Modifying Pugh's Design Concept Evaluation Methods


The conceptual design phase poses a large degree of uncertainty on how the final design will perform and how much the product will cost. When engineers select a design concept, they rely heavily on their own perceptions. Under these circumstances, engineers evaluate concepts by comparing them to others (pairwise comparison), by using perceptual ratings, or by quantifying their beliefs about uncertainties. Pugh's concept evaluation methods, the concept comparison and evaluation matrix, and the rating/weighting method are popular perception-based methods. This paper discusses potential pitfalls of Pugh's methods and proposes modifications that use a perceptual rating to reference the target values or degrees of belief about uncertainties. Among these modifications, the preliminary comparative study suggests that evaluating concepts by probability of satisfying targets and performing the sensitivity analysis to test for the robustness of the evaluation seem to be the most promising approach. Hypothetical and illustrative examples serve in comparative study of these methods.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Concept Comparison and Evaluation Matrix; Concept Evaluation; Pugh's Method; Rating/Weighting Method

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2004 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2004

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