ASQ - Statistics Division

Accelerating Product and Process Development Through Parallel Thinking and Experimentation – Mini-paper October 2012 Newsletter

Abstract: Mikel Harry, one of the founding fathers of the Six Sigma movement, once stated that the next evolution in Six Sigma will not be towards higher levels of process capability but instead will involve a breakthrough in the quality of thought at the individual level. In this paper application of this philosophy is used to accelerate new product and process development with a methodology driven by question generation and parallel-thinking. There are typically many, many questions that need to be answered to close the gap in our understanding of Y = f(x) for a given product or process, consider ways in which you can answer these questions in parallel to accelerate your knowledge capture. By definition, multifactor DOEs already accomplish this. But often there are questions about the variation in the measurement system or underlying process or both. In this paper, a case study has been provided in which questions about the effects of controllable factors where answered in parallel with questions regarding factors that are noise to the process, including measurement variation. This was done by combining a nested components of variance study with a 2^4 full factorial design. The result was rapid learning about the relationship between the output variable and the controllable as well as about how to minimize the effect of the noise factors on this output.

Keywords: Process Development - Product development - Six Sigma - Designed experiments - Gage R

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