A knowledge-based method for the cost estimation of concept variants for new or prototype products manufactured as unique-manufacture or in small batches-series. The goal is to provide design engineers of mechanical products with a method of which software implementation will enable them to perform easy, plausible cost estimations already in the very early development (concept) phases of product concepts or drafts. This will allow them to make prompt decisions about the most promising and cost-efficient concept for further development. Concurrently, the method will assist the designer in localizing the most cost-intensive concept or draft zones and in identifying the technical and process properties related to these costs. Hence, he will be able to concentrate on these characteristics and introduce an optimization procedure in the later detail design phase. Accordingly, the method is based on the principles of the systems engineering theory. Thereby, a “fundamental method element” is created. Based on this element, the application of the object-oriented design method leads to the creation of classes containing concept modeling elements with driving cost attributes concerning technical and process properties. The cost generation mechanism is then mapped in a class structure framework. In order to resolve the problem of the cost data vagueness and apply cost relationships in the concept phase, a fuzzy model is created to perform the cost estimation.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.