Design of Experiments for QC Circles

Article

Rogers, Cephas (Kip) B.   (1986, ASQC)   Digital Equipment Corporation, Maynard, MA

40th Annual Quality Congress, May 1986, Anaheim, CA    Vol. 40    No. 0
QICID: 3204    May 1986    pp. 354-359
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Article Abstract

The competitive challenge in today's marketplace has placed enormous pressure on companies to achieve breakthroughs in both quality and productivity. At the same time, companies are finding that one of the more rewarding ways to remain competitive is to harness the knowledge and experience of employees at all levels. Properly done, a company-wide problem solving program can enhance quality of worklife as well as profits. This paper discusses how Designed Experiments can be used at, and by, all levels to achieve these significant benefits.The fact that so few designed experiments are run currently in U.S. companies can be attributed to the way in which the subject is usually taught. By concentrating on complex techniques, we put more "pain" than "pleasure" into the subject, keeping all but the hardy few from becoming true practitioners. The approach of this paper is to explore simple techniques which have intuitive as well as practical appeal for spreading the use of designed experiments.An area of opportunity that is discussed in particular is human factors. Humans come in many different shapes, sizes and abilities, yet our equipment and systems are generally built with the "one size fits all" philosophy. This creates real opportunities for improvements in ease of use and productivity through small experiments run to find the optimum worker/system/equipment combination. Basic human factors data provides a rich source of ideas for all employees willing to experiment for improvement. The advantage of using simple methods such as yates, combinations, and simple graphing for analyzing experiments is stressed. Properly applied, these methods bring "pleasure" into experimental analysis and can lead to popularizing improvement breakthroughs throughout one's company.

Keywords

Human resources (HR),Quality circles


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