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Research on establishing the rank and quotient of functions in product value analysisengineering

Author(s): Gheorghe Burz | Liviu Marian

Journal: Scientific Bulletin of the ''Petru Maior" University of Tîrgu Mureș
ISSN 1841-9267

Volume: 8 (XXV);
Issue: 2;
Start page: 235;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: product function | function rank | function quotients | quotient distribution | Pareto-Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution

The constructive conception of a product results from uniting subsystems with basic usage values. These basic usage values make up the functions of the product. The notion of product function is the basic notion that product value analysis/value engineering(VA/VE) operates with, and function analysis together with creative thinking constitutes „the oxygen of value engineering”. The present paper defines the notion of rank of a product function, establishes the formula for calculating its value and it reviews some ways of Determining the levels of importance of product functions, with the aim of proposing a new distribution of the importance of these Functions within the total usage value. Establishing the rank of a function can be reduced to the issue of comparing product functions by experts, consumers, team members for VA/VE. Subsequently, the ensuing results are subjected to adequate mathematical operations in order to determin the levels of importance and the quotients of each function within the product ussage value, as well as the distribution of these quotients. Due to the fact that the quota or quotient of a function within the product usage value plays an important role in conceiving and designing products, more precisely, in the economical shaping of functions, the distribution law to which this parametre is subjected is also very important. A critical study of the methods currently used to determine function quotients shows that these methods conduct to a linear distribution of these quotients, and, under these Circumstances, the ratio between the highest level of importance and the lowest level of importance is equal to the number of functions – number that is very high indeed for complex products. On the other hand, it is rightly assumed that there is a considerable number of products for which the functions do not follow a linear distribution. The Zipf distribution or its generalised form, the Pareto-Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, can be an alternative to the linear distribution. This distribution is valid in very many fields, of which most relevant for the present paper is the field of prices.

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