At Helbling, database-driven cost calculations provide valuable information on manufacturing costs. Image credit: Helbling

Helbling illuminates manufacturing costs

03 May 2024 09:14

Zurich CCGreater ZurichSEC

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Zurich - The engineering and consulting firm Helbling offers companies a database-driven cost calculation system for questions relating to manufacturing costs and their optimization. In terms of cost estimates, these are a central component of product development.

A proven methodology can obtain information on manufacturing costs from external suppliers or even competitor products, according to a technical paper published by the engineering and consulting firm Helbling. This facilitates both product development in general and cost optimization, it writes. For example, without comprehensive details, it is impossible to determine where the manufacturing costs of the product to be developed stand in relation to competitors or what effect unit quantity scenarios will have.

In projects that Helbling has carried out for and with corporate clients, it has used a database-driven cost calculation. According to the authors, Helbling works with tools including the DFMA tool from Boothroyd and Dewhurst. The basis could be initial concept sketches, fully developed 3D CAD data with drawings, or existing examples from a competitor. Estimates can be made from a quantity of one up to millions of units. The tool ultimately calculates parts, assembly costs and investment costs such as tool costs.

After analyzing the results, there are five options if the aim is to optimize manufacturing costs, explain the Helbling experts. The first is to target suppliers to reduce procurement costs. The second option is to analyze the assembly, handling steps and technologies used in production. The DFMA tool, for example, provides information on the effects of automation, they write. Thirdly, component optimization allows for changes in terms of design, material or technology. As final options, system optimization and even a new development are possible. According to one example of a new development, changing a sensor technology reduced costs by a factor of three. ce/yvh

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