Tolerance Optimization of a Mobile Phone Considering Consumer Demand for Quality and Sustainability in China, Sweden, and the United States
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Dimensional tolerances are chosen during the product development process to balance quality requirements against manufacturing costs. Designers typically judge how much variance should be allowed while still maintaining the perception of a high quality product or brand, but this is rarely based on an understanding of how consumers perceive that variance. Additionally, ecological sustainability priorities are often chosen without knowing how they will be received by consumers. This paper presents a survey-based technique for understanding how tolerance and pricing decisions influence a product developing firm’s profits, accounting for consumer perceptions of quality and environmental friendliness. A case study of a mobile phone design is explored, including variance propagation modeling, the design and administration of an online choice-based conjoint (CBC) survey, construction of consumer demand models, and profit maximization for the markets in three different countries. The results show a slight preference for high quality products compared with stronger preferences for other product attributes like low price, and the differences among the three markets are highlighted.