Genichi Taguchi and the Taguchi Method
The Taguchi method is a well-established technique for Robust Design based on the scientific/statistical method of experimental design or design of Experiments (DoE). The Taguchi method was developed by Genichi Taguchi in the period 1950 – 1962 whilst he was working for the Electrical Communication Laboratory (ECL) in Japan. He later developed the concept of the S/N ratio whilst working at the Bell Laboratories in the USA.
The method gained wider popularity when he returned to the AT&T Bell Labs in the 1980s. This coincided with the introduction of Six-Sigma developed by Bill Smith and Bob Galvin whilst at Motorola in the mid to late 1980s. As a result, the Taguchi method gained more interest and applications both as a stand-alone method and as part of a Six-Sigma approach for example utilised in the process improvement phase in the DMAIC Six-Sigma process.
Whilst the reported applications of the Taguchi method have been growing steadily over the last 40 years, the challenge when applying the method to manufacturing process improvement has always been the availability of equipment and access to the appropriate measurement of relevant parameter data. With the advent of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies as part of the 4th Industrial Revolution, access to measurement and data collection has changed dramatically enabling a vast amount of real-time data to be gathered at a reasonable cost.
Technology through the use of CPS/IoT has the potential to have an impact on the range of applications of the Taguchi Method as well as its potential future use when considered as part of a wider Quality Management or Quality 4.0 strategy.
For more information about these articles or how the ASTUTE 2020+ project can help your organization, please contact Professor Hefin Rowlands (firstname.lastname@example.org)