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Keywords:

  • quality;
  • robust design;
  • dynamic quality characteristics;
  • time-oriented;
  • target profile

Abstract

Innovative engineering techniques are often sought within the manufacturing environment to improve product quality and promote more cost-effective strategies. Robust design methods are frequently used to serve this purpose, with the objective of minimizing the variability inherent within a particular process or system. A review of the literature suggests that most robust design research involves the study of static quality characteristics, given a pre-defined specification interval or region and target value. In addition to proposing a methodology for working with dynamic quality characteristics where the specifications and target value may change over time, this paper offers two other distinct contributions. First, those researchers who have examined dynamic systems traditionally consider the effects of a signal factor on a response variable on the identification of optimal factor settings. In contrast, this paper will consider the effects of a quality characteristic changing over time, thus removing the need to confine the problem to signal–response systems. Furthermore, most researchers consider the optimization of the process mean according to the costs of non-conforming to an established specification interval or region. This paper, however, utilizes a methodology involving the simultaneous optimization of the process mean and variance while expanding the problem to consider a loss in quality attributed to deviation from a target value over time. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.