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Technical Brief

How Function Ordering Within Morphological Charts Influence Exploration1

[+] Author and Article Information
Anant Chawla

Technology Department,
Caesarstone Technologies USA,
Midway, GA 31320
e-mail: anant.chawla@caesarstone.com

Joshua D. Summers

Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Clemson University,
Clemson, SC 29634-0921
e-mail: jsummer@clemson.edu

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanical Design. Manuscript received June 30, 2018; final manuscript received May 22, 2019; published online July 19, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Tahira Reid.

J. Mech. Des 141(9), 094502 (Jul 19, 2019) (7 pages) Paper No: MD-18-1518; doi: 10.1115/1.4043929 History: Received June 30, 2018; Accepted May 29, 2019

Although morphological charts are widely taught used tools in engineering design, little formal guidance is provided regarding their representation and exploration. Thus, an experiment was conducted to elucidate the influence of functional ordering on the exploration of morphological charts. Two design prompts were used, each with five different functional arrangements: (1) most-to-least important function, (2) least-to-most important function, (3) input-to-output function, (4) output-to-input function, and (5) Random. Sixty-seven junior mechanical engineering students were asked to generate integrated design concepts from prepopulated morphological charts for each design prompt. The concepts were analyzed to determine the frequency with which a given means was selected, how much of the chart was explored, the sequence of exploration, and the influence of function ordering. Results indicated a tendency to focus upon the initial columns of the chart irrespective of functional order. The most-to-least-important functional order resulted in higher chances and a uniformity of design space exploration.

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Copyright © 2019 by ASME
Topics: Design
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Data recording sheet (snippet)

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Fig. 9

Morph chart coverage

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Fig. 10

Priority exploration graph

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Fig. 2

Column means frequency

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Fig. 3

Effect of functional ordering

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Fig. 4

Frequency–time progression (Priority)

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Fig. 5

Frequency–time progression (Reverse Priority)

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Fig. 6

Frequency–time progression (I/O)

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Fig. 7

Frequency–time progression (O/I)

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Fig. 8

Frequency–time progression (RND)

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