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

Article


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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesb.2011.11.036
Article Title

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

ERA Journal ID4883
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorSchubel, P. J.
Journal TitleComposites Part B: Engineering
Journal Citation43 (3), pp. 953-960
Number of Pages8
Year2012
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1359-8368
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesb.2011.11.036
Web Address (URL)http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359836811005051
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.

Keywordsautomation, lay-up (manual/automation), prepreg, numerical analysis, cost modelling
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020401602. Composite and hybrid materials
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Nottingham, United Kingdom
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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