The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the application of Six Sigma/design of experiments (DOE) hybrid framework for improving damping force (DF) generation process in a shock absorber assembly unit.
The study adopted a case study research method with single case (holistic) design. This research design was found to be appropriate for testing the projected framework for integrating DOE approaches within Six Sigma define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) cycle. In the proposed framework, Shainin’s component search technique (CST) was deployed at the “analysis” phase of DMAIC for the first stage filtering of process parameters, followed by the use of Taguchi orthogonal arrays (OA) at the “improve” phase for identifying the optimal setting of the parameters.
The application of Shanin CST facilitated in ascertaining that assembly component (piston with rebound stopper) was causing the variation and not the assembly process. Further, the use of Taguchi OA at the improve phase allowed the collection of necessary data to determine the significant piston parameters with minimum experimentation (eight experimental runs in this case as opposed to the expected 64) and analysis of variance on the collected data facilitated the selection of parameter settings to optimize the “critical to quality”, i.e. rebound DF.
This study provided a stimulus for wider application of integrated DOE approaches by the engineering community in the problem solving and the identification of parameters responsible for poor performance of the process.
Prashar, A. (2017), "Integration of Taguchi and Shainin DOE for Six Sigma improvement: an Indian case", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 34 No. 7, pp. 898-924. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQRM-08-2015-0116
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