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A Model-Based Approach to Trade-Space Evaluation Coupling Design-Manufacturing–Supply Chain in the Early Stages of Aircraft Development

    AIAA 2021-3057
    Session: Special Session: MBSE Integration with MDO I
    Published Online:

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    Product design and supply chain management are two research domains extensively explored in literature. In the last decades, many studies have highlighted that the integration of these domains is important to increase the profitability and efficiency of companies. However, most of these studies aims at optimizing the supply chain after freezing the design of the product, and hence addressing the supply chain as the following step in product development. This paper presents a value-driven model-based approach that concurrently links product design, manufacturing and supply chain in the frame of aerospace system design. Thus, the challenge is to expand the early design phase of an aircraft to account both for manufacturing choices (e.g. raw materials, manufacturing and assembly processes) and supply chain management (e.g. suppliers’ location, production cost per supplier). Three domains – manufacturing, supply chain, overall aircraft design – are selected to investigate all the aspects related to the entire aircraft development, from the initial design to the manufacturing and the assembly, through the aeronautical supply chain. The modelling of these domains and the information flow exchanged among them, is addressed in this paper. The concurrently coupling of these domains results into an enlargement of the alternatives populating the final solutions tradespace, from which decision makers select a solution. The value-based approach is proposed to quantify the multiple-choice criteria and support decision makers in selecting the best alternative, simultaneously considering the aircraft design variables with those of manufacturing and supply chain. Thus, the objective of the value driven model-based approach introduced in this paper, is to provide a quantitative supportive framework that decision makers could use during the early phases of aircraft development, when strategic decisions have to be taken. Concluding, three application cases described in this paper, demonstrate the strengths of this methodology and the possible future improvements.