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Designing in Excess Capability to Handle Uncertain Product Requirements in a Developing World Setting

[+] Author Affiliations
Jeffrey D. Allen, Christopher A. Mattson, Kendall Thacker

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Paper No. DETC2016-59181, pp. V02AT03A048; 14 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2A: 42nd Design Automation Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5010-7
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Products designed for the developing world often go unused or under used by the intended individuals. Designers with experience in developed areas of the world naturally apply their values to the products they design. This results in a misjudgment of the actual requirements of individuals in developing areas. When the products do not have the ability to adapt to the actual user requirements, long-term adoption is not achieved. The ability of a product to adapt to new or changing requirements has been shown to extend the service life of large complex engineered systems (e.g., aircraft carriers, aircraft, communication systems, and space craft). These systems must remain in service for extended periods of time, even though the environments and requirements may change dramatically. The ability of these complex systems to adapt to meet these new requirements is a valuable attribute. Applying these proven techniques to products designed for the developing world can address the issue of misunderstood requirements. Adaptability is achieved, in this paper, by incorporating appropriate excess capabilities into the original design. These excess capabilities can be identified and analyzed using a numerical search methodology. This paper presents a methodology for increasing the adaptability, and therefore adoptability of products designed for the developing world by incorporating strategically determined excess capabilities.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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