Cost estimation is one of the important tasks in the automotive industry. In a competitive market, profits and losses are determined by the ability to estimate costs early in the planning and bidding phases. With ever shorter delivery times and more and more competitive prices, the automotive industry is facing almost impossible challenges. Every day, engineers must deal with questions regarding costs, such as how can costs be reliably predicted before process engineering has started, what assumptions should the quote be based on or how should these figures be adjusted to take into account changes in product, process or market conditions?
Cost estimation has traditionally been done using personally or commercially developed Microsoft Excel-based worksheets. This approach requires that the engineer describes the sheet metal part and/or tool with a lot of data by manually inputting a great deal of data. This process is not always advantageous as firstly, it leads to a lack of transparency and reproducibility in determining costs and secondly, the cost estimation for a complete tool set is very time-consuming and cumbersome to carry out.
Today, there are new methods and specially developed software, which enable rapid and transparent cost estimation associated with the production of automotive body parts. Using the best information available, these methods provide the engineer, designer or cost analyst with reasonable estimations for the proposed stamping process. As a result, tens or even a hundred cost estimations can be made a day, meeting deadlines for budgets, resource plans and quotations. These new methods and software send a clear message to planners and estimators “estimate better and faster, already early in the planning and bidding phases and benefit from early cost estimation”.
Further information on cost estimation at AutoForm: