A system has been developed and is being used at H. M. -Ltd. for
estimating the labour and overhead costs of components manufactured
by a wide variety of production processes. The system uses multiple
linear regression analysis to develop estimating equations that
quantitatively measure the relationship between the production time
of a component and the factors that influence this time. Production
times can then be converted to cost using appropriate labour and
overhead cost rates.
The system uses design features only for predictor variables in
the estimating equations. Hence designers with little concept of
manufacturing methods can use the system to cost designs as they
evolve. This feature therefore provides designers with a powerful
cost optimization tool.
The manufacturing time data used to develop estimating equations
represents current operating conditions at Herbert Morris Ltd. Hence
the estimated times can be used directly as standard times for the
planning and control of manufacturing. In this way manufacturing costs
will be directly linked to the design features of a product.
Software has been developed to allow a computer to retrieve
appropriate equations and compute the production times and costs of
components. This software could form the basis for a larger system
that also generates producibility data for designers. A method of allowing designers to estimate the development times
for individual components and assemblies has been developed. This
facility enables the design process to be scheduled such that the
overall new product development time could be minimized. An important
element of this scheduling method is the ability to allocate resources
between components to be designed on the basis of relative cost and
importance to. the overall success of the project.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.