This podcast covers the new evaluation tool in SolidWorks 2012 known as SolidWorks Costing. This tool can be a great inline analysis tool to help bridge the gap between engineering and manufacturing. Topics covered:
- Overview of Costing
- Machined vs. Sheet metal tools
- Navigating the template manager
- Qualitative vs quantitative feedback
- Feedback interface
- Incorporating other operations
SolidWorks 2012 had many new little features sprinkled throughout the release but SolidWorks Costing was one of the features that many of us remember seeing at SolidWorks World last year. Costing is dependent on templates that outline various aspects of the operations required to make the part loaded in SolidWorks. Templates can be challenging, especially if you don't have this expertise in-house.
Whether you have in-house manufacturing or use vendors, this information should be collected from the parties responsible for quoting out machining or sheet metal operations. This might require you paying them for the information but the accuracy will help dial in the numbers if the bottom line accuracy is required.
If you simply want to know if a change to the part makes the part go up or down, then some of the stock templates might get you pretty far. Template-dependent tools like this require the understanding that some up-front time will be needed before the real benefits start to shine through.
For a baked-in tool, it can give another vector to help make decisions that can be just as important as the "Fit, Form and Function" questions we may ask everyday. If tribal knowledge is how your costing is currently done, it may be time to document that knowledge into these templates so design decisions can be made early, when they are cheap! ~Lou