Engineering Design in Production Operations Lab #3: Paper Pickup Truck Six Sigma
Your team has recently been hired by High School Hijinks Inc. (HSHI) to develop a better design for the paper Pickup Truck from Lab 1. According to HSHI’s initial analysis “better” appears to be defined by their customers as a Pickup Truck that can travel the maximum horizontal distance when “launched” from an inclined ramp. (Note: neither the ramp nor the human user should provide any force upon launch; gravity should be the only force).
Your team has decided to use Six Sigma to improve this process. (Note: this problem could also be considered Design for Six Sigma, DFSS. However, I want you to apply the DMAIC process as further discussed below). You can make any modifications to the initial Pickup Truck design. However, you cannot use any materials in the design other than the original materials (paper, toothpicks, and tape). In addition, the ramp can be made of any material (e.g., board, textbook, etc.) and can be a smooth or curved surface, as long as it does not provide any additional external force on the Pickup Truck (i.e., gravity is the only force). You can also use blocks, books, etc. to prop up the ramp if you like, although this is not required (e.g., you can instead hold the ramp). See below for one possible design for the ramp. Pickup Truck
1• Define – In the define phase, your team should develop a project charter to describe the problem and your
team’s objectives. (0.5% of course grade, 0.35% = technical accuracy/logical coherence, 0.15% = writing/presentation quality)
2• Measure –
In the measure phase, describe the initial design of your Pickup Truck (the same design as was used in Lab 1) in both qualitative and quantitative terms (e.g., citing relevant dimensions). In describing your Pickup Truck design, make sure to include photos or diagrams of the design (before and after improvement phases).
Next, develop an operational definition of “maximum horizontal distance traveled” using the template presented in class. Then, using the initial design of the Pickup Truck, launch ten (10) practice rounds and record the maximum horizontal distance the Pickup Truck traveled each round.
(1.5% of course grade, 1.05% = technical accuracy/logical coherence, 0.45% = writing/presentation quality)
3• Analyze – In the analyze phase, your team should do the following analyses: i. Exploratory – Using the data for the 10 practice rounds (see above), report the maximum
horizontal distance traveled on each round and calculate the average distance traveled, as well as the standard deviation of the distance. Report this data in a table, as well as a run chart. (0.5% of course grade, 0.35% = technical accuracy/logical coherence, 0.15% = writing/presentation quality);
- Generating Hypotheses - Develop a cause-and-effect diagram indicating the factors which may impact the distance the Pickup Truck can travel. Identify which factors you expect will have the most impact and why. (1.0% of course grade, 0.70% = technical accuracy/logical coherence, 0.30% = writing/presentation quality);
iii. Validating or eliminating causes - Conduct a single-factor design of experiments using two (2) levels of what you believe to be the most influential factor with 10 launches at each level. Report the 2 results using appropriate stratified data graphs and/or tables, analyze the data and interpret the findings. Then, select a second factor from the cause-and-effect diagram. Indicate why this factor was selected. Perform a two-factor design of experiments with this factor and the previous factor (if the previous factor was significant – otherwise, select a third factor to use). You should use two (2) levels of one factor and three (3) levels of the other factor, but it is up to you to determine which factor gets two levels and which gets three. Use 10 launches for each set of conditions (combination of factor levels). (Note: do not reuse data from the single-factor experiment; collect new data for this experiment). Report the results using appropriate stratified data graphs and/or tables, analyze the data and interpret the findings. (4.5% of course grade, 3.15% = technical accuracy/logical coherence, 1.35% = writing/presentation quality; experiment 1 = 1.5%, experiment 2 = 3.0%).
4• Improve – In the improve phase, based on the previous phases, your team should propose and test changes to
the Pickup Truck design. In proposing changes, your team should use an impact/effort matrix or decision matrix to analyze at least two alternatives.
Conduct 10 more trials using your final design and report the results using appropriate tables and graphs. Describe how satisfied your team was with the results and why you were/were not satisfied. If you were not very satisfied, describe what other modifications you think might be necessary – or what investigations you might undertake next to identify additional possible modifications. (1.5% of course grade, 1.05% = technical accuracy/logical coherence, 0.45% = writing/presentation quality).
5• Control – In the control phase, your team should describe what monitoring steps
you would propose to use to manage the quality of your final design on an ongoing basis. Develop and describe at least 3 monitoring strategies (e.g., measures to be tracked including frequency, etc.). (0.5% of course grade, 0.35% = technical accuracy/logical coherence, 0.15% = writing/presentation quality).
- Also, on the first submission only, your team can receive up to 0.5% in bonus points for professionalism in the presentation of your report (cover page, table of contents, introduction, conclusion, headings, captions on figures and tables, page numbers, etc.). Note: a lack of professionalism within the sections above may result in deductions from the writing/presentation quality points for those sections. One last hint: spellcheck and grammar check are not perfect, but it’s always a good idea to run them on your reports.
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