Issue: Volume 10, Number 3 (Circulation: Over 5500 worldwide)
Date: March 2010
From: Mark J. Anderson, Stat-Ease, Inc., Statistics Made Easy® Blog

Dear Experimenter,

Here's another set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about doing design of experiments (DOE), plus alerts to timely information and free software updates. If you missed the previous DOE FAQ Alert, see below.

==> Tip: Get immediate answers to questions about DOE via the Search feature on the main menu of the Stat-Ease® web site. This not only pores over previous alerts, but also the wealth of technical publications posted throughout the site.

Feel free to forward this newsletter to your colleagues. They can subscribe by going to If this newsletter prompts you to ask your own questions about DOE, please address them via mail to:

Also, Stat-Ease offers an interactive web site — the Support Forum for Experiment Design at Anyone (after gaining approval for registration) can post questions and answers to the Forum, which is open for all to see (with moderation). Furthermore, the Forum provides program help for Design-Ease® and Design-Expert® software. Check it out and search for answers. If you come up empty, do not be shy: Ask your question! Also, this being a forum, we encourage you to weigh in!

For an assortment of appetizers to get this Alert off to a good start, follow this link,* (-> new web site!), and see a number of new blogs (listed below, beginning with the most recent one):

—Beware of bugs bearing backpacks
—Simplifying the witches brew in Shakespeare’s MacBeth
—Skepticism versus cynicism about science experiments

*Need a feed or e-mail updates from StatsMadeEasy? Go to It's easy!

"Your StatsMadeEasy blogs brighten up a dreary workday!"
—Applied Statistician, Florida

Topics in the body text of this DOE FAQ Alert are headlined below (the "Expert" ones, if any, delve into statistical details).

1. Upgrade Alert (2nd): V8 of Design-Expert® software released! Act now to beat March 31 deadline on opening deals.
2. Support Alert: After March 31, support for V6 of Stat-Ease software will become limited.
3. FAQ: Can Design-Expert handle happenstance experiments — ones that were not statistically designed?
4. Info Alert : Design-Expert finds the sweet spot for 3D printer
5. Webinar Alert (2nd): DOE Made Easy and More Powerful via Version 8 of Design-Expert Software
6. Events Alert: Third European DOE User Meeting (2nd Notice) — conference site posted to the web
7. Workshop Alert: See when and where to learn about DOE

P.S. Quote for the month: Crushing realities. (Page down to the end of this ezine to enjoy the actual quote.)


1. Upgrade Alert (2nd) Notice: V8 of Design-Expert® software released! Act now to beat March 31 deadline on opening deals.

Version 8 of Design-Expert software ("DX8") has been well-received after its recent release. See details on DX8's many exciting new features in the December Stat-Teaser posted at Pay attention to the time-limited offers on pricing for new or upgraded licenses (see order form on the last page). A free, fully-functional update — DX8.01 — is now posted for trial download from Give v8 a try!

This web site also provides free patches to update v8.0 licenses. The new release primarily addresses maintenance issues. View the ReadMe file for installation tips, known issues, the change history, and FAQs.

"Design-Expert 8 is absolutely wonderful."
—Harlan Faller, Senior Technologist


2. Support Alert: After March 31, support for V6 of Stat-Ease software will become limited.

Those of you who still use v6 of Design-Expert — now is the time to make the leap to v8 by taking advantage of the limited- time offer for an economical upgrade. Starting from a listing of "what's new" in v8 at you can trace back all the added features of V7.1 and V7, if you like.

However, think of a small black and white television versus a state-of-art flat-panel high-definition fast refresh color TV. That is the leap you will achieve by upgrading to Design-Expert version 8. Why hold back on investing in DOE software whose price pales in comparison to the value of more effective experimentation? Go for the top of the line!

With version 6 now three generations behind (it completed development in the late 1990's), after March 31 it will no longer be fully supported by Stat-Ease programmers and statistical consultants. Please upgrade your software to continue taking complete advantage of the superb help provided by our professional staff.


3. FAQ: Can Design-Expert handle happenstance experiments — ones that were not statistically designed?

-----Original Question-----
Staff Scientist
"I was wondering if it would be possible to import happenstance data sets from non-designed experiments into DX8? We have a lot of historical data that we would like to mine that were not collected in a DOE planned fashion."

Answer (from Stat-Ease Consultant Wayne Adams):
"Yes, any data set can be pasted into Design-Expert. The only catch is you have to build a 'design' to contain your data set. Historical designs, available under the Response Surface or Mixture tab, are the easiest way to import happenstance data sets. You must build the design first by supplying the minimum and maximum values for the numeric variables, and the unique treatments for the categoric variables (spelling, punctuation, and capitalization must match exactly). After that you can paste your data set column for column.

If a more automated method is necessary, we also have a text file or XML batch interface. Both of these methods require some programming to get the correct file structure. Often there is a large amount of correlation between the input factors. If there is enough correlation, the factor effects may alias with one another. This can make analysis difficult unless a few more augmented runs can be added to the design."

PS from Mark: Whenever you get tasked with making the most of a set of historical data, make use of the comprehensive design evaluation feature in Design-Expert for assessing the losses caused by non orthogonality in the factor matrix. Then view scatter plots via the graph columns tool to see the correlations that create the variance inflation factors (VIF) and other undesirable statistical properties that can stem from happenstance collection of data. Despite all this, you will find Design-Expert to be a very convenient way to glean information — perhaps enough to set the stage for a follow-up experiment that is designed properly. ;)

(Learn more about modeling by attending the two-day computer-intensive workshop "Response Surface Methods for Process Optimization." See for a complete description. Link from this page to the course outline and schedule. Then, if you like, enroll online.)


4. Info Alert: Design-Expert finds the sweet spot for 3D printer

The March issue of Desktop Engineering features a case study showing how "Design-Expert Software Enables Z Corp Printer Design." It shows how DOE uncovered a window where all response specifications were met — a sweet spot for Z Corporation's unique 3D color printers. See for all the details.

If you are interested in publishing your DOE story, please contact Heidi at or call her at 612.746.2033.

See our current collection of DOE case studies and articles at We are especially in need of applications from the life sciences. Factor details can be coded for secrecy sake, so confidentiality need not be compromised.


5. Webinar Alert (2nd): DOE Made Easy and More Powerful via Version 8 of Design-Expert Software

Keeping it simple and making it fun, Stat-Ease will introduce an array of statistical methods for design of experiments (DOE) made easy and more powerful via version 8 of Design-Expert software:

—Two-level factorials for process screening, characterization and verification
—Response surface methods (RSM) for process optimization
—Multicomponent mixture design for optimal formulation.

I will kick off the first in a series of free webinars by working through case studies on factorial design on Wednesday, March 24 at 2 PM USA Central Time* (CT). I will repeat this presentation on Thursday, March 25 at 8 AM.

Stat-Ease webinars vary somewhat in length depending on the presenter and the particular session—mainly due to breaks for questions: Plan for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, with 1 hour being the target median.

When developing these one-hour educational sessions, our presenters often draw valuable material from Stat-Ease DOE workshops. Attendance may be limited, so sign up soon by contacting our Communications Specialist, Karen Dulski, via If you can be accommodated, she will provide immediate confirmation and, in timely fashion, the link with instructions for our new web-conferencing vendor: GotoWebinar (see

*(To determine the time in your zone of the world, try using this link: Note that we are based in Minneapolis, which appears on the city list that you must manipulate to calculate the time correctly. It seems that figuring out the clock on international communications is even more complicated than statistics! Good luck!)


6. Events Alert: Third European DOE User Meeting (2nd Notice) — conference site posted to the web

The Third European DOE User Meeting will be held June 1-2 in Lucerne, Switzerland, with pre- and post conference workshops held on May 31 and June 3. It's sponsored by Stat-Ease, CQ Consultancy (Belgium) and Statcon (Germany). Come to increase your understanding of design of experiments (DOE) techniques, learn of successful real-life applications of DOE, and also attend presentations specific to Stat-Ease software and its features.

For details, see If you would like to present a case study, see the Call to Speakers.

Click for a list of upcoming appearances by Stat-Ease professionals. We hope to see you sometime in the near future!


7. Workshop Alert: See when and where to learn about DOE

Seats are filling fast for the following DOE classes. If possible, enroll at least 4 weeks prior to the date so your place can be assured. However, do not hesitate to ask whether seats remain on classes that are fast approaching! Also, take advantage of a $395 discount when you take two classes that are offered on consecutive days.

—> Experiment Design Made Easy (EDME)
(Detailed at
> March 25-26 (Philadelphia, PA)
> April 27-28 (Minneapolis, MN)

—> Designed Experiments for Life Sciences (DELS)
> May 10-11 (San Francisco, CA)

—> Mixture Design for Optimal Formulations (MIX)
> May 18-19 (Minneapolis)

—> (*New*) Advanced Formulations: Combining Mixture & Process
Variables (MIX2) (
> May 20-21 (Minneapolis)

—> Response Surface Methods for Process Optimization (RSM)
> April 29-30 (Minneapolis)

See for complete schedule and site information on all Stat-Ease workshops open to the public. To enroll, click the "register online" link on our web site or call Elicia at 612.746.2038. If spots remain available, bring along several colleagues and take advantage of quantity discounts in tuition. Or, consider bringing in an expert from Stat-Ease to teach a private class at your site.*

*Once you achieve a critical mass of about 6 students, it becomes very economical to sponsor a private workshop, which is most convenient and effective for your staff. For a quote, e-mail


I hope you learned something from this issue. Address your general questions and comments to me at:




Mark J. Anderson, PE, CQE
Principal, Stat-Ease, Inc. (
2021 East Hennepin Avenue, Suite 480
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413 USA

PS. Quote for the month—Crushing realities:

"One of the crushing realities of an experiment not well designed is finding the sweet spot is off the map. This again takes some clear thinking, even doing some 'poke tests' to see if experiments on the extreme points will actually give a meaningful output."

—Bob Jordan, VP, R&D at Ultimate Survival Technologies and Status Racing (Source: a recent thread on "Measurements and DOE" in The Design of Experiment (DOE) Group on LinkedIn).

Trademarks: Stat-Ease, Design-Ease, Design-Expert and Statistics Made Easy are registered trademarks of Stat-Ease, Inc.

Acknowledgements to contributors:
—Students of Stat-Ease training and users of Stat-Ease software
—Stat-Ease consultants Pat Whitcomb, Shari Kraber and Wayne Adams (see for resumes)
—Statistical advisor to Stat-Ease: Dr. Gary Oehlert (
—Stat-Ease programmers, led by Neal Vaughn and Tryg Helseth (
—Heidi Hansel Wolfe, Stat-Ease marketing director, Karen Dulski, and all the remaining staff that provide such supreme support!


Interested in previous FAQ DOE Alert e-mail newsletters?
To view a past issue, choose it below.

#1 Mar 01, #2 Apr 01, #3 May 01, #4 Jun 01, #5 Jul 01 , #6 Aug 01, #7 Sep 01, #8 Oct 01, #9 Nov 01, #10 Dec 01, #2-1 Jan 02, #2-2 Feb 02, #2-3 Mar 02, #2-4 Apr 02, #2-5 May 02, #2-6 Jun 02, #2-7 Jul 02, #2-8 Aug 02, #2-9 Sep 02, #2-10 Oct 02, #2-11 Nov 02, #2-12 Dec 02, #3-1 Jan 03, #3-2 Feb 03, #3-3 Mar 03, #3-4 Apr 03, #3-5 May 03, #3-6 Jun 03, #3-7 Jul 03, #3-8 Aug 03, #3-9 Sep 03 #3-10 Oct 03, #3-11 Nov 03, #3-12 Dec 03, #4-1 Jan 04, #4-2 Feb 04, #4-3 Mar 04, #4-4 Apr 04, #4-5 May 04, #4-6 Jun 04, #4-7 Jul 04, #4-8 Aug 04, #4-9 Sep 04, #4-10 Oct 04, #4-11 Nov 04, #4-12 Dec 04, #5-1 Jan 05, #5-2 Feb 05, #5-3 Mar 05, #5-4 Apr 05, #5-5 May 05, #5-6 Jun 05, #5-7 Jul 05, #5-8 Aug 05, #5-9 Sep 05, #5-10 Oct 05, #5-11 Nov 05, #5-12 Dec 05, #6-01 Jan 06, #6-02 Feb 06, #6-03 Mar 06, #6-4 Apr 06, #6-5 May 06, #6-6 Jun 06, #6-7 Jul 06, #6-8 Aug 06, #6-9 Sep 06, #6-10 Oct 06, #6-11 Nov 06, #6-12 Dec 06, #7-1 Jan 07, #7-2 Feb 07, #7-3 Mar 07, #7-4 Apr 07, #7-5 May 07, #7-6 Jun 07, #7-7 Jul 07, #7-8 Aug 07, #7-9 Sep 07, #7-10 Oct 07, #7-11 Nov 07, #7-12 Dec 07, #8-1 Jan 08, #8-2 Feb 08, #8-3 Mar 08, #8-4 Apr 08, #8-5 May 08, #8-6 June 08, #8-7 July 08, #8-8 Aug 08, #8-9 Sep 08, #8-10 Oct 08, #8-11 Nov 08, #8-12 Dec 08, #9-01 Jan 09, #9-02 Feb 09, #9-03 Mar 09, #9-04 Apr 09, #9-05 May 09, #9-06 June 09, #9-07 July 09, #9-08 Aug 09, #9-09 Sep 09, #9-10 Oct 09, #9-11 Nov 09, #9-12 Dec 09, #10-1 Jan 10, #10-2 Feb 10, #10-3 Mar 10 (see above)

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