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Robustness Evaluation of Product Concepts based on Function Structures

  • Stefan Goetz (a1), Jonas Hartung (a1), Benjamin Schleich (a1) and Sandro Wartzack (a1)


Due to the varying environment conditions as well as the manufacturing induced deviations, the properties of products vary. In order to still meet the increasingly tightening of functional requirements, tolerancing as well as Robust Design practices became integral parts of the product development. However, despite the fact that the robustness of a product is mainly determined by its conceptual design in early design stages, these activities are usually carried out at the end of the design process. In order to overcome this shortcoming, this contribution shows a method that supports the selection of robust principal solutions and thus contributes to the design of product concepts, which are less sensitive to variations. The novelty lies in the adaption and combination of robust design criteria for the quantitative robustness evaluation in the conceptual design stage. First the product characteristics, which are relevant for the product robustness are determined on the basis of the function structure. By using an adopted VMEA and a newly developed evaluation matrix, this allows a thorough robustness evaluation of product concepts. The method is exemplary shown for a lifting table.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Contact: Goetz, Stefan, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Engineering Design, Germany,


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