Machining Job Shop ?'s

Although I'm in the foundry business, I get some requests for quote for
finished machined castings. I send the drawings to several local machine
shops for quotes. When I get my quotes back, sometimes I'm shocked by the
Can any of you job shop guys give me some details or insight on quoting
machining? I realize there are many variables that have to be accounted for:
run size, physical size of the casting, tolerances, # of operations, amount
of stock removal, fixturing costs.
I know quoting can be an involved process, you can't believe the calls I get
from prospective buyers asking how much per pound we charge for a casting!
There's a lot more than material weight in the price of a casting.
I'm trying to make myself a slightly more educated buyer when it comes to
Mike Malone
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Mike Malone
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I guess I can't answer your real question, but I could suggest that you tell folks that you charge a very low per-pound cost for your castings. But they only get a cube of cast iron for that cost.
If they want any kind of widgets shaped into the casting, that's gonna be extra.
Reply to
jim rozen
You left out hunger. You'll usually get a much better price from a shop that's hungry compared to a shop that's working to capacity.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
I have found in the past that some shops, rather than refuse to quote outright will simply quote some outragous price. If you accept, they simply farm it out and make a fat profit.
For getting realistic and valid quotes, select shops that do the type work you need done. For example a lot of shops don't have a lot of expertise in dealing with castings. Do your castings require any special fixturing to hold them? Any special tools required?
Others may specialize in very large work, or perhaps very high precision. If the latter, you'll likely get the precision whether required or not.
In the end, if you feel confident the shops deal with the type work you need done, then get a minimum of four quotes. Compare them, and try to develop an idea how long it would take to make the part and what equipment/expertise is being used. This will enable you to get some rough idea what hourly rate they are using.
Very often, if you have good quotes, they will be withing five percent (give or take) of each other. Last but not least is how quickly you are asking for completion. Will the shop have to work overtime or set aside other jobs to do it?
Good luck!
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If you have had some good work done by a one of the shops, try a weird suggestion: Call up the owner and invite him to lunch. Tell him you'll buy. Then ask the same question. If you make sure that he knows that you don't plan to go buy some machines to compete with him, and would like to have a relable supplier of machining services, you might get anearful of good info. Not to mention an offer to work with you on a regular basis.
I used to do so much subcontract work with one stamping outfit that I didn't bother calling and asking for a quote. I'd just send out my quote, if I got the business I'd tell him what I had bid his parts at. He'd make some minor corrections and deliver parts off of hard tooling in 3 weeks. I did fine, he did fine.
Mike Mal> Although I'm in the foundry business, I get some requests for quote for
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People have made some good points already.
The point that I wanted to make was the two things people seem to forget:
1) Handling/set-up, get and start, clean-up or whatever you want to call all the time that goes into a part that is not machining it. On some items this can really add up. For much of what we do, we have to set up forming dies...the set-up often takes longer than running the actual parts when the quantity is low. People ALWAYS seem to forget that it takes the same amount of time to put away the tools you needed as it did to get them out also. Actually it takes more if you count cleaning up the chips and such that should be done before you move on to the next project.
2) Crating for shipping. Of course this depends on the parts but it can be a significant amount of time and money. Because the customer always comes down on US when a crate fails (even if the trucking company is the one that should be penalized), we have to make sure the crate will likely survive poor handling. Wood crating material adds up as does fabricating to size when the parts are changing all the time. I would assume on castings (smaller castings, that is) that some provision would need to be made in packing to protect the machined edges if the parts all go in the same crate.
Customers are always complaining about price on short run jobs and it seems to come down to the things above. Often the incedentals can add up to more than the machining or fabrication.
Mike Mal>Although I'm in the foundry business, I get some requests for quote for
Reply to
What Koz said!!!
Setup: I had one customer that had literally hundreds of parts that were in the range of 50% to 90% setup. The customer was good, the business was profitiable, we charged for the setup. I don't mind setup time as long as you get PAID for it! But keep in mind that screwups tend to happen on the setup phase. Make sure you get paid for that too!
Crating: most businesses have a "normal" cost for the shipping container. It might be $ per order, some % of the value, or $ per piece, whatever. Just make sure that anything that does not fit that mold gets charged extra. It should be a line item on the invoice.
Koz wrote:
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Thanks to all for the input, I appreciate it!!
Reply to
Mike Malone

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