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Mazda Wins First Ever Taguchi Award From the Japan Quality Engineering Society

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HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has received the first Taguchi Award ever given by Japan's Quality Engineering Society. The award was conferred in recognition of Mazda's innovative quality control techniques that utilize quality engineering approaches on its production lines. These quality controls have yielded a number of successful outcomes as well as excellent reviews. Mazda's Production Engineering Division was selected as the company's recipient organization. The Quality Engineering Society first announced that Mazda was to receive this award on April 24, 2006.


The award ceremony, a part of the 14th annual Quality Engineering Conference, was held on June 15, 2006, in Tokyo. Yasuto Tatsuta, executive officer and general manager of Mazda's Production Engineering Division, was present to receive the award.


The Quality Engineering Society (QES) bestows the Taguchi Award on a company or organization that continuosly strengthens its structured approaches to R&D and production, delivers solid outcomes as evidenced by the company's improved business performance and has demonstrated the value of quality engineering through improving the quality of its engineering disciplines. The Taguchi Award was inaugurated in 1997 with funds donated by Dr. Taguchi to commemorate his induction in the Automotive Hall of Fame in the United States. However, until now, it has never been awarded to any company or organization .

Why Mazda received this award, as outlined by the Quality Engineering Society

Mazda won the award because it developed quality engineering approaches for its production technologies and demonstrated their benefits with a corresponding positive impact on company performance.


Mazda's systematic, cumulative study and implementation of quality engineering approaches into its production technologies was a major contributor to its positive business performance. It also led to a stronger corporate image—"Mazda, a technology company"—and improved quality engineering. In particular, QES noted the following:

(1) Quality engineering, as applied to production line control, demonstrates the effectiveness of the loss function theory. This theory maintains there is a loss for both society and in manufacturing as a deviation or variability from a design parameter. Correspondingly, a decreased amount of social loss is linked to an appreciable reduction in internal defects.
(2) Bottlenecks on production lines are regarded as engineering problems. Mazda has turned numerous technologies that used to be regarded as impossible into feasible technologies by pursuing functionality according to Signal-to-Noise ratios (SN ratio, which indicates the strength of the system function against noise). Also, functions were adjusted to become multipurpose applications and the strategic application of parameter design was pioneered by selecting and focusing on applicable areas.
(3) Based on its continuous human resources development initiatives, Mazda aims to achieve product design and facility design that does not require it to backtrack, while also optimizing its production lines through the application of quality engineering approaches so that quality engineering-focused, systematic pilot production processes and management technologies are established for further productivity improvement.