About Design of Experiments
Design of Experiments also known as Factorial Experimental Design (FED) deals with planning, conducting, analysing and interpreting controlled experiments. These experiments are to evaluate the factors that control or affect a change to the experimental outcome (a response).
Design of Experiments is extremely efficient, enabling a significant reduction in the number of experiments required to test many experimental factors. This drastically shortens the time that would have been spent testing a handful of factors using the OVAT approach and greatly increases the coverage and understanding of the experimental space.
The experiments are chosen to investigate the response of a system to changes in the factors e.g. temperature, reagents and molar ratios. The chosen factors are those that are expected to affect the outcome of the experiment. Well-chosen experimental designs maximise the amount of information that can be obtained for a given amount of experimental effort.
Design of Experiments fits response data to mathematical equations. Collectively, these equations serve as models to predict what will happen for any given combination of values for significant factors. With these models, it is possible to optimize important responses and find the best combination of values for the factors.
A well–performed Design of Experiments will provide answers to questions such as:
- What are the key factors in a process?
- At what settings would the process deliver the best results?
- What are the main and interaction effects in the process?
- What settings would bring about less variation in the output?