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TAGUCHI'S DEFINITION OF QUALITY

The old traditional definition of quality states quality is conformance to specifications. This definition was expanded by Joseph M. Juran (1904-) in 1974 and then by the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) in 1983. Juran observed that "quality is fitness for use." The ASQC defined quality as" the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy given needs." Taguchi presented another definition of quality. His definition stressed the losses associated with a product. Taguchi stated that "quality is the loss a product causes to society after being shipped, other than losses caused by its intrinsic functions." Taguchi asserted that losses in his definition "should be restricted to two categories: (1) loss caused by variability of function, and (2) loss caused by harmful side effects." Taguchi is saying that a product or service has good quality if it "performs its intended functions without variability, and causes little loss through harmful side effects, including the cost of using it." It must be kept in mind here that "society" includes both the manufacturer and the customer. Loss associated with function variability includes, for example, energy and time (problem fixing), and money (replacement cost of parts). Losses associated with harmful side effects could be market shares for the manufacturer and/or the physical effects, such as of the drug thalidomide, for the consumer. Consequently, a company should provide products and services such that possible losses to society are minimized, or, "the purpose of quality improvement … is to discover innovative ways of designing products and processes that will save society more than they cost in the long run." The concept of reliability is appropriate here. The next section will clearly show that Taguchi's loss function yields an operational definition of the term "loss to society" in his definition of quality.

TAGUCHI'S LOSS FUNCTION
We have seen that Taguchi's quality philosophy strongly emphasizes losses or costs. W. H. Moore asserted that this is an "enlightened approach" that embodies "three

pesos. Essentially. Y. . from the target value." Figure I depicts Taguchi's typically loss function. The figure also contrasts Taguchi's function with the traditional view that states there are no losses if specifications are met. increase in a nonlinear fashion as deviations from the target value increase.). The function shown above is a simple quadratic equation that compares the measured value of a unit of output Y to the target T.: where L(Y) is the expected loss associated with the specific value of Y. This implies that any deviation from the target (based on customers' desires and needs) will diminish customer satisfaction. under many circumstances a quadratic function is only an approximation. [and] loss should be measured in monetary units (dollars. francs. These losses. It should be recognized that the constant k can be determined if the value of L(Y) associated with some Y value are both known. Figure 1 Taguchi's Loss Function It can be seen that small deviations from the target value result in small losses. etc. This is in contrast to the traditional definition of quality that states that quality is conformance to specifications.important premises: for every product quality characteristic there is a target value which results in the smallest loss. Of course. deviations from target value always results in increased loss to society. T. this equation states that the loss is proportional to the square of the deviation of the measured value. however.

especially signal-to-noise ratios. Robust . A crucial component of quality is a product's ability to perform its tasks under a variety of conditions. the operating environmental conditions are usually beyond the control of the product designers.Since Taguchi's loss function is presented in monetary terms. such as factorial and fractional factorial designs and orthogonal arrays.2 This second mathematical expression states that average or expected loss is due either to process variation or to being off target (called "bias"). Finally. DOE can be employed in both the product design phase and production phase. it provides a common language for all the departments or components within a company. Furthermore. They were introduced in the United States around 1980. Some experts in the field have shown that some of these techniques. Taguchi's ideas concerning robust design and the design of experiments will now be discussed. DOE is a body of statistical techniques for the effective and efficient collection of data for a number of purposes. But to anticipate the discussion of this property. Taguchi's quadratic function can be converted to: This can be accomplished by assuming Y has some probability distribution with mean. are not optimal under certain conditions. TAGUCHI. These methods were then refined over the next several decades. Two significant ones are the investigation of research hypotheses and the accurate determination of the relative effects of the many different factors that influence the quality of a product or process. and parameter and tolerance designs. ROBUST DESIGN. Taguchi's approach was built on traditional concepts of design of experiments (DOE). This property of Taguchi's loss function will be taken up in the next section. a and variance o. Although. therefore robust designs are essential. AND THE DESIGN OF EXPERIMENTS Taguchi asserted that the development of his methods of experimental design started in Japan about 1948. he created and promoted some new DOE techniques such as signal-to-noise ratios. Nonetheless. robust designs. or both. the loss function can be used to define performance measures of a quality characteristic of a product or service. and.

system design uses current technology." The system can be a new product or process. To achieve economical product quality design.designs are based on the use of DOE techniques for finding product parameter settings (e. engineers have found it easy to select and apply in their manufacturing environments. or product to-product variation due to raw material differences. These parameters have been identified during the system design phase. along with scientific and engineering principles. Taguchi's DOE parameter design techniques are used to determine which controllable factors and which noise factors are the significant variables. The goal of the parameter design is to design a robust product or process. Taguchi constructed a limited number of experimental designs. Robust design means that the performance of the product or process is insensitive to noise factors such as variation in environmental conditions. His DOE techniques are part of his philosophy of achieving economical quality design.g. To elaborate. from which U.. temperature settings or drill speeds). DOE methods are applied here to determine the optimal parameter settings.S. as a result of minimizing performance variation. It is generally recognized that Taguchi deserves much of the credit for introducing the statistical study of robust design. to create a viably functional design. The aim is to set the controllable factors . design engineers use their practical experience. minimizes manufacturing and product lifetime costs. which. The parameter design phase determines the optimal settings for the product or process parameters. machine wear. system design. Taguchi's DOE techniques employ the loss function concept to investigate both product parameters and key environmental factors. We have seen how Taguchi's loss function sets variation reduction as a primary goal for quality improvement. and engineering methods to define and construct a new "system. Taguchi proposed three phases: system design. or an improved modification of an existing product or process. In the first phase. processes. and tolerance design. which enable products to be resilient to changes and variations in working environments. materials. parameter design.

is maximized. both the average response of a quality and its variation are important. Consequently. Finally. such as tensile strength. by minimizing S 2 . − 10 log 10 S 2 . is the design goal. Taguchi's S/N ratio is: where S 2 is the sample's standard deviation. our second equation tells us that the expected loss becomes: Consequently. Therefore. And Taguchi did this with his signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). for either the product or process parameters that have been identified as critical during the second phase. the aim now is to reduce the variation. For example." Such a ratio is selected when a specific target value. These S/N ratios can be used to get closer to a given target value (such as tensile strength or baked tile dimensions). the parameter . It was observed that the second equation could be used to establish quality performance measures that permit the optimization of a given product's quality characteristic. If this is the case. For the "nominal is best" case. The second equation suggests that it may be advantageous to combine both the average response and variation into a single measure. Taguchi recommended finding an adjustment factor (some parameter setting) that will eliminate the bias discussed in the second equation.at those levels that will result in a product or process being robust with respect to the noise factors. one S/N ratio corresponds to what Taguchi called "nominal is best. or to reduce variation in the product's quality characteristic(s). Recall that all of Taguchi's S/N ratios are to be maximized. This phase establishes tolerances. or specification limits. In improving quality. Sometimes a factor can be found that will control the average response without affecting the variance. In our previous discussion of Taguchi's loss function. In this formula. Taguchi's approach is to select design parameter levels that will maximize the appropriate S/N ratio. a few brief comments concerning the tolerance design phase. two equations were discussed.

K. EXAMPLES AND CONCLUSIONS As Thomas P. Taguchi's design of experiments have been widely applied and theoretically refined and extended. Ryan has stated. while at the same time assuring that the product or process characteristics are within certain bounds." his methods are frequently statistically inefficient and cumbersome.design phase. however the welding process had resulted in a fairly high percentage of welding defects. The second application. Welding was performed to repair cracks and blown holes on the cast-iron housing of an assembled electrical machine. Bonding. Taguchi at the very least. presented by M. has focused "our attention on new objectives in achieving quality improvement. Customers wanted a defect-free quality weld. A Taguchi orthogonal design was performed resulting in the identification of two highly significant interactions and a defect-free welding process. Two application cases and one refinement example will now be discussed. The goal here is to establish tolerances wide enough to reduce manufacturing costs. in an article in Quality Engineering. Sonius and B. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) and Kaoru Ishikawa (1915-). N." Nonetheless. discussed a welding problem. pinning. Anand. Management and welders identified five variables and two interactions that were considered the key factors in improving quality. Tew in a Quality Engineering article. or riveting the fitting in place traditionally made the connections." Quality management "gurus. W. Nine significant variables that could affect the performance of the entrapped fiber . however. Taguchi emphasized the importance of DOE in improving the quality of the engineering design of products and processes. have stressed the importance of continuous quality improvement by concentrating on processes upstream." such as W. involved reducing stress components in the connection between a composite component and a metallic end fitting for a composite structure. As previously mentioned. This is a fundamental break with the traditional practice of relying on inspection downstream. W. The statistical tools for accomplishing these objectives will likely continue to be developed.

com/encyclopedia/StrThe/Taguchi-Methods. The theoretical refinement example involves Taguchi robust designs. such experimentation usually ends well before the number of experiments reach a double digit! The data is insufficient to . Many a times such series does not progress much as negative results may discourage or will not allow a selection of parameters which ought to be changed in the next experiment. The experiment identified two of the nine factors and their respective optimal settings. Applying these relationships in an experimental design can change the recommended selection of the respective settings of the key parameters and result in smaller losses. [ Peter B. Kros and Christina M. Ph. Mastrangelo established relationships between nonquadratic loss functions and Taguchi's signal-to-noise ratios. Webb . stress levels were significantly reduced. Therefore. We have seen where such a design can result in products and processes that are insensitive to noise factors.D.connections were identified and a Taguchi experimental design was performed. however.html#ixzz1pOl0mfIk INTRODUCTION METHOD (1) trial-and-error approach : ------------------------------ TO TAGUCHI Every experimenter has to plan and conduct experiments to obtain enough and relevant data so that he can infer the science behind the observed phenomenon. performing a series of experiments each of which gives some understanding. Using Taguchi's quadratic loss function. This requires making measurements after every experiment so that analysis of observed data will allow him to decide what to do next . John F. may provide a poor approximation of true loss and suboptimal product or process quality. Therefore.referenceforbusiness."Which parameters should be varied and by how much". He can do so by. ] Read more: Taguchi Methods http://www.

Usually the number of experiments and resources (materials and time) required are prohibitively large. Taguchi Method treats optimization problems in two categories. Taguchi's Signal-to-Noise ratios (S/N). help in data analysis and prediction of optimum results. equipment. serve as objective functions for optimization. a process to be optimized has several control factors which directly decide the target or desired value of the output. Such a problem is called as a "STATIC PROBLEM". such a complete set of experiments ought to give desired results.draw any significant conclusions and the main problem (of understanding the science) still remains unsolved. Taguchi of Nippon Telephones and Telegraph Company. the method does not point to the BEST settings of parameters. materials etc. The optimization then involves determining the best control factor levels so that the output is at the the target value. particularly those in which some optimization is required. Often the experimenter decides to perform a subset of the complete set of experiments to save on time and money! However. (2) Design of experiments : ----------------------------A well planned set of experiments. in which all parameters of interest are varied over a specified range. it does not easily lend itself to understanding of science behind the phenomenon. A classic example illustrating the drawback of design of experiments is found in the planning of a world cup event. The analysis is not very easy (though it may be easy for the mathematician/statistician) and thus effects of various parameters on the observed data are not readily apparent. committees. In many cases. is a much better approach to obtain systematic data. While all matches are well arranged with respect to the different teams and different venues on different dates and yet the planning does not care about the result of any match (win or lose)!!!! Obviously. such a strategy is not desirable for conducting scientific experiments (except for co-ordinating various institutions. say football. (3) TAGUCHI Method : -------------------------Dr. people.). Japan has developed a method based on " ORTHOGONAL ARRAY " experiments which gives much reduced " variance " for the experiment with " optimum settings " of control parameters. which are log functions of desired output. . "Orthogonal Arrays" (OA) provide a set of well balanced (minimum) experiments and Dr. Mathematically speaking. [A] STATIC PROBLEMS : Generally. Thus the marriage of Design of Experiments with optimization of control parameters to obtain BEST results is achieved in the Taguchi Method.

to minimize variations in output even though noise is present in the processis achieved by getting improved linearity in the input/output relationship. This is best explained by a P-Diagram which is shown below. The process is then said to have become ROBUST. the optimization involves determining the best control factor levels so that the "input signal / output" ratio is closest to the desired relationship.to minimize variations in output even though noise is present in the process.This is best explained using a P-Diagram which is shown below ("P" stands for Process or Product). Such a problem is called as a "DYNAMIC PROBLEM". Again. [B] DYNAMIC PROBLEMS : If the product to be optimized has a signal input that directly decides the output. Noise is shown to be present in the process but should have no effect on the output! This is the primary aim of the Taguchi experiments . the primary aim of the Taguchi experiments . .

Also. n = -10 Log10 [ mean of sum of squares of {measured .[A] STATIC PROBLEM (BATCH PROCESS OPTIMIZATION) : ---------------------------------------------------------------------------There are 3 Signal-to-Noise ratios of common interest for optimization of Static Problems.ideal} ] (II) LARGER-THE-BETTER : ------------------------------------n = -10 Log10 [mean of sum squares of reciprocal of measured data] This case has been converted to SMALLER-THE-BETTER by taking the reciprocals of measured data and then taking the S/N ratio as in the smaller-the-better case. when an ideal value is finite and its maximum or minimum value is defined (like maximum purity is 100% or maximum Tc is 92K or minimum time for making a telephone connection is 1 sec) then the difference between measured data and ideal value is expected to be as small as possible. for which the ideal value is zero. (I) SMALLER-THE-BETTER : -------------------------------------n = -10 Log10 [ mean of sum of squares of measured data ] This is usually the chosen S/N ratio for all undesirable characteristics like " defects " etc. The generic form of S/N ratio then becomes. (III) NOMINAL-THE-BEST : ----------------------------------- .

(i) most parts in mechanical fittings have dimensions which are nominal-the-best type. (ii) Ratios of chemicals or mixtures are nominally the best type. [B] DYNAMIC PROBLEM (TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT) : -----------------------------------------------------------------------------In dynamic problems. KNO3 and Carbon in gun powder (iii) Thickness should be uniform in deposition /growth /plating /etching. document copier (with magnification or reduction) various types of moldings etc. There are 2 characteristics of common interest in "follow-the-leader" or "Transformations" type of applications. Examples are.n = 10 Log10 square of mean ----------------variance This case arises when a specified value is MOST desired. we come across many applications where the output is supposed to follow input signal in a predetermined manner. Aqua regia 1:3 of HNO3:HCL Ratio of Sulphur. For example : Accelerator peddle in cars. (i) Slope of the I/O characteristics and (ii) Linearity of the I/O characteristics (minimum deviation from the best-fit straight line) . e. volume control in audio amplifiers. Generally. a linear relationship between "input" "output" is desirable. meaning that neither a smaller nor a larger value is desirable..g.

These improvements are aimed at improving the desired characteristics and simultaneously reducing the number of defects by studying the key variables controlling the process and optimizing the procedures or design to yield the best results. (I) SENSITIVITY {SLOPE}: ---------------------------------The slope of I/O characteristics should be at the specified value (usually 1). The straight line relationship between I/O must be truly linear i. it can be treated as Smaller-the-Better. and facilities. materials. Square of slope or beta n = 10 Log10 ---------------------------variance Variance in this case is the mean of the sum of squares of deviations of measured data points from the best-fit straight line (linear regression). It is often treated as Larger-The-Better when the output is a desirable characteristics (as in the case of Sensors. processes. (4) 8-STEPS IN TAGUCHI METHODOLOGY : ---------------------------------------------------Taguchi method is a scientifically disciplined mechanism for evaluating and implementing improvements in products. .The Signal-to-Noise ratio for these 2 characteristics have been defined as. n = -10 Log10 [square of slope or beta of the I/O characteristics] (II) LINEARITY (LARGER-THE-BETTER) : ----------------------------------------------Most dynamic characteristics are required to have direct proportionality between the input and output. equipment. where the slope indicates the sensitivity). n = 10 Log10 [square of slope or beta of the I/O characteristics] On the other hand.e. with as little deviations from the straight line as possible. when the output is an undesired characteristics. These applications are therefore called as "TRANSFORMATIONS".

products for professional and consumer markets. TESTING CONDITIONS. show less variations). that are conducted to determine the BEST levels. Taguchi method is useful for 'tuning' a given process for 'best' results. AND FAILURE MODE Step-2: IDENTIFY THE NOISE FACTORS. the word "optimization" implies "determination of BEST levels of control factors". 8-STEPS IN TAGUCHI METHODOLOGY: Step-1: IDENTIFY THE MAIN FUNCTION. are based on "Orthogonal Arrays". banking and service sectors etc.The method is applicable over a wide range of engineering fields that include processes that manufacture raw materials. The Signal-to-Noise ratios are log functions of desired output characteristics. computer-aided-design. The experiments. Taguchi proposed a standard 8-step procedure for applying his method for optimizing any process. are balanced with respect to all control factors and yet are minimum in number. In fact. such that the results are reliable and repeatable (i. the BEST levels of control factors are those that maximize the Signal-to-Noise ratios. sub systems. SIDE EFFECTS. Beginning with these nominal processes. the method can be applied to any process be it engineering fabrication. This in turn implies that the resources (materials and time) required for the experiments are also minimum. PREDICT THE OPTIMUM LEVELS AND PERFORMANCE Step-8: PERFORM THE VERIFICATION EXPERIMENT AND PLAN THE FUTURE ACTION SUMMARY : Every experimenter develops a nominal process/product that has the desired functionality as demanded by users. In Taguchi Method. he wishes to optimize the processes/products by varying the control factors at his disposal. In turn.e. AND QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS Step-3: IDENTIFY THE OBJECTIVE FUNCTION TO BE OPTIMIZED Step-4: IDENTIFY THE CONTROL FACTORS AND THEIR LEVELS Step-5: SELECT THE ORTHOGONAL ARRAY MATRIX EXPERIMENT Step-6: CONDUCT THE MATRIX EXPERIMENT Step-7: ANALYZE THE DATA. .

. Thus.smaller-the-better. the processes/products are made ROBUST against all variations.Taguchi method divides all problems into 2 categories . conducting and evaluating results of matrix experiments to determine the best levels of control factors. the Static problems do not have any signal factor. LARGER-THE-BETTER and nominal-the-best.STATIC or DYNAMIC. The primary goal is to keep the variance in the output very low even in the presence of noise inputs. While the Dynamic problems have a SIGNAL factor. In Dynamic problems. the optimization is achieved by using 3 Signal-to-Noise ratios . the optimization is achieved by using 2 Signal-to-Noise ratios .Slope and Linearity. In Static problems. Taguchi Method is a process/product optimization method that is based on 8-steps of planning.