Cost estimation of composite production during early design phase

The use of lightweight components stands or falls by the economic use of material with a high performance. The product value, product costs, production costs, development costs and risks are, however, difficult to estimate when less well-known materials, such as composites, are applied. Having a clear picture of production costs is important. Our sixth white paper focuses on the early design phase, as the greater part of the product cost is committed during this stage. Download it now!

The earlier design decisions are made in the conceptual phase, the greater the impact of these decisions on production cost. Generally, 70-80% of the cost of a product is committed during the early stages of product development. Having the cost commitment curve in mind, meaningful cost estimates are crucial and should be performed as early as possible.

The development of composite components offers a wide range of material/process combinations, different automation levels and (typically) higher uncertainties than the development of their metal counterparts. In this white paper, a short classification of cost estimation techniques is provided, followed by cost models on three different levels. The models are illustrated in a case study: a bio-based composite table made in RTM-light.

Through a series of white papers the SLC-Lab as well as its partners in the CompositeBoost project, want to pass on the essential tools and methodologies to help designers and OEMs make the right choices.