Using the Plackett-Burman Family of Designed Experiments for Troubleshooting Process Controls

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When trouble arises in today's complex manufacturing processes, the process engineer needs to react quickly. Many times the engineer is faced with dozens, if not hundreds, of process control options to change. Using designed experiments as a tool for troubleshooting can be very effective and save both time and money in the process.

The Plackett-Burman family of designed experiments can be an effective tool to aid the process engineer in troubleshooting, for example, Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold, as it allows one to separate the "vital few" factors from the "trivial many." The process engineer must keep in mind that statistics are only tools to help us; they don't replace the engineer's skill, experience, and intelligence.

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