Improving Quality through Robust Design
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*Vijay Nair, University of Michigan 


There has been considerable focus on quality improvement and variation reduction in the manufacturing industry over the last 40 or so years. Among these, Robust Design (also called Parameter Design) has been recognized as a particularly novel and cost-effective approach. The philosophy and methods for parameter design were developed by G. Taguchi in Japan and were introduced in the US in the 1980s. There have been many applications, especially in the automotive industry. This talk will present an overview of the underlying principles for variation reduction, viz. making a system’s performance insensitive to uncontrollable noise variables to the extent possible while also achieving close to target performance. Potential applications to the pharmaceutical industry will be discussed.