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Composites
Journal of Reinforced Plastics and
http://jrp.sagepub.com/content/27/8/819
The online version of this article can be found at:

DOI: 10.1177/0731684407084988
2008
2008 27: 819 originally published online 31 January Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites
Yung-Kuang Yang, Jie-Ren Shie, Hsin-Te Liao, Jeong-Lian Wen and Rong-Tai Yang
for Polypropylene Components
A Study of Taguchi and Design of Experiments Method in Injection Molding Process

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A Study of Taguchi and Design of Experiments
Method in Injection Molding Process for
Polypropylene Components
YUNG-KUANG YANG,* JIE-REN SHIE, HSIN-TE LIAO,
JEONG-LIAN WEN AND RONG-TAI YANG
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Ming Hsin University of Science and Technology
Hsin Feng, 304, Hsinchu, Taiwan
ABSTRACT: This study analyzes contour distortions, wear mass losses and tensile properties of
polypropylene (PP) composite components applied to the interior coffer of automobiles. The
specimens are prepared under different injection molding conditions by changing melting
temperatures, injection speeds, and injection pressures via three computer-controlled progressive
strokes. The contour distortions, wear and tensile properties are selected as quality targets.
The arrangement of sixteen experiments is based on an orthogonal array table. Both the Taguchi
method and the design of experiments (DOE) method are applied to determine an optimal parameter
setting. In addition, a side-by-side comparison of two different approaches is provided. In this study,
regression models that link the controlled parameters and the targeted outputs are developed, and
the mathematic models can be utilized to predict the contour distortions, wear and tensile properties
at various injection molding conditions.
KEY WORDS: contour distortions, wear mass losses, tensile strength, injection molding, Taguchi,
DOE, optimization.
INTRODUCTION
R
ECENTLY, BY USING the polypropylene (PP) with a new catalyst, metallocene,
the production efficiency and the properties of fibers have been greatly improved.
Besides, with the benefit of low production costs, PP becomes popular in various
applications such as consumer electronic products, automotive components, the chemical
industry, and raw materials for packing and sealing, etc.
The mechanical properties of PP composites have been studied intensively, mostly
through experiments. Chien et al. [1] investigated the effects of molding factors on the
mechanical properties of injection molded foaming PP parts and coinjection molding
PP parts of foaming core material embedded in non-foaming skin material.
The controlling parameters were the injection velocity, the melting temperature, the
molding temperature and the back-pressure; the quality targets of the parts were the
weights and mechanical properties such as the tensile strength, the flexural strength and
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: yky@must.edu.tw
Figures 2 and 4 appear in color online: http://jrp.sagepub.com
Journal of REINFORCED PLASTICS AND COMPOSITES, Vol. 27, No. 8/2008 819
0731-6844/08/08 081916 $10.00/0 DOI: 10.1177/0731684407084988
SAGE Publications 2008
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore
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the stiffness. Ismail and Suryadiansyah [2] examined the degree of degradations on the
tensile and morphological properties of the PP/natural rubber (NR) and the PP/recycled
rubber (RR) blended at different rubber contents. With similar rubber contents and
degradation conditions, PP/RR blends exhibited a higher percentage of retention of the
tensile strength and the Youngs modulus but a lower elongation at break than the PP/NR
blends. Sain et al. [3] studied the mechanical properties of the tensile, the flexural and
the un-notched impact strength of the PP composites with a variety of natural fibers
such as old newsprint, kraft pulp, hemp, and glass fibers. Yao et al. [4] considered
large deformation behavior of two commercial biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP)
resins with different processing properties under high temperatures and high strain
rate conditions by means of a Meissner rheometer. Modesti et al. [5] inspected the
influence of processing conditions on the nano-composites structure, i.e., intercalated or
exfoliated, and on the enhancement of mechanical properties of the PP nano-composites.
In order to optimize the process parameters, both the screw speed and the barrel
temperature profile were varied. In addition, Yang et al. [6] applied the design of
experiments (DOE) method on the optimization of the injection molding process for the
contour distortions of PP components. The developed regression models can be utilized
to predict the contour distortions at each location under different injection molding
conditions.
This study applied Taguchis L
16
(2
4
) orthogonal table to plan the experiments.
Nine controlling factors with two levels for each factor were selected. The contour
distortions, wear mass losses and the tensile strengths are the three selected quality
objectives. Typically, lower contour distortions, lower wear mass losses, and higher tensile
strengths in the PP components are desirable for products by the injection molding
process. For each experiment, the Taguchi method is used to calculate a normalized S/N
ratio, which represents the quality characteristic of the considered processes. Choosing the
largest possible S/N ratio then identifies an optimal process parameter level/factor
combination. For side-by-side comparison purposes, regression models that relate the
desired outputs and the significant factors are established through the DOE approach;
furthermore, an optimized parameter setting is then determined from those regression
equations.
TAGUCHI EXPERIMENTS AND DESIGN OF EXPERIMENTS METHOD
Taguchi Method
The Taguchi method is a novel approach for improving quality, which applies several
statistical concepts to quality engineering. The factorial experimental design developed
by Taguchi concentrates on reducing variation in the presence of noises. These
experiments are established using orthogonal arrays. The Taguchi method combines the
effects of each noise factor and calculates a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ratio) for each
experiment. The Taguchi method has been used successfully in several industrial
applications, such as manufacturing processes, mechanical component designs, and
process optimizations [711].
Depending on the objective, there are three different varieties for the Taguchi method as
define the signalnoise (S/N) ratios, which are the nominal-the-better, larger-the-better,
and smaller-the-better. The utilization of a mean square deviation can be considered,
calculating the average performance characteristic values for each experiment.
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Three different S/N ratios, corresponding to n experiments, are presented as follows.
Nominal-the-better:
S
Nratio
10 log
1
n
X
n
i1
y
i
m
2
" #
10 log y m
2
S
2

: 1
Larger-the-better:
S
Nratio
10 log
1
n
X
n
i1
1
y
2
i
!
: 2
Smaller-the-better:
S
Nratio
10 log
1
n
X
n
i1
y
2
i
!
10 log y
2

3
where S at the right-hand-side of the equation (1), denotes the standard deviation; y
i
the
experimental data; n the number of performed experiments; m is a targeted value.
Design of Experiments (DOE) Method
The DOE method has been widely applied to various fields: Chao and Hwang [12]
proposed an improved Taguchi method for milling CFRP composite; Puertas and Luis
[13] optimized the machining parameters for electrical discharge machining of boron
carbide via the DOE method; Lin and Chananda [14] improved the injection molding
quality by four-factor full-factorial design; Yang [15] implemented the DOE to determine
the optimal parameters of photo resist coating process for photolithography in wafer
manufacturing; and so on.
By the DOE approach, the objective is to identify an optimal setting that minimizes the
measured average distortion and the mass loss under wear conditions as well as maximizes
the tensile strength for the PP produced components. To resolve this type of multi-output
parameter design problem, an objective function, F(x), is defined as follows [16]:
DF
Y
n
i1
d
w
i
i
!
1

P
n
j1
w
i
Fx DF
4
where the d
i
is the desirability defined for the ith targeted output; the w
i
is the weighting of
the d
i
. For various goals of each targeted output, the desirability, d
i
, is defined in different
forms. If a goal is to reach a specific value of T
i
, the desirability d
i
is:
d
i
0 if Y
i
<

Low
i
d
i

Y
i
Low
i
T
i
Low
i

if Low
i
< Y
i
< T
i
d
i

Y
i
High
i
T
i
High
i

if T
i
< Y
i
< High
i
d
i
0 if Y
i
>

High
i
: 5
Taguchi and Design of Experiments in Injection Molding 821
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For a goal to find a maximum, the desirability is shown as follows:
d
i
0 if Y
i
<

Low
i
d
i

Y
i
Low
i
High
i
Low
i

if Low
i
< Y
i
< High
i
d
i
1 if Y
i
>

High
i
: 6
For a goal to search for a minimum, the desirability can be defined by the following
formulas:
d
i
1 if Y
i
<

Low
i
d
i

High
i
Y
i
High
i
Low
i

if Low
i
< Y
i
< High
i
d
i
0 if Y
i
>

High
i
7
where the Y
i
is the found value of the i
th
output during optimization processes; and the
Low
i
and the High
i
are the minimum and the maximum values of the experimental data for
the ith output. In the Equation (4), the w
i
is set to one since the d
i
is equally important in this
study. The DF is a combined desirability function [16], and the objective is to choose an
optimal setting that maximizes a combined desirability function DF, i.e., minimize F(x).
Steps for Parameter Optimization
The following steps are the processes for the parameter optimization by both the
Taguchi method and the DOE approach:
Step 1. Use the orthogonal array table of Taguchi method to design and conduct the
experiments.
Step 2. Use S/N analysis to obtain an optimal setting that minimizes the contour
distortions and wear mass losses as well maximizes tensile strengths for the
Taguchi method.
Step 3. Use DOE analysis to model the relationship between the controlled param-
eters and targeted outputs via regression equations. An optimal setting is
then identified by maximizing a combined desirability function that balances the
desirability of each output.
Step 4. Compare and verify the optimal solutions of two different approaches by
additional experiments.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE AND TEST RESULTS
Material
A commercial high heat and high stiff type of CP-28 PP compounds from STAR
ONE Co. (Taiwan) is the studied material. The basic physical properties are listed as
follows: density of 1.1 g/cm
3
, tensile strength of 20 MPa (under room temperature),
flexural strength of 34 MPa (under room temperature), hardness of 82 Rockwell, and
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heat distortion temperature of 1248C, respectively. To remove excessive moisture,
the composite was heated to 808C for 2 hours before the injection molding process.
Schematic of a Specimen
Figure 1 shows the dimensions of a desired final product. It is one of the decorative
components used in the automobile interior. Since a smooth transition between this
part and the applied area is crucial for cosmetic purposes, Yang et al. [6] minimize
the product contour distortions at six locations through properly chosen process
parameters. For practical usage of products, two additional critical quality targets, such
as the wear mass losses and the tensile strength are included in this study since a long
product lifetime is desirable. The experiments were carried out on a computerized
reciprocating screw injection molding machine with the capability of a maximum
injection pressure of 170 MPa, an injection rate of 130 cm
3
/sec, and a maximum clamp
force of 1334 kN.
Experimental Parameters and Design
The product quality produced by the injection molding is always affected by the process
parameters, including the cooling time, the injection pressure, the injection speed, the
filling time, the melting temperature, the ejecting pressure, the molding temperature, the
packing pressure, the geometric shape of the mold, material properties of the melting
molds, the melting speed, and the heat transfer action of flow field, etc. The influences of
the injection molding variables (conditions) on the physical and mechanical properties of
thermoplastics have been studied by researchers [1,5,6,9,14,17]. For a preliminary study,
the injection molding parameters were simulated by C-MOLD

software to identify some


crucial settings.
Tensile specimen
Wear specimen
t = 2mm
Unit = mm
Figure 1. Configurations of a specimen.
Taguchi and Design of Experiments in Injection Molding 823
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In Figure 2, enhanced ribs are added to eliminate the distortions of the components,
although reducing the thickness of parts is one of the common practices to save production
costs. Based on the simulation results from C-MOLD

, using three progressive strokes can


lower the probability of the short injection. Figure 3 illustrates an injection molding setup,
with which two components are produced for each injection channel per molding cycle.
Table 1 lists the experimental factors and factor levels of the injection molding conditions
based on the C-MOLD

simulation. The melting temperature H1 (i.e., A/8C), the injection


speed ratio (i.e., B/%), and the injection pressure ratio (i.e., C/%) are the factors for
the first progressive stroke. The melting temperature H2 (i.e., D/8C), the injection speed
ratio (i.e., E/%), and the injection pressure ratio (i.e., F/%) are the factors of the second

(a) (b)
Injection port
Rib
Figure 2. Photos of a specimen: (a) Exterior; (b) Interior.
Injection stroke
Injection port
Injection port
Ha Hb H1 H2 H3
Ha Hb H1 H2 H3
Figure 3. Schematic shows the injection molding setup.
Table 1. Experimental factors and factor levels.
Experimental factors for three progressive strokes
First stroke Second stroke Third stroke
Levels of experimental
factors A (8C) B (%) C (%) D (8C) E (%) F (%) G (8C) H (%) I (%)
1 200 20 25 200 20 35 200 20 25
2 210 30 30 210 30 40 210 30 30
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progressive stroke. Similarly, the factors of the third progressive stroke are the melting
temperature H3 (i.e., G/8C), the injection speed ratio (i.e., H/%), and the injection pressure
ratio (i.e., I/%).
Table 2 lists sixteen runs based on an orthogonal array L
16
(2
4
), consisting of
nine experimental factors with two levels for each factor. Simultaneously, the cut-away
portions of specimens for wear and tensile tests are also illustrated in Figure 1.
Additionally, the melting temperatures of Ha and Hb are set to 40 and 508C,
respectively; the mold temperature is 608C with a packing pressure of 40 MPa. All these
factors are fixed and computer-controlled during the injection molding process.
TEST RESULTS
Contour Distortion Measurement
The amounts of distortion at six critical locations specified by the customers
are measured by a precision digimatic caliper (series 500, Mitutoyo Co.) with 10 mm
resolution. Figure 1 shows the dimensions of a specimen and six critical locations that have
been selected to measure the amount of distortions. The average distortion measurement
of at six locations is given in Table 2.
Wear Tests
The wear tests were carried out with a Schwingung Reibung and Verschleiss
(SRV, manufactured by Optimol Instruments Pru ftechnik GmbH; Mu nchen, Germany)
oscillation friction wear tester. The dimensions of the wear test specimens were
15 mm15 mm2.45 mm and cut directly from the on-line product of the injection
molding process. The SRV wear tests were performed in ball-on-plane contact with
a load of 60 N. The ball was a chromium steel ball (AISI E52100) of 10 mm in diameter
Table 2. Orthogonal array L
16
(2
4
) of the experimental runs and results.
First stroke Second stroke Third stroke
Run no. A B C D E F G H I d (mm) r (MPa) "m (mg)
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.078 22.35 2.3
2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 0.085 28.11 2.3
3 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 0.057 26.38 2.3
4 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 0.233 28.49 2.1
5 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 0.160 23.00 2.0
6 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 0.150 23.20 2.1
7 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 0.115 26.75 2.5
8 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 0.073 26.28 2.4
9 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 0.195 26.32 2.6
10 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 1 0.060 25.95 2.8
11 2 1 2 2 1 2 1 1 2 0.178 26.88 1.3
12 2 1 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 0.145 29.12 1.3
13 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 0.255 25.31 2.3
14 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 0.293 28.37 1.9
15 2 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 2 0.215 28.42 2.5
16 2 2 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 0.115 28.13 1.9
Taguchi and Design of Experiments in Injection Molding 825
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with an average hardness of 62 2 HRC. The applied stroke was 2 mm with a test
frequency of 20 Hz and test duration of 15 min, respectively. It yielded a total sliding
distance of 72 m under the selected testing parameters. The mass loss (i.e., m) was
measured after each wear test. The experimental results are listed in Table 2.
Tensile Tests
The tensile stress has a definite correlation with the tensile test. Figure 1 shows
the location of the cut tensile test specimen. Using the ASTM D63891 specification, the
test was performed with a 25 kN computerized MTS model 810 closed-loop servo-
hydraulic system (manufactured by MTS Systems Co.; MN, USA) at a speed of 1 mm/min
under the room temperature. The specimens were monotonically loaded in tension until
fracture. Software was employed to control the procedure and continuously record
the load and the compliance displacement. The calculated tensile stresses (i.e., ) are listed
in Table 2.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Taguchi Results
The Taguchi method can be employed to obtain an optimal process parameter
level/factor combination. It applies the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio to represent the quality
characteristic and an optimal setting will have the largest possible S/N ratio.
In this study, typically, PP products with small contour distortions and wear mass losses
as well as large tensile strengths are desirable. Therefore, the smaller-the-better S/N ratio
formula (i.e., Equation (3)) is chosen for both the contour distortion and the wear mass
loss. In addition, the larger-the-better S/N ratio formula (i.e., Equation (2)) is applied for
the tensile strength.
Table 3 presents the calculated S/N ratios by the Taguchi method, while Table 4 lists the
S/N ratio for different levels of controlled factors. In Table 4, A
2
, B
1
, C
2
, D
2
, E
1
, F
2
, G
1
,
H
2
and I
1
represent the largest S/N ratios for factors A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I,
respectively. Consequently, A
2
B
1
C
2
D
2
E
1
F
2
G
1
H
2
J
1
is an optimal parameter combination
of the injection molding process. Namely, this setting yields a combination of the melting
temperature of 2108C (i.e., A), the injection speed ratio of 20% (i.e., B), and the injection
pressure ratio of 30% (i.e., C) for the first progressive stroke; the melting temperature
2108C (i.e., D), the injection speed ratio of 20% (i.e., E), and the injection pressure ratio of
40% (i.e., F) for the second progressive stroke; the factors of the third progressive stroke
are the melting temperature of 2008C (i.e., G), the injection speed ratio of 30% (i.e., H),
and the injection pressure ratio of 25% (i.e., I).
DOE Results
DEFINITION OF AN OBJECTIVE FUNCTION
The experimental results of contour distortions ( in mm), wear mass losses (m in mg)
and tensile stresses ( in MPa) are listed in Table 2. The objective of this study is to identify
an optimal setting that gives a minimized average contour distortion at six critical
locations and a minimized mass loss as well as a maximized tensile stress. The found
optimal solution would have to strike the balance between these three-targeted outputs.
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Hence, Equation (7) will be selected as a desirability function form for minimizing the
average contour distortion and the mass loss. On the other hand, Equation (6) is suitable
for maximizing the tensile stress. Furthermore, these individual desirability functions are
rolled into Equation (4) as a combined desirability function. More details can be found in
the Myerss book [16].
ANOVA RESULTS
The analysis of variance (ANOVA) is conducted and the results are shown in Table 5(a),
(b) and (c). A Model F Value is calculated from a model mean square divided by
a residual mean square. It is a test comparing a model variance with a residual variance.
If the variances are close to the same, the ratio will be close to one and it is less likely that
any of the factors have a significant effect on the response. As for a Model P Value,
if the Model P Value is very small (less than 0.05) then the terms in the model have
a significant effect on the response [16]. Similarly, an F Value on any individual factor
terms is calculated from a term mean square divided by a residual mean square. It is a test
that compares a term variance with a residual variance. If the variances are close to the
same, the ratio will be close to one and it is less likely that the term has a significant effect
on the response. Furthermore, if a P Value of any model terms is very small (less than
0.05), the individual terms in the model have a significant effect on the response.
Table 5(a) shows the ANOVA result of the . A Model F Value of 8.33 with a Model
P Value of 0.0089 implies that the selected model is significant and there is only a 0.89%
Table 3. S/N ratios of Taguchi experimental results.
S/N Ratio(dB) Normalized
Run no. d r "m d r "m Total
1 22.1211 26.9848 52.7654 0.8031 0.0000 0.2564 1.0594
2 21.4116 28.9765 52.7654 0.7534 0.8664 0.2564 1.8762
3 24.9334 28.4240 52.7654 1.0000 0.6261 0.2564 1.8824
4 12.6405 29.0939 53.5556 0.1392 0.9175 0.3749 1.4316
5 15.9176 27.2330 53.9794 0.3687 0.1080 0.4385 0.9152
6 16.4782 27.3097 53.5556 0.4079 0.1413 0.3749 0.9242
7 18.7860 28.5468 52.0412 0.5695 0.6795 0.1477 1.3967
8 22.6940 28.3914 52.3958 0.8432 0.6119 0.2009 1.6560
9 14.1993 28.4044 51.7005 0.2483 0.6175 0.0966 0.9625
10 24.4370 28.2812 51.0568 0.9652 0.5639 0.0000 1.5292
11 14.9753 28.5887 57.7211 0.3027 0.6977 1.0000 2.0004
12 16.7726 29.2836 57.7211 0.4285 1.0000 1.0000 2.4285
13 11.8692 28.0645 52.7654 0.0852 0.4697 0.2564 0.8112
14 10.6528 29.0575 54.4249 0.0000 0.9017 0.5054 1.4071
15 13.3512 29.0721 52.0412 0.1890 0.9080 0.1477 1.2447
16 18.7860 28.9849 54.4249 0.5695 0.8701 0.5054 1.9450
Table 4. A response table for S/N ratios.
Factor A B C D E F G H I
Level 1 1.3927 1.6463 1.4572 1.1856 1.5492 1.4587 1.5795 1.2841 1.6029
Level 2 1.5411 1.2875 1.4766 1.7482 1.3846 1.4751 1.3543 1.6497 1.3309
Taguchi and Design of Experiments in Injection Molding 827
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chance that the Model F Value could occur due to noise. A P Value for the model
term A (the melting temperature at the first progressive stroke) is 0.0070, which is less
than 0.05, indicating that the model term A is significant. Similarly, the model term B
(the speed ratio at the first progressive stroke) and F (the pressure ratio at the second
progressive stroke) are also significant. There are two interaction interactions of factors,
CH and GJ, which have impact on the . According to the hierarchy principle [18],
the terms C (the pressure ratio at the first progressive stroke), G, H, and I (the
melting temperature, the speed ratio, and the pressure ratio at the third progressive stroke,
respectively) have to be selected. Even the Model P Value for these terms is more than
0.05. C, G, H, and I are also significant terms for the .
Table 5(b) lists the ANOVA result of the . A Model F Value of 700.54 with a
Model P Value of 0.0014 implies that the selected model is significant and there is only
a 0.14% chance that the Model F Value could occur due to noise. The P Values for
Table 5(b). ANOVA results of the r.
Source Sum of squares Degree of freedom Mean square F Value P Value
Model 65.57 13 5.04 700.54 0.0014
A: temperature (8C) 12.15 1 12.15 1686.84 0.0006
B: speed ratio (%) 1.07 1 1.07 148.78 0.0067
C: pressure ratio (%) 4.06 1 4.06 563.92 0.0018
D: temperature (8C) 19.89 1 19.89 2762.72 0.0004
E: speed ratio (%) 1.35 1 1.35 186.89 0.0053
F: pressure ratio (%) 0.15 1 0.15 21.13 0.0442
G: temperature (8C) 0.67 1 0.67 93.39 0.0105
H: speed ratio (%) 10.46 1 10.46 1452.33 0.0007
I: pressure ratio (%) 1.74 1 1.74 241.17 0.0041
BH 0.71 1 0.71 98.20 0.0100
BJ 1.42 1 1.42 197.42 0.0050
DH 0.15 1 0.15 20.57 0.0453
FJ 6.60 1 6.60 916.31 0.0011
Residual 0.01 2 0.01
Total 65.58 15
Table 5(a). ANOVA results of the d.
Source Sum of squares Degree of freedom Mean square F Value P Value
Model 0.074 9 0.008 8.33 0.0089
A: temperature (8C) 0.016 1 0.016 16.12 0.0070
B: speed ratio (%) 0.007 1 0.007 7.52 0.0336
C: pressure ratio (%) 0.004 1 0.004 4.11 0.0890
F: pressure ratio (%) 0.018 1 0.018 18.09 0.0054
G: temperature (8C) 0.000 1 0.000 0.09 0.7785
H: speed ratio (%) 0.001 1 0.001 1.11 0.3331
I: pressure ratio (%) 0.005 1 0.005 5.31 0.0608
CH 0.008 1 0.008 8.03 0.0298
GJ 0.013 1 0.013 12.95 0.0114
Residual 0.006 6 0.001
Total 0.080 15
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all model terms are significant. Additionally, BH, BJ, DH and FJ have
significant influences on the .
Table 5(c) gives the ANOVA result of the m. A Model F Value of 12.32 with
a Model P Value of 0.0005, implying that the selected model is significant and there is
only a 0.05% chance that the Model F Value could occur due to noise. A P Value for
the model term D (the melting temperature at the second progressive stroke) is 0.0352,
which is less than 0.05, indicating that the model term D is significant. Similarly, the
model terms E and F (the speed ratio and the pressure ratio at the second progressive
stroke, respectively) are significant. In addition, the model term G (the temperature
at the third progressive stroke) is significant. There are no interactions of factors that
have impact on the m.
REGRESSION MODELS
Considering the most significant terms from Table 5(a), (b) and (c), regression models
can be developed. Mathematic predicted models for the average distortion, the tensile
stress and the mass loss are shown as follows:
10:8069 0:0063 A 0:0043 B 0:0418 C 0:0134 F
0:0677 G 0:0512 H0:493 J 0:0019 CH0:0024 GJ 8
224:9925 0:1743 A 0:9833 B 0:2015 C 0:338 D0:058 E
3:338 F 0:041 G 1:3875 H5:475 J 0:01 BH0:0285 BJ
0:0046 DH0:1228 FJ 9
m 4:9125 0:025 D0:04 E 0:1 F 0:025 G: 10
Furthermore, by investigating the correlation coefficients, R
2
, which measures the
strength of a linear relationship between the experimental data and the predicted values
from the regression models, the proportion of total variability in the deviation that
can be explained by Equation (8) is:
R
2

SS
Model
SS
Total

0:074
0:080
92:50% 11
where SS is the abbreviation of sum of squares.
Table 5(c). ANOVA results of the Dm.
Source Sum of squares Degree of freedom Mean square F Value P Value
Model 2.14 4 0.54 12.32 0.0005
D: temperature (8C) 0.25 1 0.25 5.76 0.0352
E: speed ratio (%) 0.64 1 0.64 14.74 0.0027
F: pressure ratio (%) 1.00 1 1.00 23.04 0.0006
G: temperature (8C) 0.25 1 0.25 5.76 0.0352
Residual 0.48 11 0.04
Total 2.62 15
Taguchi and Design of Experiments in Injection Molding 829
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Similarly, the proportion of total variability in the deviation that can be explained by
Equation (9) is:
R
2

SS
Model
SS
Total

65:57
65:58
99:98% 12
and the proportion of total variability in the m deviation that can be explained by
Equation (10) is:
R
2

SS
Model
SS
Total

2:14
2:62
81:67%: 13
MODEL ADEQUACY CHECK
The adequacy of the regression models will be inspected to confirm that the models have
extracted all relevant information from the experimental data. The primary diagnostic tool
is residual analysis [18]. The residuals are defined as the differences between the actual and
predicted values for each point in the design. The residual results for the , the and the
m are shown in Table 6. If a model is adequate, the distribution of residuals should
be normally distributed. The Minitab

[19] program is used to perform a normality test.


For the normality test, the hypotheses are listed as follows:
1. Null hypothesis: the residual data follows a normal distribution
2. Alternative hypothesis: the residual data does not follow a normal distribution.
The vertical axis of Figures 4(a)4(c) has a probability scale and the horizontal axis
has a data scale. A least-square line is then fitted to the plotted points. The line forms
an estimate of the cumulative distribution function for the population from which data
are drawn.
Table 6. Residual results of the d, r and Dm.
d (mm) r (MPa) "m (mg)
Run no. Actual Pred. Residual Actual Pred. Residual Actual Pred. Residual
1 0.078 0.078 0.0000 22.35 22.38 0.03 2.3 2.21 0.09
2 0.085 0.086 0.0013 28.11 28.08 0.03 2.3 2.21 0.09
3 0.057 0.079 0.0221 26.38 26.35 0.03 2.3 2.11 0.19
4 0.233 0.210 0.0234 28.49 28.52 0.03 2.1 2.11 0.01
5 0.160 0.139 0.0215 23.00 23.00 0.00 2.0 1.96 0.04
6 0.150 0.173 0.0228 23.20 23.20 0.00 2.1 1.96 0.14
7 0.115 0.115 0.0004 26.75 26.72 0.03 2.5 2.36 0.14
8 0.073 0.071 0.0016 26.28 26.31 0.03 2.4 2.36 0.04
9 0.195 0.192 0.0031 26.32 26.32 0.00 2.6 2.86 0.26
10 0.060 0.026 0.0344 25.95 25.95 0.00 2.8 2.86 0.06
11 0.178 0.202 0.0243 26.88 26.88 0.00 1.3 1.46 0.16
12 0.145 0.158 0.0133 29.12 29.12 0.00 1.3 1.46 0.16
13 0.255 0.229 0.0259 25.31 25.28 0.03 2.3 2.11 0.19
14 0.293 0.281 0.0116 28.37 28.40 0.03 1.9 2.11 0.21
15 0.215 0.219 0.0038 28.42 28.48 0.06 2.5 2.21 0.29
16 0.115 0.149 0.0338 28.13 28.07 0.06 1.9 2.21 0.31
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0.999
(a)
(b)
(c)
0.999
0.99
0.99
0.95
0.95
0.80
0.80
0.50
0.50
0.20
0.20
0.05
0.05
0.01
0.01
0.001
0.001
P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
0.999
0.99
0.95
0.80
0.50
0.20
0.05
0.01
0.001
P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
Average:-0.0000391 Anderson-darling normality test
Anderson-Darling normality test
Anderson-Darling normality test
P Value: 0.580
P Value: 0.087
P Value: 0.505
A-squared: 0.285
A-squared: 0.622
A-squared: 0.319
Residual_
Residual_
N:16
0.03 0.02 0.01 0.00
0.00 0.05
0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0
Residual_m
0.1 0.2 0.3
0.05
0.01 0.02 0.03
St.Dev: 0.0198127
Average:-0
N:16
St.Dev: 0.0309839
Average: 0.0016875
N:16
St.Dev: 0.178315
Figure 4. (a) 4 Normal probability plot for the residual of , (b) 4 Normal probability plot for the residual of ,
(c) 4 Normal probability plot for the residual of Dm.
Taguchi and Design of Experiments in Injection Molding 831
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As a P Value that is smaller than 0.05, it will be classified as significant, and the
null hypothesis has to be rejected. All of the P Values shown on the lower right-hand
side of Figures 4(a)(c) are larger than 0.05; thus, the residuals for the , the and the m
follow a normal distribution and the predictive regression models have extracted all
available information from the experimental data. The rest of the information defined
as residuals can be considered as errors from performing the experiments.
Comparisons of Confirmation Tests
The first confirmation run (No. 1 in Table 7) is an optimal parameter combination
identified by the Taguchi method with temperature settings of 2108C, 2108C and 2008C,
speed ratios of 20%, 20% and 30%, and injection pressure ratios of 30%, 40% and 25%
for the first, the second and the third progressive strokes, respectively. With this setting,
it predicts the , the , and the m to be 0.16 mm, 29.19 MPa and 1.46 mg, respectively.
On the other hand, the second confirmation run (No. 2 in Table 7) is an optimal setting
by the DOE method with a desirability value of 0.83, conducted with temperature
settings of 2008C, 2108C and 2008C, speed ratios of 20%, 20% and 29.8%, injection
pressure ratios of 30%, 40% and 25.2% for the first, the second and the third progressive
strokes, respectively. This setting is identified from the regression models and by
minimizing F(x) in Equation (4). The predicted values for the , the and the m are
0.10 mm, 27.33 MPa, and 1.46 mg, respectively.
In Table 7, the predicted results from the optimal conditions are compatible in the wear
mass loss and around 6% difference for the tensile strengths. Nevertheless, the DOE
approach has an average contour distortion of 0.10 mm vs. 0.16 mm from the Taguchi
method.
CONCLUSION
Both the DOE method and the Taguchi method were applied to find an optimal setting
for the injection molding process. The identified optimal setting for the DOE approach
strikes the balance between the contour distortions, the tensile strength and the wear mass
loss of PP composite components. On the other hand, the result from the Taguchi method
searched for an optimal solution within all possible combinations of factors and levels;
eventually, an optimal combination is selected if it gives a maximized normalized
combined S/N ratio of targeted outputs. The results are summarized as follows:
1. The optimal setting by the Taguchi method is with the melting temperature of 2108C
(i.e., A), the injection speed ratio of 20% (i.e., B), and the injection pressure ratio
of 30% (i.e., C) for the first progressive stroke; the melting temperature 2108C (i.e., D),
Table 7. Confirmation runs and an optimal setting showing results for the d, r and Dm.
First stroke Second stroke Third stroke Pre./Exp. Pre./Exp. Pre./Exp.
Run
no.
A
(8C)
B
(%)
C
(%)
D
(8C)
E
(%)
F
(%)
G
(8C)
H
(%)
I
(%)
d
(mm)
r
(MPa)
"m
(mg)
1 210.0 20.0 30.0 210.0 20.0 40.0 200.0 30.0 25.0 0.16/0.17 29.12/28.40 1.46/1.52
2 200.0 20.0 30.00 210.0 20.0 40.0 200.0 29.8 25.2 0.10/0.12 27.33/27.90 1.46/1.48
832 Y.-K. YANG ET AL.
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the injection speed ratio of 20% (i.e., E), and the injection pressure ratio of 40% (i.e., F)
for the second progressive stroke; the factors of the third progressive stroke are
the melting temperature of 2008C (i.e., G), the injection speed ratio of 30% (i.e., H),
and the injection pressure ratio of 25% (i.e., I).
2. The optimal parameter setting via the DOE approach with desirability value of 0.83 can
be shown as follows: the setting for the first progressive stroke is with the melting
temperature of 2008C (i.e., A), the injection speed ratio of 20% (i.e., B), and the
injection pressure ratio of 30% (i.e., C); the melting temperature 2108C (i.e., D), the
injection speed ratio of 20% (i.e., E), and the injection pressure ratio of 40% (i.e., F)
for the second progressive stroke; the factors of the third progressive stroke are the
melting temperature of 2008C (i.e., G), the injection speed ratio of 29.8% (i.e., H), and
the injection pressure ratio of 25.2% (i.e., I).
3. For these two different methods, the optimal parameters are almost identical, with only
minor difference in the parameter A (the melting temperature of the first stroke).
However, the DOE approach has an average contour distortion of 0.10 mm vs. 0.16 mm
from the Taguchi method.
4. The developed regression models can be utilized to predict the average contour
distortions, wear mass losses and tensile properties of PP components under different
injection molding conditions. Namely, the implementation of the DOE method with
maximizing the desirability function is a systematic approach to identify an optimal
parameter setting of the injection molding process; thus, the trial-and-error process can
be avoided so that the efficiency of designing an optimal solution is greatly improved.
5. Normality analysis on the residual data of the regression models ensures that the
models are adequate and extract all applicable information from the experimental data.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors would like to thank the National Science Council of the Republic of China,
for financially supporting this research (Contract No. NSC95-2622-E-159-001-CC3) and
Ming Hsin University of Science and Technology (Contract No. MUST-95-ME-005).
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