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Critical Analysis of Design
Theories
P.S. Padl i ya
1
, Y. Nai k vade
2
, D. D. Ghosh
3
Depart ment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, St at e Universit y of New York at Buffalo,
USA
Abst r act
Traditional design processes have been described to follow an ‘Algorithmic’ approach
wherein a set of systematic sequence of steps is to be followed. Dr. Nam Suh’s concept
created a new school of design approach – ‘Axiomatic’ approach, which has the foundation on
the premise that there are generalised principles which govern the underlying behaviour of the
system. In this paper we have given an introduction of the axiomatic design process and
other methodologies – Pahl and Beitz Systematic Design, Pugh’s Total Design and Decision
Based Design., This will be followed by the critical analysis of the afore mentioned methods to
find out shortcomings (if any), ways to mitigate them and finally attempt to adapt the
strengths of these methods along with other techniques to develop a more robust method of
design.
Key words – axiomatic design, systematic approach, total design, and decision based design
Authors to whom all correspondence should be addressed
1
Person Number – [37410540], Email – punitsur@buffalo.edu
2
Person Number – [37351725], Email – yuvrajra@buffalo.edu
3
Person Number – [37420971], Email – dipanjan@buffalo.edu
I nt r oduct i on
There are two ways to approach design:
‐ Algorithmic: Prescribes the ‘proper’ design process.
‐ Axiomatic: Provides generalised principles that govern the behaviour.
Axiomatic design elevates engineering design to a science, governed by a few basic rules, and
from what has been an art integrated with engineering analysis. Axiomatic design approach is
based on the interplay between ‘what we want to achieve’ and ‘how we choose to achieve it’
[1].
This paper can be divided in to five sections. The first section explains the Dr. Suh’s Axiomatic
Design in detail. However, due to the limitations on the scope of this paper only the basic
procedure has been focused upon. Section 2 explains the framework of other methodologies
briefly. Section 3 presents the comparison of the methodologies. In this section we have also
attempted to highlight the salient features of each method that we agree with, and point out
the lacunae in these methods. The solutions of these lacunae have been touched upon. Section
4 talks about the conclusion that we have drawn after studying the various methods i.e. the
design methodologies are not competing in nature instead, if integrated together they would
lead to better results. This section thus proposes a better strategy to design. It should be
2
noted that even after integrating the four techniques, some of the lacunae still persist. Hence
the adoption of some other powerful techniques has been advised. Section 5 summarizes the
findings and presents the conclusions.
1. Over vi ew of Suh’ s Ax i omat i c Appr oach
1. 1 Pr el i mi nar y concept s of Ax i omat i c Desi gn
Axiomatic approach consists of the following concepts [1]:
‐ Design world consists of distinct domains: Consumer, Functional, Physical and Process
‐ The design process involves mapping between the domains
‐ Each domain is defined (or characterised) by a characteristic vector which can be
decomposed by zig  zagging between the domains. The characteristic vectors
associated with each domain are:
i) Consumer Attributes
ii) Functional Requirements
iii) Design Parameters
iv) Process Variables
‐ The mapping process involves creative conceptualization which must satisfy the design
axioms
Figure 1 shows the vectors associated with each domain along with the mapping
Fi gur e 1 Domai ns i n Ax i omat i c Desi gn and Mappi n g [ 1]
The characteristics of the mappings are as follows:
‐ Consumer to Functional domain mapping is an interpretation of the needs of
customers which result in the formulation of the objective functions
‐ Functional to Physical domain mapping is interpreted as core design activity. The
design parameter will represent the concept of the design
‐ Physical to Process domain mapping describes the process by which the required
design parameter can be obtained
Mapping between each domain must satisfy the design axioms – Independence Axiom and
Information Axiom.
3
1. 2 Desi gn Ax i oms
Axioms are fundamental truths that are always observed to be valid and for which there
are no counter examples or exceptions. According to axiomatic design the process of
mapping should conform with the following two axioms [1]:
‐ I ndependence Ax i om: During the mapping process one to one mapping between
the attributes of two domains should be maintained.
‐ I nf or mat i on Ax i om: Minimize the information content of the design, that is select
the simplest product.
The applications of the two axioms are preemptive in nature.
1. 3 Domai n mappi ng pr ocess [1][2]
As per the independence axiom there should be one to one mapping between the attributes
of two domains. We can describe each domain in the form of attribute vector. Figure 2
shows the mapping process.
Fi gur e 2 Mappi n g Pr ocess [ 1]
Let [FR] = [FR1 FR2 FR3]
T
and [DP] = [DP1 DP2 DP3]
T
be the attribute vector of functional
requirements and design parameters respectively and ‘x’ denote dependence of attribute
in one domain on the attribute of other domain while ‘0’ denote no dependence. Then
according to Independence theorem the mapping relation can be described by the
following matrix relationship
[FR] = [A] [DP]

FR 1
FR 2
FR S
 = 
X u u
u X u
u u X
 
ÐP1
ÐP2
ÐPS

Here [A] is the design matrix. Similar mapping process exists between design parameter
matrix [DP] and process domain [PV], where [B] is the design matrix.
Depending on the type of design matrix systems can be classified as follows [2]:
‐ Decoupled system
‐ Partial decoupled system
‐ Coupled system
Figure 3 shows the three systems depending on the type of design matrix
4
Fi gur e 3 Mappi ng Pr ocess
As per the independence axiom a good design will always have case (a) as the design
matrix, but complex systems may have case (b) although it is not desirable. Case (b)
shows that the solution set depend on the order in which it is solved. The design matrix is
formulated using the decomposition process.
1. 4 Decomposi t i on Pr ocess
The highest level of design equation is called Design I nt ent . Decomposition is a process of
transforming Design I nt ent into Realizable design det ails [3]. This process involves zig
zagging from what domain to how domain until FR is satisfied. At each level, one DP is
selected to satisfy one FR. Subsequently, that DP imposes a constraint on the next level
down. The process stops when the next level is obvious. This level is known as the Leaf
[3].
Fi gur e 4 Decomposi t i on pr ocess
During the processes of domain mapping and decomposition the independence axiom
should always be satisfied. Once we get alternate design we apply information axiom to
select the best design.
1. 5 I ndependence Ax i om [1]
The information axiom provides a method of quantifying the best design out of all the
possible choices that satisfy the independence axiom. This axiom compares the design
range stated by the FR to the system design range which is dependent on the DP meeting
5
the requirement. As stated in [4], the information content I for an uncoupled design with n
FR
s
can be expressed as: I = ∑ log I
1
p
i
]
n
ì
where p
i
is the probability of DP
i
satisfying FR
i
.
The probability of success can be computed by specifying the Design Range for the FR and
by determining the System Range that the proposed design can provide to satisfy the FR.
This is shown in Figure 5. The overlapping region called as the Common Range is the only
region where the design requirements are satisfied. The information content can then be
expressed as I = log (A
sr
/A
cr
) where A
sr
denotes the area under the System Range and A
cr
is the area under Common Range. As A
sr
= 1 in most cases, I = ∑ log I
1
A
cri
]
n
ì
Fi gur e 5 Desi gn Ran ge, Sy st em Range and common
Range ( I nf or mat i on Ax i om) [ 1]
2. Over vi ew of ot her desi gn pr ocesses
2. 1 Over vi ew of Pahl and Bei t z Syst emat i c Desi gn
Pahl and Beitz [5] developed a systematic ‘function to form’ method of engineering design.
In this method the overall function is broken down into subfunctions. Individual solutions
are then obtained for each subfunction. These individual solutions are then combined to
achieve overall objective.
Fi gur e 6 Pahl an d Bei t z pr obl em – sol ut i on
decomposi t i on st r uct ur e [ 5]
Fi gur e 7 Pahl and Bei t z model of t he desi gn
pr ocess [ 6]
6
2. 2 Over v i ew of Pugh’ s Tot al Desi gn
Stuart Pugh took design one step further by introducing the theory of Tot al Design.
According to Stuart Pugh, design is the integration of the two cultures – Arts and Sciences.
He states that ‘Design is not like Mathematics or Physics’; it does not represent a body of
knowledge; it is the activity that integrates the bodies of knowledge present in Arts,
Sciences and their Derivatives’ [6] and further quotes that ‘... it is only the balance and
distribution of arts and science contents which distinguishes one from another’ [6]. Stuart
Pugh understood the importance of Tot al Design and sensed the need to integrate
academia and industry. Pugh’s concept of total design states that marketing,
manufacturing, finance, research are all part of the design process and every aspect should
be considered in design.
Fi gur e 8 Pugh’ s Act i vi t y Model of Tot al Desi gn [ 6]
2. 3 Ov er v i ew of Deci si on Based Desi gn ( DBD)
A relatively new development in the field of design is the emergence of ‘Decision Based
Design’ (DBD). DBD focussed on the primary aim of any artefact producing firm: to make
profit. DBD has the following two activities at its core [7]:
‐ Determine all possible options
‐ Choose the best option
The framework of DBD, proposed by Hazelrigg [7] is based on the utility theory. DBD cares
about uncertainty and risk in the design process.
Fi gur e 9 Deci si on Based Desi gn syst em f r amew or k [ 7]
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3. Compar i son and Const r uct i v e cr i t i ci sm of Desi gn met hodol ogi es
If we closely look at Syst emat ic Approach design model we can compare it to a wat erfall
model, where the result is obtained in a systematic manner in a top down approach,
although iteration is allowed in the process but it is not recommended.
3. 1 Sal i ent f eat ur es of Syst emat i c Appr oach
Some of the key basic concepts which can be universally adopted as per our opinion and
stated by Pahl and Beitz are [5]:
‐ Design is about converting three things : Energy, Materials, Signals
‐ Types of designs : Original, Adaptive, Variant
‐ Design methodology should reflect the findings of cognitive psychology and
ergonomics. Although we do consider that Systematic Approach has not explained
the technique to integrate these in detail.
3. 2 Lacunae of Syst emat i c Appr oach
Some of the lacunae which we would like to point are:
‐ Manufacturing considerations not taken into account
‐ Lack of using prototyping method to test the design
‐ Absence of the explanation of bottom up approach to integrate the solution
‐ Absence of mechanism of choosing between alternate designs
‐ Impact of design processes on other engineering activities and activities pertaining
to the organization not being taken into account.
‐ Since the core for the Systematic approach is the function to form matchup, the
criteria of a successful design is that the form and structure of the final design
realises the requirements of the function. The method doesn’t take into
consideration how the form looks like and the process to obtain the form in
physical. The evaluation system is also inadequate and qualitative in nature.
‐ Systematic approach has a very strict design algorithm which can reduce the
creativity involved and lead to stagnancy.
‐ The system is inflexible and not good for drastic changes.
3. 3 Sal i ent f eat ur e of Tot al Desi gn Met hod
Total design method however takes into account many other activities and is an integration
of people, products and organisations. Being a Total approach, the model could overcome
many of the lacunae of Systematic model. The major impact we consider is the use of the
evaluation matrix to compare and evolve with new design solutions while in Systematic
approach it was based on economic and technical criteria, VDI guidelines [5] and never
involved group discussions to evaluate the alternatives. Considering the Total Design model
many designs which were engineering marvels and results of the Systematic approach
were actually a failure if we evaluate according the Total Design approach. The best
example of this can be the Sinclair C5 vehicle model [6].
3. 4 Lacunae i n Tot al Desi gn Met hod
Total design also had some lacunae, some of them as per our opinion are:
‐ Being a Total design approach and taking the larger picture into consideration, the
model is too vast to meet deadlines which form a very critical part of market
currently.
8
‐ The model heavily depends on group discussions and qualitative comparisons to
come to a conclusion on choosing a particular concept that can be carried forward.
‐ Studies in economics and Decision Field theory have shown that a number of
irrationalities come into play during the process of group decision making.
‐ Although Total design gives a framework for design, it lacks in defining the clarity
of steps and how to transition between the steps. Explanation of information
transfer between the steps has not been provided clearly.
‐ The approach gives the designer an insight into various spheres which he/she
needs to consider but the approach speaks little about how to execute the steps.
‐ Because of the dynamics within the group many advantages of working in groups
are often lost.
‐ Groups with same structure may come up with different styles and produce a
different output which shows the qualitative attribute of evaluation method.
However we do observe potential advantage in this, as scope of exploration and
evaluation increases and better design solutions can be obtained.
‐ The selection of concept as a datum for evaluation is one of the most critical steps
and is also a very difficult step.
3. 5 Sal i ent f eat ur es of Ax i omat i c Appr oach
From the above analysis it can be clearly seen that a need of a quantitative evaluation
procedure was needed in the design activity. Axiomatic approach fulfils this requirement to
some extent. Some of the salient features of Axiomatic approach over the above two
according to us are:
‐ Above methods can be considered as a confluence of art and design principles
where art has an analogy with creativity and design principles corresponds to the
modelling of the components. Need of a scientific and mathematical approach to
design was fulfilled by Axiomatic Design [3].
‐ Design practices prior to Axiomatic approach were based on empirical relations
relying on trial & error and heuristics and hence time consuming [3].
‐ The algorithmic approach including the above two methods were difficult to apply
at conceptual level and were more suitable for level of detailed design and were
less effective if many functional requirements were to be satisfied [3].
‐ It can be clearly seen that Axiomatic method was influenced by the concept of Total
design as it took into consideration the people factor and organisation factor in the
process of product creation and did not just focus on the design activity.
‐ The two axioms of Axiomatic approach proved to be a great tool in evaluating
design solutions in a quantitative manner.
‐ In the above two methods integration of the sub systems has not been explicitly
mentioned which has been taken care of in the Axiomatic Design as shown in
Figure 10 [8].
‐ Axiomatic Approach is scalable and can be used for Flexible systems as well [3].
‐ Since Axiomatic Design is modular and each module corresponds to independent
functional requirement, it provides a very clear demarcation of each functional
requirement. So axiomatic design is very suitable for customisation [3]. For
example in case of laptops, where the end products remains the same i.e. a laptop,
but the configuration of the laptop can be different as per the customer’s
requirement. So, if a product is to be designed with some FR’s different, axiomatic
design addresses this design and integration very well .
9
Fi gur e 10 V model appr oach of Ax i omat i c Desi gn [ 8]
‐ Every product according to product life cycle graph will face a stagnancy phase as
shown in Figure 11 and there is a need of revitalization.
Fi gur e 11 Pr oduct Li f e Cycl e Gr aph
The Systematic approach and the Total design approach have not explicitly
mentioned about revitalization which is important from an organisation’s point of
view as no organisation would like to see it product facing the decline phase. Suh
provided a mechanism wherein he states that if there is scope of providing
additional functionality in a product and is not needed currently, then do not
provide it and make it available later [3]. This approach is adopted by product
families. Example of this is Gillette Razor where the organisation initially came up
with Single blade razor, reinvigorated the sales by introducing Twin blade razor,
continued the trend with Triple blade razor and currently has come up with Fusion
Proglide Power razor which is made for intricate parts although all are part of the
same family of Razors.
‐ Although Systematic Design states the use of electronic media, it cannot be
implemented in an automated way. But electronic platforms can be used to assist
the methodologies like creating CAD models. The same goes for Total design model
as well, but Axiomatic design being mathematical in nature has been described in a
logical manner and implemented in a software framework. The architecture of the
software implementation is shown in Figure 11. This is one of the biggest
advantages and leaps in the design methodologies where an ideology has been
automated and implemented [2].
10
Fi gur e 12 Sof t w ar e ar chi t ect ur e of Ax i omat i c appr oach [ 2]
The commercial softwares available are [9]:
a. Acclaro DFSS
b. Acclaro Scheduler
c. Acclaro Sync
‐ Axiomatic approach is suitable for different fields – Manufacturing, Materials,
Software, Organisation, Systems unlike the above methods.
‐ Axiomatic approach takes into consideration the manufacturing processes. This can
be seen in the following equations:
[FR] = [A][DP] ......FR to DP mapping
[DP] = [B][PV] ......DP to PV mapping
Thus [FR] = [A][B][PV] ......FR to PV mapping
The above equation is known as the Desi gn f or Manuf act ur i ng [2]
‐ In case of fixed system, the information content can be given as follows:
I
system
= Σlog(p
leaf
) + I
a
Where, I
a
is the information associated with the ‘assembly of t he modules’ [3].
Thus, Suh’s theory clearly addresses the issue related with the integration of
various modules which is not addressed directly in any of the previous theories.
This minimizes the integration issues which would be created while assembling the
parts which are typically designed by different design teams in the industry.
3. 6 Lacunae i n Ax i omat i c Appr oach
Axiomatic approach being robust and versatile does have some lacunae and the following
are some of the lacunae according to us
‐ Although Axiomatic approach is mathematical and quantitative in approach, the
process of zigzagging which defines the quality of mapping depends upon the
designer’s creativity and experience and hence is qualitative in this sense and
hence a new user designer would need time to adapt to the use of the technique
and produce good results.
‐ According to Axiomatic approach the design matrix should ideally be a diagonal
matrix or a triangular matrix. But many times even a sparse matrix is also
11
desirable [2] [3]. However in such a case the solution of the DP depends on the
solution order. The same case arises in case of decoupled matrix.
‐ According to Axiomatic approach, mapping of Cust omer At t ribut e t o Funct ional
Requirement should be done in a Solut ion Neut ral Environment [3]. This is
practically infeasible as designers will always be influenced by some existing
product or nature at least. For example Biomimicry robots like the octopus robot
are designed based on the morphological structure of octopus and is successful in
many activities and hence violates the statement.
‐ Sometimes qualitative attributes are associated with a design. Being mathematical
in approach these qualitative attributes will not be taken into account.
‐ Axiomatic design tries to get a design solution which is independent and has least
information content. Also according to axiom 2 the designer will try to select a
parameter which has the highest probability of being successful i.e., considering
probability of success as the objective function the designer will try to maximise it.
In case of multiattribute problems the designer can face a trade off situation
where the functions can be conflicting with each other. Axiomatic design has no
explanation of how to solve these tradeoffs and how to map these tradeoffs to
the design variables that is the design space.
Below is the graphical representation of the FR and DP [2]. In practical situation
there can two points A and B on the design space, when integrated can produce a
conflicting situation and will need trade off. Axiomatic design process has not
explained the procedure to handle such situations. Example can be high fuel
efficiency and high power requirement of an automobile are two conflicting
objectives which needs trade off.
Fi gur e 13 Gr aphi cal r el at i onshi p an d show i n g t r ade of f si t uat i on
‐ Axiomatic approach considers transforming the customer attributes (CA) to
functional requirements (FR) as the most important step which then leads to the
mapping of functional requirements to design parameters (DP). However according
to us the customers’ influence on the product ends at this stage of mapping CA to
FR as the methodology is domain specific. Considering that the mapping process is
very subjective to the experience of the designer the consideration of human factor
gets introduced. Because of this it may happen that the translation CA to FR was
not properly executed which may lead to erroneous solution and the customer may
not be satisfied with the end results. In short an iteration step to check the
satisfaction of customer from DP domain should be introduced as shown in Figure
14.
12
Fi gur e 14 I nt r oduct i on of i t er at i on st eps f r om DP t o CA
‐ By using independence axiom designer is able to optimise individual attributes, but
often this axiom cannot be fully met in real design practice.
‐ As stated earlier axiomatic theory tends towards automation and a major work is
described in [10] where the concept of a machine capable of developing designs is
conceived. For this the design knowledge of many designers must be stored in a
database to check for all possible solutions. This actually contradicts the term
thinking machine which is not able to make decisions and is merely a search engine
model. Hence although there is a scope of automation it is not possible to develop
a thinking machine as human factor which has been neglected by Suh should
always be considered.
‐ One basic flaw in Axiomatic Design is independence which is subjective in nature
and needs decision making which has not been considered by Suh.
‐ Axiomatic Process does not include cost as a functional requirement but however
states that it should considered as a constraint. But sometimes according to the
customer’s voice cost has to be considered as a functional requirement.
3. 7 Sal i ent f eat ur es of Deci si on Based Desi gn
Axiomatic Approach introduced the concept of quantitative analysis of design, but has
not taken into consideration the human factor and uncertainty involved. Decision based
design realizes that decision making is a critical step involved in quantitative analysis.
Some of the salient features which we would like to state are below.
‐ If we have a closer look at Systematic approach, it s observed that the customers’
views and requirements are not taken into account adequately. Although there is a
scope of iteration stated but it is not recommended. On the other hand demand
modelling, customer views and requirements are the most important factors in
design according to the DBD process. The evaluation system is all about satisfying
the customer’s need as well as generating profit.
‐ The authors clearly see the influence of Total Design on DBD as it takes into
consideration the overall impact. DBD suggests that design is not only a multi
disciplinary process; it is rather an omnidisciplinary process [7].
‐ Total Design explains group discussions to evaluate selection criteria, i.e., group
would arrive at a rational decision which is generally not the case as proved by the
Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem [7]. These decisions are often made based in
experience and instinct of the designer. There is no mathematical justification for
these decisions. Thus Total Design evaluation method as the authors have already
stated earlier is qualitative and subjective. This is the reason why the same design
tool may lead to completely different results depending on the person who is using
it and the decisions he/she makes during the process. On the other hand Decision
Based Design quantifies this decision making process using axioms that underlie
the value theory.
13
‐ DBD realizes that while teaching engineering design, the students should be trained
to handle the uncertainty. This is very necessary since uncertainty is always
associated with design as products or utilities are always designed for the future.
‐ Methods like Quality Function Deployment, Design for Manufacture, Design for
Assembly, Design for Quality, Concurrent Engineering, Pahl and Beitz, Suh, etc. all
require functional specifications of product as the starting point. None of the
methods provide mathematically consistent and logically correct insights on optimal
specification of product nor do they address the issue of inevitable tradeoff like
product cost and product performance. DBD gives a mathematical basis for making
these tradeoffs under conditions of uncertainty and risk, thus enabling the
designer to utilize the previously mentioned design technique efficiently.
‐ DBD provides a method for modelling the uncertainty and ranking the various
alternatives by taking into consideration the uncertainty and risk involved.
‐ DBD provides data as to which analytic equations are relevant and areas where the
experimentation should be focused to improve the analytic model. In other words it
pinpoints the design options or variables within an option which should be focused
on to achieve maximum benefits in tradeoffs.
‐ DBD helps to find the design variable which will result in the best combination of
the desired attributes.
‐ DBD does not provide an optimization methods or algorithms but helps in
formulating the objective function.
3. 8 Lacunae i n Deci si on Based Desi gn
Like other methods even DBD has some lacunae. Some of them according to us are
mentioned below.
‐ DBD does not resolve the central problems of classical group decision making like
change in the result depending on the voting method used [11].
‐ Although it models the uncertainty, it cannot provide solution or framework to
eliminate it completely from the design. In other words it cannot provide a method
to make the design independent of the uncertainty [11].
‐ DBD does not help in determining the constraints or range for the tradeoffs. Also it
does not provide the functional relationship between the design variables and
performance attributes. Experimentation and engineering analysis is still needed to
arrive at these values [11].
‐ DBD cannot be employed during the creative or configuration stage, but can enable
the designer to think in terms of function rather than form [11].
‐ Although a framework has been developed for DBD, this theory is still in the
development stages and a number of questions need to be answered to facilitate
smooth implementation of this technique. Some of the prominent issues are – ways
to develop flexible design representations so as to ensure that all design options
are explored, computational capabilities needed for the extensive optimisation,
inertia to change from the industry [12].
‐ The integration of DBD approach in today’s product design infrastructure would
require some major changes which may not be accepted readily by the industry
[12].
3. 9 Compar i son f or Or i gi nal , Var i ant and Adapt i ve Desi gn
As stated in section 3.1 we completely agree with the three types of designs – Original,
Adaptive and Variant. In the following table we have ranked the methodologies for
generating the above three design types
14
Syst emat i c
desi gn
Tot al desi gn
Ax i omat i c
desi gn
Deci si on
based desi gn
Original design XX XX XXXX XX
Adaptive design XXX XXXX XXX XXXX
Variant design XXX XXXX XXX XXXX
Tabl e 1 Rat i ng di f f er ent met hods f or di f f er ent t y pes of desi gn
Rat i ngs: X=Poor, XX=Moderate, XXX=Good, XXXX=Very Good, XXXXX=Excellent
4. Uni f i cat i on of desi gn met hodol ogi es
Considering the above analysis it is evident that no single method is sufficient enough for a
perfect design. Hence we have made an attempt to unify the methods considering the strong
points and to eliminate or mitigate the lacunae of the others. We have not limited the work to
only the four design methodologies described above but have expanded to include other
methods based on the study and results of others research in the area.
As seen, Axiomatic theory does a good job in considering customer, functions, physical and
process domain, however lacks the influence of the company and the importance of decision
making. Interface with the company is important as the product is developed with the
intention to generate profit for the company as stated in Total Design Theory and Decision
Based Design. As stated by Marston, et.al in [13], axiomatic approach in combination with
decision based design yields good results for variant design. Magrab has used axiomatic
approach for solving design problem in combination with Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in
[14] and stated that when appropriated, the design requirements may be classified based on
the functional requirements i.e., the requirements must be firstly established and used for
organising the design requirements. Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) is a powerful
technique and the links between axiomatic approaches has been established by Yang, et.al in
[15]. We adapt some features of the above work in the proposition of new framework. Figure
15 shows the proposed model
Fi gur e 15 Pr oposed model of a n ew f r amew or k
As seen from the Figure 15 the basic framework consists of Company (Company Objectives),
Customer Domain, Functional Domain, Physical Domain and Process Domain. We use the QFD
method during the mapping process from customer domain to functional domain where the
requirements are ranked according to the relative importance. During the zigzagging process
when a designer has selected an FR and wants to identify alternative DPs to achieve it, TRIZ
15
can be helpful. The axioms of axiomatic approach should be satisfied. During these processes
when faced with uncertainty, the process moves towards the DBD framework to quantitatively
solve the uncertainty. As stated in section 3.5, Systematic approach is more suitable for
detailed design stage. Hence during the formulation of the design parameters the systematic
approach should be adopted. In this case as well, under uncertainty the framework adopts
decision theory. As stated in 3.6 axiomatic process lacks the interaction of the physical domain
and the customer domain, hence in the framework we have introduced this interface. We again
adopt TRIZ during the mapping of Physical and Process Domain. Process Domain considers
processes like manufacturing which may involve variation and failures. We have introduced the
application of Statistical process control and Failure Mode and Effect Analysis in this domain to
solve the problems arising due to variation and to ensure quality. As the goal of developing the
design is related to the company, all the domains have an interface with the company domain.
Since the qualitative nature of evaluation is minimum and mathematical in nature, there is
scope of automation of this framework. This framework is also versatile in all fields like
manufacturing, software, materials, etc.
5. Concl usi on
In this paper we presented a brief overview of four design methodologies – Systematic
Approach to Design, Total Design Methodology, Axiomatic Approach, and Decision Based
Design. We listed some of the salient features and lacunae in each of the methodologies and
proved that none of these methods are sufficient to produce a good design on their own. We
strongly feel that these methods are not competing with each other and can produce better
results if used in combination with each other. We feel that Axiomatic Approach provides the
most robust framework, hence we have used it as a foundation and integrated it with other
powerful techniques adapted from Systematic Approach, Total Design, Decision Based Design,
Quality Function Deployment, Statistical Process Control, Failure Mode and Effect Analysis to
propose a new framework for design activity which is not only concentrated on the detailed
design procedure but also emphasizes on the interface between customer i.e., people,
company objectives i.e., organisation, products, uncertainty i.e., decision making and quality.
Ref er ences
[1] D.A. Gebala, N.P. Suh, “An Application of Axiomatic Design”, Research in Engineering
Design, 1992
[2] N.P. Suh, “The Principles of Design”, Oxford Universit y Press, 1990
[3] N.P. Suh, “Axiomatic Design Advances and Applications”, Oxford University Press, 2001
[4] N.P. Suh, “Axiomatic Design of Mechanical Systems”, ASME Journal of Mechanical
Design, June 1995, Vol. 117/5
[5] G. Pahl, W. Beitz, L Wallace, L. Blessing, “Engineering Design: A Systematic Approach”,
Third Edit ion, Springer, 2007
[6] S. Pugh, “Creating Innovative Products using Total Design: The Living Legacy of Stuart
Pugh”, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, Reading MA, 1996
[7] Hazelrigg, G.A., “An Axiomatic Framework for Engineering Design”, ASME Journal of
Mechanical Design, 1999
[8] Web Link of “MIT Courseware”  http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mechanicalengineering/2
882systemdesignandanalysisbasedonadandcomplexitytheoriesspring
2005/lecturenotes/lec309.pdf, accessed on 24Feb2011
16
[9] Web Link “Axiomatic Design Solutions INC” –
http://www.axiomaticdesign.com/products/default.asp, accessed on 24Feb2011
[10] N. Suh, “Design of Thinking Machine”, Annals of CI RP, 39/1, 145148, 1990
[11] D.L. Thurston, “Real and Misconceived Limitations to Decision Based Design with
Utility Analysis”, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 2001
[12] H.J Wassenaar, W. Chen, “An Approach to Decision Based Design with Discrete Choice
Analysis”, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 2003
[13] M. Marston, B. Bras, F. Mistree, “The Applicability of the Axiomatic and Decision Based
Design Equations in Variant Design”, Proceeding of DETC: ASME Design Engineering
Technical Conferences, 1997
[14] E.B Magrab, “Integrated Product and Process Design and Development: The Product
Realization Process”, New York, USA, CRC Press, 1997
[15] K. Yang, H. Zhang, “A Comparison of TRIZ and Axiomatic Design”, TRIZ Journal, 2000
. Physical and Process ‐ The design process involves mapping between the domains ‐ Each domain is defined (or characterised) by a characteristic vector which can be decomposed by zig . The characteristic vectors associated with each domain are: i) Consumer Attributes ii) Functional Requirements iii) Design Parameters iv) Process Variables ‐ The mapping process involves creative conceptualization which must satisfy the design axioms Figure 1 shows the vectors associated with each domain along with the mapping Figure 1 Domains in Axiomatic Design and Mapping [1] The characteristics of the mappings are as follows: ‐ Consumer to Functional domain mapping is an interpretation of the needs of customers which result in the formulation of the objective functions ‐ Functional to Physical domain mapping is interpreted as core design activity. Overview of Suh’s Axiomatic Approach 1. Section 5 summarizes the findings and presents the conclusions.2 noted that even after integrating the four techniques. Hence the adoption of some other powerful techniques has been advised. 1.zagging between the domains. some of the lacunae still persist. The design parameter will represent the concept of the design ‐ Physical to Process domain mapping describes the process by which the required design parameter can be obtained Mapping between each domain must satisfy the design axioms – Independence Axiom and Information Axiom. Functional.1 Preliminary concepts of Axiomatic Design Axiomatic approach consists of the following concepts [1]: ‐ Design world consists of distinct domains: Consumer.
Depending on the type of design matrix systems can be classified as follows [2]: ‐ Decoupled system ‐ Partial decoupled system ‐ Coupled system Figure 3 shows the three systems depending on the type of design matrix . Then according to Independence theorem the mapping relation can be described by the following matrix relationship [FR] = [A] [DP] 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 Here [A] is the design matrix. Figure 2 Mapping Process [1] Let [FR] = [FR1 FR2 FR3]T and [DP] = [DP1 DP2 DP3]T be the attribute vector of functional requirements and design parameters respectively and ‘x’ denote dependence of attribute in one domain on the attribute of other domain while ‘0’ denote no dependence. where [B] is the design matrix. We can describe each domain in the form of attribute vector.3 1. Similar mapping process exists between design parameter matrix [DP] and process domain [PV]. Figure 2 shows the mapping process. that is select the simplest product. 1. According to axiomatic design the process of mapping should conform with the following two axioms [1]: ‐ Independence Axiom: During the mapping process one to one mapping between the attributes of two domains should be maintained.2 Design Axioms Axioms are fundamental truths that are always observed to be valid and for which there are no counter examples or exceptions. ‐ Information Axiom: Minimize the information content of the design.3 Domain mapping process [1][2] As per the independence axiom there should be one to one mapping between the attributes of two domains. The applications of the two axioms are preemptive in nature.
At each level. Figure 4 Decomposition process During the processes of domain mapping and decomposition the independence axiom should always be satisfied. that DP imposes a constraint on the next level down. but complex systems may have case (b) although it is not desirable. Case (b) shows that the solution set depend on the order in which it is solved. one DP is selected to satisfy one FR. The design matrix is formulated using the decomposition process.5 Independence Axiom [1] The information axiom provides a method of quantifying the best design out of all the possible choices that satisfy the independence axiom. Decomposition is a process of transforming Design Intent into Realizable design details [3]. This process involves zigzagging from what domain to how domain until FR is satisfied.4 Decomposition Process The highest level of design equation is called Design Intent. 1. The process stops when the next level is obvious. 1. Once we get alternate design we apply information axiom to select the best design. Subsequently.4 Figure 3 Mapping Process As per the independence axiom a good design will always have case (a) as the design matrix. This axiom compares the design range stated by the FR to the system design range which is dependent on the DP meeting . This level is known as the Leaf [3].
The information content can then be expressed as I = log (Asr/Acr) where Asr denotes the area under the System Range and Acr is the area under Common Range. System Range and common Range (Information Axiom) [1] 2. Individual solutions are then obtained for each subfunction. ∑ log Figure 5 Design Range. As Asr = 1 in most cases. The probability of success can be computed by specifying the Design Range for the FR and by determining the System Range that the proposed design can provide to satisfy the FR. In this method the overall function is broken down into subfunctions. These individual solutions are then combined to achieve overall objective. This is shown in Figure 5. The overlapping region called as the Common Range is the only region where the design requirements are satisfied. Figure 6 Pahl and Beitz problem – solution decomposition structure [5] Figure 7 Pahl and Beitz model of the design process [6] . the information content I for an uncoupled design with n FRs can be expressed as: ∑ log where pi is the probability of DPi satisfying FRi. Overview of other design processes 2.5 the requirement. As stated in [4].1 Overview of Pahl and Beitz Systematic Design Pahl and Beitz [5] developed a systematic ‘function to form’ method of engineering design.
2 Overview of Pugh’s Total Design Stuart Pugh took design one step further by introducing the theory of Total Design. finance. DBD has the following two activities at its core [7]: ‐ Determine all possible options ‐ Choose the best option The framework of DBD. DBD cares about uncertainty and risk in the design process. Figure 8 Pugh’s Activity Model of Total Design [6] 2. Pugh’s concept of total design states that marketing. it is the activity that integrates the bodies of knowledge present in Arts. design is the integration of the two cultures – Arts and Sciences.3 Overview of Decision Based Design (DBD) A relatively new development in the field of design is the emergence of ‘Decision Based Design’ (DBD). it does not represent a body of knowledge.. DBD focussed on the primary aim of any artefact producing firm: to make profit.6 2. it is only the balance and distribution of arts and science contents which distinguishes one from another’ [6]. He states that ‘Design is not like Mathematics or Physics’. According to Stuart Pugh. Sciences and their Derivatives’ [6] and further quotes that ‘. proposed by Hazelrigg [7] is based on the utility theory. research are all part of the design process and every aspect should be considered in design. manufacturing. Stuart Pugh understood the importance of Total Design and sensed the need to integrate academia and industry. Figure 9 Decision Based Design system framework [7] ..
1 Salient features of Systematic Approach Some of the key basic concepts which can be universally adopted as per our opinion and stated by Pahl and Beitz are [5]: ‐ Design is about converting three things :. 3. The best example of this can be the Sinclair C5 vehicle model [6]. 3. products and organisations. 3. the criteria of a successful design is that the form and structure of the final design realises the requirements of the function. the model could overcome many of the lacunae of Systematic model. where the result is obtained in a systematic manner in a top down approach. Adaptive. Considering the Total Design model many designs which were engineering marvels and results of the Systematic approach were actually a failure if we evaluate according the Total Design approach. Materials. the model is too vast to meet deadlines which form a very critical part of market currently. Comparison and Constructive criticism of Design methodologies If we closely look at Systematic Approach design model we can compare it to a waterfall model. although iteration is allowed in the process but it is not recommended.3 Salient feature of Total Design Method Total design method however takes into account many other activities and is an integration of people.Energy. some of them as per our opinion are: ‐ Being a Total design approach and taking the larger picture into consideration.4 Lacunae in Total Design Method Total design also had some lacunae. ‐ The system is inflexible and not good for drastic changes. 3. Variant ‐ Design methodology should reflect the findings of cognitive psychology and ergonomics.Original. Although we do consider that Systematic Approach has not explained the technique to integrate these in detail. ‐ Systematic approach has a very strict design algorithm which can reduce the creativity involved and lead to stagnancy. . VDI guidelines [5] and never involved group discussions to evaluate the alternatives. Being a Total approach. The method doesn’t take into consideration how the form looks like and the process to obtain the form in physical. The evaluation system is also inadequate and qualitative in nature.7 3. ‐ Since the core for the Systematic approach is the function to form matchup. Signals ‐ Types of designs :. The major impact we consider is the use of the evaluation matrix to compare and evolve with new design solutions while in Systematic approach it was based on economic and technical criteria.2 Lacunae of Systematic Approach Some of the lacunae which we would like to point are: ‐ Manufacturing considerations not taken into account ‐ Lack of using prototyping method to test the design ‐ Absence of the explanation of bottom up approach to integrate the solution ‐ Absence of mechanism of choosing between alternate designs ‐ Impact of design processes on other engineering activities and activities pertaining to the organization not being taken into account.
For example in case of laptops.e. axiomatic design addresses this design and integration very well . So. So axiomatic design is very suitable for customisation [3]. as scope of exploration and evaluation increases and better design solutions can be obtained. Studies in economics and Decision Field theory have shown that a number of irrationalities come into play during the process of group decision making. Need of a scientific and mathematical approach to design was fulfilled by Axiomatic Design [3]. ‐ The algorithmic approach including the above two methods were difficult to apply at conceptual level and were more suitable for level of detailed design and were less effective if many functional requirements were to be satisfied [3]. ‐ Design practices prior to Axiomatic approach were based on empirical relations relying on trial & error and heuristics and hence time consuming [3]. if a product is to be designed with some FR’s different. Some of the salient features of Axiomatic approach over the above two according to us are: ‐ Above methods can be considered as a confluence of art and design principles where art has an analogy with creativity and design principles corresponds to the modelling of the components. . Although Total design gives a framework for design. Because of the dynamics within the group many advantages of working in groups are often lost. ‐ ‐ ‐ ‐ 3. a laptop. Groups with same structure may come up with different styles and produce a different output which shows the qualitative attribute of evaluation method. where the end products remains the same i. ‐ Since Axiomatic Design is modular and each module corresponds to independent functional requirement. it provides a very clear demarcation of each functional requirement. but the configuration of the laptop can be different as per the customer’s requirement. ‐ It can be clearly seen that Axiomatic method was influenced by the concept of Total design as it took into consideration the people factor and organisation factor in the process of product creation and did not just focus on the design activity.8 ‐ ‐ ‐ The model heavily depends on group discussions and qualitative comparisons to come to a conclusion on choosing a particular concept that can be carried forward. Axiomatic approach fulfils this requirement to some extent.5 Salient features of Axiomatic Approach From the above analysis it can be clearly seen that a need of a quantitative evaluation procedure was needed in the design activity. The approach gives the designer an insight into various spheres which he/she needs to consider but the approach speaks little about how to execute the steps. ‐ The two axioms of Axiomatic approach proved to be a great tool in evaluating design solutions in a quantitative manner. ‐ In the above two methods integration of the sub systems has not been explicitly mentioned which has been taken care of in the Axiomatic Design as shown in Figure 10 [8]. ‐ Axiomatic Approach is scalable and can be used for Flexible systems as well [3]. Explanation of information transfer between the steps has not been provided clearly. However we do observe potential advantage in this. The selection of concept as a datum for evaluation is one of the most critical steps and is also a very difficult step. it lacks in defining the clarity of steps and how to transition between the steps.
then do not provide it and make it available later [3].9 Figure 10 V model approach of Axiomatic Design [8] ‐ Every product according to product life cycle graph will face a stagnancy phase as shown in Figure 11 and there is a need of revitalization. The architecture of the software implementation is shown in Figure 11. it cannot be implemented in an automated way. The same goes for Total design model as well. Figure 11 Product Life Cycle Graph ‐ The Systematic approach and the Total design approach have not explicitly mentioned about revitalization which is important from an organisation’s point of view as no organisation would like to see it product facing the decline phase. Although Systematic Design states the use of electronic media. This approach is adopted by product families. . reinvigorated the sales by introducing Twin blade razor. This is one of the biggest advantages and leaps in the design methodologies where an ideology has been automated and implemented [2]. but Axiomatic design being mathematical in nature has been described in a logical manner and implemented in a software framework. Suh provided a mechanism wherein he states that if there is scope of providing additional functionality in a product and is not needed currently. continued the trend with Triple blade razor and currently has come up with Fusion Proglide Power razor which is made for intricate parts although all are part of the same family of Razors. But electronic platforms can be used to assist the methodologies like creating CAD models. Example of this is Gillette Razor where the organisation initially came up with Single blade razor.
the information content can be given as follows: Isystem = Σlog(pleaf) + Ia Where.. the process of zigzagging which defines the quality of mapping depends upon the designer’s creativity and experience and hence is qualitative in this sense and hence a new user designer would need time to adapt to the use of the technique and produce good results. 3. Thus.... This minimizes the integration issues which would be created while assembling the parts which are typically designed by different design teams in the industry. Ia is the information associated with the ‘assembly of the modules’ [3]..10 Figure 12 Software architecture of Axiomatic approach [2] ‐ ‐ ‐ The commercial softwares available are [9]: a.. ‐ According to Axiomatic approach the design matrix should ideally be a diagonal matrix or a triangular matrix. Acclaro Sync Axiomatic approach is suitable for different fields – Manufacturing. Suh’s theory clearly addresses the issue related with the integration of various modules which is not addressed directly in any of the previous theories. Acclaro DFSS b. Software.6 Lacunae in Axiomatic Approach Axiomatic approach being robust and versatile does have some lacunae and the following are some of the lacunae according to us ‐ Although Axiomatic approach is mathematical and quantitative in approach. This can be seen in the following equations: [FR] = [A][DP] . Organisation.. But many times even a sparse matrix is also .. Acclaro Scheduler c...FR to DP mapping [DP] = [B][PV] . Systems unlike the above methods...DP to PV mapping Thus [FR] = [A][B][PV] . Axiomatic approach takes into consideration the manufacturing processes..FR to PV mapping The above equation is known as the Design for Manufacturing [2] In case of fixed system. Materials...
. This is practically infeasible as designers will always be influenced by some existing product or nature at least. when integrated can produce a conflicting situation and will need trade off. In case of multiattribute problems the designer can face a trade off situation where the functions can be conflicting with each other. Example can be high fuel efficiency and high power requirement of an automobile are two conflicting objectives which needs trade off. Below is the graphical representation of the FR and DP [2]. However according to us the customers’ influence on the product ends at this stage of mapping CA to FR as the methodology is domain specific. The same case arises in case of decoupled matrix. Being mathematical in approach these qualitative attributes will not be taken into account. Axiomatic design has no explanation of how to solve these tradeoffs and how to map these tradeoffs to the design variables that is the design space. considering probability of success as the objective function the designer will try to maximise it. ‐ ‐ ‐ Figure 13 Graphical relationship and showing trade off situation ‐ Axiomatic approach considers transforming the customer attributes (CA) to functional requirements (FR) as the most important step which then leads to the mapping of functional requirements to design parameters (DP). Considering that the mapping process is very subjective to the experience of the designer the consideration of human factor gets introduced. mapping of Customer Attribute to Functional Requirement should be done in a Solution Neutral Environment [3]. Because of this it may happen that the translation CA to FR was not properly executed which may lead to erroneous solution and the customer may not be satisfied with the end results. Also according to axiom 2 the designer will try to select a parameter which has the highest probability of being successful i. For example Biomimicry robots like the octopus robot are designed based on the morphological structure of octopus and is successful in many activities and hence violates the statement.e. Axiomatic design tries to get a design solution which is independent and has least information content. According to Axiomatic approach. Axiomatic design process has not explained the procedure to handle such situations. In practical situation there can two points A and B on the design space.11 desirable [2] [3].. In short an iteration step to check the satisfaction of customer from DP domain should be introduced as shown in Figure 14. However in such a case the solution of the DP depends on the solution order. Sometimes qualitative attributes are associated with a design.
As stated earlier axiomatic theory tends towards automation and a major work is described in [10] where the concept of a machine capable of developing designs is conceived. Hence although there is a scope of automation it is not possible to develop a thinking machine as human factor which has been neglected by Suh should always be considered. 3. ‐ The authors clearly see the influence of Total Design on DBD as it takes into consideration the overall impact. i. For this the design knowledge of many designers must be stored in a database to check for all possible solutions. but has not taken into consideration the human factor and uncertainty involved. . On the other hand Decision Based Design quantifies this decision making process using axioms that underlie the value theory. This actually contradicts the term thinking machine which is not able to make decisions and is merely a search engine model. But sometimes according to the customer’s voice cost has to be considered as a functional requirement.7 Salient features of Decision Based Design Axiomatic Approach introduced the concept of quantitative analysis of design. Some of the salient features which we would like to state are below. Although there is a scope of iteration stated but it is not recommended. ‐ If we have a closer look at Systematic approach. customer views and requirements are the most important factors in design according to the DBD process.. group would arrive at a rational decision which is generally not the case as proved by the Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem [7]. These decisions are often made based in experience and instinct of the designer. One basic flaw in Axiomatic Design is independence which is subjective in nature and needs decision making which has not been considered by Suh.12 Figure 14 Introduction of iteration steps from DP to CA ‐ ‐ ‐ ‐ By using independence axiom designer is able to optimise individual attributes. it is rather an omnidisciplinary process [7]. it s observed that the customers’ views and requirements are not taken into account adequately. This is the reason why the same design tool may lead to completely different results depending on the person who is using it and the decisions he/she makes during the process. DBD suggests that design is not only a multidisciplinary process.e. but often this axiom cannot be fully met in real design practice. ‐ Total Design explains group discussions to evaluate selection criteria. Axiomatic Process does not include cost as a functional requirement but however states that it should considered as a constraint. On the other hand demand modelling. Decision based design realizes that decision making is a critical step involved in quantitative analysis. Thus Total Design evaluation method as the authors have already stated earlier is qualitative and subjective. The evaluation system is all about satisfying the customer’s need as well as generating profit. There is no mathematical justification for these decisions.
1 we completely agree with the three types of designs – Original. Also it does not provide the functional relationship between the design variables and performance attributes. DBD provides data as to which analytic equations are relevant and areas where the experimentation should be focused to improve the analytic model. Variant and Adaptive Design As stated in section 3. ‐ Although a framework has been developed for DBD. DBD gives a mathematical basis for making these tradeoffs under conditions of uncertainty and risk. Some of the prominent issues are – ways to develop flexible design representations so as to ensure that all design options are explored. In other words it pinpoints the design options or variables within an option which should be focused on to achieve maximum benefits in tradeoffs. this theory is still in the development stages and a number of questions need to be answered to facilitate smooth implementation of this technique. In other words it cannot provide a method to make the design independent of the uncertainty [11]. Concurrent Engineering. ‐ DBD does not resolve the central problems of classical group decision making like change in the result depending on the voting method used [11]. Suh. Pahl and Beitz. Design for Assembly. ‐ The integration of DBD approach in today’s product design infrastructure would require some major changes which may not be accepted readily by the industry [12]. the students should be trained to handle the uncertainty.13 ‐ DBD realizes that while teaching engineering design. Methods like Quality Function Deployment. DBD does not provide an optimization methods or algorithms but helps in formulating the objective function. ‐ Although it models the uncertainty. but can enable the designer to think in terms of function rather than form [11]. Design for Quality. it cannot provide solution or framework to eliminate it completely from the design. Design for Manufacture. DBD provides a method for modelling the uncertainty and ranking the various alternatives by taking into consideration the uncertainty and risk involved. Some of them according to us are mentioned below.9 Comparison for Original. all require functional specifications of product as the starting point.8 Lacunae in Decision Based Design Like other methods even DBD has some lacunae. In the following table we have ranked the methodologies for generating the above three design types . 3. thus enabling the designer to utilize the previously mentioned design technique efficiently. ‐ DBD does not help in determining the constraints or range for the tradeoffs. Experimentation and engineering analysis is still needed to arrive at these values [11]. computational capabilities needed for the extensive optimisation. ‐ DBD cannot be employed during the creative or configuration stage. None of the methods provide mathematically consistent and logically correct insights on optimal specification of product nor do they address the issue of inevitable tradeoff like product cost and product performance. DBD helps to find the design variable which will result in the best combination of the desired attributes. Adaptive and Variant. This is very necessary since uncertainty is always associated with design as products or utilities are always designed for the future. etc. inertia to change from the industry [12]. ‐ ‐ ‐ ‐ ‐ 3.
physical and process domain. et. Figure 15 shows the proposed model Figure 15 Proposed model of a new framework As seen from the Figure 15 the basic framework consists of Company (Company Objectives). however lacks the influence of the company and the importance of decision making. Physical Domain and Process Domain. XXXXX=Excellent 4. We adapt some features of the above work in the proposition of new framework. During the zigzagging process when a designer has selected an FR and wants to identify alternative DPs to achieve it.al in [15]. Customer Domain.. the design requirements may be classified based on the functional requirements i. et. As stated by Marston. Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) is a powerful technique and the links between axiomatic approaches has been established by Yang. XXX=Good. As seen. TRIZ . Functional Domain. XXXX=Very Good. Hence we have made an attempt to unify the methods considering the strong points and to eliminate or mitigate the lacunae of the others. We have not limited the work to only the four design methodologies described above but have expanded to include other methods based on the study and results of others research in the area. Magrab has used axiomatic approach for solving design problem in combination with Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in [14] and stated that when appropriated. Axiomatic theory does a good job in considering customer. Unification of design methodologies Considering the above analysis it is evident that no single method is sufficient enough for a perfect design.e. functions. Interface with the company is important as the product is developed with the intention to generate profit for the company as stated in Total Design Theory and Decision Based Design.al in [13]. XX=Moderate. We use the QFD method during the mapping process from customer domain to functional domain where the requirements are ranked according to the relative importance.14 Original design Adaptive design Variant design Systematic design XX XXX XXX Total design XX XXXX XXXX Axiomatic design XXXX XXX XXX Decision based design XX XXXX XXXX Table 1 Rating different methods for different types of design Ratings: X=Poor. the requirements must be firstly established and used for organising the design requirements. axiomatic approach in combination with decision based design yields good results for variant design.
Decision Based Design.P. We have introduced the application of Statistical process control and Failure Mode and Effect Analysis in this domain to solve the problems arising due to variation and to ensure quality. In this case as well. hence in the framework we have introduced this interface. “An Axiomatic Framework for Engineering Design”. “Creating Innovative Products using Total Design: The Living Legacy of Stuart Pugh”. Beitz. Pahl. N. 2001 [4] N. Hence during the formulation of the design parameters the systematic approach should be adopted. This framework is also versatile in all fields like manufacturing. Total Design Methodology. References [1] D. Oxford University Press.edu/courses/mechanicalengineering/2882systemdesignandanalysisbasedonadandcomplexitytheoriesspring2005/lecturenotes/lec309. L. under uncertainty the framework adopts decision theory. L Wallace.A. Vol..mit. Reading MA. Total Design. 1996 [7] Hazelrigg.. Axiomatic Approach. As stated in section 3.15 can be helpful. Springer. Process Domain considers processes like manufacturing which may involve variation and failures. Research in Engineering Design. products.P.e. Blessing. 1990 [3] N. As stated in 3. Suh. decision making and quality. software. “An Application of Axiomatic Design”. We feel that Axiomatic Approach provides the most robust framework. Third Edition. Conclusion In this paper we presented a brief overview of four design methodologies – Systematic Approach to Design. Quality Function Deployment. G. “Axiomatic Design Advances and Applications”. materials. We listed some of the salient features and lacunae in each of the methodologies and proved that none of these methods are sufficient to produce a good design on their own. Suh. uncertainty i.5. “Axiomatic Design of Mechanical Systems”.. there is scope of automation of this framework. company objectives i. Suh. 5. Since the qualitative nature of evaluation is minimum and mathematical in nature. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design. Pugh.http://ocw. During these processes when faced with uncertainty.pdf.P. hence we have used it as a foundation and integrated it with other powerful techniques adapted from Systematic Approach. 117/5 [5] G. Gebala. We again adopt TRIZ during the mapping of Physical and Process Domain.e. etc. Systematic approach is more suitable for detailed design stage. and Decision Based Design. As the goal of developing the design is related to the company. Oxford University Press. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design.e. June 1995. the process moves towards the DBD framework to quantitatively solve the uncertainty. Addison Wesley Publishing Company. people.A. The axioms of axiomatic approach should be satisfied. Statistical Process Control. “The Principles of Design”. W. Suh. 2007 [6] S. We strongly feel that these methods are not competing with each other and can produce better results if used in combination with each other.P. 1999 [8] Web Link of “MIT Courseware” . “Engineering Design: A Systematic Approach”. 1992 [2] N.. organisation.6 axiomatic process lacks the interaction of the physical domain and the customer domain. accessed on 24Feb2011 . Failure Mode and Effect Analysis to propose a new framework for design activity which is not only concentrated on the detailed design procedure but also emphasizes on the interface between customer i. all the domains have an interface with the company domain.
W. Marston. 39/1. “An Approach to Decision Based Design with Discrete Choice Analysis”. Mistree.axiomaticdesign. “Design of Thinking Machine”. B.L. 1997 [14] E. CRC Press.asp. 145148. H. Thurston. Zhang.B Magrab. Chen. “Integrated Product and Process Design and Development: The Product Realization Process”. Bras. Yang.J Wassenaar. “The Applicability of the Axiomatic and Decision Based Design Equations in Variant Design”. Suh. Annals of CIRP. “Real and Misconceived Limitations to Decision Based Design with Utility Analysis”. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design. TRIZ Journal. 1997 [15] K. “A Comparison of TRIZ and Axiomatic Design”. accessed on 24Feb2011 [10] N. 2000 . 2003 [13] M. 1990 [11] D. USA. Proceeding of DETC: ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences. 2001 [12] H. New York. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design.16 [9] Web Link “Axiomatic Design Solutions INC” – http://www. F.com/products/default.
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