ch12 - Chapter 12 Supplemental Text Material S12-1. The...

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Chapter 12 Supplemental Text Material S12-1. The Taguchi Approach to Robust Parameter Design Throughout this book, we have emphasized the importance of using designed experiments for product and process improvement. Today, many engineers and scientists are exposed to the principles of statistically designed experiments as part of their formal technical education. However, during the 1960-1980 time period, the principles of experimental design (and statistical methods, in general) were not as widely used as they are today In the early 1980s, Genichi Taguchi, a Japanese engineer, introduced his approach to using experimental design for 1 . Designing products or processes so that they are robust to environmental conditions. 2. Designing/developing products so that they are robust to component variation. 3. Minimizing variation around a target value. Note that these are essentially the same objectives we discussed in Section 11-7.1. Taguchi has certainly defined meaningful engineering problems and the philosophy that recommends is sound. However, as noted in the textbook, he advocated some novel methods of statistical data analysis and some approaches to the design of experiments that the process of peer review revealed were unnecessarily complicated, inefficient, and sometimes ineffective. In this section, we will briefly overview Taguchi's philosophy regarding quality engineering and experimental design. We will present some examples of his approach to parameter design, and we will use these examples to highlight the problems with his technical methods. As we saw in Chapter 12 of the textbook, it is possible to combine his sound engineering concepts with more efficient and effective experimental design and analysis based on response surface methods. Taguchi advocates a philosophy of quality engineering that is broadly applicable. He considers three stages in product (or process) development: system design, parameter design, and tolerance design. In system design, the engineer uses scientific and engineering principles to determine the basic system configuration. For example, if we wish to measure an unknown resistance, we may use our knowledge of electrical circuits to determine that the basic system should be configured as a Wheatstone bridge. If we are designing a process to assemble printed circuit boards, we will determine the need for specific types of axial insertion machines, surface-mount placement machines, flow solder machines, and so forth. In the parameter design stage, the specific values for the system parameters are determined. This would involve choosing the nominal resistor and power supply values for the Wheatstone bridge, the number and type of component placement machines for the printed circuit board assembly process, and so forth. Usually, the objective is to
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specify these nominal parameter values such that the variability transmitted from uncontrollable or noise variables is minimized.
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ch12 - Chapter 12 Supplemental Text Material S12-1. The...

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