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PC software buyer's guide.


If you're going to make money on a processing job, few factors matter as much as coming up with an accurate price quote in the first place. Quote too low, and you could lose money. Quote too high, and you might lose the job. Many processors rely on experience and seat-of-the-pants intuition when preparing those all-important job quotes. But there is another way: fill-in-the-blanks software packages designed specifically for plastics processors.

At a bare minimum, these packages can calculate part weights and volumes, which leaves the user a considerable amount of remaining work to flesh out a quote. Intermediate-level packages add labor, machinery, and cycle-time information as well as beefing up the report capabilities. On the high end of the spectrum, sophisticated packages can generate comprehensive cost reports - with graphs - from automatic calculations and user-specified fixed and variable costs.

The packages listed here are all stand-alone costing and quoting applications - as opposed to full-blown MRP II systems, which capture all sorts of data essential to understanding manufacturing cost structures. Three popular examples of such MRP II "total solutions" are production-management systems from IQ Management, Data Technical Resources, and Mascon.

All these packages run on an IBM-compatible personal computer - some in Windows, others in DOS. All cost under $5000.

ROBERT A. BEARD & ASSOCIATES INC. 4918 70th St., Kenosha, Wis. 53142 Phone: 414-658-1778 Fax: 414-658-3478 World Wide Web:

Part-Cost bases its cost estimates on material, molding, operating, and labor costs. It then generates a variety of custom reports and a bill of materials. Price: Unavailable.

C.A.E. SERVICES CORP. 181 S. Bloomingdale Rd., Bloomingdale, Ill. 60108 Phone: 708-980-9696 Fax: 708-980-9841

Partweight Estimator calculates part weights and volumes to increase quotation accuracy. It includes over 60 geometries and runner shapes and a database of over 100 materials. Users can add their own materials as well. Price: $500.

COMPUTER DEVELOPMENT SYSTEMS INC. 132 Riverside Ave., Bristol, Conn. 06010 Phone: 860-583-5993

Quick Quote calculates molding prices, based on different combinations of part quantity, cycle time, and mark-up (up to eight combinations are available per quote). Multiple materials and operations can be used within the same quote. The program also includes tooling costs. Once the quote is finished Quick Quote generates a detailed work sheet. Price: $2395.

DUET SOFTWARE 2547 E. Sandpebble Lane, Brea, Calif. 92621 Phone: 714-990-2954

Partquote calculates part weight and volume, material costs, and other user-specified cost data. Partquote also can save and generate mailing lists of prepared quotes for future use. Price: $295.

DYNAPRISE INC. 450 Southern Blvd. South, St. Paul, Minn. 55075 Phone: 612-451-0383 Fax: 612-451-0397

CVA calculates part volume and area to aid costing and quoting. Its materials database includes 400 plastics and metals. Price: $149.

IDES INC. 209 Grand Ave., Laramie, Wyo. 82070 Phone: 307-742-9227 Fax: 307-745-9339 World Wide Web:

CostMate for molded part costing calculates part volumes, weights, and cycle times and includes a machinery database, regrind costs, and other user-specified costs. This Windows-based program allows users to access an integrated materials database with property and processing data on more than 10,000 plastics. CostMate generates three types of cost reports and it has graphing capabilities (e.g., part cost vs. cycle time). Price: $550.

IQ MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS INC. 1332 Vendels Circle, Suite 101, Paso Robles, Calif. 93446 Phone: 805-227-1122 Fax: 805-227-1120

IQ/Quote for Windows 95 calculates quotes, taking into account user-defined cost factors such as material cost, profit margins, machine-hour rates, and secondary operation costs. The package includes graphic display capabilities and a built-in quote letter. Introductory price: $495.

KLINE & CO. 165 Passaic Ave., Fairfield, N.J. 07004 Phone: 201-227-6262 Fax: 201-227-6291

Fabcost helps users assess manufacturing costs when processing engineering thermoplastics. The program takes into account both fixed and variable costs associated with extrusion, injection molding, and blow molding processes. Price: $645.

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES 59 Interstate Dr., West Springfield, Mass. 01089 Phone: 800-644-4318, 413-733-1972 Fax: 413-739-9250 E-mail: World Wide Web:

Costimator is a Windows-based cost-estimating system for plastics and metals machining that includes part-weight calculation, bill-of-materials generation, and multiple lot-size capabilities. Its materials database includes more than 1200 plastics, tool steels, and other metals. Costimator also includes utilities that enable it to communicate with a variety of CIM systems. Price: Starts at $4995.

JAMES RAY COMPUTING Route 2, Box 18 C, Jacksonville, Texas Phone: 903-586-0302 Fax: 903-586-6333

Computer-Aided Estimating Program includes modules for part-weight, cycle-time, and cost estimation. Price: $495.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:for costing and quoting
Author:Ogando, Joseph
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Date:Feb 1, 1997
Previous Article:Injection mold: the new polyketones.
Next Article:Trim waste in blow molding large or complex industrial shapes.

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