Case Studies and White Papers

Published: June 2024
Author: Mark Anderson

Fun and educational science projects for children and/or adults that demonstrate the value of design of experiments. Originally published Jan 2021; updated Jun 2024.

Publication: Stat-Ease, Inc.

Design of Experiments

Published: May 2024
Authors: Mark Anderson, Martin Bezener

Updated version for 2024. Originally published in 2010.

The statistical design of experiments is an essential ingredient of successful product development and improvement, and provides an efficient and scientific approach to obtaining meaningful information. In contrast to traditional vary one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) experimentation, variables are changed together, permitting evaluation of interactions. Standard texts give details about the construction of specific test plans, such full and fractional factorial, and response surface designs, and the analysis of the resulting data. This article gives a brief overview. The focus here is on the fundamental elements of experimental design: defining the purpose and scope of the experiment, differentiating between alternative types of experimental variables, understanding the underlying environment and constraints, and conducting stage-wise experimentation. Brief discussions dealing with the statistical analysis tools, multiple response variables, and some historical background are also provided.

Publication: Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Published: May 2021
Author: Mark Anderson

This article details a delightful experiment that can be done at home or in class to illustrate the advantage of multifactor testing over the traditional one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) scientific method. It uncovers multiple interactions that surprisingly cancel out OFAT main effects.

Publication: Quality Progress

Published: January 2021
Author: Mark Anderson

Energized by new tools in version 13 of Design-Expert (DX13) for modeling counts, Engineering Consultant Mark Anderson tests a cellphone app against built-in timing on his microwave for minimizing unpopped kernels (UPK). DX13 paves the way to nearly perfect popcorn via its Poisson-regression count-modeling capability.

Published: June 2020
Author: Mark Anderson

Ever-increasing demand for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) makes it imperative that their production be continually improved for cost, quality and yield. Design of experiments (DOE), by its multifactor testing methodology and statistical rigor, provides a sure path to mAb process optimization. This was demonstrated recently in a series of tests at a biotechnology company. By using the tools of DOE versus the traditional scientific method of one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) experimentation, its mission was achieved in a matter of weeks rather than months with a far more comprehensive mapping of process conditions.

Know the SCOR for Multifactor Strategy of Experimentation: Screening, Characterization, Optimization and Ruggedness Testing

Published: April 2019
Author: Mark Anderson

By way of example, this article lays out a strategy for design of experiments (DOE) that provides maximum efficiency and effectiveness for development of a robust system. It broadens the scope of a prior article (Anderson and Whitcomb 2014) that spelled out how to right-size multifactor tests via statistical power-calculations—a prerequisite for DOE success.

Publication: The ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation

Modern DOE Doubles Medical-Device Production Rate at Half the Variation

Published: January 2019
Author: Mark Anderson

Engineers at a major medical device manufacturer used RSM to successfully model a key process for their flagship product. The RSM model then became the foundation for development of robust specifications to ensure quality at six-sigma levels.

Published: February 2018
Author: Mark Anderson

An industrial equipment supplier made great improvements to their corn-ethanol measurement process using DOE.

Publication: Laboratory Equipment

Published: February 2018
Author: Mark Anderson

Because interactions abound in the coatings industry, the multifactor and multicomponent test matrices provided by the design of experiments (DOE) approach is very appealing. However, carrying out DOE correctly requires that runs be randomized whenever possible to counteract the bias that may be introduced by time-related trends, such as aging of materials, increasing humidity, and the like. But what if complete randomization proves to be inconvenient or impossible? In this case, a specialized form of design called “split plot” becomes attractive because of its ability to effectively group hard-to-change (HTC) factors. A split plot accommodates both HTC factors and those factors that are easy to change (ETC).

Publication: CoatingsTech

Published: September 2016
Author: Mark Anderson

Carrying out a DOE correctly requires that runs be randomized whenever possible to counteract the bias that may be introduced by time-related trends. If complete randomization proves to be impossible, however, a specialized form of design—called a split plot—is useful because of its ability to effectively group hard-to-change (HTC) factors. It accommodates both HTC and easy-to-change (ETC) factors in the design.

Publication: Chemical Engineering