February 24, 2009

Taguchi for PIUSS PMA

I read about Taguchi experimental design today for PIUSS PMA. It is about designing and conducting experiments to optimise the design of paper aeroplanes. Essentially this entails (lila's favorite word) repeating exactly what we did during PIUSS for paper helicopters except this time I need to do it on my own.

The main reason why this question appeal to me better than other questions is that it is different from all the pma's we've done before. This is more hands on, practical which could potentially be a lot of fun. And since I will be doing all of the work, I have a real sense of ownership for whatever outcome that comes out of this exercise. Well, I know this is only paper aeroplanes and not designing , for example, a new jet engine, but wouldn't it be nice to have a pma that we will enjoy doing?

Well, if you enjoy doing experiment you would probably learn a lot more. I have a slight advantage in this respect since I did an undergraduate degree in science which invovled a lot of experimentations. So I am quite familiar with experiments and the subsequent report writing (having doing hundreds of them in my undergraduate !). But honestly speaking, experiment is fun if we do it once in a while, it becomes real pain when it becomes like a job, it's really hard to get used to the repetition, tedious procedures, and most frustrating of all, crap results!

Going through Graeme's notes on Taguchi definitely made things much clearer now, espcially the calculations and why they are done in a certain way. The content isn't too difficult to follow, only about 37 pages and by the end you will get a good gist of how to do Taguchi.

Just while I am on the topic, I am also considering changing the subject of the experimental study, trying to find something else to improve it's design that is not just simple paper aeroplane. I am a bit short on the ideas for now, hopefully something interesting will come up before I get started on the actual experiments.

Unlike FACS (growl ~~) , I think I am going to enjoy this PMA :)

- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Hey Luis,

    I thought about doing the Taguchi question because I thought it could actually help me in the future. The only reason that I am still thinking of doing question 1 over this one is because I am afraid that I start working on it and I found out that I forgot some steps or so, because when we were doing the Helicopter exercise, we had Graeme then, but to do it alone could cause troubles.

    Which pages did you read that made you understand the steps better? I might check them and see if I can do it alone.

    It is also as you said, doing this question is little different than the previous PMA’s where everything is in words.

    26 Feb 2009, 08:35

  2. Hi Abdul

    It’s nice to find some1 who’s doing this question, not many people I talked to seem interested :)
    You can find the relevant pages in Section 8 (Taguchi Experimental Design) page 5-35. p.g 8-16 is about designing experiment, 17-24 is about system design (finding the right characteristics) and 28-37 on parameter design (increasing robustness). I still havnt understood everything yet (especially the parameter design) but I think things will become clearer once I start doing the analysis.

    I have also found a website that talks about the aerodynamics of paper airplane that is very helpful in the initial stage of designing plane characteristics. Its written by the holder of world record of longest paper airplane flight time (27.6 second!). Let’s aim to beat that in this exercise! Here is the link.

    I have one concern about writing a literature background for this PMA, as you would expect most information we find will be web based and probably not very academic… so it will be hard to write about it beyond describing the experiment. I plan to talk to Graeme about that today and see what he thinks…

    26 Feb 2009, 08:54

  3. Thanks Luis.

    I might have a book or two about Six Sigma that includes some literature background for DoE and there are papers for Taguchi DoE.

    I will post the names when I go back home and check them.

    26 Feb 2009, 12:38

  4. By the way, the idea of changing the purpose of the design is nice.

    I am thinking of asking Graeme if I could change it to something related to services, but then, it is hard to do that since I will have to come up with a scenario of a process with different tasks, etc.

    26 Feb 2009, 19:05

  5. How u guys’ exiperiments are going on?...They are interesting really… Although i didn’t select the same question… Wish you guys get the fantastic designs….

    03 Mar 2009, 21:32

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