Off-Line Quality Control, Parameter Design, And The Taguchi Method
Published 1985 · Mathematics
A Japanese ceramic tile manufacturer knew in 1953 that is more costly to control causes of manufacturing variations than to make a process insensitive to these variations. The Ina Tile Company knew that an uneven temperature distribution in the kiln caused variation in the size of the tiles. Since uneven temperature distribution was an assignable cause of variation, a process quality control approach would have increased manufacturing cost. The company wanted to reduce the size variation without increasing cost. Therefore, instead of controlling temperature distribution they tried to find a tile formulation that reduced the effect of uneven temperature distribution on the uniformity of tiles. Through a designed experiment, the Ina Tile Company found a cost-effective method for reducing tile size variation caused by uneven temperature distribution in the kiln. The company found that increasing the content of lime in the tile formulation from 1% to 5% reduced the tile size variation by a factor of ten. This discovery was a breakthrough for the ceramic tile industry.