Designing sealing solutions in wind turbines made of elastomeric materials that are robust to various uncertainties from manufacturing errors, material imperfections and wind turbine operation is a challenging task. In this paper, we focus on the simulation-based design of material properties and geometrical dimensions of such sealing solutions. We use a systematic approach to robust concept exploration based on a multi-objective decision formulation, the compromise Decision Support Problem (cDSP). Besides using the rather traditional Archimedean or standard utility function based goal formulations in the cDSP, we leverage the conjoint analysis approach to facilitate the preference elicitation process for the various stakeholders involved in the complex product development processes in industrial practice. By parametrically tailoring geometrical dimensions and material properties, characteristics that are superior to those of more heuristic sealing designs and less sensitive to imperfections in the processing and manufacturing routes as well as operation of the wind turbine are achieved. We compare base-line and various robust solutions from traditional Archimedean and standard or conjoint analysis utility function goal formulations. Thereby, we show that using the conjoint analysis within a systematic approach to robust concept exploration is well-suited for industrial practice. The systematic approach to robust concept exploration not only yields superior solutions validated by sealing prototypes in wind turbine operation, it also fosters product development efficiency by applying design of experiment and meta-modeling techniques instead of focusing on a more heuristic product development process to achieve sealing designs.

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