Factorial experiments for product quality improvement in a Ghanaian manufacturing firm

  • FL Larkai
  • SM Sackey
Keywords: Product, quality, engineering, factorial experiments

Abstract

It is important that the quality of manufactured products meets the expectations of those who use them. There are many tools available to the quality engineer seeking to achieve this goal. This paper discusses improvements in product quality in a Ghanaian edible oil processing firm achievable through factorial experiments. The focus is on input material quality and its constituents, namely % ripe, % overripe, and % rotten of the raw palm fruit. The proportions of the constituents necessary to achieve acceptable levels of product quality, expressed in terms of acceptable levels of the Free Fatty Acid (FFA) content and the Moisture Content (MC), are investigated through factorial experiments. Results show that a high percentage of the overripe palm fruits has a consistently negative effect on overall product quality (i.e. the output FFA and MC levels). The MC offers more flexibility than the FFA in terms of the number of factor combinations that give ideal results. This makes FFA more critical to quality and the parameter to watch from the probability point of view. However, the best results are achieved when overripe is held low in combination with relatively low values of the other two factors, followed by low overripe in combination with relatively low values of the other two factors.

Keywords: Product, quality, engineering, factorial experiments

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eISSN: 0855-0395