Research program on the selection of materials and processes for component parts
It is now widely accepted that the final cost of a manufactured product is largely determined at the design stage. The research programme described in this paper addresses decisions that must be made early in the design procedure, namely the selection of suitable processes and materials for the proposed component parts of the product. Generally, designers will tend to conceive parts in terms of the processes and materials with which they are familiar and may, as a consequence, exclude from consideration process and process/material combinations that may have proved more economic. A satisfactory method for the systematic selection of suitable process/material combinations for part manufacture is not currently available. Such a method is being developed and implemented in a computer environment for use during the early stages of product design. © 1991 Springer-Verlag London Limited.