In recent years, engineering design has been recognized as one of the areas with greatest potential for overall improvements on the life cycle cost of consumer products. Two key ideas that are recognized in modern design practice are the creative implementation of basic functional requirements as well as the incorporation of consumer perceptions of need in the initial stages of the design process.

The Quality Function Deployment Method, QFD, has been used by many companies to incorporate consumer needs and preferences in the design of products and services. The QFD method is based on the paradigm that engineering products are coupled by nature. This idea is not unique to QFD. What differentiates the method is the notion that coupling is desirable. Specifically, this notion seems to be in contrast with the bases of the theory of Axiomatic Design. According to this theory, one of the driving forces of a design process is the elimination of coupling conditions between product functions and their corresponding implementations.

In this paper we address the apparent inconsistency between QFD and Axiomatic Design. We specifically concentrate on the application of the Independence Design Axiom as an enhancement to the QFD process. A brief description of both methods is presented first, followed by a step by step description of how both concepts can be used in harmony to improve the conceptual product design process.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.