Cost Estimating, Quoting Software Adds Greater Detail

As processors adopt open book accounting with OEMs more transparency into costs and better cost estimating will become necessary.

aPriori Inc., Concord, Mass., says the latest release of its enterprise product cost management software—aPriori 2015 R1—features more detailed cost estimates and flexible user controls, as well as new capabilities for costing the increasing number of electrical components found in products today.  

Company officials told Plastics Technology that more specifically for plastic injection molding, the latest version has a simplified version of automated cost models, which “blend precision and ease of use”, while reducing the number of inputs.

The expanded user-guided platform allow users to enter inputs when a CAD model doesn’t exist. The aPriori representatives acknowledged that this particular feature has been within the product for a number of years, but wasn’t utilized very much.

“We see a lot of interest in it over past 18 months in quoting and teardown and competitive product analysis where CAD data don’t exist,” Rick Burke, VP of marketing at aPriori, said.

With this feature, users can enter key data points, including dimensional information, material composition, part thickness variations, maximum thickness of the part, estimated cooling time, and estimated cycle time, according to Julie Driscoll vice president, Strategic Marketing & Product Management at aPriori.

In addition to using CAD data, aPriori also enables manufacturers to leverage product cost data in other enterprise applications to communicate product cost throughout an organization, including importing complex engineering Bills of Materials (BOMs) from ERP, PLM and other enterprise applications.

Beyond competitive teardowns, scenarios where a company might not have CAD data for a cost estimate the costs could include quoting prior to the creation of a CAD model, or cases where design teams are considering changing contents within their product, and they want early cost feedback before they model those changes.

The program has also expanded cost details to include finishing operations, cleaning, and inspection, all the way to direct overhead, including depreciation of the machine used to make the component and even energy used to run the machine.

“We’re now exposing that level of detail to see energy rate, energy consumption, total energy cost, machine cost, maintenance rates, all exposed,” Driscoll said. “You see this amount of detail in the automotive worldwide and a lot in Europe across all manufacturing. This level of detail will become the standard as people do more open book accounting with key suppliers.”