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Pan, Guohua and Santner, Thomas J. (1996): Selection and Screening Procedures to Determine Optimal Product Designs. (REVISED, April 1997). Collaborative Research Center 386, Discussion Paper 52 [PDF, 390kB]


To compare several promising product designs, manufacturers must measure their performance under multiple environmental conditions. In many applications, a product design is considered to be seriously flawed if its performance is poor under any level of the environmental factor. For example, if a particular automobile battery design does not function well under some temperature conditions, then a manufacturer may not want to put this design into production. Thus, in this paper we consider the overall measure of a given product's quality to be its worst performance over the environmental levels. We develop statistical procedures to identify (a near) the optimal product design among a given set of product designs, i.e., the manufacturing design associated with the greatest overall measure of performance. We accomplish this for intuitive procedures based on the split-plot experimental design (and the randomized complete block design as a special case); split-plot designs have the essential structure of a product array and the practical convenience of local randomization. Two classes of statistical procedures are provided. In the first, the delta-best formulation of selection problems, we determine the number of replications of the basic split-plot design that are needed to guarantee, with a given confidence level, the selection of a product design whose minimum performance is within a specified amount, delta, of the performance of the optimal product design. In particular, if the difference between the quality of the best and 2nd best manufacturing designs is delta or more, then the procedure guarantees that the best design will be selected with specified probability. For applications where a split-plot experiment involving several product designs has been completed without the planning required of the delta-best formulation, we provide procedures to construct a "confidence subset" of the manufacturing designs; the selected subset contains the optimal product design with a prespecified confidence level. The latter is called the subset selection formulation of selection problems. Examples are provided to illustrate the procedures.

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