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Optimization of product design through quality function deployment and analytical hierarchy process: case study of a ceramic washbasin

Quality Function deployment (QFD) is a useful method for optimizing products which can be applied during the design process as well as in the postproduction process for further developments and revisions. This paper aims at examining the applicability of QFD and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to incorporate customer expectations and design quality into the product through a case study on a ceramic washbasin (1). In the first phase of the study customer needs and satisfaction are surveyed based on the current product design. This data is then merged with a Voice of Engineer (VOE) chart where technical attributes and features corresponding to the items in the Voice of Customer (VOC) are listed. By using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), the customer needs as well as technical attributes are quantified and prioritized. Quality characteristics are then obtained by the calculation of customer weights according to the level of importance, which were then transformed into measurable technical attributes in the House of Quality (HOQ). Interrelations among customer requirements, technical attributes and planning blocks were put in a matrix in order to get precise evaluations. The findings of this study demonstrate that the application of QFD at an earlier period in the design phase can help to efficiently implement design remediation.