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Robust Design

History of Robust Design

Robust Design method is essential to improving engineering productivity. It was pioneered by Dr. Genichi Taguchi after the end of the Second World War. This method has evolved over the last five decades. Companies around the world have saved millions of dollars by using the method in diverse industries such as automobiles, xerography, telecommunications, electronics, software, etc (http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020311a. asp).

Definition

Robust has many definitions here are a few that we found. A process that does not change with changing noise. Designing products and processes that are minimally impacted by external forces such as environment, customer use, or manufacturing conditions (www.amsup.com/robust_design/).

Taguchi Method

The Robust Design method can also be called the Taguchi Method, and was pioneered by Dr. Genichi Taguchi. Robust Design greatly improves engineering productivity by consciously considering the noise factors: environmental variation during the product's usage, manufacturing variation, and component deterioration. The cost of failure in the Robust Design method helps ensure customer satisfaction. Robust Design focuses on improving the fundamental function of the product or process. Robust Design facilitates flexible designs and concurrent engineering. It is the most powerful method available to reduce product cost, improve quality, and reduce development interval (http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020311a.asp).

Taguchis Approach

Taguchis Quote: Robust Design: Not just strong. Flexible! Idiot Proof! Simple! Efficient! A product/process that produces consistent, high level performance despite being subjected to a wide range of changing client and manufacturing conditions (www.amsup.com/robust_design/). This approach costs more, takes more time, and isnt always successful (www.orszulik.free-online.co.uk/page5.html). This approach allows experiments to be performed and the product/process becomes insensitive to use-conditions and other uncontrollable factors (www.orszulik.freeonline.co.uk/page5.html).

Problems Using Robust Design

An example of a problem with Robust Design: A team of engineers was working on the design of a radio receiver for ground to aircraft communication. This receiver required high reliability, and low bit error rate for data transmission. Building series of prototypes to sequentially eliminate problems would be expensive. The other problem was that computer simulation effort for evaluating a single design was time consuming and expensive. So, how can you speed up development but assure reliability (http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020311a.asp)? Another example: A manufacturer introduced a high speed copy machine only to find that the paper feeder jammed almost ten times more frequently than what was planned. The traditional method for evaluating the reliability of a single new design idea took several weeks. How can the company conduct the needed research in a short time and come up with a design that would not embarrass the company (http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020311a.asp)?

Robust Design & Engineers

Robust design allows engineers to develop products and processes which perform as intended through a wide range of users conditions in their life cycle which is durable and reliable To maximize robustness engineers improve the intended function of the product and increase their noise to factors which can lead to a decrease in performance. Engineers can change the product formulas and process settings to gain their desired performance level in the shortest time with the lowest cost. Engineers can simplify their designs and the process to reduce the cost (www.amsup.com/robust_design/).

Results from Robust Design


Improvement through quality, reliability, and durability. Manufacturing cost reduction. Design cycle time reduction. New knowledge (www.amsup.com/robust_design/)

References

www.amsup.com/robust_design/ www.orszulik.free-online.co.uk/page5.html http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c02 0311a.asp