Application of Quality Function Deployment to the Prediction of Seat Comfort 2013-01-0450
Long periods of sitting occur during our day to day life. It has been estimated that up to 80% of our active non-sleeping time is spent in some sort of sitting position during work, recreation, entertainment, commuting, resting, and exercising. As a result, several health effects like numbness, nerve/circulation occlusions, pressure sore, low back pain, and vein thrombosis have been associated with protracted sitting. Numerous researches have been conducted in the area of seat comfort that depended on conventional methods of testing physical prototype of seat model for comfort. The implementation of the seat comfort results are implemented in the next cycle of the design which may take up to three years. Recent advances in new technology, available after the prototype seat comfort testing, may not be incorporated in the next new seat design. This research work is geared towards developing a technique, tool and metric for seat comfort prediction. The approach stems from using System Engineering by Quality Function Deployment (QFD) to inculcate the understanding of the consumers' wants into designing comfort into the seat design process. The resulting QFD and other factors affecting seat comfort such as seat features, anthropometrics, seat design parameters, and sitting time are used to develop a computer model for predicting seat comfort. The model is designed to predict the level of comfort associated with a seat based on sitting time, seat material properties and features before the production of physical seat prototype.