This week I'm at the American Society for Quality's World
Conference on Quality and Improvement in Nashville, TN. The ASQ
conference is a great opportunity to see how quality professionals
are tackling problems in every industry, from beverage distribution
to banking services.
Given my statistical bent, I like to see how companies apply
tools like ANOVA, regression, and especially... Continue Reading
As a Minitab
trainer, one of the most common questions I get from training
participants is "what should I do when my data isn’t normal?" A
large number of statistical tests are based on the assumption of
normality, so not having data that is normally distributed
typically instills a lot of fear.
Many practitioners suggest that if your data are not normal, you
should do a nonparametric version of... Continue Reading
2016 presidential race is becoming more real. We’ve had several
announcements with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton, and Marco
Rubio officially entering the race to be President. While the
prospective Democratic candidates are down to one, or at most a
few, the Republican field is extra-large this election cycle. The
first order of business for a GOP candidate is to survive the
nomination... Continue Reading
As a member of Minitab's Technical Support team, I get the
opportunity to work with many people using DOE (Design of
People often will call after they've already chosen their
design, run the experiment, and
identified the important factors in their process. But
now what? They have to find the best settings, but with
several factors and responses, what should they do?
"I wish I had
a... Continue Reading
Imagine that you are watching a race and that you are located
close to the finish line. When the first and fastest runners
complete the race, the differences in times between them will
probably be quite small.
Now wait until the last runners arrive and consider their
finishing times. For these slowest runners, the differences in
completion times will be extremely large. This is due to the fact
that... Continue Reading
Suppose that you have designed a brand new product with many
improved features that well help create a much better customer
experience. Now you must ensure that it is manufactured
according to the best quality and reliability standards, so that it
gets the excellent long-term reputation it deserves from potential
customers. You need to move quickly and seamlessly from Research
and Development into... Continue Reading
now I’m enjoying my daily dose of morning joe. As the steam rises
off the cup, the dark rich liquid triggers a powerful enzyme
cascade that jump-starts my brain and central nervous system,
delivering potent glints of perspicacity into the dark crevices of
my still-dormant consciousness.
Feels good, yeah! But is it good for me? Let’s see what the
Drinking more than 4 cups of coffee... Continue Reading
As someone who has
collected and analyzed real data for a living, the idea of
using simulated data for a Monte Carlo simulation sounds a bit odd.
How can you improve a real product with simulated data? In this
post, I’ll help you understand the methods behind Monte Carlo
simulation and walk you through a simulation example using
What is Devize, you ask? Devize is Minitab's
exciting new,... Continue Reading
You may have been in a situation where you had created a general
full factorial design and noticed that your design’s run size was
higher than you imagined. (Quick refresher: a general full
factorial design is an experimental design where any factor can
have more than 2 levels).
Determined to minimize the monstrous size of your worksheet, you
go back to Stat > DOE > Factorial > Create
Factorial... Continue Reading
I really can’t make this stuff up.
I wrote a post a couple of years ago entitled: “How
to Talk to Your Kids about Six Sigma and Quality
Improvement,” in which I lamented about “Community Hero”
day in my daughter’s 1st grade class and the need to
explain to her why I wasn’t at the "community-hero-level" of
Maggie’s Mommy, the pediatrician.
Well, now it's two years later and my son, Thomas, is in... Continue Reading
Last fall I had a birthday. It wasn’t one of those tougher
birthdays where the number ends in a zero. Still, the birthday got
me thinking. In response, I told myself, age is just a number. Then
I did a mental double-take. Can a statistician say that? After all,
numbers are how I understand the world and the way it works.
Can age just be a number? After some musing, I concluded that
age is just a... Continue Reading
by Jasmin Wong, guest blogger
Part 1 of this two-part blog post discusses the issues and
challenges in injection moulding and suggests using simulation
software and the statistical method called Design of Experiments
(DOE) to speed development and boost quality. This part presents a
case study that illustrates this approach.
Preliminary Fill and Designed Experiment
This case study considers the... Continue Reading
by Jasmin Wong, guest blogger
The combination of statistical methods and injection
moulding simulation software gives manufacturers a
powerful way to predict moulding defects and to
develop a robust moulding process at the part design
CAE (computer-aided engineering) is widely used in the injection
moulding industry today to improve product and mould designs as
well as to resolve or... Continue Reading
statistical techniques to optimize manufacturing processes is
quite common now, but using the same approach on social topics is
still an innovative approach. For example, if our objective is to
improve student academic performances, should we increase teachers
wages or would it be better to reduce the number of students
in a class?
topics (the effect of increasing the minimum... Continue Reading
Screening experimental designs allow you to study a very large
number of factors in a very limited number of runs. The objective
is to focus on the few factors that have a real effect and
eliminate the effects that are not significant. This is often the
initial typical objective of any experimenter when a
DOE (design of experiments) is performed.
Table of Factorial Designs
Consider the table below.... Continue Reading
by Lion "Ari" Ondiappan Arivazhagan, guest blogger
India, we've seen this story far too many times in recent
Timmanna Hatti, a six-year old boy, was trapped in a 160-feet
borewell for more than 5 days in Sulikeri village of Bagalkot
district in Karnataka after falling into the well. Perhaps the most
heartbreaking aspect of the situation was the decision of the
Bagalkot district... Continue Reading
I caught the end of Toy Story over the weekend, which is
definitely one of my all-time favorite children’s movies.
Now—unfortunately or fortunately—I can’t get Randy Newman's theme
song,“You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” out of my head!
It's also got me thinking about the nature of friendship, and
how "best friends forever" are supposed to always be there when you
need them. And, not to get too maudlin... Continue Reading
NOTE: This story will reveal how easy it can
be to optimize settings using the statistical method called Design
of Experiments, but it won't provide easy answers for making your
own office coffee any better.
her team’s ultimatum about the wretched office coffee, Jill used
the design-of-experiments (DOE) tool in Minitab 17’s Assistant to
design and analyze a screening study. Jill now knew... Continue Reading
NOTE: This story reveals how easy it can be
to identify important factors using the statistical method called
Design of Experiments. It won't provide easy answers for making
your own office's coffee any better, but it will show you how you
can begin identifying the critical factors that contribute to its
their weekly meeting, her team gave Jill an ultimatum: Make the
The... Continue Reading
by Iván Alfonso, guest blogger
a huge fan of hot cakes—they are my favorite dessert ever. I’ve
been cooking them for over 15 years, and over that time I’ve
noticed many variation in textures, flavor, and thickness.
Personally, I like fluffy pancakes.
There are many brands of hotcake mix on the market, all with
very similar formulations. So I decided to investigate which
ingredients and inputs... Continue Reading
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