Technology Cost Modeling for the Manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards in New Electronic Products

[+] Author and Article Information
S. G. Shina

Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Lowell MA, 01854

A. Saigal

Mechanical Engineering Department, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 120(2), 368-375 (May 01, 1998) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2830136 History: Received June 01, 1994; Revised October 01, 1996; Online January 17, 2008


The rapid pace of technological and material advances has made it difficult to ascertain the most cost effective plan for manufacturing new products. The decision to identify the appropriate manufacturing methods and materials selection is most timely made during the initial design stage of the product. However, tradeoffs in manufacturing and materials technology are not easily discernible to the design team, while traditional cost accounting systems do not reflect the continuous improvements nor the opportunities in increasing quality and reducing cost. Systems that have recently been developed to assist in estimating new product cost, such as Activity Based Costing (ABC) and Technical Cost Modeling, focus on a stable manufacturing environment. They presume that production is either dedicated to the new product, or that utilization and/or yields of machines are at static levels. In most modern companies, the majority of new products introduced are evolutionary in nature, attempting to gain maximum advantage of current material and manufacturing technologies while continuing to be made alongside existing production. These new products can significantly change the current manufactured product and material mix, and hence their cost. A technology based modeling approach is presented in this paper to address the issues of changes in a dynamic manufacturing environment, where each design selection can be evaluated individually based on its production impact. Elements of this approach are described in the design of electronic products using printed circuit boards. The design team can select from a large combinations of technologies, materials and manufacturing steps, each with its particular cost, production rate and yield. A technology based cost modeling system can be developed to guide the team in the selection process by identifying the cost tradeoffs involved in each alternative design.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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