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Cost-benefit and feasibility analysis in the automotive sector

17 June 2021

Producing innovative solutions requires more than an analysis of the manufacturing costs of a given product. It is equally important to estimate whether manufacturing of a given component is possible at all. In the automotive sector, this is particularly important – a feasibility study should be carried out even before moving on to technical analysis of the manufactured parts.

What is a feasibility analysis?

A feasibility analysis, also known as a feasibility study or a feasibility review, is a procedure that aims to determine the likelihood of a given project’s success, as well as its profitability. A cost-benefit analysis is inextricably linked to the feasibility study, which covers both technical issues, in terms of the production capacity of a given company, and economic aspects, concerning the actual benefits of a solution.

A feasibility analysis is extremely important for minimising risk when manufacturing automotive components and, among other things, tooling for their production like injection moulds. It is vital to carry out this assessment correctly. It is necessary to use a company with appropriate knowledge and experience in the field of manufacturing the given parts. At the same time, this procedure is limited to a preliminary survey – the geometry and basic physical characteristics of the product are examined, without delving into the production process itself.

Including a feasibility analysis in the part production process facilitates further procedures related to the analysis of the technical condition of components. It is also a way to reduce the development costs of a modern solution. In addition, the proper use of this procedure allows you to reduce time to market by eliminating potential design errors at an early stage, which could otherwise significantly delay the development of an adequate solution. It is worth bearing in mind that the production environment is very complex – achieving the desired results requires focusing on many issues. A feasibility study allows for a more effective CBA, i.e. a cost-benefit analysis of implementing a given project.

See also: Production costs – How to optimize them in the automotive industry?

At what stage of production is the feasibility analysis conducted?

It is good practice to start the process of manufacturing car components with a feasibility analysis. This is the key to ensuring that the cooperation will bring the expected results and the process can proceed smoothly. Conducting a feasibility study at the initial stage of cooperation brings another important benefit – an opportunity to redesign and adapt the product in terms of both customer expectations and the OEM's manufacturing capabilities. The feasibility analysis provides a lot of valuable data about the parameters of the desired component. If it is carried out by staff with sufficient experience and knowledge, it is possible to make certain corrections that will significantly improve the production process without having a negative impact on the behaviour of the final product.

A feasibility study is not the final step – it is followed by a technical analysis

This stage makes it possible to examine an even wider range of parameters of a given product. In the case of car components, we are talking about mechanical, thermal (concerning, e.g. cooling) and electrical properties. Manufacturing companies that use modern solutions often focus on this stage to determine even more precisely whether the final product will meet all expectations.

By checking as many technical parameters as possible, it is possible to significantly reduce production risks. As a result, we can be sure that the goods we receive will perform well in their intended application, while also reducing the number of rejected components. This is of great importance for the optimisation of production, its effectiveness, environmental friendliness and also efficiency. The rapid industrial and logistical changes of the 21st century have made supply chain flexibility crucial today. Reducing product lead time without sacrificing the quality of manufactured components is a huge added value for the company subcontracting production.

See also: What is our approach to quality control and continuous improvement in the production of plastic components for the automotive industry

Useful technologies for feasibility studies as well as technical and cost-benefit analysis
When analysing the parameters of a product, it is advisable to use modern 3D scans and 3D printing (for developing prototypes), as well as the most advanced simulation tools (for example, MoldFlow software in the case of injection moulds). The feasibility analysis opens the door for the subsequent processes. Conducting this stage properly is crucial to the satisfaction of the cooperation with the company producing the component. When carrying out measurements at this stage, we must rely on geometry testing software, i.e. CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) and CAD (Computer Aided Design) tools. Thanks to the data returned by the programs, we are also able to estimate the costs of implementation.

Why should you choose Knauf Automotive?

When it comes to automotive projects, it makes sense to rely on trusted partners who provide comprehensive know-how as well as an extensive infrastructure. Knauf Automotive aims to work with its partners as effectively as possible. The target result is to increase the efficiency of production as well as the flexibility of the supply chain.

Preliminary data on a specific component gained through a feasibility analysis allows an initial assessment to be made as to whether the solution will be cost-effective and efficient. The subsequent cost-benefit analysis is based on our knowledge and experience in manufacturing car components, injection moulds and other industrial solutions. We provide comprehensive assistance at every stage of the design and production of new solutions. We select appropriate materials on the basis of rheological analysis, make prototypes, and efficiently test and verify all technical parameters of the finished components in compliance with the highest production standards. Our support is based on the use of innovative tools such as 3D scanners and 3D printers, among others. In addition, we focus on modern software and the use of production infrastructure that allows us to maintain consistency and efficiency. As a result, our services bring considerable added value to automotive companies that want to improve the quality of their production and adapt it to the expectations of the 21st century market.

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