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Taguchi’s quality engineering handbook. (English) Zbl 1121.62115
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; Livonia MI: ASI Consulting Group (ISBN 0-471-41334-8/hbk; 978-0-470-25835-4/ebook). xxxii, 1662 p. (2005).
This voluminous book has 1662 pages and is divided into three sections: “Theory” (with ten parts), “Application” (with seven parts) and finally “Taguchi’s Method Versus Other Quality Philosophies”.
Part I of Section 1 (Theory) is entitled “Genichi Taguchi’s Latest Thinking”. It deals with more fundamental or philosophical issues related to the “Second Industrial Revolution”. The main topics are productivity and the role of quality engineering. Productivity is regarded from the viewpoint of the consequences to society and is explained (p. 11) as “total social productivity (GDP) is the sum of individual freedoms”. By means of a number of illustrative examples, the essential concepts “signal” and “noise” are emphasized and the Taguchi Method is introduced. Part II is entitled “Quality Engineering: A Historical Perspective”. It starts with the development of quality engineering by Taguchi in Japan beginning with the 1950th stressing again the significance of the signal-to-noise ratio and Taguchi’s loss function. The following chapter describes Taguchi’s encounter with the USA and his subsequent success from 1980 onwards until the present time. Part III is devoted to the “Quality Loss Function” of Taguchi, who relates it to “cost and loss in dollars, not just to the manufacturer at the time of production but to the consumer and to the society as a whole”. Taguchi’s quadratic loss function is based on the definition of “quality of a product is a loss given to a society after it is shipped” (p. 128). Various issues related to quality, i.e., loss, are discussed and illustrated by examples: specifications, tolerancing, safety and tolerance designs.
Part IV deals with the signal-to-noise ratio, which is the central concept of Taguchi’s quality theory. Different types of SN ratios are discussed and illustrated by many examples. In the fifth part Taguchi’s robust engineering is explained by means of the design, its functionality and its evaluation. The “ideal function” for evaluating the design “is defined based on energy transformation from the input to the output” (p. 376). According to Taguchi, all problems are symptoms of variability in the transformation of energy or information (p. 378). The next part is concerned with the Mahalanobis-Taguchi system, which is a diagnostic tool for detecting abnormalities based on the Mahalanobis distance. Part VII contains an example for applying the Taguchi method for testing programming software. The heading of Part VIII is “On-Line Quality Engineering”, which basically consists of preventive process maintenance and reactive process control. By means of a number of examples the different situations, which may arise with respect to control, diagnosis and adjustment, are illustrated. The nineth part proposes a method called experimental regression to be used instead of the least squares method based on a selected regression model. The last part in the first section is a detailed introduction into the design of experiments (DOE), which is often considered the core of the Taguchi method. In more than 120 pages the analysis of variance, different lay-outs and orthogonal arrays are treated and illustrated by examples.
In Section 2 (Applications) case studies from various fields of application are given. Part I deals with chemical applications, Part II covers electrical applications and Part III is devoted to mechanical applications. Part IV illustrates how to apply the Mahalanobis-Taguchi system for purposes of diagnosis in the fields of human performance and medical diagnosis. Part V contains six case studies of software testing and finally in Part VI there are five case studies illustrating on-line engineering. The last part of Section 2 (Application) is headed “Miscellaneous” and refers to the application of experimental regression analysis, which is illustrated by a number of examples.
The concluding section, “Taguchi’s Methods versus Other Quality Philosophies”, starts with a historical sketch on quality efforts in Japan from the Stone Ages till the present times. The next chapter introduces Deming’s quality teachings and concludes that they complement the Taguchi method. The third chapter of Section 3 introduces two methods (TRIZ = theory of inventive problem solving, and Axiomatic Design), which may help to arrive at a robust design. The last three chapters are devoted to testing, to different ways of thinking which arose in the course of the evolution of quality teachings and, finally, to the role of the Taguchi methods in the Six Sigma movement.
There are three appendixes on orthogonal arrays, linear graphs and on-line process control, a glossary and a bibliography of Genichi Taguchi’s publications.

MSC:
62P30 Applications of statistics in engineering and industry; control charts
62-00 General reference works (handbooks, dictionaries, bibliographies, etc.) pertaining to statistics
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