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What are Taguchi Methods?

Taguchi Methods is a system of cost-driven quality engineering that emphasizes the effective application of engineering strategies rather than advanced statistical techniques.

It includes both upstream and shop-floor quality engineering.

Upstream methods efficiently use small-scale experiments to reduce variability and find cost-effective, robust designs for large-scale production and the marketplace.

Shop-floor techniques provide cost-based, real-time methods for monitoring and maintaining quality in production.

Taguchi Methods allow a company to rapidly and accurately acquire technical information to design and produce low-cost, highly reliable products and processes. Its most advanced applications allow engineers to develop flexible technology for the design and production of families of high quality products, greatly reducing research, development, and delivery time.

In general, the farther upstream a quality method is applied, the greater leverage it produces on the improvement, and the more it reduces the cost and time. Most typical applications of Taguchi Methods thus far have centered around two main areas:

    1) Improving an existing product
    2) Improving a process for a specific product

Tremendous additional benefits can be derived from improving the robustness of generic technology (in R&D) so that it is applicable to a family of present and future products and processes. This application, called Robust Technology Development, is currently being practiced by only a few leading companies worldwide. Farther downstream, Taguchi's methods for what he terms "on-line" quality control (Manufacturing Process Control) can achieve a more cost-effective process control.

Taguchi Methods require a new way of thinking about product development. These methods differ from others in that the methods for dealing with quality problems center on the design stage of product development, and express quality and cost improvement in monetary terms.

The key to competitive leadership is the timely introduction of high quality products at the right price. Achieving maximum efficiency and effectiveness in the research and development process is critical to this effort.

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