Taguchi Method Essay

4561 words - 19 pages

IE 466: Concurrent Engineering

T. W. Simpson

32.3 Taguchi’ Robust Design Method s
Since 1960, Taguchi methods have been used for improving the quality of Japanese products with great success. During the 1980’ many companies finally realized that the old s, methods for ensuring quality were not competitive with the Japanese methods. The old methods for quality assurance relied heavily upon inspecting products as they rolled off the production line and rejecting those products that did not fall within a certain acceptance range. However, Taguchi was quick to point out that no amount of inspection can improve a product; quality must be designed into a product from the start. It is only ...view middle of the document...

Taguchi methods are used to specify dimension and feature detail and normally follow DFM activities. In the next section we discuss Taguchi’ concept of a s quality loss function. This is then followed by a detailed description of Taguchi’ approach to s parameter design.

32.3.1 Taguchi’ Quality Loss Function s
Consider the popular story of Sony and two of their television production facilities, one in the USA, the other in Japan. The color density of the televisions manufactured by Sony-USA were uniformly distributed and fell within the tolerance limits, m ± 5 ( where m is the target for color density), while the televisions from Sony-Japan followed a normal distribution, more televisions were on target but about 0.3% fell outside of the tolerance limits. The color density distributions are illustrated in Figure 1. The differences in customer perceptions of quality resulted from Sony-USA paying attention only to meeting the tolerances whereas in Sony-Japan, the focus was on meeting the target and minimizing the variance around that target. If we assign a grade to each television based on its color density as done in Figure 12, then we see that SonyJapan produced many more Grade A sets and fewer Grade C sets in comparison to Sony-USA. Overall, a much larger portion of Sony-Japan's televisions receive higher grades then those made by Sony-USA; hence, the customer’ preferred the televisions sets produced by Sony-Japan over s those produced by Sony-USA.


IE 466: Concurrent Engineering

T. W. Simpson

Figure 1 Color Density Distribution of Television Sets (Phadke, 1989) To measure quality, Taguchi defines a Quality Loss Function. The quality loss function is a continuous function that is defined in terms of the deviation of a design parameter from an ideal or target value, see Figure 2b. Taguchi’ view on the nature of the quality loss function s represents a fundamental paradigm shift (particularly in the U.S.) in the way in which manufacturers consider whether or not a product is good. The traditional approach employed by U.S. manufacturers (as evidenced by Sony-USA) has been to use a “step function” that ensures that performance fell within the upper and lower specification limits as shown in Figure 2a.

Figure 2 Quality Loss Function (Phadke, 1989) Taguchi’ loss function can be expressed in terms of the quadratic relationship: s L = k (y - m)2 [32.1] where y is the critical performance parameter value, L is the loss associated with a particular parameter y, m is the nominal value of the parameter specification, k is a constant that depends on the cost at the specification limits (can be determined conservatively by dividing the cost of scrap in $, by the square of the lower or higher tolerance values). This function penalizes the deviation of a parameter from the specification value that contributes to deteriorating the performance of the product, resulting in a loss to the customer. The key here is that a product engineer has a...

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