Do we have any connection between six sigma or Quality Engineering and OR ? (I mean in methods which are used in these two areas)

asked 10 Nov '11, 13:09

Ram's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Response surface methodology (RSM), mainly a QE tool, could be used in both QE and OR. In QE, RSM could be used similar to DOE but when you have multiple response variables. On the other hand, RSM could be used in OR for dealing with multi-objective optimization problems.

Besides the above, a simple example of using OR in QE would be economic design of control charts in which you have to solve an optimization problem. In addition, a simple example of using QE in OR would be use of DOE and Taguchi methods for tuning design parameters of metaheuristics.


answered 10 Nov '11, 14:50

Ehsan's gravatar image

Ehsan ♦
accept rate: 16%

edited 11 Nov '11, 00:34

its really interesting....thanks for sharing......

(10 Nov '11, 15:54) Ram

Both a colleague and I were teaching basic RSM 30 years ago (it pains me to type that) in the context of optimizing parrameters via simulation, and back then applications were typically in the realm of process yield or cost, not QE (which I don't think existed yet).

(10 Nov '11, 17:07) Paul Rubin ♦♦

@Paul: Thanks. I didn't know RSM existed before modern development of QE as RSM is usually discussed in references related to quality issues. Although, I think the example you were using back then could be considered a QE example now.

(11 Nov '11, 00:36) Ehsan ♦

Quite a few users of Oracle Crystal Ball use it to optimize six-sigma parameters, like Cp_k, Z-LSL etc. These are typically in stochastic (Monte Carlo Simulation) optimization context.

Consider the following example:

As a pump manufacturer, you want to design a pump for a liquid packaging system that draws processed fluids from a vat into jars at a consistent rate. If the flow rate is too fast, the containers overflow with wasted product and downtime for cleaning and repairs. If the rate is too slow, the containers will be under-filled, leading to customer complaints. You observe that your in-house machine shop controls the piston radius and stroke length, while the backflow valve and motor are purchased components. Your machine shop indicates it is capable of 3-sigma quality levels within a tolerance of ±1 millimeter (mm) for the piston radius and stroke length. Your purchasing department asks you to use an inexpensive backflow valve and motor. You want to meet the specified flow rate target and limits while maximizing performance and minimizing costs.

If the above description sounds like it has been copied from somewhere, it is ;-) This is one of our example models to demonstrate stochastic optimization problems.

More information as requested:

  • Law and Kelton's Simulation Modeling and Analysis is a great book. There are other books as well, but I would definitely recommend this.
  • In my blog, I discuss on varieties of aspects about Monte Carlo simulation. Some of the posts are specific to Crystal Ball software, and about other aspects of the software (like, time series forecasting) but there are quite a few posts which are of general nature. You might find it useful.

answered 16 Nov '11, 19:21

Samik%20R.'s gravatar image

Samik R.
accept rate: 2%

edited 16 Nov '11, 19:49

thanks, it was interesting to read about Monte Carlo Simulation, can you suggest me any specific book for Monte Carlo?

(16 Nov '11, 19:38) Ram

I updated my post with a few more links. Hope you find it useful.

(16 Nov '11, 19:50) Samik R.
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Asked: 10 Nov '11, 13:09

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Last updated: 16 Nov '11, 19:50

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