Title: Economic evaluation and the design of vehicle suspensions

Authors: T.-T. Fuy, D. Cebon

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taiwan. Cambridge University Engineering Department, Trumpington St, Cambridge, UK

Abstract: Technical evaluation of products or alternative designs is a frequent and central activity in engineering design. Conventional quantitative evaluation procedures typically involve some element of subjectivity on the part of the engineer. For example, they are likely to require assignment of weighting factors which define the importance of various design criteria. In this paper, an economic approach is proposed for product evaluation. The evaluation process is based on the whole-life cost/benefit of the design, as assessed from the perspective of the owner or operator of the product. It has the advantage of being more objective than conventional approaches, and providing a balanced set of ‘weightings’ to the various design criteria. The new method is used in this paper to compare four heavy vehicle suspensions. It is also compared with a conventional evaluation method, using weighting factors derived from a survey of vehicle operators. The aim is to investigate the difference in emphasis placed on various evaluation criteria, and the sensitivity of the two approaches to various assumptions in the analyses. The influence of some important factors of vehicle operation, such as service life, operating conditions and suspension parameters, are also investigated.

Keywords: cost/benefit; design; evaluation; fatigue; maintenance; safety; suspension; vehicle.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2003.003180

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2003 Vol.31 No.2, pp.125-161

Published online: 14 Jul 2003 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article