Target cascading in product development is a systematic effort to propagate the desired top-level system design targets to appropriate specifications for subsystems and components in a consistent and efficient manner. If analysis models are available to represent the relevant design decisions, analytical target cascading can be formalized as a hierarchical multilevel optimization problem. The article demonstrates this complex modeling and solution process in the chassis design of a sport-utility vehicle. Ride quality and handling targets are cascaded down to systems and subsystems utilizing suspension, tire, and spring analysis models. Potential incompatibilities among targets and constraints throughout the entire system can be uncovered and the trade-offs involved in achieving system targets under different design scenarios can be quantified.

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