As most of the key properties of a product are determined by its design concept, customer orientation must be ensured very early in the conceptual design phase. Hierarchical concept development can help to reduce the complexity of this strategically significant task. This paper examines the process of hierarchical concept design by means of the House of Concepts (HoC) approach, which was conceived specifically to support customer-oriented concept development. This approach, which builds upon Quality Function Deployment (QFD), is compact, illustrative, enhances comprehensibility and can be considered both a method and a guiding principle. Supporting the creation of solution concepts by analysing the dependencies between requirements, functions, structure and properties with matrix-based methods allows verifying the suitable product concepts. The HoC method promotes customer orientation, especially during conceptual design, and supports systematic concept development at different levels of abstraction. Thus, it enables step-by-step development of product concepts and helps to reduce the complexity of this important engineering task. The HoC approach can be used to ensure customer orientation in the development of product concepts, which leads to an increase in effectiveness in product development.
- Customer-oriented concept development
- Early design phases
- House of Concepts
- Quality function deployment