Producibility Elements Highlighted:
Primary: 3.1 Identify
Perform Trade Studies on Alternative Product and Process
Computing Devices International (General Dynamics Information Systems) has introduced a design-to-cost (DTC) approach to new product development. This process was developed in early 1992 to provide product designs that are within cost guidelines. Computing Devices International can now determine whether cost goals are achievable early in the design cycle to allow for any necessary corrections.
Prior to implementing this new approach, product cost often would not be known until after the design was complete, usually resulting in either redesign or cost overrun, and producibility factors were often overlooked until too late. The customer requirement to avoid cost overrun prompted an improvement to the process. Analysis of previous product costs indicated that approximately 80% of the total cost was in individual part costs. Therefore, realistic product cost goals, coupled with accurate part costs, could be used to design products that were within budget.
A team of marketing, program management, and integrated product development team personnel now determines DTC production goals by year and quantity using preliminary parts and labor costs. During the preliminary design phase, a procurement team then obtains accurate part costs from suppliers, and a producibility team concurrently reviews the design for testability, producibility, and labor costs. Cost drivers are identified, trade studies performed, and make/buy decisions made. A favorable DTC review leads to the detailed design phase. In that phase, a DTC model is constructed using accurate part and labor costs. An iterative analysis is conducted in which trade studies are performed, the design is revised for producibility and testability, and the DTC model is updated as a function of DTC goals. The DTC database is hosted on a network for multiple access by the DTC team members, thereby providing electronic collocation.
By determining early in the design cycle whether cost goals are realistic and attainable, Computing Devices International can provide credible information for planning and resource allocation and assure customers that their requirements can be met without redesign or cost overrun.