A Value Analysis Tool for Automotive Interior Door Trim Panel Materials and Process Selection 2007-01-0453
This paper describes a computerized value analysis tool (VAT) developed to aid automotive interior designers, engineers and planners to achieve the high levels of perceived quality of materials used in automotive door trim panels. The model requires a number of inputs related to types of materials, their manufacturing processes and customer perceived quality ratings, costs and importance of materials, features located in different areas of the door trim panel, etc. It allows the user to conduct iterative evaluation of total cost, total weighted customer perceived quality ratings, and estimates of perceived value (perceived quality divided by cost) for different door trim areas as well as the entire door trim panel.
The VAT, thus, allows value and cost management related to materials and processing choices for automotive interiors. The model computes two parallel estimates of perceived values-one from the material supplier's viewpoint and the other from the customer and OEM's viewpoint. From OEM's viewpoint, the model uses the actual consumer ratings of different door trim materials. And, from the supplier's viewpoint, the model uses ratings based on the supplier's internal experts that are familiar with the OEM's design needs (e.g. radii, fit tolerances), manufacturing process complexities, and costs. The tool is developed using Microsoft Excel and its unique features/advantages include: i) Interactive with graphical outputs, ii) Ability to quickly reconfigure virtual door trim models for evaluation of different combinations of technologies or material choices, iii) Drive for early technology decisions so early design clays can be optimized for particular choices, iv) Improved cost management process, v) Provide records for all completed virtual builds, and v) Involvement of OEMs in early planning and decision making.
The paper also presents a comparative analysis of six different door trim panels from recent production vehicles and provides distributions of costs, perceived quality ratings, and overall values. The analysis, thus, supports the usefulness of the overall concept of the VAT to help achieve higher levels of perceived quality at a given/target cost.