A D.O.E. Network in a Manufacturing Operation

Article

Chalmers, John E.; Cantello, Frank X.   (1989, ASQC)   Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co., Fort Wayne, IN

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3541    May 1989    pp. 28-33
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Article Abstract

In American industry, the approach to Design of Experiments has been centered around a "key" individual who is a company's main experimental resource. Reports from Japan indicate a reliance on engineering personnel to apply experimental techniques as part of their jobs. What is missing is an organized approach to facilitate the routine use of experimental techniques in the factory.

A Design of Experiments Network has been established and is now operating effectively at Uniroyal Goodrich's Fort Wayne tire plant. The D.O.E. Network is a team of specially trained employees who interact with each other in the creation, execution and analysis of production-oriented experiments.

Developing the leader/teacher is an essential ingredient that is needed prior to developing a successful Network. Some companies have people experienced in experimental design concepts. This is a definite advantage, but lack of this expertise is not an insurmountable handicap. It can be overcome through training a candidate or, at the extreme, hiring a consultant.

The Network is formed by a combination of selected employees and volunteers to create a multi-disciplined team. It is important that members of the Network are chosen to yield a representative cross-section of the organization. Traditional thinking -- that highly educated candidates with experience in mathematics should be selected -- is wrong. Our experience is that people with an ability to use a calculator and a desire to learn will be successful.

A D.O.E. Network requires exposure to experimental techniques in a series of weekly class sessions rather than the typical concentrated seminar approach. The class is set up as a training session as well as a workshop, the workshop being a resource to the factory. The workshop gives the students the opportunity to try out the techniques they have learned.

Once the trained Network is in place, the weekly sessions become almost exclusively workshops with continuous refresher training. As the D.O.E. Network matures, teams will form spontaneously to design and accomplish experiments for specific problem areas. Different combinations of Network members are utilized depending on the situation, location, and expertise needed.

A D.O.E. Network is an excellent example of employee involvement and team building that cuts through department boundaries to improve operations. Further, continuous improvement is assured as the Network becomes an integral part of the organization.

Keywords

Design of experiments (DOE),Statistics,Case study,Implementation


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