

SNI = 10 log

¯ y

s

!

2

Sample calculation for Trial 1

Mean response (¯ y)= 983.10

Sample standard deviation (s) = 258.38

Substitute the values into the above equa-

tion, we get, SNR = 11.60 The SNR values

for eight experimental trials are shown in

Table V.

Having obtained the SNR values, the next

step was to obtain the average response

values of SNR at low and high levels of each

factor and hence the effect of each factor on

the SNR. The results are shown in Table VI.

Table VI shows that factors B and D have

dominant effect on the SNR, followed by

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

for the SNR is shown in Figure 1.

Table I

List of control factors for the experiment

Factors Factor labels Level 1 Level 2

Type of material (A) Material X Material Y

Drum temperature (B) 84 104

Machine alignment (C) 134 130

Position of the cam (D) Forward Backward

Clearance (E) 0.006 0.012

Time (F) 68 72

Header temperature (G) 190 210

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

and Mike Kaye

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using

experimental design

technique: a case study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169

Figure 1 shows that the most dominant factor

effects are Band D, followed by factor effects E,

G, F, A and C. In order to obtain the statistical

significance of the effects, ANOVAfor the SNR

was performed. The pooled ANOVA table is

shown in Table VII. Pooling is a method of

combining the effects with low sum of squares

in magnitude in order to obtain a reasonable

estimate of the error variance. The rule of

thumb is to pool the effects with low sum of

squares till the error degrees of freedom is

nearly half the total degrees of freedom

(Logothetis and Wynn, 1989).

The ANOVA table has shown that the most

dominant factor effects are B and D. Having

identified the significant factor effects, the

next step was to determine the optimal

settings of these factors which will maximise

the SNR. The optimum condition (i.e., the

best control factor settings) based on the SNR

(refer to Table VI) was:

A

1

B

2

C

1

D

2

E

2

F

1

G

1

Having performed the SNR analysis, the next

step was to identify those factor effects which

have significant impact on the mean re-

sponse (Antony and Kaye, 1997). The average

response values at each level of the factors

and their effects are presented in Table VIII.

Having computed the estimates of the

factor effects, it was decided to construct a

main effects plot of the factors. A main effects

plot will provide a visual representation of

the importance of the factor effects. Figure 2

illustrates the main effects plot of the factors.

Figure 2 shows that factors E and B have

significant impact on the mean response (i.e.

mean expulsion force). This will be followed

by factors A, D, F, G and C. The pooled

ANOVA table is shown in Table IX.

The ANOVA table has also shown that the

most dominant factor effects are E and B.

Having identified the significant factor ef-

fects, the next step was to determine the

optimal settings of these factors which will

bring the mean response as close as possible

to the target. The optimum condition (i.e. the

best control factor settings) based on the

mean response (refer to Table VIII) was:

A

2

B

2

C

2

D

1

E

2

F

2

G

2

Here factor A is an adjustment factor as it

only influences the mean expulsion force and

not variability in expulsion force. Factors C,

F and G have no significant impact on either

mean response or response variability. The

final selection of the levels of these insignif-

icant factors have been made based on

economic grounds.

As there was trade-off in the factor levels

(based on the analysis of the SNR and mean

response), it was decided to perform the

Table IV

Response table

Trial

number Expulsion force

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

2 906 875 638 959 748 807 710 600 525 509

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 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

Table V

Table for calculated SNR values

Experimental run SNR

1 11.60

2 13.20

3 11.59

4 19.44

5 10.64

6 11.84

7 14.14

8 14.68

[ 165]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes

and Mike Kaye

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using

experimental design

technique: a case study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169

loss-function analysis for nominal-the-best

(NTB) quality characteristics (Schimdt and

Launsby, 1992), in order to arrive at the final

optimal factor settings. The optimal factor

settings is the one which yields minimum

quality loss. In order to perform the loss-

function analysis, the first step was to

develop a mathematical model for the mean

response (denoted by ´ y). The model is derived

using the significant effects obtained from

the ANOVA on mean response. The equation

is basically a linear combination of regres-

sion coefficients. The model for the mean

response is given by:

´ y =717X0625 ÷47X815A÷78X615B ÷46X115D

÷118X94L

In the above model, the coefficients of A, B, D

and E are half of the estimate of the factor

effects. Similarly, a mathematical model for

the standard deviation was constructed. This

model is based on the effects which have a

significant impact on the log S. Factors B and

E were appeared to influence the log S. It is

important to note that the log S of the

observations often tend to be normally dis-

tributed whereas the standard deviations (S)

of the observations do not generally follow a

normal distribution (Lochner and Matar,

1990). The mathematical model for the log

standard deviation (lo´ gS)is given by:

lo´ gS = 2X171 ÷0X1225B÷0X13L

Having determined the mathematical models

for the mean response and standard devia-

tion, it was decided to calculate the average

loss function

¯

L(y) for each experimental

design point based on the factor effects which

have significant effect on either mean re-

sponse or response variability.

Sample calculation

For making the computations simpler, we

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

level 2 or high level by (+1).

For run 7:

´ y = 717X0625 ÷47X815A÷78X615L ÷46X115D

÷118X94L

= 717X0625 ÷47X815(÷1) ÷78X615(÷1)

÷46X115(÷1) ÷118X94(÷1)

= 425X58

Similarly,

lo´ gS = 2X171 ÷0X1225B÷0X13L

= 2X171 ÷0X1225(÷1) ÷0X13(÷1)

= 1X92

X

X

X

´

S = 83X18

¯

L(y) = kX[

´

S

2

÷(´ y ÷T)

2

[

= kX[83X18

2

÷(425X58 ÷275)

2

[

= kX[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

Figure 1

Main effects plot for the SNR

[ 166]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes

and Mike Kaye

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using

experimental design

technique: a case study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169

From Table X, run 7 (represented in

bold) yields the minimum loss. The

optimal factor settings based on the loss-

function analysis was therefore obtained

as:

e

P

f

P

h

I

i

P

The final optimal factor settings were

therefore

e

P

f

P

g

P

h

I

i

P

p

P

q

P

Predicted mean response at the optimal

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):

´ " =

¯

T ÷(

¯

A

2

÷

¯

T) ÷(

¯

B

2

÷

¯

T) ÷(

¯

D

1

÷

¯

T)

÷(

¯

E

2

÷

¯

T)

where:

Table VIII

Table for average response values and effects of factors

Factors

Mean response at

level 1

Mean response at

level 2 Effect

A 764.88 669.25 ±95.63

B 795.68 638.45 ±157.23

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

Figure 2

Main effects plot for the mean response

Table IX

Pooled ANOVA for the mean response

Source of

variation Degree of

freedom

Sum of

squares

Mean

square F-ratio

Percent

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: F

0.1, 1,75

= 2.78, F

0.05, 1,75

= 3.98 and F

0.01, 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

and Mike Kaye

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using

experimental design

technique: a case study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169

´ " = predicted mean response at the optimal

condition

¯

T =overall mean of all observations in the

data.

´ " = 717X0625 ÷(669X25 ÷717X0625)

÷(638X45 ÷717X0625)

÷(670X95 ÷717X0625)

÷(598X12 ÷717X0625)

= 669X25 ÷638X45 ÷670X95 ÷598X12

÷3X(717X0625)

= 425X5825

Confidence interval for the predicted mean

response

The confidence interval for the predicted

mean response at the optimal condition is

given by:

CI = ´ " ±

F

(Y1Y#2)

XMSL

N

e

s

where:

MSE = error variance

F

(Y1Y#2)

=Tabled value of F with one degree of

freedom for the numerator and #

2

degrees of freedom for the error

term.

N

e

= effective number of replications

For the present study, MSE = 30361.93, N

e

=

80/(1 + 4) = 16

Therefore, the 99 per cent confidence inter-

val for the mean expulsion force is given by:

99 poi conl CI = 425X5825 ±

(7X01) ×(30361X93)

16

r

= 425X5825 ±115X34

Therefore the result at the optimal condition

is 425.5825 115.34 at the 99 per cent

confidence level. Having determined the

confidence level for the predicted mean

response, it is good practice to conduct a

confirmation experiment or run (Taguchi,

1987). The confirmation experiment/run is

used to verify whether the predicted mean

response based on the optimal combination

of factor levels lies within the confidence

limits or not. If conclusive results are

obtained from the confirmation run, a spe-

cific action on the product/process may be

taken for improvement.

Step 8: confirmation run

Ten samples were produced under the opti-

mal conditions. The results are shown in

Table XI. The mean expulsion force from the

confirmation run was estimated as 345.2gms.

This value lies in the predicted range of

425.5825 115.34 and therefore the experi-

ment was concluded to be satisfactory and

valid.

Comparison of results ± before and after

experimentation

Ten samples were taken from the standard

production settings and sample standard

deviation was estimated. The standard de-

viation at the standard condition was esti-

mated to be 140.30gms. The sample standard

deviation at the optimal condition was esti-

mated to be 66.38gms. The reduction in

standard deviation was therefore computed

as approximately 53 per cent.

Significance of the work

This section describes the significance of the

experimental work to the company. Owing to

Table X

Loss-function analysis

Run A B D E y logS

S

"

L (y)

1 1 1 1 1 916.32 2.42 263.03 k . [480476]

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

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

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

Table XI

Results from the confirmation run

Sample Expulsion force

1 328

2 312

3 371

4 198

5 350

6 333

7 445

8 414

9 373

10 328

[ 168]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes

and Mike Kaye

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using

experimental design

technique: a case study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169

the significant reduction in process variabil-

ity, the actual capability of the process (i.e.

C

pk

) has increased from 0.534 to 1.69. This

clearly shows a dramatic improvement in the

process performance and thereby more reli-

able and consistent products can be produced

using the optimal factor settings. Using

Taguchi's loss function analysis, the poten-

tial annual savings were estimated to be over

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

a saving in traditional accounting terms. The

potential savings result in increased custo-

mer satisfaction, better reputation, reduced

customer complaints and increased market

share for the product.

The engineering team including the qual-

ity engineers and managers within the com-

pany are now well aware of the benefits that

can be gained from the application of ex-

perimental design methods. Moreover, the

awareness that has been established within

the organisation has built confidence among

the engineers and front-line workers in other

areas facing similar difficulties. The com-

pany has already taken some initiatives to

apply experimental design methodologies in

other core processes where scrap rate and

costs associated with rework are exorbitantly

high.

Conclusions

Experimental design is a powerful technique

for improving the product and manufactur-

ing process quality at low costs. The paper

illustrates a case study in terms of the

specific approach from the nature of the

problem to verification of experimental re-

sults from a confirmation run/experiment.

The results revealed the stimulus for the

wider application of Taguchi's experimental

design techniques in manufacturing compa-

nies to achieve process improvement and

reduce process variability. The paper high-

lights the importance of loss-function analy-

sis to arrive at the final optimal factor

settings of the process. The standard devia-

tion of the process was reduced by 53 per cent

using the experimental design methodology.

Moreover, the potential annual savings were

estimated to be over £75,000.The results of the

study have made an increased awareness of

the application of experimental design meth-

odology to the engineering fraternity within

the organisation.

References

Antony, J. and Antony, F.J. (1998), ``Teaching

advanced statistical techniques to industrial

engineers and business managers'', Journal

of Engineering Design (International), Vol. 9

No. 1, pp. 89-100.

Antony, J. and Kaye, M. (1995), ``Experimental

quality'', Journal of Manufacturing Engineer,

Institution of Electrical Engineers, Vol. 74

No. 4, pp. 178-81.

Antony, J. and Kaye, M. (1996), `` Optimisation of

core tube life using experimental design

methodology'', Journal of Quality World,

(Technical Supplement), Institute of Quality

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

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

quality ± a strategic approach to achieve and

improve quality'', unpublished work.

Dingus, G. (1989), ``An application of Taguchi

methods in the foundry'', Seventh Symposium

on Taguchi Methods, MI, pp. 517-32.

Goh, T.N. (1993), ``Taguchi methods: some tech-

nical, cultural and pedagogical perspectives'',

Quality and Reliability Engineering Interna-

tional, Vol. 9, pp. 185-202.

Lochner, R.E. and Matar, J.E. (1990), Designing

for Quality, Chapman and Hall, New York,

NY.

Logothetis, N. (1992), Managing for Total Quality

± From Deming to Taguchi and SPC, Prentice-

Hall, London.

Logothetis, N. and Wynn, H.P. (1989), Quality

through Design ± Experimental Design, Off-

line Quality Control and Taguchi Contribu-

tions, Oxford Science Publications, Oxford.

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

process control and design of experiments in

product and process improvement'', IIE

Transactions, Vol. 24 No.5, pp. 4-17.

Phadke, M.S. (1989), Quality Engineering Using

Robust Design, Prentice-Hall International,

Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Quinlan, J. (1985), ``Process Improvement by

Application of Taguchi Methods'', Transac-

tions of the Third Symposium on Taguchi

Methods, MI, pp. 11-16.

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

Engineering, McGraw-Hill, Maidenhead.

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

VNR Publishers, New York, NY.

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

standing Industrial Designed Experiments,

Air Academy Press, Colorado Springs, CO.

Sirvanci, M.B. and Durmaz, M. (1993), ``Variation

reduction by the use of designed experi-

ments'', Quality Engineering, Vol. 5 No. 4,

pp. 611-18.

Taguchi, G. (1987), System of Experimental Design,

Vols 1 and 2, ASI, Dearborn, MI.

Taguchi, G. and Konishi, S. (1987), Standard

Orthogonal Arrays and Linear Graphs, ASI

Press, Dearborn, MI.

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

Methods ± Design of Experiments, ASI Press,

Dearborn, MI.

[ 169]

Jiju Antony, Michael Hughes

and Mike Kaye

Reducing manufacturing

process variability using

experimental design

technique: a case study

Integrated Manufacturing

Systems

10/3 [1999] 162±169

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