Cost Comparisons of Oven and Electron-Beam Processing Using Activity-Based Modeling

Report No. ARL-TR-2961
Authors: Bernard F. Hart and James M. Sands
Date/Pages: April 2003; 24 pages
Abstract: A limiting feature of electron beam (EB) processing for traditional composite applications is the high cost of processing equipment compared to an oven for elevated cure processing. A model system was developed in SIMPROCESS to compare the net manufacturing costs associated with fabrication of flat-panel glass composite plates using vacuum assisted resin transfer molding in combination with thermal oven curing or EB curing to process composite thermosets. SIMPROCESS integrates process mapping, hierarchical event-driven simulation, and activity-based costing into a single tool and allows accurate computation of industrial costs to be determined under various imposed constraints and economic conditions. In the model evaluation, a determination is made that demonstrates the impact of resin cost on total manufacturing costs for the various components and demonstrates how various scenarios from ownership to toll processing can be implemented by a manufacturer to keep total processing costs from EB curing relatively competitive with oven curing processes.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2003