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Product Attribute Function Deployment (PAFD) for Decision-Based Conceptual Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Christopher Hoyle, Deepak K. D. Kumar, Wei Chen

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Paper No. DETC2006-99588, pp. 77-86; 10 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4a: 18th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 10–13, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4258-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3784-X
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a method that links the “Voice of the Customer” to product planning activities within design, production and marketing. It utilizes weighting factors and relationship matrices to rank order the importance of product attributes. However, fundamental flaws have been identified in using QFD, which result in irrational and unrealistic results when used for design concept selection and setting target levels of attributes for a design team. In this paper, based on the principles of Decision-Based Design (DBD), a new tool called the Product Attribute Function Deployment (PAFD) is introduced as an improvement to the QFD process. The PAFD method extends the qualitative matrix principles of QFD and utilizes the quantitative decision making processes of DBD, which incorporates the needs from both the producer and consumers in a rigorous decision making framework. The DBD method takes an enterprise view in problem formulation and optimizes a single criterion to avoid the difficulties associated with weighting factors and multi-objective optimization. In addition to the quantitative improvement, the definition of engineering attributes in the QFD method is formalized to include corporate, regulatory, manufacturing and other technical requirements to facilitate conceptualization of design alternatives and constraints. The conceptual design of the automotive Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor is used as a case study to demonstrate the benefits of the PAFD method.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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