A formal methodology is presented which may be used to evaluate design alternatives in the iterative design/redesign process. Deterministic multiattribute utility analysis is used to compare the overall utility or value of alternative designs as a function of the levels of several performance characteristics of a manufactured system. The evaluation function reflects the designers subjective preferences. Sensitivity analysis provides quantitative information as to how a design should be modified in order to increase its utility to the design decision maker. Improvements in one or more areas or performance and tradeoffs between attributes which would increase desirability of a design most may be quantified. A case study of materials selection and design in the automotive industry is presented. The methodology was applied to 6 automotive companies in the United States and Europe, and results are used to illustrate the steps followed in application.

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