Engineering Judgment in Wheelchair Design Criteria: An Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) Approach

T C NWAOHA, F I ASHIEDU

Abstract


Use of engineering judgement in design and production of quality product is inevitable. Thus, design optimization is important in development of efficient engineering products. Failure to identify important design criteria and estimate their associated significance in design and development of an engineering system can result to design, manufacturing, assembly and operating errors. Therefore, vital design criteria of an engineering product need to be identified and their various level of importance (i.e. weights) revealed using powerful engineering tool. To address this challenge, an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology was employed. The technique was adopted in weight estimation of the wheelchair design criteria such as manufacturing cost (MC), availability of material (AM), reliability (R), nature of environment to be used (NEU), efficiency (E) and anthropometry (A). Experts judgement were employed in the pairwise comparison of the criteria to facilitate the revealing of the criterion with higher weight and the one with lower weight using the mechanism of the AHP technique. A criterion with higher weight is more important than the one with lower weight and vice versa. The illustrative case study revealed that the AHP technique is a viable tool for weight estimation of the wheelchair design criteria. Keywords: Wheelchair, Design criteria, AHP, Weights

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