This paper defines a systematic workflow for production cost estimation of sheet metal stamped components. The approach represents a solution toward the adoption of Design to Cost methods during early product design. It consists in a sequence of steps that, starting from a 3D CAD model with annotations (material, roughness and tolerances) and production information (batch and production volume) leads to the manufacturing cost through an analytic cost breakdown (raw material, stamping and accessory processes, setup and tooling). The calculation process mainly consists in a first step where geometric algorithms calculate the sheet metal blank (dimensions, shape, thickness) and specific product features (e.g. flanges, louvers, embossing, etc.). The following steps allow to calculate the raw material, the stamping process and the process-related parameters, which are the manufacturing cost drivers (e.g. press, stamping rate/sequence/force and die dimensions/weight). The manufacturing cost is the sum of the previous calculated items. Testing the approach for three different components, the average absolute deviation measured between the estimated and actual cost was less than 10% and such a result looks promising for adopting this method for evaluating alternative design solutions.
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