Axiomatic design is a Six Sigma matrix strategy used to analyze customers’ needs in a product or service, and transforming them into functional requirements, design parameters, and process variables. This strategy essentially applies both a systematic and scientific approach to designing products based on customer needs.
The concept of Axiomatic design was developed by engineer Dr. Suh Nam Pyo and his idea of the four components making up the design process: customer requirement, functional requirement, design parameter, and process variable. Each customer requirement should be addressed by one or more functional requirements. These functional requirements should then be converted into design parameters, and that will produce the process variables. Axiomatic design also proposes a quantitative method to assess certain function requirements and their sensitivity to changes in design.
A concept at the core of Axiomatic design is that each design feature has a base of two axioms:
- The independent axiom: This is key for the entire design and asserts the independence of the function requirement. Independent function requirements will ensure a high-quality product.
- The information axiom: This axiom is designed to minimize the information content of the design. Given all the designs that could satisfy the functional requirements, the one with the least information content will be the best choice.
There are five steps one usually follows when using Axiomatic design, and they are as follows:
- Step one: Understand customer’s specific needs in a product, these are the customer requirements.
- Step two: Define the problem that must be solved in order to satisfy these needs.
- Step three: Create and select a solution that will address the issue, this is the functional requirement.
- Step four: Analyze and optimize the solution with design parameters, remember the simplest one is often the best choice.
- Step five: Review the design and check it against the customer’s requirements.