In this work we apply an innovative participative design approach for the quality evaluation of virtual prototypes of new industrial products (i.e. concept designs), by adopting statistical procedures and carrying out tests in an immersive VR environment. This methodology has been fully exploited through a case study concerning the choice of the optimal design for the interiors of a new regional train. Following this approach, the optimal concept design is defined at the end of a process consisting of five phases: identification of the quality elements of the concept design, classification of the quality elements, generation and quality evaluation of product concepts and, finally, definition of the optimal concept. According to the applied methodology after the identification of the customer’s needs, a structured set of quality elements has been defined and, successively, classified according to Kano’s theory. Following the approach of conjoint analysis, the design factors have been combined according to an experimental plan to form product virtual concepts. During the concepts generation phase we have explored those product architectures that integrate design characteristics correlated to the set of quality elements. The concepts have been created according to comfort, ergonomic and safety criteria. In particular we have considered the ergonomics of places and furniture dimensions, through the use of virtual manikins. The evaluation of the quality of the different concepts has been carried out in the VR laboratory (named “VRTest”) of the Competence Centre for the Qualification of Transportation Systems founded by Regione Campania according to an original statistical procedure and has involved a group of experts in train’s interiors design and a group of common users of regional trains.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.