Quality Progress - January 2016 - (Page 59)

Best of BACK TO BASICS Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems SEPTEM 2007 BER by Scott A. Laman A n experimenter's ability to minimize mistakes often comes with experience. Unfortunately, this experience often results from past problems, surprises or confusion. After conducting many experiments-several at remote sites-I've seen critical details of experimentation go wrong. A specific example was when I arrived at a production facility only to find that the equipment intended for the experiment had been replaced, and the operator who normally ran the process was unavailable. Looking at many common mistakes in the same categories as used in the traditional fishbone diagram-manpower, machines, methods, materials, measurements and environment-can help experimenters plan. The questions listed below should be answered affirmatively before conducting an experiment in order to minimize or avoid problems. Manpower For an experiment to be successful, all personnel involved should be adequately trained and communication should be ongoing. Involving operators is also essential, as those performing the experiment provide valuable insights that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Planners need to ask: * Are the people sponsoring, planning and conducting the experiment trained in design of experiments? * Were operators involved in the planning? * Has a plan been made for communication between all shifts? Machines When considering machines, it is critical they be proven, in top condition and stable. As a special consideration for continuous processes, the time between runs should be long enough for the process to stabilize at each set of conditions. Experimenters should consider: * Have recent equipment changes been thoroughly documented? * Are the machine and equipment in the best possible condition? * If using a continuous process, has the transition time between runs been evaluated and determined 88 I SEPTEMBER 2007 I www.asq.org to be long enough? * Has the process been stable enough to risk investing in an experiment? Methods Documentation tools such as experiment goal statements, written procedures and data recording forms fall under the methods category. Key techniques, including randomization and a team based approach to variable selection, can apply. Experimental designs like factorial experiments can also be included in planning. Safety considerations and foreseeing the type of analysis also pay dividends. The questions to ask are: * Has a problem or goal statement been written, and has the purpose been defined? * Does the experiment completely address the problem statement while distinguishing between important main effects and interactions? * Have the appropriate responses and their limits been chosen? * Have quality or engineering tools been used for guidance? * Did a team select the process variables for study? * Have noise factors been identified and plans made for recording or control? * Have specific procedures been written for conducting the experiment? * Have the runs been randomized as much as possible, and has blocking been considered? * Are all the combinations of process conditions safe for personnel and equipment? * Is there a results analysis plan? Materials No matter what the industry or form of raw material, it is important to conduct the experiment with a representative lot. If at all possible, include those material characteristics in the experimental design. Otherwise, the results will not extend to the future process. Planners should consider: * Is the material typical of the process? * Can the results be extended to other lots of material? Measurements Gauges and measurement devices must function as intended, with all calibrations completed. Procedures for data collection should be written, and the operators should be asked to record any other important information. After the experiment, the results should be verified. Questions to be asked include: * Have all gauges and measurement devices been checked and found to be in good working condition? * Have specific procedures been written for data collection? * Are important data being collected that are not part of the experiment? * Is there a follow-up plan to validate the results? Environment Environmental factors should be identified and evaluated for their potential impact on the experiment. At a minimum, a plan should be made for monitoring them. If necessary, variables such as ambient temperature, humidity, vibration and noise can be part of the experimental design. Questions to ask: * Have environmental factors been evaluated? * Has a plan been made for monitoring those factors? Advanced training and experience of personnel leading experimentation is certainly important. However, many of the pitfalls-however simple-can be avoided by systematically relating potential problems to the logical categories of the fishbone diagram. NOTE An example of a traditional fishbone diagram using these categories can be found at www. asq.org/qualityprogress. SCOTT A. LAMAN is the manager of quality engineering for Arrow International Inc. in Reading, PA. He earned a master's degree in chemical engineering from Syracuse University. He is a senior member of ASQ and is certified as a quality engineer, reliability engineer, quality manager, Six Sigma Black Belt and quality auditor. January 2016 * QP 59 http://www.asq.org/qualityprogress

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - January 2016

According to Plan
Solid Proof
Use Your Head
Stakeholder Management 101
Customer Delight
All About Data
Eight Simple Steps
Minimizing Chaos
Take Note
Pyramid Scheme
Assessing Failure
Which Six Sigma Metric Should I Use?
Turning ‘Who’ Into ‘How’
In the Beginning
Outputs and Outcomes
That’s So Random—Or Is It?
Understanding Variation
Improving a System
Putting It All on the Table
Know the Drill
It’s Fun To Work With an F-M-E-A
Solve Problems With Open Communication
Tell Me About It
Separate the Vital Few From the Trivial Many
To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?
Breaking It Down
Smart Charting
1 + 1 = Zero Defects
QFD Explained
Curve Your Enthusiasm
Make a Choice
What Is a Fault Tree Analysis?
Successful Relationship Diagrams
The Benefits of PDCA
Creative Combination
Return on Investment
The Art of Root Cause Analysis
Why Ask Why?
Get to the Root of It
Checks and Balances
Calculated Risk
Sufficient Evidence
Sample Wise
Clearing SPC Hurdles
Supplier Selection and Maintenance
Team Advantage
Building a Quality Team
Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems
Substantiation Test
Training Day

Quality Progress - January 2016

http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0719
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0619
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0519
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0419
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0319
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0219
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0119
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1218
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1118
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1018
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0918
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0818
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0718
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0618
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0518
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0418
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0318
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0218
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0118
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1117
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1017
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0917
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0817
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0717
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0617
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0517
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0417
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQC12518
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0317
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0117
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1216
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1116
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1016
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASAC0016
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0916
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQA0016
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0816
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0716
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0616
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0516
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0416
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0316
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0216
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0116
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1215
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1115
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1015
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0915
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0815
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0715
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0615
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0515
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0315
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0215
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0115
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1014
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0914
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0814
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0714
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0614
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0514
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0414
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0314
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1213
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1113
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM1013
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0913
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0813
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0713
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0613
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0513
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0413
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/ASQM/ASQM0313
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM0213
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM0113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM1212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM1112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM1012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/ASQM0912
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com