The Electronic Components and Technology Conference, May 2000, pp. 1021-1026

New Course Development in Electronic Products and Systems Cost Analysis

Peter Sandborn
CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

David T. Allen and Cynthia F. Murphy
Center for Energy and Environmental Resources
University of Texas, Austin, TX 78758


This paper presents a new graduate level cost analysis course that has been taught in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Maryland. The objective of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the process of predicting the cost of systems. Elements of traditional engineering economics are melded with manufacturing process modeling, life cycle cost management concepts, and selected concepts from environmental life cycle cost assessment to form a practical foundation for predicting the real cost of electronic products.

Various manufacturing cost analysis methods are included in the course: process-flow, parametric, cost-of-ownership, and activity based costing. The effects of learning curves, data uncertainty, test and rework processes, and defects are considered in conjunction with these methodologies. In addition to manufacturing processes, the product life cycle costs associated with design, procurement, manufacturing waste, sustainment, and end-of-life are also addressed. This course uses real life design scenarios from integrated circuit fabrication, electronic systems assembly, substrate fabrication, and testing at various levels

As a next step in the development of these educational materials, we propose to expand the involvement of industry in the course and create a set of web-based modules for use in this course, and as supplements to other courses. In addition, we will expand the elements the course addressing environmental costs, particularly the concepts of environmental life-cycle assessment (LCA) and design for environment (DFE). Simplified methodologies and metrics that demonstrate the economic impact environmental issues will be incorporated.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.

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