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Taguchi Methods: Benefits, Impacts, Mathematics, Statistics and Applications

Teruo Mori, PhD
Teruo Mori, PhD
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Shih-Chung Tsai, PhD
Shih-Chung Tsai, PhD
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ASME Press
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On January 15, 1998, the Mainichi Newspaper reported a torch fire-extinguishing incident at the Nagano Winter Olympics (please refer to Chapter 1, Section 1.2, for more detail). As mentioned in Section 1.2, the problem-solving process for this incident was conducted as follows:

1. Recognition: The torch fire-extinguishing problem occurred during the Olympics.

2. Analysis: Possible causes for the problem were analyzed.

3. Problem-solving: Solutions and countermeasures were taken to solve the problem.

4. No repetition: Ensure that the problem would not occur again.

This fire-extinguishing incident occurred during actual use. This means the engineers who designed this torch structure did not identify potential use conditions and did not choose the appropriate materials and design dimensions for the torch structure for those conditions. In other words, the design was not complete and the defect problem occurred in the downstream use stage. These problem-solving procedures are steps in TQC (total quality control) trouble-shooting processes, which were used from 1950 to 1980 by major manufacturing industries in Japan and other countries. These problem-solving activities are posterior, which means they are conducted after products are shipped to customers and the problems occurred during customer use.

In order to make a product development process more efficient, engineering resources need to focus on early design/development stages in order to make a design free from flaws before products are manufactured and shipped to customers. The emphasis of Taguchi Methods is to make products robust against possible downstream noise conditions in early development stages.

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