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15th Design for Manufacturing and the Lifecycle Conference

2010;():3-16. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28074.

Manufacturers design and develop numerous product variants to address different customer preferences in the competitive market. One product could be characterized by a vector of attributes such as sale price, reliability, and functionality. The challenge is how to make decisions on product or product family planning and design, supply chain, and marketing in a concurrent and integrated manner. Research on integration and coordination of product design, supply chain configuration, and marketing decisions is receiving much attention recently and need further investigation. The paper provides a comprehensive review on recent research incorporating marketing, management and engineering considerations in product planning and design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():17-25. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29087.

Because of rising global competition and more rapid technological changes, the need for faster development of products with higher quality and reliability has increased, also elevating the importance of supplier involvement. Accordingly, companies give high priority to development of relationships with their suppliers, including collaborative product development. This paper focuses on evaluating current suppliers, which are to be involved in design decisions and product development processes. First, an overview of the supplier involvement in product development process is described. Then, a questionnaire form is introduced, which was administered to 40 automotive suppliers to determine the supplier selection criteria’s importance levels. Survey results were evaluated using statistical means for reliability and suitability. Finally, in order to select the best supplier, results were evaluated using a method integrating Analytical Network Process (ANP) and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). The evaluation criteria were weighted with ANP, and then supplier companies were ranked using TOPSIS methodology.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():27-38. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29095.

Today supply chain management has become one of the crucial factors for gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage. Enterprises that can more effectively manage their supply chain network have a higher likelihood of success in the marketplace. To this end, companies need not only make the “make” or “buy” decisions but also differentiate across potential suppliers in order to improve operational performance, and hence, supplier selection is one of the key decisions aiding effective supply chain management. Many studies have also pointed out that the integration of product and supply chain is a key factor for profitability and efficiency. However, prior studies mostly address supply chain performance after the creation of a new product; and only a few studies discuss when and how to incorporate supply chain decisions during product design. In the studies that cover product design, product family and product platform concepts are presented as enabling vehicles for mass customization, which require a considerable investment, and hence might be out of reach for small to medium size enterprises (SME). Accordingly, there is a need to develop a methodology that can consider manufacturability and supply chain issues at the product design stage. This paper presents a graph theory based optimization methodology to tackle this problem. The supplier selection issue is considered by evaluating its impact on both engineering (e.g., process planning) and operational performance (e.g., cost and time), which are then aggregated as the supply chain performance at the conceptual design stage. A case study in the bicycle industry demonstrates the advantages of this methodology. The synchronized structure of the supply chain and the product design results in simultaneous optimization of both design and supply chain decisions during the early design stages.

Topics: Design , Supply chains
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():39-47. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29112.

Even though functional characteristics and various forms can be measured directly and objectively, many designers and engineers still fail to clearly evaluate product criteria due to consumers’ subjective inputs, which change over time. To appropriately evaluate product criteria, an effective design decision making analysis is required. In this study, we propose a methodology to assure this harmony using a mobile phone product family design scenario. Customer perceived utility of design features are first gathered using a questionnaire (with more than 500 responses), and then modeled using multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT) to allow for clustering based on consumer demographics (e.g., race, gender, and age). Based on the clustering, several mobile phone models are tested for their fitness. The goal of the methodology is to determine the appropriate product family size in order to satisfy customer needs as well as reduce supply chain complexity.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():49-56. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28085.

Engineering products go through 4 stages of lifecycle; design, production, use, and disposal. Engineers have developed tools for avoiding design flaws that cause troubles in the later stages. Accidents and malfunctions, however, still happen and some are even catastrophic. Once in the market, products require service. Whether scheduled, or unexpected, service is mostly carried out by subsidiaries of the manufacturer or sometimes unrelated specialists. When product troubles occur, service companies tend to seek solutions within their own organization without going back to the design stage. This approach may prove less costly, however, quick fixes may lead to disasters. Industries currently lack effective ways of feeding service information back to design. We analyzed some real accidents that took place in Japan where hard work in the use stage triggered the events. Information from the use stage to design will prevent accidents and also improve design to closely model reality.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():57-63. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28090.

In this paper, the unilateral dependency of strength on stress is taken into account. And the stress-dependent strength is represented by a discrete random variable that has different conditional probability mass functions under different stress amplitudes. Then the Lagrange factor polynomial technique is developed to generate the stress-strength interference model with stress-dependent strength. This model assumes that the strength probability mass function is Weibull distributed, while the stress probability mass function is Normal distributed. Accuracy of this method is investigated by an aeroengine bearing cage alloy. Structural reliabilities are computed as 0.796 to 0.986 under several operation modes, which are analyzed by varying the Weibull shape parameter from 1 to 6. Then probability mean function estimated by Lagrange factor polynomial has relatively low errors over most span of the stress dependent strength distribution. With this approach stress-dependent strength reliability of aeroengine structural systems can be established conveniently. Meanwhile the application range of the classical stress-strength interference model can be extended.

Topics: Alloys , Stress , Polynomials
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():65-71. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28176.

This investigation employed Taguchi experimental design method and ASTM three-point bending test to determine the parameters that influence the flexural strength of a material composed of a thin layer fabricated by a rapid prototyping (RP) machine and coated with a layer of unsaturated polyester resin (UPR). Since current rapid prototyping machines use a layer-based process to manufacture products, this will result in RP products liable to break along forming layers when bending load is applied. A type of resin-reinforced RP transtibial socket is proposed to strengthen the flexural strength so that the abrupt collapse can be prevented if a transtibial prosthetic socket made by an RP machine. This study proposed wrapping a layer of unsaturated polyester resin around a preliminary thin RP socket manufactured by a fused deposition modeling (FDM) machine to reinforce its flexural strength. Factors affecting the strength of the resin-reinforced RP socket include thickness and forming orientation of the preliminary RP socket, thickness of the UPR layer, and type of material used to make the preliminary RP socket. Employing Taguchi experimental design method and ASTM three-point bending test standard, the parameters that influence the flexural strength of the resin-reinforced RP prosthetic socket can be determined. Based on the appropriate parameters, including thickness of the RP layer and UPR layer, the RP material and RP fabricating orientation, the preliminary thin RP prosthetic sockets can be fabricated by an FDM machine. And the thin layer preliminary RP sockets were then wrapped with cotton socks and laminated UPR layer to form resin-reinforced RP sockets. To confirm the effectiveness of the resin-reinforced sockets developed in this study, a volunteer subject with unilateral left below-knee amputation is recruited to implement the experiment. The pressures at residual limb/socket interface were measured by using a pressure distribution measurement system and movement was captured by a motion analysis system while a volunteer patient wears the resin-reinforced RP socket. The experimental results demonstrated that the applicability of the proposed type of material and a resin-reinforced RP transtibial socket has been verified. A prosthetist may use the interface pressures exerting on stump and gait pattern during walking to assess the suitability of this type of RP socket based on clinical expertise. Further trial use and more subjects are needed to validate the durability of the proposed RP socket.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():73-84. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28339.

While Design for Assembly (DFA) has been a useful design tool, it is not explicitly linked to actual manufacturing line performance. The motivation for this research came from the desire to link DFA directly to line balance and cycle time performance. The natural question that arose was whether these issues could be considered at the design stage by using the metrics that are derived from a DFA analysis. It is known that the time required to assemble a product can be estimated from both a DFA analysis and from a manufacturing analysis. This work links these two analysis methods so that the manufacturing parameters can be estimated and used to guide the design of a product. Starting with a DFA analysis, the minimum number of workstations needed to balance the line that will maintain the production rate (takt time) and precedence constraints is determined. Then the precedence constraints are systematically relaxed in order to generate measures on a component-by-component basis as to the impact it could have on reducing cycle time and improving line balancing performance. These measures, coupled with an understanding of precedence types, are used to identify design improvements to a product. To illustrate how product designer can consider assembly line performance issues during the design stage of the product, the methodology has been applied to an ABS brake assembly.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():85-94. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28529.

Exoskeleton type finger rehabilitation robots are helpful in assisting the treatment of tendon injuries. A survey has been carried out with engineers and health professionals to further develop an existing finger exoskeleton prototype. The goal of the study is to better understand the relative importance of several design criteria through the analysis of survey results and to improve the finger exoskeleton accordingly. The survey questions with strong correlations are identified and the preferences of the two respondent groups are statistically compared. The results of the statistical analysis are interpreted and insights obtained are used to guide the design process. The answers to the qualitative questions are also discussed together with their design implications. Finally, Quality Function Deployment (QFD) has been employed for visualizing these functional requirements in relation to the customer requirements.

Topics: Engineers , Robots , Design , Tendons
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():95-103. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28623.

A new academic field, “service engineering” has emerged; it involves active investigation for increasing the productivities of service industries. However, there are only a few effective tools for the simulation and evaluation of complex services that have been designed using concepts from the field of service engineering. To overcome this shortcoming, the authors propose a multi-agent service flow simulation method using scene transition nets (STNs) that is a very useful graphical modeling and simulation method for application to discrete-continuous hybrid systems. This method treats services as complicated multi-agent and hybrid systems similar to manufacturing systems. To obtain realistic values of customer satisfaction, the authors input satisfaction-attribute value (S-AV) functions, which are often used in service engineering in service flow models using STN. This method visualizes discrete flows of services and temporal changes in the values of customer satisfaction and various other variables of service models. The authors present the results of the simulation of an online DVD rental service involving multiple agents to show the effectiveness of the proposed method that uses an STN GUI simulator developed by them.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():105-113. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28822.

In the manufacturing sector, product-service systems (PSSs) have attracted considerable attention as a means to unify and integrate the design of products and services. In order to maximize customer value, the design of products and services should be integrated. Thus far, unified schemes related to service activities and product behaviors have been proposed in the field of service engineering. In these approaches, services are modeled from the viewpoint of function, and a service delivery process that is based on service activities and product behaviors is developed. However, when service providers attempt to improve their service, the existing PSS methods are inadequate from the viewpoint of providing suggestions for improvement. Therefore, this research aims to establish a method for PSSs to suggest improvements in their own service. Thus, in this paper, the authors propose a method for service function improvement that involves analysis of the service delivery process and enhances customer value.

Topics: Manufacturing , Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():115-126. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28988.

One of the primordial aspects of the integrated product service paradigm is efficient flow and sharing of information between the stakeholders during the entire life of a product. This paper presents an improved understanding of the nature of the product in-use information required by aircraft design engineers. The findings are based on a vast survey which expands on a previous qualitative study reported in the literature. The results presented here are therefore a much needed quantitative measure of the in-service information requirements at the aircraft design stage. The survey has helped the authors to depict a system of in-service information feedback to designers which can be qualified as informal in nature, producing inefficient or frustrating results. Indeed, the feedback process is established mainly through personal contacts and does not necessarily ensure that appropriate, complete information is systematically available in a timely manner for designers. On the bright side, the responses from the participants consolidate the belief that the required information does exist within heterogeneous databases and that designers recognize the importance of in-service information to their work. A formalized in-service information feedback process is therefore seen as one of the strategic mechanisms that needs to be implemented to ensure proper product development and service integration.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():127-134. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29031.

General service designs focus on specific customers. However, because of the diversity of customer demands, it is difficult to design a public service that addresses the demands of all customers. To achieve maximum customer satisfaction, it is imperative to summarize the demands of various customers and design a service by considering customers belonging to different categories. This study aims at realizing a service design by considering different customer groups. In particular, we propose a method that enables service design by considering groups of various customers and minimizing customer dissatisfaction by adopting a group-decision-making approach [1–4].

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():135-143. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28377.

The mechatronic systems are manufactured and high technology integrated products consisting of mechanical components, electronic devices and software modules. Such products are present in a very fast growing number of industrial products like mobile phones, digital cameras, high standing automobiles, aeronautics or NC machines. Some of these products are mass consumption items such as mobile phones that are characterized by a relatively short commercial lifetime. And then these products are renewed after a few months. Dealing with all this growing amount of wastes generated, is a crucial environmental problem that is becoming a worrying situation. This article proposes an approach aimed to lifecycle design for the recyclability of mass consumption mechatronic products. In this paper, we firstly describe and analyze the mechatronic products behavior from reliability and recyclability viewpoints. Then, we propose an approach for designing such products in order to fulfill recyclability requirements by using a knowledge-based design adviser module.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():145-154. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28726.

Buying back used products and reselling them to the second-hand market has emerged as a new business model in the consumer electronics market. The price that a buyback company pays for a used product is important for manufacturers in that it affects new product sales as well as end-of-life recovery. To clarify what the key factors are in deciding buyback price of used electronics and to help manufacturers manage the buyback price from the design stage, this paper presents an empirical study of buyback price with an example of laptop. Several hundred laptops of the past decade are examined and their buyback prices as of now are estimated using a pricing engine of a real buyback company. The statistical analysis shows the relations of design specification to buyback price as well as the impacts of cosmetic condition and hardware reliability.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():155-169. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28796.

Consumers of electronic products (e-products) increasingly purchase new product and dispose of the last-generation of fully functional product for the sake of newer models with added functionality brought on by advances in technology. This consumer behavior is referred to as technological obsolescence, rendering older versions of the product obsolete and creating e-waste. The phenomenon of technological product obsolescence and e-waste is especially prevalent in electronic products such as cell phones and video games. E-waste is very costly for the environment, as well as for electronics product manufacturers. This paper investigates the use of a Product Service System (PSS) based model to design obsolescence resistance product, hence mitigating the impact of e-waste. The approach is derived from the results of an empirical study of multiple high e-waste generating products. As part of the study, various products are analyzed and guidelines for designs are derived from the empirical data. The utility of the proposed approach is demonstrated via the conceptual design of a novel smart phone based on the PSS framework.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():171-182. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29091.

Design stage is very critical as many decisions impacting the downstream development activities and the product cost are made in this stage. Over the years, numerous “Design for X (DfX)” concepts/methods have been developed in order to increase the efficiency at the design stage, and reduce the total product cost and development lead time. Design for manufacture, assembly, quality, maintenance, environment, obsolescence and recyclability, etc. are among these. Despite the availability of these numerous concepts/methods, a “big picture” to illustrate the relations and the interactions among these X factors remains absent. In the paper, we attempt to provide our version of this “big picture” along with maturity and trajectory of these factors as identified from the published literature.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():183-192. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29203.

Based on ductility exhaustion theory and the generalized damage parameter, a new viscosity-based life prediction model is put forward to account for creep and mean strain or stress effects in a low cycle fatigue regime. The mechanisms of loading waveform and cyclic hardening effects are also taken into account within this model. It assumes that damage accrues by means of viscous flow and ductility consumption relates only to plastic strain and creep strain under high temperature low cycle fatigue conditions. The proposed model provides a better prediction on the fatigue behaviors of Superalloy GH4133 than the Goswami’s ductility model and the generalized damage parameter. Compared with the proposed model and the generalized damage parameter, the Goswami’s model cannot properly account for creep and mean stress effects on the low cycle fatigue life. Under non-zero mean strain conditions, the proposed model provides more accurate predictions of GH4133 Superalloy than that with zero mean strains.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():193-203. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28230.

Predicting future customer needs is critical when selecting a concept for a new product. Customer need prediction is challenging because customer needs may change as external factors that influence needs change over time. This paper proposes a Bayesian framework to predict future distribution of customer needs by incorporating forecasts of external factors and their corresponding accuracies. The framework is demonstrated by an illustrative example in which designers predict future distribution of a customer need (“Fuel Efficient”) based on forecast of an external factor (gasoline price index) and the accuracy of the forecast. The benefit of incorporating forecasts of the external factor on concept selection and a sensitivity analysis of concept selection on the accuracy of the forecast are demonstrated in the illustrative example.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():205-212. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28231.

Analysis of customer preferences is among the most important tasks in a new product development. How customers come to appreciate and decide to purchase a new product affects the products market share and therefore its success or failure. Unfortunately, when designers select a product concept early in the product development process, customer preference response to the new product is unknown. Conjoint analysis is a statistical marketing tool that has been used to estimate market shares of new product concepts by analyzing data on the product ratings, rankings or concept choices of customers. This paper proposes an alternative to traditional conjoint analysis methods that provide point estimates of market shares. It proposes two approaches to model market share uncertainty; bootstrap and binomial inference applied to choice-based conjoint analysis data. The proposed approaches are demonstrated and compared using an illustrative example.

Topics: Modeling , Uncertainty
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():213-222. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28232.

This paper presents cost uncertainty modeling for a concept selection using case-based reasoning (CBR) and compares this method with the regression analysis approach. During the product development stage, a number of decisions must be made under uncertainty, including selection of an ideal product concept. The cost of a concept, i.e., the cost of the final product developed from a concept, is a key factor influencing the choice of an ideal concept. The CBR approach creates a knowledge base (or database) containing past cases, defines a new case, retrieves cases similar to the new case, and adapts the solution of the retrieved cases to the new case. This paper illustrates the proposed approach using automobiles as an example.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():223-232. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28248.

Micro-products and components are rapidly increasing in a range of sectors. This demand requires industrial technologies capable of mass producing polymer micro products at a reasonable price. These two requirements are satisfied by the use of replication technologies such as micro compression moulding (μCM). A literature review that we conducted revealed that there is indeed little if any work explicitly related to the domain of micro compression moulding. In addition, a design methodology in micro manufacturing is still in its infancy and that there is a shortage of relevant DFX guidelines. Thus, this research aims at developing a framework for a computer-based tool whereby micro-product stakeholders are guided to select the correct mould features, material, machine and process parameters for fabricating components via micro compression moulding. The paper presents a framework developed to meet this goal. A proof-of-concept tool has also been implemented based on this framework. This tool was evaluated by typical case studies and also presented to a number of experts in the field. Preliminary evaluation results provide a degree of evidence that technology based on the framework contributes a step towards providing guidance for the design and manufacture of mould tools for fabricating μ-components by compression moulding. Another contribution of this paper is the preliminary fabrication platform using μCM. Future work is however required mainly to assess the economic feasibility of the fabrication platform, to address the limitations of the implemented tool, and to assess its effectiveness in practice.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():233-241. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28461.

Uncertainty and complexity are inherent characteristics of a modern product development process. Concurrent engineering necessitates the use of interim information that may be incomplete, provisional, inconsistent and unreliable for the purpose of the tasks at hand. Mechanisms that allow actors in the design process to exchange interim information while being able to estimate the remaining risk of rework is of great importance to ensure robust decision making and to realize continuous progress. However, product development processes are traditionally managed through the use of milestone, or earned value methods without enabling the measurement as well as the capture of progress according to the state of progress of design tasks. The present paper presents a new methodology for monitoring interim information transfers. The approach supports design process planners by providing them with a monitoring system to control when interim information should be released, with which pace, and at which point of progress. This takes into account the criticality of information that is one of the main drivers of rework risk.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():243-252. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28505.

The ever changing trends in current markets along with customers’ rising demands for quality require many companies to make frequent changes in their products. In this paper, a framework for a comprehensive Decision Support System (DSS) is described and illustrated with a simple example of a thermo-flask. The DSS aims to obtain an optimal balance between customer and enterprise satisfaction by taking into account different design decision attributes: customer requirements, cost and design risk. The system allows the recalculation of cost, value, effort and risk when engineering change occurs during the creation of new design solutions. The proposed DSS integrates House of Quality (HOQ), Functional Analysis System Technique (FAST), risk assessment and change propagation analysis to provide a view of the design process from product attributes and design risk to cost and effort. The goal is to increase product knowledge in the early stages of design, to calculate the effects of engineering change, and to support design engineers in decision making.

Topics: Design , Risk analysis
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():253-264. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28511.

Creating highly articulated miniature robotic structures requires assembling a large number of small parts. This is a very challenging task and increases cost of the robots. Insert molding presents the possibility of creating a highly articulated structure in a single molding step. This can be accomplished by placing multiple metallic bearings in the mold and injecting plastic on top of them. In theory, this idea can generate a multi degree of freedom robot in just one processing step without requiring any post molding assembly operations. However, the polymer material has a tendency to shrink on top of the metal bearings and hence jam the joints. Hence, until now insert molding has not been used to create articulated structures. This paper presents a theoretical model for estimating the extent of joint jamming that occurs due to the shrinkage of the polymer on top of the metal bearings. The level of joint jamming is seen as the effective torque needed to overcome the friction in the revolute joints formed by insert molding. We then use this model to select the optimum design parameters which can be used to fabricate functional robotic assemblies while meeting manufacturing constraints. Our analysis shows that the strength of weld-lines formed during the in-mold assembly process play a significant role in determining the minimum joint dimensions necessary for fabricating functional revolute joints. We have used the models and methods described in this paper to successfully fabricate the structure for a minimally invasive medical robot prototype with potential applications in neurosurgery. To the best of our knowledge this is first demonstration of building an articulated structure with multiple degrees of freedom using insert molding.

Topics: Robots , Molding , Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():265-273. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28869.

Product development processes of complex products are complex themselves and particularly difficult to plan and manage effectively. Although many organizations manage their product development processes by monitoring the status of documents that are created as deliverables, in fact the progress of the process is in large part based on the actual information flow which is required to develop the product and produce the documents. A vital element in making product development processes work well is the correct understanding of how information flows and how to facilitate its development. In this paper we describe an executable stochastic model of the product development process that incorporates the salient features of the interplay between the information development, exchange and progress of the technical work. Experiments with the model provide insight into the mechanisms that drive these complex processes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():275-284. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29131.

Environment friendly design methodology is a valid trade-off between the degrees of freedom and the sustainable solution. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a powerful tool to calculate the environmental impact from the product and the manufacturing systems from cradle to grave including the consumption of all types of the resources. However, complexity of the LCA restricts its usefulness in the current state-of-the-art product and process system development. Most often, companies ignore to adopt a top-down approach and make a post manufacturing environmental audit. In fast-paced new product design process, the longevity of the product and the process development time has been reduced to its lowest level. Therefore, it has become rather difficult to meet the increasing competition of involving change, quicker response to the market as there exists a rapid change in the market economy. Infact the broader design principles suggests to create a product with sole functions and the architecture with no waste or refuse of recycling or refuse of incinerators to go in to grave of the land fill. Therefore, the preliminary design stages are simple and a bottom-up approach for the environmentally-conscience design is insufficient. Thus, the proposal is to make more functionally-oriented set of specific principles to not only directly satisfy the regulations but also provide design valuable attribute. In this context, an integrated top down dynamic & hybrid life cycle analysis-based design approach is presented to address above-mentioned issues with the company policy perspective and to satisfy the regulations and national/international standards in the wake of emerging localization paradigm in manufacturing system.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():285-291. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29167.

Product design over the past few decades has moved towards shorter life cycles, shorter design cycles while simultaneously having to satisfy multiple market segments. Global companies have responded to this challenge by designing products based on architectures, to meet these new market requirements. However, designing products based on architecture levies a significant tradeoff penalty on the derivative variants when compared to custom requirement-specific design. All derivative variants sharing the common architecture will have to carry the engineering weight of the variant with the most stringent performance requirements. This makes architecture definition a crucial step in achieving market success. The architecture definition process has three primary steps: architecture bandwidth definition, determining the number of variants and definition of the bandwidth of each variant. A study of the current architecture definition process in a large automobile manufacturer determined that the bandwidth and variant decision making process was entirely manual and dependant on the skill & experience of the personnel involved. This paper defines a math-based framework to define, determine and visualize the entire solution space of product variants in an individual architecture. A case study was built around a midsize vehicle architecture; with elemental physics and dynamics determining the performance attributes of each variant solution. A commercial simulation solution provided the marketshare simulation, for all the potential virtual vehicles in the solution space, providing a connection for engineering requirements to market performance. This paper begins with a brief overview of the architecture design space, walks through an analytical framework to define product architecture, and finally, future steps for this line of research.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():293-298. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28113.

In this paper, Lagrange factor polynomial method is developed to generate the stress-strength interference model with thermal stress-dependent strength. Accuracy of this method is investigated by an aeroengine air-cooled turbine blade. The computed reliability is quite high under several thermal stress modes. Then probability mean function estimated by this method has relatively low errors over most subintervals of the thermal stress dependent strength distribution. With this approach conditional thermal stress-dependent strength reliability of aeroengine structural systems can be established conveniently. Meanwhile the application range of the classical stress-strength interference model can be extended.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():299-306. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28309.

Management is one of the most challenging phases in life cycle of a Virtual Enterprise (VE). It has been found that nearly 70% of the VE cases disband prematurely. In many cases, this premature disbanding is caused by problems related to their management. In this paper, we present a study on analysis of robustness of the VE manufacturing system using the robust design technique. The objective of the study was to develop a methodology that allows for robustness analysis and show what and how variables of the VE system affect its robustness using this methodology. The study was a simulation-based experiment; in particular, the control factors were studied with an L18 experimental design, while the noise factors were with an L9 design. The Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) was used as the tool in this study to link the structure of a VE (namely a set of members) and the behavior of the VE (namely disband). The result of the experiment show the methodology is promising. In the science of the VE manufacturing system, this study concluded: (1) the best robustness can be achieved when the partners’ technical capabilities are considered more important than other criteria, (2) business-related criteria should be considered as equally important as other criteria, and (3) both controllable and uncontrollable factors are responsible for the robustness of the VE system in its life cycle.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():307-321. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28708.

Improved complex system design methods can lead to innovative, efficient, and robust product designs. This research aims at improving the design of products that compose a portion of, or exist within, a complex system. Before attempting to improve product designs, one requires a better understanding and characterization of complex systems. One method to characterize optimized and robust complex systems is to use the Theory of Highly Optimized Tolerance (HOT). The theory states that highly optimized and tolerant complex systems are robust in conditions for which they were designed, but fragile in the face of unanticipated events. Highly robust and optimized complex systems are abundant in the biological domain. In fact, nature represents a vast resource for innovative solutions to varied design problems. Leveraging these solutions to solve engineering problems is often referred to as biomimetic design. This research analyzes twenty bio-inspired engineering products including the biological system from which they were derived. The HOT theory is used analyze the biomimetic systems and identify the inherent characteristics that make the designs robust to their environment. These characteristics were reviewed to identify common features and trends present within the information transfer between the biological and engineering domains. Finally, the inferred features and trends were abstracted into usable guidelines stated as nine biomimetic design guidelines. Similar to the forty Theory of Inventive Problem Solving principles, these bio-inspired guidelines could aid engineers in developing innovative and robust solutions to design problems. In fact, a similarity between some of the biomimetic design guidelines and TRIZ principles is observed. This correlation suggests that solutions perceived as innovative in the engineering domain match those in nature.

Topics: Design , Biomimetics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():323-332. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28903.

Medial axis transform (MAT) is a very useful shape interrogation tool in NC tool path generation for pocket milling. This paper presents a new, efficient approach to calculating MATs of planar profiles with boundaries of free-form curves. The proposed approach is mainly based on profile boundary tracing and decomposition. By studying the basic elements of MAT and their geometric properties, several algorithms of finding contact circles are developed. The boundary tracing algorithm can handle profiles with/without internal holes. For a profile without internal holes, it is continuously divided into simpler sub-profiles while travelling along the boundary, and a tree data structure is adopted to keep track of the boundary decomposition process. For a profile with internal holes, it is divided into several simple profiles without internal holes. After generating the MAT of each simple profile, the completed MAT can be found by combining these MATs. This proposed approach is implemented and some illustrative samples are presented to demonstrate its advantages.

Topics: Shapes
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():333-339. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29173.

Steel sheet metals are widely used in different industries due to their high strength, good weldability, availability, moderate cost, and the ability to form to complex 3D parts. The study of the formability of sheet metals is often done by means of Forming Limit Diagram (FLD) which presents the major and minor engineering strain thresholds under different deformation states. In this article, the formability parameters of three different steel sheet metals with the same thickness have been determined by uniaxial tension test and their FLDs have been produced by Hecker method: RRSt14O3, Zinc coated IF (Interstitial Free) steel and uncoated IF steel. Also the materials’ formability during the stamping process of a car door inner panel has been investigated as a case study to substitute the original design of raw material, coated IF steel, with a cheaper alternative. Among the tested materials to form the part, the uniaxial tension results showed that the formability parameters of uncoated IF steel was higher than the coated IF steel and the parameters of RRSt14O3 sheet metal was the lowest. The FLD of coated IF steel sheet was the highest (best formability). Differences among the formability parameters in uniaxial tension, the FLDs, and the stamping behavior of the part with different steel sheet metals have been explained by their surface roughnesses and the friction coefficients that affect the material flow during the FLD test as well as the stamping process.

Topics: Steel , Carbon
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():341-349. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28148.

The recent boom and collapse of the corn ethanol industry calls into question on the long-term sustainability of biofuels and traditional approaches to biofuel systems design. Compared with petroleum based transportation fuel production, biofuel production systems are so closely connected and heavily influenced by natural systems that they have to deal with high degrees of complexity, variability and unpredictability. Accordingly, a fundamental change in design philosophy is necessary for long-term viability of biofuel production. The new approach requires the system to be designed not for a narrowly defined efficiency (both economic and ecological), but for resilience (indicated by characteristics such as diversity, efficiency, cohesion and adaptability) to absorb unexpected disruptions and changes. Also, biofuel systems must be endowed with transformability to allow for “creative destruction” when current transportation fuels are eventually supplanted by new vehicle technologies and/or mode of transportation. This paper addresses important concepts in the design of coupled engineering-ecological systems (i.e. resilience, adaptability and transformability) that determine future system trajectories at multiple scales. In addition, several emerging biofuel conversion technologies are examined from a resilience perspective. It is suggested that the thermo-chemical conversion technologies may be preferable for biofuel production from resilience aspect. However, multiple technologies may increase the diversity and flexibility of the entire industry. This paper calls for the development of quantitative metrics for resilience assessment (similar to life cycle assessment for environmental sustainability) of industrial system, which are critical for integrating resilience into technology development and system design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():351-363. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28265.

This paper describes efforts taken to further transition life cycle analysis techniques from the latter, more detailed phases of design, to the early-on conceptual phase of product development. By using modern design methodologies such as automated concept generation and an archive of product design knowledge, known as the Design Repository, virtual concepts are created and specified. Streamlined life cycle analysis techniques are then used to determine the environmental impacts of the virtual concepts. As a means to benchmark the virtual results, analogous real-life products that have functional and component similarities are identified. The identified products are then scrutinized to determine their material composition and manufacturing attributes in order to perform an additional round of life cycle analysis for the actual products. The results of this research show that enough information exists within the conceptual phase of design (utilizing the Design Repository) to reasonably predict the relative environmental impacts of actual products based on virtual concepts.

Topics: Product design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():365-376. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28337.

As the topic of sustainability continues to gain momentum, companies are seeking ways to integrate environmental solutions into their product development process. Decisions made throughout the product development process affect the sustainability of the product from raw material extraction, to production process impacts, to end of life disposal. One such impact is the generation of waste by-products. By utilizing waste as raw materials, companies can continue to cycle technical and biological nutrients thus minimizing the scatter of waste to the natural environment. The focus of this research is to explore the enablers and barriers to utilizing waste streams as raw materials. Using a qualitative approach, nine different organizations from four companies crossing over multiple industries are studied. Key characteristics of production waste that enable successful by-product exchanges are identified, as well as the role the product development process needs to play in creating value from exchanges.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():377-383. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28340.

Reducing the environmental effects of products has become a significant focus of corporate strategies. As a result, easy-to-use ecodesign tools that can be implemented during the early design stage are essential for corporations to gain a competitive advantage in product development. A novel eco-design method, the function impact matrix (FIM), is being developed as a tool to enable the development and evaluation of design concepts by correlating environmental impacts with product functions. This paper aims to illustrate the efficacy and relative ease of use of the FIM. Understanding designers’ interactions with visual tools and cognitive load analysis of designers can provide new insight that aids in the development of easy-to-use ecodesign tools. In this pilot study, design engineers with varying levels of experience and self-perceived eco-design knowledge are asked to redesign an alarm clock under four different design scenarios: 1) using no eco-design tools, 2) using the LiDS wheel and an ecodesign checklist, 3) raw life cycle assessment (LCA) data and 4) the function impact matrix. Surveying the designers reveals that the function impact method carried the highest overall rank compared to the other ecodesign tools with regard to ease of use, quality of data, ability for identifying redesign opportunities, and overall effectiveness. As suggested by the designers, a combination of a modified LiDS wheel with the FIM would lead to a helpful tool for sustainable concept generation.

Topics: Sustainability
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():385-394. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28657.

With the increased need for remanufacturing of end-of-life products, achieving economic efficiency in remanufacturing is urgently needed. The purpose of this study was to devise a cost-minimization plan for disassembly and remanufacturing of end-of-life products returned by consumers. A returned end-of-life product is disassembled into remanufacturable parts, which are supposed to be used for new products after being remanufactured. Each end-of-life product is disassembled into parts at variable levels as needed, taking into account not only disassembly but also manufacturing, remanufacturing, and holding inventory of remanufacturable parts. This study proposes a linear programming model for derivation of the optimal disassembly plan for each returned product, under deterministically known demand and return flows. For the purposes of an illustrative example, the proposed model was applied to the formulation of an optimal disassembly and remanufacturing plan of ‘Fuser Assembly’ of laser printers. The solution reveals that variable-level disassembly of products saves a significant remanufacturing cost compared with full disassembly.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():395-403. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28749.

Power generation for the existing electrical grid is largely based on the combustion of fossil fuels. Global concerns have been raised regarding the environmental sustainability of the system due to life cycle impacts, including land losses from fuel extraction and impacts of combustion emissions. An approach to reduce carbon emissions of fossil fuel-based energy employs the conversion of wind energy to electrical energy. The work presented describes modern wind power plants and provides an environmental assessment of a representative wind park from a life cycle perspective. The empirical analysis uses commercially available data, as well as information from an existing wind power plant. The life cycle assessment (LCA) study for a modern wind farm in the northwestern U.S. found that environmental benefits of avoiding typical electricity production greatly outweigh the impacts due to wind turbine construction and maintenance. Effects of component reliability, varying capacity factors, and energy portfolio are explored.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():405-415. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28760.

Product architecture significantly influences environmental impact. Modular architectures aid manufacture and reuse, thereby reducing manufacturing-related impacts and diverting usable waste from landfills. In contrast, modular product architectures may also sacrifice product performance or lead to over-designed products. These side-effects can increase environmental impact. The Black and Decker Firestorm and G5 George Foreman Griddle were studied to uncover and understand the effects of product architecture on energy and material efficiency. Both products incorporate component sharing for fulfilling multiple functions and incur environmental tradeoffs as a result. Experimentation, reverse engineering, and life cycle analysis of these products were used to inspire a number of guidelines for green design of modular product architectures. Difficulties involved the design of interfaces and selection of components for shared modules.

Topics: Green design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():417-425. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28823.

Engineers, policy makers, and managers have shown increasing interest in increasing the sustainability of products over their complete lifecycles and also from the ‘cradle to grave’ or from production to the disposal of each specific product. However, a significant amount of material is disposed of in landfills rather than being reused in some form. A sizeable proportion of the products being dumped in landfills consist of packaging materials for consumable products. Technological advances in plastics, packaging, cleaning, logistics, and new environmental awareness and understanding may have altered the cost structures surrounding the lifecycle use and disposal costs of many materials and products resulting in different cost-benefit trade-offs. An explicit and well-informed economic analysis of reusing certain containers might change current practices and results in significantly less waste disposal in landfills and in less consumption of resources for manufacturing packaging materials. This work presents a method for calculating the costs associated with a complete process of implementing a system to reuse plastic containers for food products. Specifically, the different relative costs of using a container and then either disposing of it in a landfill, recycling the material, or reconditioning the container for reuse and then reusing it are compared explicitly. Specific numbers and values are calculated for the case of plastic milk bottles to demonstrate the complicated interactions and the feasibility of such a strategy.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():427-434. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28825.

The problem addressed in this paper is disassembly sequence planning for the purposes of maintenance or component upgrading, which is an integral part of the remanufacturing process. This involves disassembly, component repair or replacement, and reassembly. Each of these steps incurs cost as well as the probability of damage during the process. This paper presents a method for addressing these tradeoffs, as well as the uncertainty associated with them. A procedure for identifying the best sequence of disassembly operations for maintenance and/or component upgrade is presented. It considers both disassembly and reassembly costs and uncertainties. Graph-based integer linear programming combined with multiattribute utility analysis is employed to identify the best set of tradeoffs among (a) disassembly time (and resulting cost) under uncertainty, (b) the probability of not incurring damage during disassembly, (c) reassembly time (and resulting cost) and (d) the probability of not incurring damage during reassembly. An example of a solar heating system is used to illustrate the method.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():435-447. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28830.

Growing concerns from customers and the government about product disposal highlight the necessity of improving product take-back systems to retain the embedded values in disposed products. Progress has been made towards minimizing the cost of the disassembly process. While some progress has been made in improving end-of-life (EOL) value through decision making in the early design stage, contradictive objectives make it difficult to simultaneously optimize initial sales profits and EOL value. In this paper, a mathematical model is developed to integrate end-of-life recovery value considerations with product design decisions. The improvement of component reuse value or recycling value is achieved by linking design decisions in the early design stage with end-of-life decisions in order to maximize total product value across the span of the life cycle. A matrix based representation that can group components into several end-of-life modules with similar end-of-life decisions is also presented. The results are discussed to compare different design alternatives to understand their influence on product lifecycle value. The proposed method is illustrated through an example involving cell phone product design decisions and end-of-life strategies.

Topics: Design , Cycles
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():449-461. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28842.

The problem addressed in this paper is that the incoming stream of “feedstock” from product take-back systems is known to be widely variable, but the type and extent of that variability have not been well defined. This paper presents an analysis of data from an incoming e-waste stream for a computer refurbisher, and analyzes the type and degree of variability. The implications for design for sustainability are presented, along with a discussion of suggested future research needs.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():463-472. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28858.

In designing for a system’s lifecycle considerations, long-term energy needs often become an important limiting factor. Shifting from conventional energy sources (e.g. fossil fuels) toward renewable sources (e.g. wind and solar) has become a popular means for focusing on the lifecycle of large-scale systems like automobiles and the national electrical grid. This same shift in small, low-power systems such as sensors has the additional advantage of potentially increasing the operational life of the systems. This paper introduces a methodology for determining the feasibility of in situ energy harvesting as a viable power source for a given low-power system. The method is demonstrated by considering a wireless sensor node and the specific application of monitoring the fatigue life of highway bridges, with a target operational life of ten years for the sensor node. Peak and average power requirements for wireless sensor nodes are calculated and compared to the power density available from solar, wind, and vibration energy. Energy storage is also discussed, including both disposable batteries (as the status quo with which to compare energy harvesting) and rechargeable systems (as a necessary component of the energy harvesting system). Solar, wind, and vibration energy are all found to be feasible sources of power for this particular application. Vibration harvesting has lower power density than solar and wind harvesting, but has the advantage of being less dependent on location, more self-contained, and largely maintenance free. Energy harvesting in general only becomes attractive for projected life cycles exceeding the life of disposable batteries, which for this particular application is estimated at 4–6 years. Thus, energy harvesting is an excellent way to extend the lifespan of low-power systems where power availability is the limiting factor.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():473-481. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29061.

Following organic processes in nature, the “cradle to cradle” concept sees the waste of a given process as raw material for another. According to this concept, products must be designed in such a way that, in the end of their service life, they can be reused without loss of quality (as technical nutrients) or returned to the environment as biological nutrients and safely decomposed. The main issues, however, are how to move away from the traditional linear system of production (“cradle to grave”) into a cyclic “cradle to cradle” concept, and the identification of parameters that should be considered during the design process in order to achieve real sustainable characteristics through sustainable design and development. The paper provides a review of research and data collection associated with the footwear industry, whose products satisfy a basic human need and are ubiquitous worldwide. After going through a dramatic change in its business model over the last few decades with the advent of outsourcing, today this industry has large economic and environmental impact, highly centralized manufacturing and a complex supply chain, in addition to early but notable efforts on green product development — characteristics that make it a compelling industry to study.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():483-490. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29138.

The development of cost-effective and green recycling technologies for secondary metal recovery from industrial wastes is one of the new challenges on the sustainable development agenda. By incorporating cost and resource efficiency assessment into the technology innovation process, we aim to improve the sustainability of new recycling technologies by minimizing process waste, improving resource efficiency, thus reducing the recovery process cost. This paper focuses on modeling and assessing the production cost and resource use efficiency for closed-loop nickel recovery from spent hydrogenation catalysts. The engineering economics factors and process variables that affect the profitability and resource efficiency of nickel recovery are identified. They are modeled in cost and efficiency metrics. Model-based scenarios assessment revealed that compared to open-loop nickel recovery, the closed-loop concept delivers more cost-effective and greener recycling solutions. The closed-loop process cost reduction via efficient resource use and process waste minimization is in the range of 18.4% to 24.0% compared to the open-loop process option.

Topics: Recycling
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():491-500. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28034.

For a product to be commercially successful and increasingly competitive in this global market place, it is imperative that engineers must understand and design for each phase in the life cycle of a product. The life cycle cost (LCC) of any piece of equipment, such as a pump represents the total cost to procure, install, operate, maintain and dispose of that equipment. For sustainment dominated products or systems, the lifetime energy and/or maintenance costs dominate the life cycle cost as compared to its initial cost. The initial cost is only a fraction of the life cycle cost. Therefore, a due consideration to the life cycle cost issues at product design stage is quite essential. The LCC analysis is recommended only at the product design phase, as up to 80% of product LCC is committed at this phase. A better understanding of the cost components that make up the life cycle cost is expected to provide the product designers an opportunity to considerably reduce product LCC. In this paper, a methodology for LCC analysis based on reliability and maintainability principles has been applied to three different pumps and the results of analysis have been compared. For analysis purpose, two pumps have been selected from the literature and the data available therein is utilized. The third pump is selected from a well known pump manufacturer from India and the required data is obtained directly from the manufacturer. To model the maintenance and repair cost the concept of expected number of failures in a given time interval has been applied. The maintenance and repair cost is estimated for two different maintenance and repair strategies, the renewal/replacement upon failure strategy and minimal repair upon failure strategy and under the conditions of constant failure rate (exponential distribution) in first case and increasing failure rate (Weibull distribution) in the second case. The results obtained have been presented and compared at the end. The methodology presented in this paper is expected to help the pump designers to estimate and compare the life cycle cost of their different design alternatives.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():501-508. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28279.

Laminated tooling is one of the new technologies which helps companies to manufacture parts with lower costs and higher accuracy. It is base on dividing entire CAD model of the part to slices and then cutting each layer profile utilizing laser cut or other techniques. Finally the layers are stacked together to make the final product. CNC machining removes the extra material and brings the part to the specific tolerances. In order to minimize the manufacturing cost, one option is reduction in the amount of the extra material and the number of slices likewise. This is considered as an optimization problem in this research. Then a genetic algorithms (G.A.) based method is offered to solve this optimization problem. However, as a common problem in most instances of genetic algorithms, premature convergence prevents system to continue searching for a more reliable solution after finding a local optimum. To address this problem, a novel niching method is presented in this paper. Results show a significant improvement in the quality of the solution as well as a considerable reduction in processing time.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():509-518. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28571.

This paper focuses on the research and development of wire handling devices for microdiameter wires of various sizes. Microsized wires and tools are gaining importance in aerospace technology, medical device manufacturing and in the semiconductor industry. Development of microwire handling devices is complicated and difficult due to the size of the wire and the need for high accuracy for its use. The aim of this work was to develop a compact, robust, and highly precise device. This paper presents a systematic methodology for the development of a high-precision microwire handling device. The device can accurately feed wires ranging as low as 0.05 mm in diameter. The wire handling device must satisfy the following three criteria: (1) it must continuously feed wire without slippage and kinking; (2) it must ensure repeatability with great accuracy; (3) and it must handle wire of various sizes. The device was experimentally tested for initial design failures, high precision, and repeatability. A practical example for laser deposition is presented here to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():519-524. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28658.

The tolerance analysis of an assembly is an important issue for mechanical design. Among many tolerance analysis methods, the conventional statistical tolerance analysis method is the most popular one. However, the conventional statistical tolerance analysis method is based on the normal distribution. It fails to predict the resultant tolerance of an assembly with features in non-normal distributions. In this paper, the distributions of features are transferred into statistical moments first. Then, the tolerance stack-up can be handled based on these moments. Finally, the computed resultant moments can be mapped back to probability distribution to find the resultant tolerance specification of the assembly. Two examples are used to demonstrate the proposed method. Compared to the resultants by Monte Carlo simulation with 1,000,000 samples, the predicted resultant tolerance specifications by this method are only −0.868% and 0.799% differences. The predicted resultant tolerances of this method are fast and accurate.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():525-536. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28889.

Today’s ubiquitous use of plastics in product design and manufacturing presents significant environmental and human health challenges. Injection molding, one of the most commonly used processes for making plastic products, consumes a significant amount of energy. A methodology for accurately estimating the energy consumed to injection-mold a part would enable environmentally conscious decision making during the product design. Unfortunately, only limited information is available at the design stage. Therefore, accurately estimating energy consumption before the part has gone into production can be challenging. In this paper, we describe a methodology for energy estimation that works with the limited amount of data available during the design stage, namely the CAD model of the part, the material name, and the production requirements. The methodology uses this data to estimate the parameters of the runner system and an appropriately sized molding machine. It then uses these estimates to compute the machine setup time and the cycle time required for the injection molding operation. This is done by appropriately abstracting information available from the mold flow simulation tools and analytical models that are traditionally used during the manufacturing stage. These times are then multiplied by the power consumed by the appropriately sized machine during each stage of the molding cycle to compute the estimated energy consumption per part.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():537-544. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28274.

Product inspection is a critical process of quality control in manufacturing. Coordinate measuring machine (CMM) is a type of precise inspection device widely used in manufacturing industry. The training of CMM operators is a time-consuming and costly processing, which has been identified as the primary intervention to improve the quality and reliability of the product inspection. Virtual Reality (VR) technology provides an intuitive and immersive user interface, which can be an efficient tool for the CMM training. Existing CMM software tools are either without VR user interface, or inefficient for a particular CMM application. This paper proposes a VR-based CMM training system. It uses virtual environments for trainees to operate and view the CMM motion and measurement processing. The VR-based training provides guides, instructions, and examples for trainees. The system design and implementation are discussed and illustrated.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():545-553. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28458.

TRIZ method provides useful theory for users to analyze and solve problems using a logic manner. It is widely used in different fields and has gained great success in machine design. Virtual reality (VR) is a computer generated environment with features of visualization and users’ interaction, which provides a cost-effective tool for product evaluation and design improvement. In this research, TRIZ is applied in the design of a new hemp scutcher prototype. With the assistance of VR technology, the design visualization and concept evolution are achieved in a virtual environment. A VR-based system is developed to evaluate the mechanism of the conceptual design, and to compare differences with traditional machines. The new design is supposed to have a better performance in terms of scale, product quality and energy efficiency.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():555-563. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28464.

In complex products, maintaining subsystem consistency throughout the design process is often a time-consuming process of document exchange among cooperating functions. This paper describes a conflict management approach that lead to the computer-aided management of the product specification conflicts that happen due to the integration of subsystems. In order to define a framework, a systematic interface representation which proposes building generic interface schemes for subsystem connectivity representation is described. Based on this methodology, a functional architecture of the proposed conflict management method, along with generic exception taxonomy of conflicts is developed. The applicability of the proposed concepts is discussed through illustrative examples. The proposed methodology is intended to allow automatic detection and handling of interface connectivity errors throughout collaborative design processes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():565-574. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28910.

Efficient, accurate geometric modeling for three-axis sculptured surfaces milling is quite challenging due to complexity of workpiece geometry change during machining. This paper presents an efficient, accurate approach to extracting the cutter/workpiece engagement (CWE) geometry and applying this geometry to an existing mechanistic force model in order to predict instantaneous cutting force, torque and power. In our research, a basic geometric modeling of chip removal in three-axis milling is investigated, and an effective model is proposed to represent the cutter swept profile. Computationally efficient, closed-form formulations are derived for general APT (Automatically Programmed Tools) cutter geometry. A Z-level B-Rep model is adopted to represent the in-process workpiece model, and an innovative geometric approach is used to extract the CWE geometry. Then, a mechanistic cutting force model is integrated to predict the cutting forces. As a result, a milling process simulation system is developed for three-axis virtual milling of sculptured surfaces. The developed system is experimentally verified by comparing the simulation results with actual forces measured from machining a test surface.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

7th Symposium on International Design and Design Education

2010;():577-584. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28065.

Students learning design engineering at times need a good example of procedure for novel design engineering. The systematic heuristic-strategic use of a theory to guide the design process — Engineering Design Science — and the methodical design process followed in this case study is only necessary in limited situations. The full procedure should be learned, such that the student can select appropriate parts for other applications. Creativity is usually characterized by a wide search for solutions, especially those that are innovative. The search can be helped by this systematic and methodical approach. This case example is presented to show application of the recommended method, and the expected scope of the output, with emphasis on the stages of conceptualizing. The case follows a novel design problem of a rig for a trapeze demonstration team to be used outdoors.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():585-592. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28073.

Students learning design engineering at times need a good example of procedure for design engineering, both for novel problems and for redesign. The systematic heuristic-strategic use of a theory to guide the design process — Engineering Design Science — and the methodical design process followed in this case study is only necessary in limited situations. The full procedure should be learned, such that the student can select appropriate parts for other applications. Creativity is usually characterized by a wide search for solutions, especially those that are innovative. The search can be helped by this systematic and methodical approach. This case example is presented to show application of the recommended method for redesign, and the expected scope of the output, with emphasis on the stages of conceptualizing. The case follows a redesign problem of an automotive oil pump.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():593-597. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28174.

Arranging oral presentations has always been very difficult and ineffective in our large project-based engineering design class of about 110 students each year. This paper presents a scheme of implementing peer evaluation to improve students’ participation and learning outcome in the oral presentation sessions. Basically, students were asked to grade and comment on oral presentations by other students in a pre-defined manner. The effect of oral presentations with/without the intervention of peer evaluation was compared. Our data and questionnaire results showed, with careful design of the format, peer evaluation indeed improved students’ participation in oral presentations, naturally leading to more serious and positive learning attitude, and eventually a better learning outcome.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():599-606. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28221.

Normally, there is very little opportunity for first-year engineering students to practice robust design techniques given the relatively simple nature of their projects, and they are not exposed to any robust design activity and Design of Experiments (DOE) methodologies until their third year. How can junior engineering students gain a sense of the robustness of their designs? Will the resulting product still be acceptably functional if used in non-ideal environments? The purpose of this paper is to introduce a potential assignment to supplement this need at the first-year level. Introduced as a bonus assignment in Fall 2009, students were charged with the task of designing an aircraft wing by choosing parameter setting combinations that would provide the maximum Lift-to-Drag ratio, simulating results theoretically that would be obtained in a wind-tunnel experiment, while including random noise. All necessary facts and equations were given, leaving students with the task of running calculations and employing Taguchi methods to select an optimal set of parameters. While few students chose to undertake the assignment, those that did it found the application interesting and useful. Example results for this robust design assignment, including final parameter selections for the optimal wing design, are presented in this paper, along with factors where students have shown weaknesses.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():607-616. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28282.

The application of Computer Aided Design and Engineering has been very popular in the engineering industry recently due to its usefulness in significantly reducing the time-to-market and cost involved within the design lifecycle of an engineering product. Despite the extensive availability of step-by-step manuals and tutorials to learn such tools, the emphasis of synergic utilization of such tools within the engineering design process has not been effectively addressed. Students often pay attention to learn how to use the tools instead of why to use such tools. In this paper, we present an innovative engineering education framework with various collaborative and interactive in-class activities and Web 2.0 tools to address the above issues in a senior undergraduate/graduate level CAD/CAE Applications course offered in University at Buffalo. Specifically, we categorize the approaches based the following components: (a) traditional lecture and computer labs, (b) team-based projects, (c) in-class activities, and (d) online course management tools. We show how the proposed approaches can be merged to the existing course syllabus in a synergic manner based on our experience. We also describe the rationale of the approaches and the expected outcome/improvements.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():617-626. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28334.

Situation cognition theory describes the context of a learning activity’s effect on learner’s cognition. In this paper, we use situated cognition theory to examine the effect of product dissection on product redesign activities. Two research questions were addressed: 1) Does situated cognition, in the form of product dissection, improve product functionality during redesign exercise?, and 2) Does situation cognition, again in the form of product dissection, affect the creativity of product redesigns? In this study, three sections of first year students in two different locations — The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) — performed product redesign using either an electric toothbrush or a coffee maker. The redesigned products have been analyzed with respect to both depth (detail level) and creativity.

Topics: Creativity , Students
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():627-637. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28575.

Evidence suggests that transformational innovation occurs at the intersection of multiple disciplines rather than isolated within them. Design—being both pervasive and inherently interdisciplinary—has the power to transcend many disciplines and help break down the departmental “silos” that hinder such collaborative efforts. Many universities are now struggling to embrace the curricular innovations that are necessary to achieve and sustain interdisciplinary education. Given the already packed undergraduate engineering curricula, several universities have started to offer new design programs that span several disciplines at the masters and doctoral levels. In this paper, we examine the five interdisciplinary graduate design programs offered by three different universities—University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and Stanford University—that hosted the NSF Design Workshop Series in 2008–2009. Collectively, these programs represent “solutions” that span a variety of graduate degree offerings that are available and provide examples of ways to successfully navigate the barriers and hurdles to interdisciplinary design education. A recap of the NSF Design Workshop Series is also provided along with recommendations from the workshops to foster discussion and provide directions for future work.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():639-645. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28596.

In engineering disciplines, visualization can provide an essential mode to facilitate student understanding of important and abstract concepts. Learning through a medium that combines course materials with game characteristics can be a powerful tool for education. This approach is expected to improve student willingness to learn, which will in turn increase the interests of high school and undergraduate students towards engineering as a future career. In this paper, three teaching modules based on the Gaming and Interactive Visualization for Education (GIVE) in three universities will be described in detail with enhanced game characteristics. Also, using the newly developed assessment tools, the evaluation data from the students who have experienced the GIVE system will be analyzed. More specifically, the three modules are designed and illustrated in this paper for the Flight Mechanics, Introduction to Electrical Engineering, and Design and Manufacturing. The following game characteristics have been considered and implemented in the modules: progressively balanced goal, feedback, time sensitive scoring, adaptive scoring, meaningful visual presentation, emotional involvement, avoiding guess, constitutive rule, operational rule, background, challenges, and rewards. Along with the course module development and implementation, the outcomes have been assessed using our evaluation system. The results have been analyzed and suggestions have been given for future work.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():647-659. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28817.

Designing a system that will protect an egg dropped from a predefined height is a common experience for many K-12 students and undergraduates in engineering. Often presented in the context of the scientific method, results from these experiments are used to teach concepts of impulse, acceleration, and impact modeling. When done in the classroom, students are usually given a box of pre-defined supplies and a small time frame with which to complete the design. But what educational challenges and outcomes can be gathered from this experience when the problem is tackled using the systematic design process? In this paper, outcomes from the various steps of the design process conducted over a six-week research project by two high school students are presented. Results include the generation of a requirements list, the creation of a functional model, results of brainstorming sessions, concept analysis, model validation through experimentation, optimization, and final design testing. Challenges faced during each step of the design process, and the surprising complexity of the problem, are also discussed. Additionally, the challenges associated with teaching design principles to high school students for a multidisciplinary and multiobjective problem are addressed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():661-668. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29058.

Problems in the process of product development often have roots in project management-related issues, such as communication flow, teamwork or even lack of knowledge about how to implement a simultaneous project. Hands-on activities based on real-world situations can be used to improve the learning process and train the abilities of future project managers, designers and producers, while stimulating participants to reflect on and discuss the group’s actions. This article describes an application of an activity referred to as the Plaster House Game. In this activity, students are organized in groups containing teams of designers and producers, which are located in separate rooms, with the goal of designing and building a miniature plaster house with provided components, using only online communication between teams and dealing with scheduling and production constraints set by the instructors. The work demonstrates that the use of simulation games can reinforce the learning process and allow students to rapidly identify potential problems that may occur in professional practice. It is also possible to show that the strategy chosen for project implementation, combined with better organization of work, can have a significant effect on the results of the exercise.

Topics: Design , Teams
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():669-676. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28925.

This paper presents preliminary results from the first phase of a longitudinal study of design cognition and the effects of design education on design practice. The study aims to monitor the development of engineering design thinking through a three-year protocol study of control and experimental groups of engineering students. Using innovations in cognitive science that include ontologically-based coding of protocols and new methods of protocol analysis, the study is intended to characterize students’ cognitive development, identify differences over time, and relate those differences to students’ educational experiences. The first phase of this study focuses on assessing students’ spatial reasoning ability. Spatial reasoning is the ability to process and form ideas through spatial relationships among objects. It has been found to correlate strongly with the design ability associated with one’s ability to generate, conceptualize, and communicate solutions to problems. Sophomore students entering two different majors took four spatial reasoning tests (Paper Folding, Vandenberg, Mental Rotation, and Spatial Imagery Ability) that addressed their ability to visualize objects and mentally manipulate them over an ordered sequence of spatial transformations. The results of these tests are presented in this paper. Tests were conducted to determine statistical significance in order to evaluate whether a student’s spatial reasoning ability correlates with their choice of engineering major. The students’ test performances are also compared with existing data from other fields (e.g., architecture, visual arts, science, and humanities).

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():677-680. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28986.

Technology has profoundly changed the manner with which we perform our most basic functions. The innovation of the Internet and other communication media have allowed us to communicate, conduct business, and buy and sell without ever having to leave home. Education has been affected in the same way, as those that would seek to obtain a degree or certification can do so in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to having to commute to a college campus to do so. This paper will discuss how elements of Quality Function Deployment have been used to facilitate a partnership between a traditional university located in western Arkansas and various community colleges in the eastern Arkansas Delta Region. The students in this region are non-traditional, place-bound individuals without access to higher education opportunities, but at the same time, in need of these opportunities to advance in the workplace. This paper will discuss how a university some three hundred miles away is able to deliver a baccalaureate degree to individuals who will most likely never see the college campus. The impact of the initiative as well as particular hurdles and lessons learned thus far will be shared.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():681-690. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29050.

This paper presents a comparison on four different, yet complimentary, design methods: (1) Pahl and Beitz’s Systematic Approach to Design, (2) Suh’s Axiomatic Design, (3) Altshuller’s Theory of Inventive Problem Solving and (4) Ulwick’s Outcome-Driven Method. To compare these approaches to design, a general definition and process for design is first derived from common engineering design texts. After a general description of each of these design approaches is presented, a comparison is made between each design approach and the general design method. The paper is concluded with the proposal of an integrated curriculum for teaching the methods within the scope of a single design course.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():691-700. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29110.

An interdisciplinary design project was conducted with students in the mechanical engineering and architecture departments at the University of Idaho. In order to offer the multidisciplinary design experience within the available bandwidth of instructors, the project was structured around and integrated into existing courses and resources. Past interdisciplinary product design courses have shown the value of interdisciplinary work in the professional development of students in addition to being effective at developing innovative new products. Descriptions of these courses provide insights on conducting them with regards to team structure, course structure, design process, and other topics. This paper summarizes observations reported from students and instructors involved in this project. Observations highlight challenges in project management, examples of cultural differences between disciplines, approaches to design, specifics of project ownership, and perceptions of level of detail in work products. Based on those observations, recommendations are made to develop and deploy a design process that facilitates the strengths of both disciplines and enables mentor guided project management. In addition, these recommendations will help establish a team culture and work setting that does not violate the culture of either discipline while enabling joint decision making, and address directly the impacts of a domain biased product as the design project focus.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():701-705. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28167.

Educating young engineers in the field of design has always been a challenging task. In particular, teaching some of the aspects of robotics and mechanisms design in a non-mechanical curriculum by far introduces additional challenges. This paper presents an overview of a teaching approach and pedagogical challenges of the author for the past 18 years in teaching (or creating a learning objectives) of the basics of mechanical design methodologies and experiences to sophomore students enrolled in the Engineering Science program. One of the main components of the course syllabus is the notion of design synthesis of a pre-robotic mechanical device. First, the functionality of this device is shown to the students. Next, the students need to propose various design alternatives with mechanical and technical specifications. This paper outlines the method of how the students are guided through the design experience while exploring the basic steps of the design process and specifications.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():707-715. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28444.

The design methodology developed by Pahl and Beitz (P&B) is one of the most widely taught design methodologies. However, this methodology is not easy to correctly exercise for non-experienced designers such as students. At TU Darmstadt in Germany, a method was developed to make students to realize the background philosophy of P&B, to reduce misunderstanding and misuse of the method, and to help them to arrive at creative design. At TU Delft in the Netherlands, an experienced designer who works on designing mechanical medical devices developed a method to generate creative designs. Although independently developed, these two methods share some commonality and have a potential to improve design education towards creative design. This paper is an attempt to give a theoretical explanation why these two methods facilitate creative design based on General Design Theory.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():717-728. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28602.

Definitions of the engineering profession include “[[ellipsis]]application of scientific principles to design or develop machines, processes, works, etc.” Significant science-based content is therefore a feature of accredited engineering curricula — a feature tending to dominate the early years thereby establishing a particular learning environment. This paper 1) identifies how a dysfunctional relationship between learning of science and the practice of engineering can arise; and 2) presents ways to improve learning of both science and design through integrated science learning. Over the course of almost three decades of trying to improve engineering design learning at the University of Calgary — employing many of the approaches described at length in the engineering education literature — it became apparent that realization of our teaching goals (e.g. quality, innovation, agility, and establishing a basis for life-long learning) might require a fundamental change in the culture of learning. Through a process of re-design plus continuous improvement, the authors have sought to develop a learning environment that establishes a learning culture that can foster the desired attributes. A pivotal aspect of this learning environment lies in the integration of science and design learning at the most fundamental level. Observation of thousands of students working on hundreds of design projects has revealed that desired outcomes can be achieved (Fig. 1).

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():729-736. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28955.

The objective of this paper is to propose an engineering design educational pedagogy on how to improve the engineering design skills. The design engineering activity is a complex mix of skills and knowledge that has been taught over decades by directly delivering to the students the design methodologies developed by design researchers and by exposing the students to open ended projects that can develop their design skills. From this we can conclude that the three main pedagogical components of a successful educational design experience are: the design skills, the design methods and the design projects. However the individual design skills must be properly developed in the student prior to the project experience and since this is generally not the case, makes it an overwhelming challenge for the student. We present an approach to design engineering teaching through four main steps: First, define the desired knowledge and skills to be acquired by the student during the learning process. Second, organize the skills to be acquired in complexity levels. Third, generate educational objectives for each of the skills. Although the scope of this paper stops here, the educational objectives can be transformed in educational tasks (i.e. lectures, problems, exams, etc.) by using educational theories (teaching styles, learning styles, etc.) in such a way that the student will be able to develop those skills. This model could serve initially as a diagnostic tool to characterize the current set of skills of a given design course or program. The model can also be used to implement educational tasks into the classroom and labs depending on the desired student profile.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():737-745. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28350.

Product dissection has evolved into a versatile pedagogical platform useful across the engineering curriculum. With the advent of digital, cyber, haptic, virtual, and immersive technologies, the opportunities to implement product dissection as an instructional tool increase dramatically. However, the effectiveness of cyber-enhanced dissection must be studied and the advantages and limitations of each type of platform must be understood in the context of achieving educational outcomes. In this paper, we first outline the history of dissection and carefully delineate the difference between physical, virtual, and cyber-enhanced dissection. We then study the impact of variations of cyber-enhanced (a blend of physical and virtual) dissection across two populations of sophomore engineering students at two universities using a number of exercises and data collection methods. We report on student perceptions regarding the affordances and disadvantages of physical vs. cyber-enhanced dissection. Students perceived the cyber-enhanced dissection exercises to be relevant to the students’ own professional preparation, to facilitate easier dissemination, to better align with emerging industrial practices, and to provide unique experiences not available in other courses the students had taken. Some potential drawbacks of cyber-enhanced dissection were also reported by students, including technology distracting them from the core educational objectives and overreliance on historical data of unknown origin. Although there are important tradeoffs between physical and cyber-enhanced dissection that need to be considered, using a blend of physical and virtual instructional tools may provide an effective platform to teach a wide range of engineering concepts across a curriculum.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():747-752. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28784.

In 2008, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) partnered together to develop project-based curricular material to be tested out in a new undergraduate course offering in KFUPM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. This paper details some of the unique challenges to collaborating across countries and time zones, and the approaches the KFUPM-MIT team used to address these. These approaches have so far included the establishment of a shared vision for the project and the use of an array of technologies to facilitate distance communication. The paper concludes with a description of lessons learned that might be useful for future programs that plan to engage in international collaboration on design education.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():753-760. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29096.

The Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) is a lever-powered, wheelchair-based mobility aid designed specifically for use in the developing world. Its drivetrain optimally converts upper body power in a wide range of terrains, giving the LFC operational capabilities that extend beyond those of currently available mobility products. In this work we present the design and analysis process used to create an LFC for trial in East Africa. All of the moving parts in the LFC are made from bicycle components and the entire chair can be fabricated without any machining processes. This allows the LFC to be manufactured for the same price as existing mobility aids and repaired anywhere in the developing world. Eight prototypes were produced in Kenya during August 2009, with six distributed to mobility aid users throughout East Africa. After four months of testing, the subject-averaged propulsion efficiency using the LFC was 20% greater than that of existing mobility products. Performance results and feedback from the subjects indicate that the LFC is ideally suited for active wheelchair users who require the seating and postural support of a wheelchair, and who desire to travel on rough terrain under their own power. Test subjects’ input was also used to codify future improvements to the LFC design, including narrowing the stance of the chair and lowering the rider’s center of gravity.

Topics: Manufacturing , Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():761-769. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28593.

Students can learn more effectively when actively involved in the learning process. Traditional approach is mainly “teacher-centered” and lacks in nurturing the students’ skills in today’s changing world. Various non-traditional approaches, that are based on experiential learning, such as project-based, problem-based or case studies-based learning have been developed and found to improve student’s learning concepts in engineering. Course modules that engage students can (i) stimulate active learning, (ii) prepare students to solve open-ended real-world problems in industries, and (iii) serve as a natural link to subsequent courses in the STEM disciplines. In this paper, we discuss Create your Scenario Interactively (CSI), which is being developed using Experiential Learning as a model to provide an engaging learning experience of engineering concepts by allowing students to visualize and interact with 2D/3D objects. A casting CSI module is being developed for a sophomore level manufacturing engineering course. We will discuss some initial research results on the CSI module development, implementation and evaluation plan for teaching manufacturing engineering course at University of Oklahoma and Tuskegee University. The pedagogical effectiveness of the CSI system will be evaluated by covering two different areas — (i) students’ learning and (ii) usability of the CSI system.

Topics: Casting
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():771-779. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28785.

This work describes an experiment to research improving the ideation performance of undergraduate engineering students in classroom settings. This research investigates the impact of TRIZ, increasing emphasis on sketching during design, and using the Pulse Smartpen, on ideation performance. The research team’s goal is to develop an experimental design and protocols for this suite of ideation tools. Successful experimentation will provide a standard way to benchmark ideation tool effectiveness. The experimental design includes training students in the appropriate tools for their treatment condition and presenting students with an ideation design assignment. The design assignment results will be analyzed using ideation measures of novelty, variety, quantity and quality as defined in the literature. Results from pilot work at three institutions are introduced here along with observations on the experimental process to date.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():781-790. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28786.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test is known to be a quick and easy way to build good team dynamics. However the workplace is not always built around four person teams that you can easily change based on individual personalities. Research has shown that the various MBTI personalities associate with different learning styles. This gives reason to believe that different individual designers may synthesize data and conceptualize ideas differently in a design environment. If this is true, designers may need a customizable environment or they may need to explore different ways to achieve their potential. This paper examines how individuals with different MBTI personality types take in and view information during the conceptualization stages of product design and whether the way information is inputed is vital to an innovative product design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():791-803. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28892.

Globalization has put engineering education and the profession at a challenging crossroad. The impact of rapid technological innovations on modern societies has been amplified by the globalization of the economy. The competitiveness of the U.S., which is linked to our standard of living, is dependent on our ability to produce a large number of sufficiently innovative engineers prepared to address issues related to complex systems. Hence, our focus is on the research and development of instructional activities that address the engineering competencies related to innovation. Engineering educators and practitioners have suggested that collaborative-competitive team design events promote innovation. These competitions are popular, and they attract sponsors and participants. Beyond being popular, they are believed to provide rich learning opportunities for students. The University of Oklahoma’s Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Racing team is highly ranked in the U.S. and world. We are in the early stages of designing, implementing, and testing a four course curriculum, around the FSAE race car, that fosters meaningful learning, innovation, systems level thinking, and the attainment of career-sustaining skills as a result of authentic experiences. We plan to identify the activity features that match with the theoretical frameworks of innovation, match them to the professional competencies, translate the events from extracurricular to curricular activities, and assess their effects on student learning and development in four technical courses our curriculum. With a view to stimulating discussion, in this paper, we highlight some of the salient features of our plan and some issues that warrant further investigation.

Topics: Innovation
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():805-810. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-28985.

Over the past few years, academic institutions have become aware of the importance of innovation in education, as well as its broader role in strengthening the economy. Creativity and innovative thinking are not easily taught in the classroom, but they can be developed through practice and experience. Evaluating innovation as part of product design courses has thus become very important to increase the probability of students becoming innovators in the real world. Innovation tournaments provide universities with an opportunity to develop innovative design thinking in students while they gain practical experience. Understanding design innovation at a deeper level in the context of student design projects is critical to develop realistic perspectives among students. Determining the appropriate dimensions for understanding and measuring innovation is the main objective of this paper. Toward that objective, we conducted initial experiments in conjunction with an innovation award to develop and assess innovation metrics. The results reveal several dimensions of innovation: differentiability, creativity, need satisfaction, and probability of commercial success emerged as key dimensions. This research also assesses the perception of innovation, contrasting the perceptions of judges from industry with the views of academically oriented judges.

Topics: Design , Students , Innovation
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():811-819. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29008.

As the need to innovate more creatively and effectively becomes increasingly apparent in engineering design, powerful open design tools and practices have emerged that are allowing organizations and firms to tap an already vast pool of skills, knowledge and intellect to solve complex design problems. The need for engineering design educators to bring these new trends into the classroom continues to grow as the industry for which students are being prepared begins to revamp its design strategies and practices in the pursuit of more openly accessible information infrastructures. By conducting an experimental study of over 25 student design groups in an undergraduate design engineering class, our team was able to gauge the relevance and utility of collaboration and knowledge sharing between and within design groups. Specifically, issues and opportunities were identified to help bring engineering and design education in line with the increasingly networked and distributed professional engineering environment that students will be enter upon graduation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():821-829. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29021.

This paper explores how to identify creativity factors in the early stages of engineering concept design and how to apply metrics to quantify that creativity. Prototype designs from a junior-level design course over two years are evaluated using design metrics that analyze a set of ideas based on novelty and quality. Further creativity analyses are included to statistically verify that the developed metrics are valid. Innovative products provide companies with a competitive advantage in the market to stimulate the economy. Creativity metrics will enable them to choose innovative designs in the early stages of concept design, reducing time and cost associated with uncreative design implementation. This paper will go into detail about the implementation of an “Innovation Equation” on a real-world set of designs generated by a junior-level mechanical engineering design class and statistical verification of the validity of the analysis results. Conclusions are drawn that detail the ideal procedures needed to create a successful creativity analysis using these methods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():831-837. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29115.

Most engineering project classes expect teams of students to collaborate and to build on existing knowledge to accomplish their project goals. As the project evolves, the team is expected to develop a shared understanding. However, students often become overwhelmed by the amount of information available and lose sight of the big picture. Instructors may also find it difficult to keep track of individual and team activities and are often forced to evaluate the product instead of the learning process. This paper presents preliminary results from a tool that supports effective knowledge management for engineering design projects. This framework, called DesignWebs, automatically extracts conceptual maps from the team’s evolving set of documents and discussions about an engineering artifact. It uses Latent Dirichlet Allocation, hierarchical clustering, and other machine learning techniques to generate a navigable web-based graph. Both instructors and students can browse this graph interactively to explore the concepts embedded inside design team documents and the connections between them. An experiment performed on documents obtained from a project course shows the effectiveness of DesignWebs in synthesizing the design knowledge from multiple sources of information in engineering project teams.

Topics: Design , Teams
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2010;():839-847. doi:10.1115/DETC2010-29224.

This paper presents a unique experience in educating students from mechanical and electrical engineering majors in a course on senior design projects involving the design and production of two proof-of-concept electric vehicles, the mini-ZEM and ZEM (stands for Zero EMissions) vehicles. The ZEM vehicles combined positive aspects and latest technologies in electric vehicle design, solar/electric power conversions, and ergonomic human power into one affordable and environmentally sustainable vehicle for urban transportation. The 55 mechanical and 10 electrical engineering majors plus 7 students from business participated in this multidisciplinary project spanned over three academic years. The students involved in this multi-year endeavor gained valuable experiences in real-world working environment with multifunctional and multi-year subgroups. The success of this new attempt in conducting senior design projects classes have set a model for faculty members in the authors’ university in conducting similar courses.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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