Thesis Details

Thesis Title: The effect of woven product characteristics on manufacturing cost and complexity
Thesis Author: Elizabeth Wilson
Abstract: Manufacturing complexity is both created and increased by two interdependent characteristics: the manufacturing process, and the product itself. Understanding the impact of a product design on manufacturing is an integral part of assessing and reducing the cost of complexity. An evaluation of product characteristics on production processes makes it possible to design for manufacture and control cost at the most economical stage of the product life cycle. For this investigation, a methodology combining practical experience and statistical analysis was used to identify the product characteristics contributing to complexity in textile manufacturing. Woven product characteristics judged as most critical to production were tested to determine relationships with manufacturing cost. In addition, interrelationships between product characteristics were tested. Increased complexity created by the presence of multiple characteristics was investigated for an effect on cost. Several product complexity factors were determined to have a significant relationship with an increase in manufacturing cost. Overall, product complexity variables were more useful in estimating labor costs, rather than conversion costs. Together, five key product characteristics can predict 71 % of the variation in labor cost. These characteristics are (a) picks per inch, (b) number of harnesses, (c) selvage construction, (d) fabric width, and (e) novelty yarn.