Mixture-process variable design experiments with control and noise variables within a split-plot structure
In mixture-process variable experiments, it is common that the number of runs is greater than in mixture-only or process-variable experiments. These experiments have to estimate the parameters from the mixture components, process variables, and interactions of both variables. In some of these experiments there are variables that are hard to change or cannot be controlled under normal operating conditions. These situations often prohibit a complete randomization for the experimental runs due to practical and economical considerations. Furthermore, the process variables can be categorized into two types: variables that are controllable and directly affect the response, and variables that are uncontrollable and primarily affect the variability of the response. These uncontrollable variables are called noise factors and assumed controllable in a laboratory environment for the purpose of conducting experiments. The model containing both noise variables and control factors can be used to determine factor settings for the control factor that makes the response "robust" to the variability transmitted from the noise factors. These types of experiments can be analyzed in a model for the mean response and a model for the slope of the response within a split-plot structure. When considering the experimental designs, low prediction variances for the mean and slope model are desirable. The methods for the mixture-process variable designs with noise variables considering a restricted randomization are demonstrated and some mixture-process variable designs that are robust to the coefficients of interaction with noise variables are evaluated using fraction design space plots with the respect to the prediction variance properties. Finally, the G-optimal design that minimizes the maximum prediction variance over the entire design region is created using a genetic algorithm.