The Virtual Factory
In principle, every individual EMS facility is different. These differences can be significant. Differences in machine brand selections and machine types, differences in the level of automation and differences in the individual cost levels for factory location, taxes, employees and many other costs, such as warehouses, IT and automation.
When preparing a quote, the material cost and the manufacturing cost of a product lot size must be calculated. This is the Job Costing process.
In the accountancy world, the different job costing methodologies are mostly used for balance sheets and bottom line result calculations. These methodologies cannot be compared with the costing model used in QuoteArchitect-PCA.
Configuring the Virtual Factory
is a one-off operation, comfortably supported by the QuoteArchitect built-in plant definition logic. The settings and data are easily maintained to keep the Virtual Factory model synchronized with your real factory developments over time.
By filling the model with information about labour costs, overheads and production hours, as well as your operations and processes and their individual variables and parameters like occupation levels, speeds, capacities and limitations, the model is activated and ready to feed the Costing Engine with data.
The integration of any process type is possible within the configured operation.
- The SMT assembly operation calculations are highly automated. SMT part codes are auto-allocated and the calculation models typically use the shape and part-code definitions of the BOM items and the individual machine configurations to drive the automatic line balancing in multiple pick & place machine operations to obtain well-balanced machine loads and accurate production times
- Automatic assembly for THT parts (Axial, radial and pin) is (although these technologies are more and more disappearing), also supported in the virtual factory model
- Robot assembly for any odd parts or modules is fully supported, anticipating contemporary and future trends
- Manual assembly for both SMT and THT, as well as cable harnessing, mechanical assembly, box build and system build is extensively supported in the virtual factory model
Manufacturing Flow definition
A variable aspect of the data fed into the Costing Engine is the flow selection for manufacturing and testing of a product. The production engineer defines the flow based on the BOM data and all other additional requirements for the product to be built (e.g. quantity, complexity, complications, technology).
QuoteArchitect allows a free flow definition to cover all possible production scenarios.
The rules-driven Costing Engine
The costing engine is based on the Activity Based Costing model (ABC), a well-known methodology. It calculates the anticipated manufacturing costs of a defined product for a certain amount of units and a chosen production flow. Anticipated, because some variables in the virtual factory definition may be based on historical data (last year's data), assumptions (this year's expectations) and some uncertain values in production and test, like test error investigation times and subsequent repair costs.
Also, in many areas, the system warns when certain process limits are exceeded and additional costs can be expected. For example, due to the properties of certain components or the product itself e.g. dimensions, new shape codes or process sensitivities such as number of soldering times or not being allowed to wash.