Title: Cost optimisation of tolerances and manufacturing capability for aircraft surface features

Authors: R. Curran, M. Gilmour, A.K. Kundu, S. Raghunathan

Addresses: Centre of Excellence for Integrated Aerospace Technologies, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK. ' School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK. ' School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK. ' School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK

Abstract: The studies undertaken have focused on engine nacelles, as being representative of the overall aircraft structure in terms of process technology and manufacturing-assembly philosophy. The aim of this project was to develop a cost-modelling methodology to highlight the optimum variance at which a manufacturing process should be maintained in order to minimise cost and to allow comparison to be made between different manufacturing processes on cost grounds. The two approaches developed are based the optimisation of and the optimisation of tolerance followed by process capability. By optimising process capability, the first optimisation approach, we are primarily concerned with optimising only process capability. However by first optimising the tolerance and then the process capability, the second approach, both components are incorporated to improve the optimisation. The worked showed that this was true to an extent but that significant results can be achieved by optimising process capability alone.

Keywords: cost modelling; tolerance optimisation; design for manufacture; DFM; design integration; cost optimisation; manufacturing capability; aircraft surface features; engine nacelles; process capability; cost engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2008.020172

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2008 Vol.15 No.3/4, pp.298 - 319

Available online: 06 Sep 2008 *

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