Titolo articolo

A “Design to Cost” Methodology to Manage Complex Product Development in the Space Industry

Gli autori Sergio GEROSA, Corrado LO STORTO, Vincenzo COSTABILE, Immacolata DE NUNZIO


Originally published as a part of 2007 PMI Global Congress Proceedings – Budapest


In the past decades specific principles were guiding product development in the space industry, like maximum performance and minimum weight. At the same time, the availability of funds driven from institutional and military budgets, as well as the existence of captive markets, made the cost of product not the critical factor in product design.
Things have now drastically changed: reduction of budgets and increase of commercial competition induced a request for minimum cost and shorter delivery time. That means that time and cost have to be taken into account as a major criterion for technical decisions.
Purpose of this paper is to present a structured “design to cost” methodology useful to manage complex product development applied to space applications. Although many attempts have been done to identify relationships between a system technical performance and the cost of its components, with the aim to better drive design with respect to market target price, these efforts have not provided more than simple tools to make preliminary estimations. An approach suitable to explicit these relationships may be more effective when based on expert judgement.
This methodology is based on the implementation of the Quality Function Deployment technique, a method which is commonly used in certain industrial sectors (i.e. automotive and consumer electronics). The QFD allows to give priority to customer’s needs, to retain information, and to eliminate any ambiguity on requirement interpretation throughout company departments.
The methodology was developed and tested in Alcatel Alenia Space, the leading European company in space industry. The conventional QFD technique was modified to be adapted to the product development process implemented in the company, while the Analytic Hierarchy Process has been used to rank expert judgements and the Data Envelopment Analysis to perform selection among different design concepts...........