Functional Trade-offs in the Mechanical Design of Integrated Products - Impact on Robustness and Optimisability

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Sigurdarson, N
Series: ICED
Institution: Danish Technical University (DTU)
Section: Robust Design
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


It is generally accepted in industry and academia that trade-offs between functional design objectives are an inevitable factor in the development of mechanical systems. These trade-offs can have a large influence on the achievable robustness and performance of the final design, with many products only functioning in narrow sweet-spots between different objectives. As a result, the design process of multi-functional products can be prolonged when designers concurrently attempt to find sweet-spots between a number of potentially interdependent trade-offs.This paper will show that designers only have six different approaches available when attempting to manage a trade-off while trying to ensure robustness and a sufficient performance. These fall within one of three categories; accept, optimise, or redesign. Selecting the wrong approach, can result in consequences downstream which can be difficult to predict, amongst others a lack of robustness to geometric variation, constrained performance, and long development lead time.This points to a substantial potential in the synthesis of design methods that support the identification and management of trade-offs in early product development.

Keywords: Robust design, Embodiment design, Optimisation, Design trade-offs


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