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  • Igor Kondrasovas

Sheet metal cost estimating

You may have already heard a lot about nesting programs, how helpful they are to reduce fabrication time and waste. But when it comes to cost estimating, it is much harder to find a practical solution.

What is the point of using a cost estimating software in the factory floor? Most programs are physically located next to laser, plasma, water jet cutters on the shop, due to licensing constraints. This does not make any sense, since estimating is made at the office as the first stage of the sales funnel.

Cost estimating is a sales job

We believe cost estimating software is a sales tool and not an engineering tool. Knowing in advance how many sheets you need to prepare a cost estimate is the first step of the sales cycle, and you should be able to do that in a matter of minutes.

When the sales is approved, you will already have all order information. Then, you can forward the nesting diagrams to the shop floor or a contractor.

This is important to create a more formal information flow between the estimated and the job order. If sheet metal is cut by contractors, you will not have any surprises about necessary material or labor for that order.

The following picture shows a simple cost estimating example for rectangular parts.

Sheet Metal Cost Estimating

As you can see in the picture, there are two main areas with material and operation costs. The material cost per sheet can be specified on the material configuration, while the operation costs can be configured on the general configuration.

Customizing cost units

If some of the costs does not apply to your project, you can simply deselect it and the total cost will be automatically updated.

It is also important to highlight that you may want to change the operation costs "unit". For example: Maybe in your organization the cut cost should be calculated per cutting length instead of per cut operation, so you can include the cutting tool waste in the estimation.

Configure Cost Estimating

In order to do that, go to "Settings->Costs" and use the drop-down list to select the desired cut unit.

If there is any other cost you would like to see included in your cost estimating, please let us know.

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