Title: Cost optimising aircraft systems at a conceptual design stage

Authors: Oliver Houseman, Rajkumar Roy, Charles Wainwright, Evaggelos Lavdas

Addresses: Decision Engineerinog Centre, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK. ' Decision Engineerinog Centre, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK. ' Decision Engineerinog Centre, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK. ' Decision Engineerinog Centre, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, UK

Abstract: This paper describes a project undertaken with industry to develop a software tool that automates the configuration of conceptual aircraft systems so that their costs can be estimated. The development of accurate cost estimates at the conceptual design stage helps identify ways to reduce costs throughout a project|s life cycle. A case study on the Hydraulics system is used to demonstrate a novel methodology for capturing and representing the design rules. The developed prototype requires Top Level Definition (TLD|s) of the proposed new aircraft design and then uses the captured design rules together with rationalised judgements to calculate the architecture and a pseudo Bill of Materials (BOM) for a conceptual system. Subsequently the generated system is costed using a commercial cost estimating software. The piping cost and its installation is calculated within the tool and added to the output from the commercial software. This tool allows different configurations to be compared so that a conceptual system can be optimised with regard to cost.

Keywords: cost engineering; cost estimation; conceptual design; aerospace industry; aircraft systems; cost optimisation; systems cost; hydraulics; new aircraft design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2008.020174

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2008 Vol.15 No.3/4, pp.328 - 345

Available online: 06 Sep 2008 *

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