The hidden feat behind development cost escalation - how engineering design enables functional expansion in the aerospace industry

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Gilain, Agathe; Le Masson, Pascal; Weil, Beno
Series: ICED
Institution: MINES ParisTech
Section: Product Architecture and Modularization
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


The aerospace industry experiences a considerable growth in product development costs. Many research works aim at identifying evolution laws characterizing this large-scale phenomenon and at developing design strategies which could help mitigate it. This paper aims to clarify the evolution dynamics governing this phenomenon by studying how the products delivered by these costly projects evolve with time. Increasing complexity is often held responsible for surging costs. If complexity is generally defined as the price to be paid for improving product functionalities, it is rarely specified whether the improvement affects existing functionalities or involves new ones. We aim to identify the patterns of cost growth which can be associated with phenomena of existing functionalities upgrade and new functionalities introduction, and to identify the associated design capabilities that designers need to deploy in order to keep product change and cost growth under control. To that end, we introduce a model which generates curves, each of which featuring a trend of cost growth, specific to a scenario of product evolution and being interpretable as a signature of a strategy used by designers.

Keywords: Design costing, Functional modelling, Product architecture, Innovation, Functional expansion


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.