University of Twente Student Theses


Define the options for minimizing (optimizing) the overall size of a vacuum cleaner

Dijk, Leon Martijn van (2010) Define the options for minimizing (optimizing) the overall size of a vacuum cleaner.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Recent Philips consumer research showed that big, bulky canister vacuum cleaners negatively influence consumer satisfaction. Consumers stated that they had a hard time cleaning between two objects, that big canister vacuum cleaners move clumsily and that such a vacuum cleaner is too heavy to lift when cleaning the stairs. Therefore Philips wanted to research the possibilities of developing a small canister vacuum cleaner, without decreasing the performance level that had been reached. The Philips ‘Performer’ vacuum cleaner was chosen as the competitor model. The research started with an inventory of the available information on size within Philips. Because Philips is a big international organization, the assumption was made that all necessary information to perform this research would be available. A lot of the information indeed was present, however the effect of decreasing overall vacuum cleaner size on consumer satisfaction was missing. Therefore, apart from an internal research into the requirements for the Philips departments, a consumer satisfaction research also had to be done. To gather all the right information within Philips, specialists involved in the vacuum cleaner development process were interviewed. As a preparation to these interviews, colleagues were informed about the project and its goals through a Value Proposition House and two use scenarios. After the interviews, the acquired requirements were bundled in the requirement management program DOORS. In this program the requirements were elaborated on stakeholder, system and component level. After processing the results, it became clear that there were few detailed requirements for the development of a small vacuum. It was clear, however, that decreasing the size of certain components has a negative influence on the performance. For example the air tubes; there is no minimum width for the tubes, but a change in tube diameter causes performance loss. While gathering the information at the Philips departments, a consumer research was prepared. The goal of the investigation was to determine the effect of size, weight and the size-weight combination (independent variables) on consumer satisfaction (dependant variable). To test these effects, three vacuum cleaner dummies, with different sizes and changeable weights, were made. Participants were asked to perform three operations with the dummies and give the model a score. The result of the research was that consumer satisfaction is the biggest at approximately 12 dm3. Results on weight, and therefore as also on size-weight combinations, were invalid due to a wide spread in consumer satisfaction scores and a small difference in average scores. The possibilities of decreasing overall vacuum cleaner size were explored by first determining the key drivers of a vacuum cleaner. These were then used together with system and component information to determine the key components of a vacuum cleaner. Hereafter ideas were generated, using the innovation methods TRIZ, the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, and SIT, Systematic Inventive Thinking, to decrease overall vacuum cleaner size. Then together with the component specialist, a component roadmap was made for the next five years. As a result of the research into the possibilities of decreasing size, it is recommended to change the motor type to a brushless motor and to also research alternative ways of winding the electric cord. The last potential opportunity, compressing the collected dust, would also save a lot of space, however, research into alternative ways of emptying the dust bucket should be done first. To visualize the results, two vacuum cleaner concepts were developed. The first concept was a vacuum cleaner with approximately the determined optimal volume, using only currently available components that theoretically could perform as well as the Philips ‘Performer’. The second concept was a vacuum cleaner that could be developed within five years if the proposed research would be done. Because the expectation is that consumers prefer the slim upright vacuum cleaners above the canister vacuum cleaners, the second concept is a stick concept. Both concepts are reviewed using the key drivers to show the improvement of the new concepts.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Royal Philips N.V.
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:51 materials science
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page