Development of hybrid lifecycle cost estimating tool (hlcet) for manufacturing influenced design tradeoff
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In complex aerospace system design, making effective decision requires knowledge from all disciplines, both product and process perspectives. Manufacturing knowledge integration is most valuable during the early phase of the design since designers have more freedom, and design changes are relatively inexpensive. Yet, there is still lack of structured methodology that will allow feedback from the process perspective to show the impact of the design decisions in a quantifiable manner. The major metrics in the design decision as far as process is concerned are cost, time, and manufacturability. To incorporate these considerations in the decision making process without sacrificing agility and flexibility required during conceptual and preliminary design phases, a new set of software analysis tools are proposed. To demonstrate the applicability of this concept, a Hybrid Lifecycle Cost Estimating Tool (HLCET) is developed, and integrated to existing design methodology, Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD). The ModelCenter suite is used to develop software architecture that seamlessly integrate between product and process analysis tools, and enable knowledge transfer between design phases. HLCET integrates high fidelity estimating techniques like process-based and activity-based into a hierarchical lifecycle cost model to increase the sensitivities of the top-down LCC model to changes or alternatives evaluated at the part or component level where tradeoff is required. Instead of applying arbitrary complexity factor to existing CERs to account for difference material or process selection, high fidelity tool can be used to related product and process parameters specific to the design to generate new result that can then be used to update top-level cost result. This new approach to lifecycle cost estimation allows for a tailored study of individual processes typically required for new and innovative designs. An example of a hypothetical aircraft wing redesign demonstrates the utility of HLCET.