DOE Plastics Industry Application

This month we had the unique opportunity to speak with Noah Wass, Operations Manager at Elkhart Plastics. Noah is a seven-year veteran user of DOE, but also spoke about his experiences managing other DOE users over the past three years.

After learning DOE, Noah put the tools to work at Cascade Dafo, where he was surprised by the accuracy and utility of its results. Compared to one-factor-at-a-time experimentation, Noah was very confident that the extra resources involved in running a designed experiment were put to good use.

At a new company, however, the landscape was different and finding time, resources, and other engineers knowledgeable in DOE to establish a DOE-friendly culture was initially daunting. "If you can get past the startup costs, though, there are no downsides at all," Noah said.

Because of the difficulty involved, Noah is careful to ensure those reporting to him are using DOE in the most effective way possible.

"It encourages curiosity," Noah said regarding DOE. "But sometimes people want to use DOE for unnecessary things." Another danger Noah cited was the possibility of setting up an experiment without asking the right question, thus ending up with potentially unusable results.

To guarantee the best results with DOE, Noah encouraged new users to be cautious and thoroughly understand the variables they're testing before beginning an experiment. He also stressed the importance of understanding the timeline of one's project so as to avoid letting important resources go to waste on account of scheduling oversights.