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TitleA calculation concept to reduce manufacturing cost on laser sintering machines
AuthorStarz, Anton Johannes
SubjectCentral University of Technology, Free State - Dissertations
SubjectLasers in engineering
SubjectRapid prototyping
SubjectDissertations, academic - South Africa - Bloemfontein
Format2 100 328 bytes
AbstractThesis (M. Tech.) - Central University of Technology, Free State, 2008
AbstractA company’s ability to produce products faster and more economically may lead to a competitive edge in the international market. The reduction of development costs and shortened development time will undeniably depend on effective organisational structures that are based on effective information- and communication techniques and manufacturing technologies. An innovative manufacturing technology that impacts on rapid product development is Rapid Prototyping (RP). The Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM) works closely with South African companies, supporting them with common mechanical engineering solutions and specialising in the manufacturing of prototypes. One of the options offered in the manufacture of prototypes is the Laser Sintering (LS) process. It is however, difficult to determine the product cost for the building volume used to manufacture the prototypes. Prototypes from different clients can be manufactured at the same time in the same process. The problem however, is how to calculate the costs for each prototype and to offer the clients an accurate quotation for the manufacture of the prototype. Therefore, it is necessary to design a calculation concept, which includes all accrued costs and allocate these to the different parts/prototypes. As it is problematic to calculate the manufacturing cost of prototypes, it is necessary to analyse all the effects, parameters and influences on the manufacturing process in order to determine the manufacturing time, and ultimately the machine costs. This is needed to calculate the total cost of one platform and the cost of each individual part. The project, through various experiments determined how to allocate the costs, through a correlation between part volume and platform height. The aim of the study was to determine a calculation concept to estimate the total platform cost and the cost of each individual part. Furthermore, the estimated cost was compared with the actual cost to determine the deviation between the calculation methods, and lead to a calculation concept that can be used to predict and reduce the manufacturing costs. The results obtained from the research were used for an exact calculation and reduction of prototype unit costs manufactured on LS machines, which gave three basic advantages: * Manufacturing costs were reduced to benefit clients, which meant that they could invest more in the design of new prototypes and products, to improve customer satisfaction * Prototype manufacturing on expensive RP machines could be optimised by using more prototypes and lower costs for entering the market. * The calculation risk could be minimised, which lowered the risk of losing money on a project and resulted in better planning for available resources.
PublisherBloemfontein : Central University of Technology, Free State