STRUCTURED CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT WITH PARAMETER ANALYSIS
DS 68-1: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 1: Design Processes, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Clarkson, P.J.
Author: Kroll, Ehud
Section: Design Processes
The popular systematic design process model prescribes functional decomposition and morphology as the main method for accomplishing the conceptual design phase. This approach exhibits some weaknesses, which are discussed and demonstrated with an example from a design textbook. It is shown that the method of functional decomposition and morphology requires the difficult task of creating a function structure, generates product concepts in a breadth-first manner that may also lack quantification, and most of all, does not offer a step by step mechanism for developing the concept, as opposed to just generating it. An alternative methodology, called parameter analysis, is proposed. It presents a more natural and efficient way of not only generating initial concepts, but also developing the concepts in a structured manner all the way to a viable conceptual design. The same example is used to show how parameter analysis focuses the designer’s efforts on the most critical aspects of the evolving design and combines repeated cycles of conceptual level reasoning, configuration development with quantitative thinking, and critical but constructive evaluation.
Keywords: SYSTEMATIC DESIGN; PARAMETER ANALYSIS; MORPHOLOGY; FUNCTIONAL DECOMPOSITION; FUNCTION ANALYSIS