The application of the concept of robust design, based on Taguchi’s loss function, in formulating and solving nonlinear optimization problems is investigated. The effectiveness of the approach is illustrated with two examples. The first example is a machining parameter optimization problem wherein the production cost, tool life and production rate are optimized with limitations on machining characteristics such as cutting power, cutting tool temperature and surface finish. The second example is a welded beam design problem where the dimensions of the weldment and the beam are found without exceeding the limitations stated on the shear stress in the weld, normal stress in the beam, buckling load on the beam and tip deflection of the beam. The results are highlighted by comparing the solutions of the robust formulation with those obtained from the conventional formulation. The methodology presented in this work is expected to be useful in the design of products and processes which are least sensitive to the noises and which reflect in higher quality.