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Title: An integrated product, process and resource modeling technique for cost estimation : a remote laser welding case
Author: Asare, Ken
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 1348
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Current advances in manufacturing systems engineering have led to the development of tools and techniques that support enterprises to remain in business, be competitive and at the same time deliver products that meet the needs of their customers. Some commonly identified tools and techniques observed in literature today are: Cost Modelling techniques such as Activity Based Costing, Parametric, Expert judgment, Analogy, etc; System Modelling Techniques such as Knowledge Based Engineering; Enterprise Modelling and Behavioural Modelling tools using IT systems (Static, Dynamic and DES models) to help understand and represent systems. Although current tools and techniques have demonstrated significant benefits to enterprises, the following challenges are observed in literature; (i) the lack of an integrated engineering and cost modelling technique during early design stages, (ii) lack of a systematic execution of engineering models into existing cost modellers to extend its capabilities to include new processes is not well documented. Which means that currently, most cost modellers are only capable of estimating cost with existing inbuilt models which depend on domain experts modification, (iii) engineering cost estimation tools that only generates manufacturing cost of products which does not include design and installation cost for new products that requires new processes. Addressing these challenges may lead to the development of dedicated and more integrated tools for useful collaborative analyses during early design phases. Also, this may lead to the development and improvement of digital modelling tools that represent actual conditions of production systems and facilities. Furthermore, this may also support organisations with the capturing of engineering knowledge to help understand processes as well as to have a better overview of capital investments. This research proposes a Product-Process-Resource (PPR) Cost Estimation Framework to satisfy the above challenges. The proposed framework is developed through three interlinked techniques. The first technique is a "product-process-resource modelling technique for capturing engineering knowledge and cost values" addresses challenge (i) above. This technique uses data modelling approach for capturing engineering knowledge and extracts cost information for assessing product (P), process (P) and resources (R) design cost during early design stages. Engineering knowledge in this context refers to an understanding of engineering processes and resources that are consumed or expected to be consumed to realize a particular product or features on a product. This technique makes use of business process modelling notations (BPMN) to illustrate the integration of process and resources. Furthermore, a computer representation of the process with its workstation are generated in an Extensible Markup Language (XML) format, which are both human-readable and machine-readable to be used in the next stage of the proposed methodology. Also, a PPR Design Cost Calculator is developed for capturing cost of design using standard cost accounting algorithms. The calculator enables engineers to visualise cost values of product, process and resource design and changing cost parameters to see its effect on the total cost. This technique is based on the assumption that product features can be associated with process capabilities which then can be mapped onto resource competencies and capacities. The second technique is a "technique for extending cost modeller capabilities to include a new process for cost assessment" addresses challenge (ii) above. This solution is based on identifying cost modeller requirements and then developing and implementing compatible product, process and resource models to extend the cost modeller's capabilities. These models as discussed in the first approach becomes input for extending the capabilities of a cost modeller for costing a specific feature on a product 3D model. Finally, challenge (iii) is addressed by introducing a "technique for integrating P-P-R-Production cost values to support engineering decisions". This is a unique technique that integrates PPR design cost models, installation cost model and production cost database to generate visible cost values as a cost summary. The cost summary contains cost algorithms and equations, modelled to reflect the effect of time, rate, annual production volume, material and batch size changes to the total cost. The proposed PPR Cost Estimation Framework has been verified and validated with an industrial case study of an automotive sheet metal door assembly process, a novel Remote Laser Welding (RLW) case application for its rigorousness and future industrial applicability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Warwick Manufacturing Group
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery