Conference article

Kansei Engineering Approach for Identifying “Total Quality” Elements

Antonio Lanzotti
Department of Aerospatiale Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Pietro Tarantino
Department of Aerospatiale Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Italy

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Published in: 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 26:20, p.

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Published: 2008-02-15


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The concept design phase is critical for the success of products. A product concept is a concise description of how the product will satisfy the users’ needs (Ulrich and Eppinger; 2000). Because of the dual nature of customers’ needs (functional and emotional) product concept design have to address both product’s physical quality and products’ emotional quality. Several methods have been developed to support designers in each activity of concept design. These methods apply an user-centred approach or a designer-driven approach or a balanced mix of the previous ones; in order to satisfy conscious and declared users’ needs and translate them in functional characteristics of the product. Lack of methodology is pointed out at this stage to discover latent users’ needs. For this reason; after being underestimated for many years; methodologies that help designers to take into account emotional variables are now viewed with increasing interest. Among them; Kansei Engineering (KE) is finding a very considerable interest of product design team (Nagamachi; 1995; Schütte and Eklund; 2005; Nagamachi and Matsubara; 1997).

This work has the scope of turning out the validity and usefulness of a KE integrated approach to the product concept development phase and its benefits in improving the perceived “total quality” of future product. Henceforth; we will define “total quality product” a product that satisfies both functional and emotional users’ needs; and “total quality elements” the corresponding product attributes. The proposed approach (described in section 2) integrates the traditional methodologies used in the product concept design with KE principles and innovative statistical and quality tools such as supersaturated design; ordinal logistic regression and EVA method (briefly described in section 3). An innovative procedure to exhibit concepts in KE session is also presented. It uses the abstraction and association idea principles to elicit users’ grade of agreement for a particular kansei word. The proposed approach is fully exploited through a case study on train interior design; developed in a virtual reality environment (see section 4).


Concept design; Kansei Engineering; Supersaturated design; Ordinal logistic regression; EVA method; Virtual Reality


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