Estimating the Cost of Engineering Services using Parametrics and the Bathtub Failure Model

  • Xiaoxi Huang

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


In the engineering domain, customers traditionally purchase a product by paying aone-off price to the supplier. Currently, customers are increasingly demandingengineering services in different disciplines, such as in the aerospace, defence,manufacturing and construction sectors. This means that the customer may buy aproduct, which includes an integrated service or purchase the usage of aproduct/service (i.e. availability and capability) rather than the ownership of aproduct. To meet this demand for engineering services rather than stand-aloneproducts, many companies have moved from providing a tangible product tooffering such services.In both academia and industry, the majority of the activities have focused onestimating the cost for products with little in the area of estimating the cost ofproviding engineering services. There appears to be a clear knowledge gap in thefield of costing models and rules for providing such services. It is this gap inknowledge, which is the focus of the research presented in this thesis.This research is focused on estimating the cost for engineering services usingparametrics and the bathtub failure model. This is illustrated through the applicationto a Chinese manufacturing and service provider. Eight years of cost-related datasuch as historical bills, service charges, maintenance records, and costs for storagehas been collected. Observations, questionnaires and structured meetings have beenconducted within the company. A methodology and a cost model for estimating thecost for engineering services are provided.The major contribution of this research is the creation of an approach, which is toestimate the cost of engineering services using parametrics and the bathtub failuremodel.
Date of Award3 Jul 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorLinda Newnes (Supervisor)


  • service cost estimation

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