Cost modelling in polymer composite applications: case study – analysis of existing and automated manufacturing processes for a large wind turbine blade

Schubel, P. J. (2012) Cost modelling in polymer composite applications: case study – analysis of existing and automated manufacturing processes for a large wind turbine blade. Composites Part B: Engineering, 43 (3). pp. 953-960. ISSN 1359-8368

Abstract

Cost modelling is typically one of the first steps in the design and development of a new or existing product and can show clear avenues for effective manufacturing. This paper provides an overview of existing cost modelling techniques and details the process term Technical Cost Modelling (TCM), which is a combined parametric and process flow simulation method used widely throughout the manufacturing industry where historical data is either not available or does not exist. A focus is drawn on the manufacture of a 40m wind turbine blade with the effects of part size, production volume, materials costs and tooling being detailed. A case study is presented which investigates the cost effectiveness of a range of existing manual production methods (hand-lay prepreg, VI, LRTM) and compares this to automated manufacturing (ATL, AFP, overlay braiding). ATL and AFP are shown to reduce manufacturing costs by up to 8% despite the high capital costs associated with automated equipment. The cost centres are isolated and clearly indicate the dominance of materials and labour. Material deposition in the tool is only one of a string of labour intensive processes in the manufacture of a large wind turbine blades and a holistic automated blade manufacturing approach is perhaps required to see the true labour saving benefits.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 05:04
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2017 07:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: automation, lay-up (manual/automation), prepreg, numerical analysis, cost modelling
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2011.11.036
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31026

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