In most industrial product development projects, computer-based design analysis, or simply design analysis, is frequently utilized. Several design analysis process models exist in the literature for the planning, execution and follow-up of such design analysis tasks. Most of these process models deal explicitly with design analysis tasks within two specific contexts: the context of design evaluation, and the context of design optimization. There are, however, several more contexts within which design analysis tasks are executed. Originating from industrial practice, four contexts were found to represent a significant part of all design analysis tasks in industry. These are:
1. Explorative analysis, aiming at the determination of important design parameters associated with an existing or predefined design solution (of which design optimization is a part).
2. Evaluation, aiming at giving quantitative information on specific design parameters in support of further design decisions.
3. Physical testing, aiming at validating design analysis models through physical testing, that is, determining the degree to which models are accurate representations of the real world from the perspective of the intended uses of the models.
4. Method development, that is the development, verification and validation of specific guidelines, procedures or templates for the design analyst and/or the engineering designer to follow when performing a design analysis task.
A design analysis process model needs to be able to deal with at least these four. In this work, a process model named the generic design analysis (GDA) process model, is applied to these four contexts. The principles for the adaptation of the GDA process model to different contexts are described. The use of the GDA process model in these contexts is exemplified with industrial cases: explorative analysis of design parameters of a bumper beam system, the final physical acceptance tests of a device transportation system (collision test, drop test, vibration test), and the method development of a template for analyzing a valve in a combustion engine. The “Evaluation” context is not exemplified as it is the most common one in industry.
The GDA process model has been successfully used for the four contexts. Using the adaptation principles and industrial cases, the adaptation of the GDA process model to additional contexts is also possible.