Abstract: The increased international competition forces companies to sustain and improve market share through the production of a high quality product in a cost effective manner and in a shorter time. Set‑based concurrent engineering (SBCE), which is a
core element of lean product development approach, has got the potential to decrease time‑to‑market as well as enhance product innovation to be produced in good quality and cost effective manner. A knowledge‑based environment is one of the important requ
irements for a successful SBCE implementation. One way to provide this environment is the use of trade‑off curves (ToC). ToC is a tool to create and visualise knowledge in the way to understand the relationships between various conflicting design parame
ters to each other. This paper presents an overview of different types of ToCs and the role of knowledge‑based ToCs in SBCE by employing an extensive literature review and industrial field study. It then proposes a process of generating and using knowledg
e‑based ToCs in order to create and visualise knowledge to enable the following key SBCE activities: (1) Identify the feasible design space, (2) Generate set of conceptual design solutions, (3) Compare design solutions, (4) Narrow down the design
sets, (5) Achieve final optimal design solution. Finally a hypothetical example of a car seat structure is presented in order to provide a better understanding of using ToCs. This example shows that ToCs are effective tools to be used as a knowledge sou
rce at the early stages of product development process.