Title: Sensitivity measures for use during conceptual design

Authors: Ryan S. Hutcheson; Daniel A. McAdams

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 194 Toomey Hall, 400 W. 13th St. Rolla, MO 65409, USA. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 3123 TAMU, College Station, TX 77845, USA

Abstract: This paper outlines a function-based method for generating and utilising design parameter sensitivity knowledge for use during the conceptual design phase of an engineering system. Of particular interest is an understanding of sensitivity across a range of parameter values instead of only at a single nominal point. To do this, functional models created using the functional basis are created. Behavioural models for each function in the model are then identified and a sensitivity analysis is performed on each model with respect to each design parameter. A new proposed measure is used along with a coefficient of variation to reason about product sensitivity. The framework is suitable for storage in a repository and then used to aid the allocation of design and modelling resources during the design of a system with similar functionality. The specific focus areas of this paper are the sensitivity parameters and methods required to generate the sensitivity information for storage. An extensive case study to human powered flashlights is presented.

Keywords: sensitivity analysis; robust design; knowledge reuse; conceptual design; engineering design; modelling; human powered flashlights; flashlight design; design parameters.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDE.2012.050270

International Journal of Design Engineering, 2012 Vol.5 No.1, pp.1 - 20

Published online: 06 Nov 2012 *

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