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Taguchi methods aid foundry quality programs.

Taguchi Methods Aid Foundry Quality Programs

In 1964, Ralph E. Johnston, then with the Duriron Co, presented "Statistical Methods in Foundry Experiments" at the AFS Casting Congress. Johnston discussed "modern statistical concepts as they relate to the design and analysis of foundry experiments." Designed experiments, which allow the experimenter "to deliberately vary several variables simultaneously, to randomize others and, when desired, to standardize others," were new to the foundry industry in 1964.

Johnston, now on the faculty of Lansing Community College, Lansing, MI, returned to the AFS Congress to present "Design of Experiments: Taguchi in the Foundry," the Molding Methods & Materials Division's 1989 Silver Anniversary Paper.

Commenting on the importance which Design of Experiments has assumed in industrial quality programs, Johnston said, "Gone are the days when we can afford to ignore the powerful and proven new methods of quality planning and control. We have learned that all foundries need a quality plan and a quality system which incorporate the use of appropriate technology, such as the design of experiments, to assist along the path of continuous quality improvement."

According to Johnston, the elements of a good quality plan are: quality planning and problem prevention activities; SPC functions where appropriate; and an ongoing program for use of designed experiments.

Johnston emphasized training of personnel in quality methods. He noted factors critical to a good Taguchi training program. Use of designed experiments is a team effort. "It is not enough to train one `expert,'" he said. Also, the training provider should be an experienced practitioner of Taguchi methods. "He or she should utilize real problems as training exercises, based on data from your operation," he stated.

In conclusion, Johnston said, "Metal-casting is a complex process and the design of experiments can provide valuable assistance as the process is brought toward its optimum."

PHOTO : Ralph E. Johnston, Lansing Community College, displays bookends presented to him in

PHOTO : appreciation of his Molding Methods & Materials Silver Anniversary Lecture. The castings

PHOTO : mounted on the bookends were made by students at West Virginia Univ.
COPYRIGHT 1989 American Foundry Society, Inc.
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Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jul 1, 1989
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