This paper outlines the development of an effective and consistent “designing-in-quality” strategy that can be used to deal with concepts of uncertainty, quality, and robustness in engineering design. Specifically, this paper presents a decision analysis based robust design metric that seamlessly integrates objective evaluations on the goodness of a design alternative with the designer’s intent and preferences. This is achieved through the development of a set of performance-reflecting dominance indices for the attributes and their utilization in a preference-influenced multiattribute utility formulation. Such a knowledge feedback based decision model development will be particularly useful when dealing with complex iteration-based engineering design process where little information on the expected outcomes may be known a priori, or where product performance is computationally expensive to evaluate. Application of this robust design metric in a multi-stage experimentation and modeling design process is presented. The characteristics of the proposed design metric and the effectiveness of the overall design procedure in dealing with constrained engineering design problems are examined with the aid of demonstrative case studies and the results are discussed.
Keywords: Engineering design, Decision based Design, Dominance index, Robust design, Response surface methodology.