Evaluation of Tailor Welded Blanks Through Technical Cost Modeling
In the past decade, the demand for and development of tailor-welded blanks (TWBs) has increased dramatically. TWBs help reduce body mass, piece count and assembly costs, while potentially reducing overall cost. IBIS Associates, Inc. has performed a cost analysis of tailor welded blank manufacturing through the use of Technical Cost Modeling (TCM), a methodology used to simulate fabrication and assembly processes. IBIS has chosen the automobile door inner panel for comparison of TWBs and conventionally stamped door inners with added reinforcements. Manufacturing costs are broken down by operation for variable costs (material, direct labor, utility), and fixed costs (equipment, tooling, building, overhead labor, maintenance, and cost of capital). Analyses yield information valuable to process selection by comparing cost as a function of manufacturing method, process yield, production volume, and process rate.