Tuning Parameters in Engineering Design

Kristin L. Wood and Erik K. Antonsson

ASME Journal of Mechanical Design
Volume 115, Number 1 (March 1993), Pages 14-19.


In the design and manufacture of mechanical devices, there are parameters whose values are determined by the manufacturing process in response to errors introduced in the device's manufacture or operating environment. Such parameters are termed tuning parameters, and are distinct from design parameters which the designer selects values for as a part of the design process. This paper introduces tuning parameters into the design methods of: optimization, Taguchi's method, and the method of imprecision[10]. The details of the mathematical formulation, along with a design example, are presented and discussed. Including tuning parameters in the design process can result in designs that are more tolerant of variational noise.