View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Re: But What about?
Ann R. Thryft   12/14/2011 12:39:06 PM

Your description of how managers misuse cost estimation tools is amusing and also sad, Tool_maker. I've also had some experiences, in a very different realm, with attempts by management to use average cost guidelines prescriptively instead of as a ballpark estimation tool like the one described in this article. Which, of course, kind of defeats the original purpose.

User Rank
But What about?
Tool_maker   12/12/2011 5:03:52 PM
Sometimes I feel like such a wet blanket. In addition to designing production tooling, I am resposible for estimating costs. You see advantage, while I see another club for someone who has never had to troubleshoot a worn out tool or piece of equipment to nurse it through, "Just one more run." Does this CAD program have a variable for a purchasing agent who just bought a truckload of junk steel because he got a great deal on the golf course? Is there a place to input the fact that your lubricant has been reformulated to something more friendly to the enviroment, only it doesn't work? How about the machine/feeder combination that works perfectly well at 40 strokes/minute, but misfeeds at 50 while a boss that doesn't know an Allen wrench from a small hammer screams, "Make it work. The CAD file says this part should only cost $X and it is costing $Y." Of course he will not pony up the $$ to fix either. (I no longer work for that boss.) Does this CAD program take into account how many machines are operating at one time and the air compressor is barely able to keep up. What about lot size? Am I amortizing the set-up and quality check over 1, 20 or 2 million parts?

So long as this cost is treated like an EPA mileage estimate and used for comparison purposes only, there may be a use for it, but as a final arbiter I hope I am retired before that hits the mainstream. I am not trying to be negative, but in reality a hundred variables impact on the very same part from production run to production run.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Re: Costing Tool
Alexander Wolfe   12/9/2011 10:27:04 AM
This is another piece of the puzzle, or I should say another incremental improvement of the type we're seeing from CAD vendors to broaden their products to address the full breath of the design process. Along those lines, I'd point to the ECN (product change data) capability recently added by PTC (see this story) and the parts-selection capabilities added by Siemens to its PLM portal (here).

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Re: Costing Tool
Beth Stackpole   12/9/2011 9:25:07 AM
That ability to recalculate costs based on changes to the model is indeed pretty compelling. The fact that the software automatically creates the cost model based on the actual CAD geometry is also pretty cool.

Lauren Muskett
User Rank
Costing Tool
Lauren Muskett   12/9/2011 9:19:34 AM
This costing tool will be helpful for designers who are cost conscious. It is also interesting that it can instantly adjust the cost of the part/product depending on materials used and the location where it is being produced. 

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
General Motors is putting an off-road twist on hydrogen fuel cell technology with an imposing new pickup demonstrator called the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2.
Fine powder printing of industry-standard metal and ceramic powders with a grain size of less than 10 microns is now available from industrial 3D printer maker ExOne for its Innovent printer.
At ARM TechCon 2016, CEO Simon Segars will discuss how he sees billions of devices scaling to trillions as IoT applications proliferate. We know it’s happening. How do we prepare?
The term “autopilot” is now at the heart of a growing debate between Tesla Motors Inc. and Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 10 - 14, Embedded System Design Techniques™: Getting Started Developing Professional Embedded Software
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course September 27-29:
Sponsored by 3M
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2016 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service