DOE Chemical Industry Application
Our first post features Roland Ruprecht, a Development Chemist at the Teknor Apex Company and an Objective Experiments Certified DOE Problem Solver. Roland has been a user of DOE for around two and a half years. He enjoys the objectivity that the method brings.
"I use DOE in about eighty percent of my work," Roland says. "It's more objective and it helps us find a sweet spot with confidence, without preconceived notions."
Roland's work places great emphasis on the values of teamwork with DOE. "I haven't faced very much resistance because everyone is on board and appreciates the value of finding the right answer."
At the beginning of the DOE process Roland brings together all of the personnel involved in the experimentation process; Fellow engineers, technicians, and management all meet to consider the objectives of the experiment, what factors will be important to test, the extreme high and low ranges the variables can be tested at, and any other considerations. In these meetings all input and opinions are valued, which contributes to the remarkable cooperation he mentioned. Conflicts and disagreements aren't unheard of, but they are rare thanks to Roland's dedication to asking the right question.
After the experiments have been run and the data gathered Roland advocates drawing data-driven conclusions.
"You want to be open-minded," Roland emphasized. "Look at what the data is saying. Don't try to impose your own ideas."
Avoiding biases is a challenge in any field, especially the sciences. Roland's advice, to be open-minded and to involve your entire team throughout the DOE process, is an invaluable reminder to find value in the ideas of others. After all, it's better to find a correct answer than an easy one.