Graphical and Computer Aided Approaches to Plan Experiments

Article

Joglekar, Anand M.; Kackar, Raghu N.   (1988, ASQC)   Honeywell, Inc., Plymouth, MN; AT&T Bell Labs, Holmdale, NJ

Annual Quality Congress, Dallas TX    Vol. 42    No. 0
QICID: 3398    May 1988    pp. 45-55
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Article Abstract

Design of experiments is a quality technology to achieve product excellence, that is, to achieve high quality at low cost. It is a tool to optimize product and process designs, to accelerate the development cycle, to reduce development costs, to improve the transition of products from R&D to manufacturing and to effectively troubleshoot manufacturing problems. It has been successfully, but sporadically used in the United States. More recently, it has been identified as a major technological reason for the success of Japan in producing high quality products at low cost.

In the United States, the need for increased competitiveness and the emphasis on quality improvement demands a widespread use of design of experiments by engineers, scientists and quality professionals. In the past, such widespread use has been hampered by a lack of proper training and a lack of availability of tools to easily implement design of experiments in industry.Three steps are essential, and are being taken, to dramatically change this situation. First, simple graphical methods, to design and analyze experiments, need to be developed, particularly when the necessary microcomputer resources are not available. Second, engineers, scientists and quality professionals must have access to microcomputer based software for design and analysis of experiment.1 Availability of such software would allow users to concentrate on the important scientific ad engineering aspects of the problem by computerizing the necessary statistical expertise. Finally, since a majority of the current workforce is expected to be working in the year 2000, a massive training effort, based upon simple graphical methods and appropriate computer software, is necessary.2

The purpose of this paper is to describe a methodology based upon a new graphical method called interaction graphs and other previously known techniques, to simplify the correct design of practically important fractional factorial experiments. The essential problem in designing a fractional factorial experiment is first stated. Interaction graph for a 16 trial fractional factorial design is given to illustrate how the graphical procedure can be easily used to design a two level fractional factorial experiment. Other previously known techniques are described to easily modify the two level fractional factorial designs to create mixed multi-level designs. Interaction graphs for other practically useful fractional factorial designs are provided. A computer package called CADE (Computer Aided Design of Experiments), which automatically generates the appropriate fractional factorial designs based upon user specifications of factors, levels and interactions and conducts complete analyses of the designed experiments is briefly described.1 Finally, the graphical method is compared with other available methods for designing fractional factorial experiments.

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