Estimating the Cost of Advanced Composites Materials in Products
Its funny how we take some things for granted. For example we assumed everyone in the composites industry knew of our work in the Composites Affordability Initiative, and the advanced composites capabilities in our SEER models for cost, schedule, risk and reliability. Yet someone recently told us they nearly didn’t find us during an Internet search. SEER won at least two awards for this work, one with SAMPI as the most innovative product of the year, and another as one of the most valuable things to come out of the composites affordability initiative.
The Composites Affordability Initiative (CAI) Team was established in 1996 by the Air Force Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). When ManTech began CAI, its charter was to bring down the costs associated with the manufacture of composite structures, considered essential to high-performance aircraft advancement. What is now called the SEER Aerostructures plug-in is used by major aerospace manufacturers around the world. Specifically, the Aerostructures Plug-in for SEER-MFG includes over 25 existing and emerging composite fabrication and assembly processes, providing a method for quickly and accurately determining and evaluating costs of alternate designs and manufacturing processes. It enables an increased number of trade studies in a shorter period of time, resulting in cost reductions by the early identification of the most affordable composite structural concepts with greater dependability than previously possible. Additionally, the Detailed Composites capability in SEER-MFG was developed in conjunction with Airbus. Part shapes can be described in detail, including build-ups and cores, materials and resins, the material cutting process, the bagging process, consumable materials, hot-ply forming, curing, and trimming. Tooling manufacture costs and inspection costs using non-destructive testing techniques are included in the model.
Many examples of major cost savings have been noted using SEER and its advanced composites capability. For example ATK saves over a person year using SEER advanced composites capability and this doesn’t count the cost savings from choosing the most affordable approaches.
Thank you for reading “Dan on Estimating”, if you would like more information about Galorath’s estimation models, please visit our contact page, call us at +1 310 414-3222 or click a button below to ask sales questions, sign up for our free library or schedule a demo.