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Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2006) 31: 407420 DOI 10.

1007/s00170-005-0205-8

ORIGINA L ARTI CLE

R. Curran . A. K. Kundu . J. M. Wright . S. Crosby . M. Price . S. Raghunathan . E. Benard

Modelling of aircraft manufacturing cost at the concept stage

Received: 8 October 2004 / Accepted: 6 June 2005 / Published online: 26 January 2006 # Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Abstract The work presented is concerned with the estimation of manufacturing cost at the concept design stage, when little technical information is readily available. The work focuses on the nose cowl sections of a wide range of engine nacelles built at Bombardier Aerospace Shorts of Belfast. A core methodology is presented that: defines manufacturing cost elements that are prominent; utilises technical parameters that are highly influential in generating those costs; establishes the linkage between these two; and builds the associated cost estimating relations into models. The methodology is readily adapted to deal with both the early and more mature conceptual design phases, which thereby highlights the generic, flexible and fundamental nature of the method. The early concept cost model simplifies cost as a cumulative element that can be estimated using higher level complexity ratings, while the mature concept cost model breaks manufacturing cost down into a number of constituents that are each driven by their own specific drivers. Both methodologies have an average error of less that ten percent when correlated with actual findings, thus achieving an acceptable level of accuracy. By way of validity and application, the research is firmly based on industrial case studies and practice and addresses the integration of design and manufacture through cost. The main contribution of the paper is the cost modelling methodology. The elemental modelling of the cost breakdown structure through materials, part fabrication, assembly and their associated drivers is relevant to the analytical design procedure, as it utilises design definition and complexity that is understood by engineers.

Keywords Nacelle nose cowl . Cost prediction modelling . Early concept cost prediction . Mature concept cost model

Nomenclature
C C0Add C0Ass C0Fab C0i finish C0i raw C0Mat CEBU CFC CN CPred CTC CTR Dfan C CComplexity CGeom CManuf CSpec R rGeom rManuf rSpec ui Wi Manufacturing cost Additional cost Cost of assembly Cost of fabrication Finished material cost Raw material cost Cost of materials Manufacturing cost of engine build unit Manufacturing cost of fan cowl Total manufacturing cost of nacelle Predicted manufacturing cost Manufacturing cost of tail cone Manufacturing cost of thrust reverser Fan diameter Cost differential between trend-line and baseline Cost differential due to cumulative complexity factor Cost differential due to geometry Cost differential due to manufacturability Cost differential due to specification Regression constant Geometric cost ratio Manufacturing cost ratio Specification cost ratio Cost of raw material per unit weight Weight of material

R. Curran (*) . A. K. Kundu . J. M. Wright . S. Crosby . M. Price . S. Raghunathan . E. Benard School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Ashby Building Room 5.4, Stranmillis Road, BT9 5AH Belfast, UK e-mail: r.curran@qub.ac.uk Tel.: +44-28-90974190 Fax: +44-28-90382701

1 Introduction
The current emphasis in many aerospace manufacturing companies is the reduction of recurring unit costs for both developing, and mature products [11]. Historically, the main thrust of cost estimating has been associated with the

408

high level bidding process or very detailed process time based models [10]. This is in the context of an aircraft design process that has not been oriented towards cost issues, relative to the technical challenge, and which has tended towards engineering practices that are governed and understood only by individual cost experts [5]. Market pressures continue to force both companies and customers to demand aerospace products at reduced prices, resulting in the shift from: Price Cost Profit Contingency ) Profit Price Total Cost The effect of this trend has been a greater attention on cost effectiveness, including competitive design configurations that return sufficient profit margins [3, 8, 12]. There is an associated requirement to be able to accurately and expeditiously quantify the benefits of such changes. This requires sufficient information of an appropriate accuracy and form [6] being available to verify models for conceptual design [13]. These models must provide a causal linkage between design and manufacture in order to provide better accuracy and provide relevant information to the engineers in order to support decision-making [1, 2, 7, 17]. A methodology is presented that: defines the manufacturing cost elements to be considered; identifies the technical parameters that are highly influential in generating those costs; establishes the modelling between these two; and builds the cost estimating relations into a cost framework [16]. This paper focuses on the detailed analysis of engine nacelles in order to formulate a methodology with generic relevance.

Table 1 Material weight fractions Material type Nacelle A (WA/WAT) All Raw Finished 1.000 0.714 0.286 Nacelle B (WB/WAT) 1.135 0.874 0.261 (WB/WBT) 1.000 0.770 0.230

0 0 where CMat is the cost of material, CFab the cost of fab0 0 rication, CAss the cost of assembly, CSup the cost of support, 0 0 the cost of amortisation and CMisc is miscellaneous CAmr cost. A fundamental allocation of costs can therefore be attributed to certain categories of cost.

2.1 Material cost Material is classified into two categories: (1) raw material (sheet metal, bar stock, forging, etc.); and (2) finished material (e.g. lip-skin, engine ring, some welded/cast parts, etc., and sub-contracted items). The weight fractions of the two nacelles are given in Table 1, which shows that Nacelle B is actually heavier despite having less finished material weight than Nacelle A. Table 2 details raw material weight fractions while Table 3 gives various materials cost per unit weight; both tables being normalized, the former with respect to total material weight and the latter to aluminium sheet metal cost. From Table 2 it is apparent that the higher weight of Nacelle B is attributable to the fact that (a) there is a greater weight of aluminium alloy sheet used, as the nacelle is larger in geometry; and (b) more titanium alloy is used due to stricter certification requirements with fire resistance/protection, etc. These two factors increase the weight of Nacelle B even though its manufacture does not require aluminium forging. It is also worth noting, as shown in Table 3, that the highest cost per unit weight belongs to the mechanical fasteners. The overall cost per unit weight of Nacelle B is smaller than that of Nacelle A, a possible reason being the previously mentioned neglect of aluminium forging in Nacelle B production. The AGS (aircraft general supply) consists of various types of fasteners, e.g. blind rivets (more expensive), solid rivets and other types of fasteners. They are classified as raw material as it is impractical to cost each type separately.
Table 2 Raw material weight fractions Material Nacelle A (WA/WAT) Aluminum alloy sheet Aluminum alloy forging Al. alloy honeycomb Titanium alloy Composite Mech. fasteners (nuts, etc) Solid rivets Total weight fraction 0.2523 0.1355 0.2928 0.2736 0.0125 0.0261 0.0072 1.0000 Nacelle B (WB/WAT) 0.5098 0.0000 0.2814 0.3308 0.0000 0.0036 0.0099 1.1356 (WB/WBT) 0.4489 0.0000 0.2478 0.2913 0.0000 0.0032 0.0087 1.0000

2 Manufacturing cost breakdown


The total manufacturing cost [14] of a nacelle CN is given by the sum of the individual costs of five generic components, CN X5
i

Ci CNC CFC CTR CTC CEBU

(1)

where CNC is the cost of the nose cowl; CFC is the cost of the fan cowl; CTR is the cost of the thrust reverser; CTC is the cost of the tail cone assembly; and CEBU is the cost of engine build unit (EBU), e.g. anti-icing, pipes, electrics, etc. Typically, the cost of each of the nacelle components identified in Eq. 1 is individually estimated as follows: CNose Cowl X5
i

Ci5 (2)

0 0 0 0 0 0 CMat CFab CAss CSup CAmr CMisc

409 Table 3 Raw material cost per unit weight of each nacelle Material Cost per unit weight Nacelle A Aluminum alloy sheet Aluminium alloy forging Al. alloy honeycomb Titanium alloy Composite Mech. fasteners (nuts, etc) Solid rivets Finished material 1.00 4.19 2.25 3.50 3.62 18.44 0.63 1.00 Nacelle B 1.00 4.19 2.25 3.50 0.00 18.44 0.63 0.92

2.3 Assembly cost Again, as for fabrication, the cost drivers are taken to include geometry, technical specifications, manufacturing philosophy, functionality and man-hour rates. Table 4 also includes the Nacelle A and B nose cowl assembly costs for the six stages. Again, as for fabrication the cost of assembly is less for Nacelle B. It appears to be advantageous to build more assembly into the early stages of production. The cost of the airframe structure is separated from all other nonstructural components, e.g. anti-icing ducting, linkages, cables, accessories, etc. These can be categorised as the EBU fitment for the nacelle, in preparation for fitting the turbofan engine and not included in the cost. Section 4 will outline how it is possible to model the assembly cost to the number of parts and the AGS count for each nacelle. Table 6 outlines the key data required for the current case study given in non-dimensional form. 2.4 Cost of support A certain amount of additional cost is incurred when the product is assessed in quality inspection. Rework and design concessions are necessary, or parts are otherwise scraped. These costs are termed support cost and in general are small and hard to determine. A flat-rated cost of 5% of the total cost (material + parts manufacture + assembly) is used herein. 2.5 Cost of amortisation Amortisation includes the non-recurring costs of design, methods and tooling. Amortisation is here applied over 200 aircraft, i.e. distributed over 400 nacelle units, but should reflect the business projections for the aircraft sales.

2.2 Fabricated parts cost Fabrication is fundamental to manufacturing cost build-up and incorporates cost drivers such as geometry, technical specifications, manufacturing philosophy, functionality and man-hour rates [15]. Table 4 gives the cost of parts manufactured in non-dimensional form, attained from the man-hours involved at each of the six assembly stages outlined. All values are dimensioned to the appropriate total cost of Nacelle A. It is apparent from the table that the cost of fabrication has been substantially reduced for Nacelle B. The actual man-hours taken to manufacture parts for each of the six stages of Nacelle A assemblies can be obtained from shop floor engineering process plans. Factored indices for Nacelle B can be established through DFM studies at the conceptual stages of design. At each stage of the parts manufacture, the man-hours are given as a fraction of the total man-hours of all the parts. It will be seen in Sect. 4 that the fabrication time can be modelled and correlated to the weight fractions of each material required for the manufacture of each corresponding nacelle, with associated values summarised in Table 5.

Table 4 Actual fabrication and assembly costs

Stage

Fabrication cost Actual 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Total 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Total 0.0557 0.1114 0.0382 0.6234 0.0732 0.0981 1.0000 0.0623 0.0690 0.0025 0.1912 0.1554 0.0532 0.5337

Assembly cost Actual 0.1007 0.0564 0.1157 0.2688 0.2110 0.2474 1.0000 0.0222 0.0966 0.1309 0.1656 0.1836 0.0878 0.6867

Nacelle A

Nacelle B

410 Table 5 Weight and cost fractions Stage Al sheet W/WT Nacelle A 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Total 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Total 0.0369 0.0640 0.0847 0.0405 0.0252 0.0009 0.2523 0.0000 0.0761 0.0987 0.0284 0.2635 0.0431 0.5098 C/CT 0.0125 0.0216 0.0284 0.0137 0.0085 0.0004 0.0852 0.0000 0.0256 0.0332 0.0095 0.1997 0.0326 0.3006 Al forging W/WT 0.0000 0.0270 0.0000 0.0216 0.0486 0.0383 0.1355 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 C/CT 0.0000 0.0381 0.0000 0.0305 0.0685 0.0540 0.1912 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 Al honeycomb W/WT 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.2928 0.0000 0.0000 0.2928 0.0000 0.0032 0.0000 0.2782 0.0000 0.0000 0.2814 C/CT 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.2219 0.0000 0.0000 0.2219 0.0000 0.0025 0.0000 0.2109 0.0000 0.0000 0.2134 Ti alloy W/WT 0.1096 0.0126 0.0000 0.1514 0.0000 0.0000 0.2736 0.1665 0.0680 0.0733 0.0000 0.0230 0.0000 0.3308 C/CT 0.1293 0.0150 0.0000 0.1785 0.0000 0.0000 0.3228 0.1961 0.0080 0.0865 0.0000 0.0271 0.0000 0.3177

Nacelle B

N.B. All quantities are proportioned to the appropriate nacelle A total (subscript T)

2.6 Miscellaneous cost Miscellaneous cost incorporates additional unavoidable costs such as insurance, packaging, etc., but also include the unforeseen cost of contingencies that are allocated as a manufacturing cost [4]. Normally these are small and, in this paper, are taken as 5% of the total cost (material + parts manufacture + assembly).

3 Early concept modelling


Many commercially available cost estimating packages use weight as the baseline cost driver and then generate measures of secondary cost drivers to refine the cost estimate. Weight is a cost driver that is synonymous with parametric costing [13] and is at the core of most commercial cost estimating

packages. However, it is difficult to get an accurate weight estimate early in the concept stage. Notwithstanding, the suitability of several high-level cost drivers is presented in Fig. 1, including fan diameter, air-wash area and thrust, as well as weight. It can be seen that weight seems to be the best pointer to manufacturing cost with R2=0.955, where 0.955 denotes that 95.5% of the scatter in the points is characterised by the linear fit. The data was normalized in order to help ascertain which parameters tend to impact most on manufacturing cost. For the range of parameters covered, it can be seen that the slope of the cost verses fan diameter characteristic was greatest at 2.34, followed by air-wash area at 1.02, weight at 0.69, and thrust at 0.35. Consequently in this study, fan diameter was taken as the most readily available baseline parameter that is known early in the concept stage and which displays the highest degree of correlation to cost.

Table 6 Part and AGS count Nacelle A

Stage 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Total 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Total

No. of parts 0.1005 0.0905 0.0327 0.4171 0.2538 0.1055 1.0000 0.0528 0.0854 0.0477 0.1281 0.2538 0.0377 0.6055

AGS 0.1295 0.0954 0.1056 0.1448 0.2346 0.2902 1.0000 0.0003 0.1730 0.2606 0.1902 0.1902 0.0255 0.8399

Nacelle B

411 Fig. 1 Recurring manufacturing costs of nose cowls


4

y = 1.0185x + 0.0824
3.5

R = 0.8625 y = 2.3352x - 0.2162 2 R = 0.8971 y = 0.6805x + 0.0928 2 R = 0.955 y = 0.3438x + 0.1007 2 R = 0.8716

Normalised Manufacturing Cost

3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 -0.5 0

Fan Diameter Weight Airwash Area Thrust

10

Normalised cost driver

3.1 Cost drivers In addition to identifying the statistical design cost drivers and relations shown, design, manufacture and procurement engineers were consulted to establish categories that could be used to fully characterize the cost variance evident on any one nacelle. Simply, these are represented by a geometric complexity factor fGeom, manufacturing complexity factor fManuf, and specification complexity factor fSpec. The key design and manufacturing attributes that were used to define each of the factors are listed in Table 7. Equation 3 reiterates that recurring manufacturing cost is now assumed to be a function of four parameters, including size and the three specific design attributes or characteristics. For the current case study, the component size is taken to be the engine fan diameter Dfan; although some other parameter may provide a better linkage to cost. (3) C fn Dfan ; fGeom ; fManuf ; fSpec Having determined the key cost drivers, the next step was to gather data that would quantify these. The wider research program is tackling this issue on a number of levels, for example, ranging from a knowledge-based rating to an analytical definition. Table 8 details complexity ratings that have been quantitatively rated by industrial experts through a tacit knowledge approach. A rating of 1 was taken as the
Table 7 Attributes used to characterise cost drivers Specification Functionality Certification Aerodynamic smoothness Structural efficiency Manufacturability Part count Process capability Assembly philosophy Manufacturing tolerances Geometry Cylindricity Circularity Concentricity Curvature

baseline level and a rating of 4 was equated to the most extreme value for any particular complexity measure. However, it should be noted that the ratings are being verified and supported by a more analytical methodology that is being developed but which requires more input data and, therefore, relates more readily to the preliminary or detailed design stage. The clear diamond symbols in Fig. 2 show the recurring manufacturing costs of the nose cowls, as defined by Eq. 2, plotted against component size or engine fan diameter. There was available data for 11 different nose cowls, denoted later in the paper as Nose Cowl A through Nose Cowl K. It can be seen from the trend line that the characteristic is linear and that statistically there was a regularity of R2=0.897. This method implies that ideally there is a linear characteristic and that the aforementioned complexities give rise to the differentials from that baseline characteristic.

Table 8 Complexity ratings for 11 nacelle nose cowls Nacelle A B C D E F G H I J K Specification 1 3 1 2 3 3 2 1 1 2 2 Manufacturing 3 4 2 1.5 1 1 2 4 1 4 1 Geometry 2 3 1 1 2 3 2 3 3 3 3

412 Fig. 2 Original cost versus baseline cost


5

Original data

Normalised Manufacturing Cost

Baseline prediction Linear (Original data) R 2 = 0.8971

Linear (Baseline prediction) R 2 = 0.9372

0 0 1 2 3

Normalised Fan Diameter

3.2 Cost prediction model The approach taken was to identify nacelles with two of the complexity ratings (fGeom, fManuf, or fSpec) being equal and the third being different in order to calibrate the cost differential. In a principle similar to the solution of simultaneous equations, the difference in the dependant variable, i.e. the cost differential between the nacelles, is equal to the rating differential for that complexity factor. However, this should be calculated as a ratio of fan diameter Dfan in order to allow for the baseline influence of component size. For example, Nacelles E and F in Table 8 can be used to establish the cost impact of the geometric complexity factor fGeom relative to fan diameter Dfan. This procedure yields three costing ratios of the form described in Eqs. 4 through 6.     C2 C1 Dfan2 Dfan1 ; (4) rGeom fGeom2 fGeom1  rManuf    ; (5)

baseline cost that is a function of size. For example, Eqs. 7, 8 and 9, show the calculation of the cost differential associated with each of the complexity factors. CGeom rGeom Dfan fGoem 1 (7)

CManuf rManuf Dfan fManuf 1

(8)

CSpec rSpec Dfan fSpec 1

(9)

To establish the linear baseline equation as a function of size, the trend identified for the original data points is shifted vertically downwards by the cost differential C between it and the baseline nacelle chosen. This gives an equation of the form described in Eq. 10, where z equates to the vertical shift from the original data. C mdata Dfan zdata C 0 (10)

C2 Dfan2

C1 Dfan1

fManuf 2 fManuf 1   

Subsequently, the predicted cost CPred of any new nacelle with a given engine fan diameter Dfan and complexity factors of fGeom, fManuf and fSpec, is calculated as shown in Eqs. 11 and 12. CPred mdata Dfan zdata C 0 CComplexity (11)

rSpec fSpec2 fSpec1

C2 Dfan2

C1 Dfan1

(6)

Consequently, the total cost impact of each of the complexity ratings can now be calculated relative to a

Ccomplexity CGeom CManuf CSpec

(12)

413 Fig. 3 Original cost versus predicted cost


5

Prediction
4

Original data R 2 = 0.9671 Linear (Prediction) R 2 = 0.8971

Normalised Manufacturing Cost

Linear (Original data)

0 0 1 2 3

Normalised Fan Diameter

4 Results
The clear diamond symbols in Fig. 2 denote the original cost of each nacelle while the solid circles represent the actual cost minus the predicted cost differential arising from the complexity, as described by Eq. 13. This should represent the idealistic baseline cost that is a function of size only. C Ccomplexity C CGeom CManuf CSpec (13) The characteristics should imply whether the methodology is improving the regularity and predictability of the
Fig. 4 Material cost-to-weight ratios
16

cost, and it can be seen in Fig. 2 that the linearity is further refined to R2=0.937. Also, the concept of a cost floor is highlighted in the figure through the slope of the two trend lines, where the differential is subsequently increased as the fan diameter increases. This is also a testament to the correct choice of cost drivers. Finally, Fig. 3 plots the original data against the predicted values where the solid circular symbols represent the predicted cost. It can be observed that there is again a reasonable degree of linearity (R2=0.967). Any deviation of the predicted trend line from the original appears to be slight, but it increases with increased fan diameter. In terms of the model accuracy, the proposed complexity method delivered an average percentage error

Nacelle A Nacelle B

Cost/Total Weight of Nacelle A

12

* - Material not present in


Nacelle B 8

*
0 Al Alloy Sheet Al Alloy Forging Al Alloy Honeycomb Ti Alloy

*
Composite Mech Fasteners Solid Rivets

414

of 10% between its predicted costs and the original cost, whereas the trend line for the original regression analysis of the data, shown in Fig. 1, had an average absolute error of 14% in predicting the cost of each nose cowl. It is thus apparent that the model yields a sufficient level of accuracy as an early concept prediction tool.

Table 9 Actual and predicted material costs with corresponding percentage errors Material Cost Actual Model % Error Nacelle A 47.5045045 47.7685622 0.55585815 Nacelle B 35.8083452 33.6525012 6.0205074

5 Mature concept cost modelling


5.1 Cost model The input required for the mature concept model requires more detail than that required for the early concept prediction but remains relatively high level. In developing the model [9], the data and factors pertaining to the design information and manufacturing data from two nacelle nose cowls were utilised and are given in Tables 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, including: Materials utilised Breakdown of weights, costs Breakdown of parts and AGS count Fabrication and assembly costs for each six assembly stages 5.1.1 Material cost The nose cowl material cost CMat is expressed as: Xn Xn 0 C C 0 i finish ; where C 0 i raw C 0 Mat i raw i i Wi ui Pi (14) where Wi is the weight of the material, ui is the standard cost of raw material per unit weight, and Pi is the procurement factor. Typically, there were seven types of materials that were categorised: aluminium alloy sheet, aluminium alloy forgings, aluminium alloy honeycomb, titanium alloy, composite, mechanical fasteners and rivets. The latter highlights that material costs are not modelled as pure raw materials but include some processing cost. The distinction relates to raw material arriving at the shop floor and is a simplification used in industry. 5.1.2 Fabrication cost The man-hours required to fabricate each part is a combination of processes such as machining, forming,
0

Each of the cost elements were individually investigated in order to identify suitable analytical relations based on the historical data. This included identifying primary and secondary cost drivers that could be employed to refine the accuracy of the model, in a similar fashion to the early concept model, whereas size, expressed through fan diameter, was utilized previously. The mature concept model benefits from using more detailed analysis, for example, using the weight and cost breakdown of the utilised materials along with the part and AGS count.

Fig. 5 Percentage errors between each individual actual and model material costs for Nacelle A

1.6
1.39

1.2

Percentage Error

0.8

0.40

0.4

0.14 0.06 0.00

0.11 0.00

0 Aluminum Alloy Sheet Aluminum Al. Alloy Alloy Forging Honeycomb Titanium Alloy Composite Mech. Fasteners Solid Rivets

415 Fig. 6 Percentage errors between each individual actual and model material costs for Nacelle B
8
7.12

* - Material not present in Nacelle B

Percentage Error

4
.

3.78

*
0.01

*
0.00 0.00

0 Aluminum Alloy Sheet Aluminum Alloy Forging Al. Alloy Honeycomb Titanium Alloy Composite Mech. Fasteners Solid Rivets

etc. As the weight of each material used is one of the main cost it is possible to model the fabrication cost 0 drivers, CFab relative to the amount of each material used at each corresponding assembly stage. However, only the first four materials were considered in this analysis as their weight amounts to approximately 95% of the total, i.e. it could be assumed that with respect to driving the cost they are the most significant of the materials (aluminium alloy sheet, aluminium alloy forgings, aluminium alloy honeycomb and titanium alloy). Figure 4 illustrates the cost-to-weight ratios for each of the materials, where each cost was normalised according to the total weight of Nacelle A. Mechanical fasteners appear to have quite a large value;

however, this is due to the fact that they are quite expensive but they accumulate to only a very small portion of the total weight of each nacelle. Since only the weight fractions are being modelled, it is not necessary to include the fasteners in the analysis. A multiple regression analysis (MRA) was thus preformed for each nacelle, using previously attained information on the fabrication times and the material weight fractions at each of the assembly stages, as outlined by Tables 4 and 5. The regression models prediction of the fabrication cost was evaluated as given by Eq. 15, C 0 Fab 0:078 0:205WAlSheet 0:539WAlForging 0:346WAlHoneycomb 113:122WTiAlloy (15)

Fig. 7 Comparison of the actual and model fabrication cost for Nacelle A
Fabrication Cost / Total Fabrication Cost of Nacelle A

0.8

Actual Cost Model Cost


0.6

0.4

0.2

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

-0.2

Assembly Stage

416 Fig. 8 Comparison of the actual and model fabrication cost for Nacelle B
0.3

Actual Cost

Fabrication Cost / Total Fabrication Cost of Nacelle A

Model Cost
0.2

0.1

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

-0.1

Assembly Stage

5.1.3 Assembly cost The assembly operation time and cost was modelled in a similar 0way to that of the fabrication time. The assembly was modelled as a function of the number of cost CAss parts NParts and the AGS count NAGS. These two parameters were recognised to have the biggest influence on the assembly time and, consequently, the assembly cost. Table 6 gives the appropriate data of the part and AGS count at each corresponding assembly stage. After the multiple regression analysis was preformed it yielded the following relationship given by Eq. 16.

5.1.4 Additional costs 0 that are calThere remain several additional costs CAdd culated in a very similar manner but which, nonetheless, 0 should be incorporated. The support cost CSup , amor 0 0 tisation cost CAmr and miscellaneous costs CMisc can be taken as a percentage of material cost, fabrication cost and assembly cost. In this paper they are accumulated and flat-rated as follows:
0 0 0 0 CAdd CSup CAmr CMisc

(17)

0 CAss 0:017 0:389NParts 0:465NAGS

(16)

0 CAdd 0:1 material cost fabrication cost

assembly cost

(18)

Table 10 Model fabrication and assembly costs

Stage

Fabrication cost Model 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Total 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Total 0.0670 0.0946 0.0093 0.5455 0.1355 0.0749 0.9082 0.0967 0.0590 0.0792 0.2734 0.1603 0.0431 0.6255

Assembly cost Model 0.1165 0.0968 0.0790 0.2468 0.2250 0.1931 0.9573 0.0379 0.1309 0.1569 0.1555 0.2044 0.0438 0.7294

Nacelle A

Nacelle B

417 Table 11 Errors of predicted models Stage Percentage difference of total cost Fabrication Nacelle A 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Average 1 Forward bulkhead assembly 2 Primary assembly 3 Aft bulkhead assembly 4 First sub-assembly 5 Second sub-assembly 6 Third sub-assembly (final) Average 1.1327 1.6764 4.7511 7.7983 6.2362 2.3219 3.9861 6.4321 1.8683 14.3685 15.4011 0.9176 18.0516 9.5065 Assembly 1.5804 4.0369 3.6611 2.2025 1.3975 5.4262 3.0508 2.2951 4.9997 3.7844 1.4663 3.0219 6.4092 3.6628

Nacelle B

Consequently, all elements of cost can be estimated using the above relations, and no further modelling of the additional costs need be carried out as they depend only upon the three previously modelled costs.

outlined by Eq. 14. Now, Ci0 Eq. 19: Ci0


raw

raw

is evaluated in full using

Wal ual Pal sheet Wal ual Pal forge Wal ual Pal honeycomb Wti uti Pti Wcomp ucomp Pcomp WAGS uAGS PAGS fastener WAGS uAGS PAGS rivet (19)

5.2 Model results 5.2.1 Nose cowl material cost 0 The cost of material CMat is predicted Pn 0 by evaluating the sum of the total raw material cost i Ci raw and the cost P 0 obtained from the subcontracted items n i Ci finish , as

Finished material consists of a variety of items that are supplied to the assembly line without in-house work being involved. Their acquiring policies vary at each negotiation. A similar relation for the cost of finished material may also be evaluated, although this is highly influenced by external factors and cost of supply.

Assembly Cost / Total Assembly Cost of Nacelle A

Fig. 9 Comparison of the actual and model assembly cost for Nacelle A

0.3

Actual Cost
0.25

Model Cost
0.2

0.15

0.1

0.05

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Assembly Stage

418 Fig. 10 Comparison of the actual and model assembly cost for Nacelle B
0.25

Assembly Cost / Total Assembly Cost of Nacelle A

Actual Cost 0.2 Model Cost

0.15

0.1

0.05

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Assembly Stage

Tables 1, 2 and 3 outlined the weight fractions (Wi) and corresponding costs per unit weight (ui) associated with each of the raw and finished materials. The raw and finished material costs for each nacelle were thus evaluated hence giving the predicted material cost appropriate to the above model. Table 9 details these costs, however they are dimensioned to the corresponding total nacelle weight for proprietary reasons. The table also outlines the percentage error resulting from the model which still prove to be quite small. The average error experienced was approximately 3.3%. Finally, Figs. 5 and 6 outline the resulting percentage errors for each individual material, proportioned to the total error for both corresponding nacelles.

0 5.2.2 Nose cowl part fabrication cost CFab The model described in Section 5.1.2 was carried out for each of the six assembly stages and the four main materials for each of the nacelles. The findings are represented graphically in Figs. 7 and 8 for Nacelles A and B, respectively. Tabular results can also be found in Table 10 for each of the fabrication costs displayed being proportioned to the Nacelle A total. It can be observed that the model is very comparable to the actual costs (with a resulting R-squared value of 0.877), which corresponds to an acceptable level of correlation. The accuracy of the model is further investigated in Table 11 which outlines the

Fig. 11 Percentage errors between the actual and model costs for Nacelle A

10

9.18

Percentage Error

.
4

4.27

0.56
0 Material Cost Fabrication Cost Assembly Cost

419

difference (given as a percentage of the total cost) between the actual and model costs for each of the six stages. The table also details the average errors for each nacelle, these being approximately 4% and 9.5% for Nacelles A and B, respectively. 0 5.2.3 Nose cowl assembly cost CAss A further model was then tested on the assembly cost and again the results are given in graphical and tabular form in Figs. 9 and10 and Table 10. The regression analysis details an R-squared value of 0.820. This establishes that the accuracy of the performed model is in accordance with actual measurements. Table 11 again summarises the associated errors between the actual and modelled costs. It states that the average error of Nacelle A is approximately 3% and 4% for Nacelle B. It has already been illustrated in Figs. 7, 8, 9 and 10 how well the regression models for the fabrication and assembly costs correlate with actual measurements although there are few data points relative to only two nacelles. It is beneficial to note that the total costs for each corresponding nacelle can be compared directly; Figs. 11 and 12 outline the resulting percentage errors experienced. The maximum percentage error observed was 17.2%, and the three models have an average accuracy of <10% which is sufficient for such a cost estimating methodology. In general, the concept cost estimated methodology requires simple inputs of (1) geometry with dimensions, (2) material used and their unit cost/procurement status, (3) estimated component weights break down, and (4) estimated man-hours to design, fabricate and assemble to completion. Preliminary information of all these could be available at the conceptual stage of design. However, to predict the cost of future designs, technology level comparison needs to be made to incorporate relative changes from the baseline design. For any radical departure in
Fig. 12 Percentage errors between the actual and model costs for Nacelle B
20

design considerations, intelligent modification to the proposed models should work for initial estimates which need to be refined with new databases as available.

6 Conclusions
The early concept cost model demonstrated how certain complexities gave rise to differentials from a nacelle baseline characteristic. The investigated model explored the cost prediction of eleven different nose cowls, with their corresponding fan diameters as the primary cost driver. It proved successful, producing a linear fit of both the original and predicted costs as a function of the fan diameter. The subsequent error between the two using this complexity method was approximately 10%; an acceptable level of accuracy was therefore achieved. The mature concept model provided a way of estimating [16] the cost of materials, fabrication and assembly of two nacelle nose cowls. The material cost prediction utilised the weight fractions, cost-to-weight ratio and procurement ratios of each of the materials required for the nacelles manufacture. The fabrication cost method used multiple regression analysis to model the cost to the weight fractions of the four most significant materials required for the nose cowl production. The prediction of the assembly cost used a similar such analysis, however, requiring the part and AGS count of the nose cowl. The success of each of the models relied upon the correct choice of parameters, i.e. recognising what the main properties were of each nacelle that their cost relied upon most heavily. As in the early concept analysis they yielded a satisfactory level of accuracy. On a whole for either model, the input information improves in an iterative manner as the project advances from the initial conceptual stage to project definition stage, when the design and manufacturing philosophies are firmed up. Cost models in the public domain are scarce in offering an integrated cost estimation methodology to cater for in-

17.20 16

Percentage Error

12

8 6.02 6.23

0 Material Cost Fabrication Cost Assembly Cost

420

dustrial usage with parameters as considered in this paper. The cost implications involved in learning to manufacture, support/procurement policy, miscellaneous cost, etc., can make or break an otherwise good design. A good data bank would lead to a more credible parametric relationship to extract the necessary indices/factors. But it is not easy to obtain a large number in the product line in aerospace where about ten different products could be decades of work, by that time the technology change would force the data to obsolescence. The difficulty in accurate cost estimation should not be underestimated.
Acknowledgements This multidisciplinary research was funded through the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative (IMI) program of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the UK, under the DEMAROC grant (GR/M59716: 19992002). Furthermore, the industrial collaboration from Bombardier Aerospace Shorts has been invaluable and is central to the validity and original value of the research.

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