A methodology for near net shape process feasibility assessment

Marini, Daniele and Corney, Jonathan R. (2017) A methodology for near net shape process feasibility assessment. Production and Manufacturing Research, 5 (1). pp. 390-409. ISSN 2169-3277 (https://doi.org/10.1080/21693277.2017.1401495)

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Manufacturing engineers are frequently asked to select the best process for creating components but often the judgement is qualitative rather than quantitative. This paper presents a methodology (DCFA – Differential Cost and Feasibility Analysis) for assessing the technological and economic feasibility of using Near Net Shape (NNS) processes for the manufacturing of specific components. The methodology examines changes in raw material usage and finish processes (e.g. machining processes) that would result from adaption of a new manufacturing process. To illustrate the method, a case study that assesses the feasibility of using centrifugal casting for the production of valve cages is detailed. The case study concludes that the application of this process to the current manufacturing lines could result in significant cost reductions (particularly in machining time and reduction of scrappage). The feasibility methodology is generic and can potentially be used to investigate the application of a broad range of NNS processes in general manufacturing applications. Further, the developed cost models also allow the economic impact of a new process to be assessed, even at the early stages of product design.