History of Robust Design
Robust Design method is essential to improving
engineering productivity. It was pioneered by Dr.
Genichi Taguchi after the end of the Second World
War. This method has evolved over the last five
decades. Companies around the world have saved
millions of dollars by using the method in diverse
industries such as automobiles, xerography,
telecommunications, electronics, software, etc
Robust has many definitions here are a few
that we found.
A process that does not change with changing
Designing products and processes that are
minimally impacted by external forces such as
environment, customer use, or manufacturing
The Robust Design method can also be called the Taguchi
Method, and was pioneered by Dr. Genichi Taguchi. Robust
Design greatly improves engineering productivity by
consciously considering the noise factors: environmental
variation during the product's usage, manufacturing variation,
and component deterioration. The cost of failure in the Robust
Design method helps ensure customer satisfaction. Robust
Design focuses on improving the fundamental function of the
product or process. Robust Design facilitates flexible designs
and concurrent engineering. It is the most powerful method
available to reduce product cost, improve quality, and reduce
Taguchi’s Quote: “Robust Design: Not just strong. Flexible!
Idiot Proof! Simple! Efficient! A product/process that
produces consistent, high level performance despite being
subjected to a wide range of changing client and
manufacturing conditions (www.amsup.com/robust_design/).”
This approach costs more, takes more time, and isn’t always
This approach allows experiments to be performed and the
product/process becomes insensitive to use-conditions and
other uncontrollable factors (www.orszulik.free-
Problems Using Robust Design
An example of a problem with Robust Design: A team of engineers was
working on the design of a radio receiver for ground to aircraft
communication. This receiver required high reliability, and low bit error
rate for data transmission. Building series of prototypes to sequentially
eliminate problems would be expensive. The other problem was that
computer simulation effort for evaluating a single design was time
consuming and expensive. So, how can you speed up development but
Another example: A manufacturer introduced a high speed copy machine
only to find that the paper feeder jammed almost ten times more frequently
than what was planned. The traditional method for evaluating the reliability
of a single new design idea took several weeks. How can the company
conduct the needed research in a short time and come up with a design that
would not embarrass the company
Robust Design & Engineers
Robust design allows engineers to develop products and
processes which perform as intended through a wide range of
user’s conditions in their life cycle which is durable and
To maximize robustness engineers improve the intended
function of the product and increase their noise to factors
which can lead to a decrease in performance.
Engineers can change the product formulas and process
settings to gain their desired performance level in the shortest
time with the lowest cost.
Engineers can simplify their designs and the process to reduce
the cost (www.amsup.com/robust_design/).
Results from Robust Design
Improvement through quality, reliability, and
Manufacturing cost reduction.
Design cycle time reduction.