Kansei Engineering Product
Mazda learned of Kansei Engineering from the
project team members who frequented the ergonomics laboratory at Hiroshima
University where Kansei Engineering research
began some 30 years ago.
When the car manufacturer decided to
develop a brand new sports car with the young adult market in mind, the project
team followed the Kansei Engineering processes and began by video taping as well
as taking pictures of young drivers maneuvering, steering, and controlling cars.
This is based on the psychological observation that human feelings often reveal
themselves in people's attitude and behavior.
on the video recording and pictures, the project team extracted young drivers'
describing each behavior on a card, assigning a keyword to it, and
then grouping the cards in a tree structure. Some of the similarities identified
in this process were transformed into the design specifications that became
For instance, one card said "my own way of controlling" - a typical feeling
expressed by young drivers. This Kansei was examined in an ergonomic experiment
in which subjects (young drivers) were asked to evaluate which length of a shift
lever best fit this Kansei feeling. Using a 10-point scale, Mazda subjects
concluded 9.5 cm as the best fit for "my own way of controlling."
For the feeling of "runs fast," it was determined that the engine response time
was the most important factor that embodied this Kansei. This meant the timing
of combustion following the push of the accelerator must be as short as
possible. This led to a redesign of the engine.
The Kansei process also uncovered young drivers' love for a particular sound of
engine thrust. For this requirement, Mazda's project team made a computer
simulation of the engine sound and conducted an evaluation of "thrust sound".
They found that the low frequency sound with odd cycle combustion noise had a
very close relationship with this Kansei. This finding led to the development of
an exhaust pipe fitting that produced this engine characteristic. Finally, the
new sports car was named "Miata".
workshop on this topic may be offered in conjunction with our annual
workshop at your business location is also possible. To inquire, please contact QFD Institute.
Tel: +1 734-995-0847