2291. Affordable Weight Control in Today’s Market


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J W Rudder: 2291. Affordable Weight Control in Today’s Market. 1996.



The main purpose of this paper is to show an affective way to use a (MPEG) Mass Properties Engineering Group in today’ s product design market. A group that will increase the weight control capabilities of the design contractor. The result is an affordable support function with many long term benefits to the company. The current mass properties profession has taken a sharp hit in staffing due to 1) the high efficiency / low manpower trend in support groups and 2) the technological advancement in Computer Aided Design modeling. Typically the mass properties engineering group is trained to follow a product with a small staff that is divided between 1) engineers that predict future design from a base production design and 2) technicians that calculate mass properties on production hardware early in the program. The mass properties technicians are now required to only bookkeep the weight, CG, moments of inertia, and material properties that the computer design program calculates for production components. This reduces the need for the technicians that are trained to follow these components. Though the reduction in overhead initially benefits the designer, a higher level of affordable weight control can be profitable to the company by reallocating the capabilities of the mass properties engineering group. In today’ s high technology and low budget engineering market, there is a huge focus on reducing product redesign and testing cost. This is achieved by maximizing the effectiveness of the conceptual and preliminary design, which requires data from experienced and resourceful support group in a rapid and useful format. So the answer is not to reduce, but to retrain the current staff and increase the capabilities of the group by focusing the personnel support to the advanced product design programs. The increase in well-trained support will eliminate the shortfalls in mass property information and will support the optimum performance-to-weight product design. The results will reduce the design, project, management and support manpower required on product redesigns caused by insufficient coverage in the conceptual and preliminary design phases. The focus of the new affordable mass properties engineering group is weight control, not weight bookkeeping, It is interfaced with all facets of engineering (Design, Performance, Structures, Materials, Cost, Reliability, Safety, Maintainability, Manufacturing, and Advanced Technologies) and can predict the mass property impacts of all requirement changes in any of the design disciplines. It will challenge all robust design methods and keep over-design to a minimum. It will update the design team on all weight reduction technologies and the weight benefits for the product. Finally, it will reduce errors and increase response time with the same manpower and tools. This is the required mass properties engineering group for today’ s market and this paper will show the path of improvement that will achieve affordable weight control.


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