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Utilization of Concept Selection Methods: A Survey of Finnish Industry

[+] Author Affiliations
Mikko Salonen, Matti Perttula

Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland

Paper No. DETC2005-85047, pp. 527-535; 9 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5a: 17th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Long Beach, California, USA, September 24–28, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4742-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3766-1
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Concept selection is an area of design research that has been under considerable interest over the years. There is, however, only little information on how the methods that have been presented in design research for this task have been adopted by industry. Thus, a survey was carried out in the Finnish industry. The results revealed that the degree of industrial utilization of formal concept selection methods was relatively low. Less than one out of four companies responded to use one or several of the formal methods included in the study: Pugh’s evaluation matrix, Rating matrices, or Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Concept review meeting were reported as the most common approach for concept selection. However, a majority of the companies that did not utilize any formal method reported lacking effective and suitable methods for concept selection. The companies using formal methods were more satisfied. The first conclusion from the study is that there is a basis for a higher degree of utilization of formal concept selection methods in industry. Our second conclusion is that the existing formal concept selection methods do not entirely fulfill the needs of concept selection in an industry context. We propose that numerical concept selection methods should be further developed and extended to better support the decision-making practices of concept selection in industry. This type of concept selection is characterized by the participation of multiple decision makers through concept design reviews.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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