The Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET) is a joint Air Force, Navy, Army, DARPA, NASA, and industry initiative focused on developing higher performance turbine engines. The goal of IHPTET is to develop and demonstrate propulsion systems that would, by the turn of the century, double propulsion capability (1987 base year). For this reason, IHPTET engines are now test beds for a high number of advanced composites, intermetallics and single crystal alloys. While satisfying the performance requirements, the program has another salient objective of cost reduction.
This paper will discuss an approach for cost estimating and modeling of components and sub-components, and demonstrate the benefits of employing simulations. Traditional approaches have relied on comparative techniques utilizing complexity factors or Cost Estimating Relationships (CER’s). For advanced materials, these approaches are inadequate, primarily due to non-existence of historic data. A further weakness is their inability to identify cost drivers and quantify cost avoidance potential. Process-oriented cost estimating, albeit cumbersome during build-up and requiring detailed knowledge of manufacturing and process technology, provides a stable foundation for development of a comprehensive cost modeling system. Manufacturing Process Flow Simulation (MPFS) aids in evaluating evolving manufacturing processes (in infancy), studying the impact of alternate manufacturing processes and conducting what-if studies. MPFS can then be incorporated selectively into a cost modeling architecture capable of evaluating production cost for sub-components, components, and complete engines.