I'm a Formulator
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What is Mixture Design and What's In It for You? A Heads-Up from Stat-Ease Consultant Mark Anderson
“Early in my career as a chemical engineer working in process development, I discovered that many of the chemists in our research and development center—especially those most brilliant in their field—failed to appreciate the power of planned experimentation. Furthermore, they disliked the mathematical aspects of statistical analysis. To top off their design-of-experiment (DOE) phobia, these otherwise very capable chemists also dismissed predictive models based only on empirical data. Ironically, in the hands of subject matter experts like these elite chemists, the statistical methods of mixture design and analysis provide the means for rapidly converging on optimal compositions—the “sweet spot,” as I like to call it.
This experience has inspired me to begin work on detailing design and analysis of mixture experiments in a new book that will fill in a major gap remaining after publication of DOE Simplified and RSM Simplified. This new "how-to" book, co-authored by Patrick Whitcomb—the same as the others, is based on the Stat-Ease workshop “Mixture Design for Optimal Formulation” developed primarily by him. Readers of our third book will learn how to handle many ingredients simultaneously—not just one at a time, as dictated for time immemorial by “the scientific method.” As they will see in example after example, one needn’t hold all else constant while changing only one thing. Instead, why not take advantage of the modern-day parallel processing schemes of mixture designs that provide multicomponent testing?
After some months of work, I’ve established the WIIFM, that is, the “what’s in it for me” that will encourage formulators to work through the more intense aspects of mixture design, response modeling, statistical analysis and numerical optimization. It’s taken me three chapters to do this—it’s a tough nut to crack! Pat and I are offering this material to you as A Primer on Mixture Design: What’s In It for Formulators?. Feel free to download it for your education on this powerful tool in the DOE kit. All I ask is that if you like what you see and become convinced that this primer will be valuable for your colleagues, please send them the link.
Now I must get back to work on the rest of the story.”