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Quality engineering of a traction alternator by robust design

Acharya, U. H. and Gijo, E. V. and Antony, J. (2010) Quality engineering of a traction alternator by robust design. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 224 (2). pp. 297-304. ISSN 0954-4054

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Abstract

Robust design is an engineering methodology for improving productivity during research and development so that high-quality products can be developed and produced quickly and at low cost. A large electrical company was developing traction alternators for a diesel electrical engine. Customer requirement was to obtain very high efficiency which, in turn, was influenced by several design parameters. The usual approach of the 'design-build-test' cycle was considered time-consuming and costly; it used to take anywhere from 4 months to 1 year before finalizing the product design parameters as it involved physical assembly and also testing. Instead, the authors used Taguchi's parameter design approach. This approach took about 8 weeks to arrive at optimum design parameter values; clearly demonstrating the cutting edge of this methodology over the traditional design-build-test approach. The prototype built and tested accordingly gave satisfactory overall performance, meeting and even exceeding customer requirements.