Thoughts on Costimator by MTI systems?
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    Default Thoughts on Costimator by MTI systems?

    I'm a one man show and I'm wasting tons of time coming up with quotes. I want something that I can just load in a CAD file or type in a few numbers from a print and have consistent quotes. I came across Costimator by MTI systems. Does anyone have experience with them or know how much the program costs? I cant find much about it on the web. Any advice on other companies with modern estimation software is appreciated.

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    If this existed, how exactly do you think this would help you? You are going to be quoting the exact same price as anyone else using the same/similar software. Quoting is a time-consuming process. You can find ways to speed up your calculations and such, but accept that it will always take time.

    In addition, how do you think a software is going to do this for you? The software can't know how you plan on holding the part, what tools you want to use, how much they cost, how fast you are running them, etc. There are tons of variables that you need to take into consideration, and at the point that you are entering them into software to come up with a quote, you are essentially programming the entire part for free.

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    We bought costimator a few years ago, two seats. It's over complicated so nobody uses it. The "automatic" quoting is greatly overstated - more like programming a conversational control, i.e. you define the features, more or less, and it calculates cycle times. For quoting low quantity parts it's of very little utility.

    It would probably be fairly effective if you were the kind of shop that only runs similar parts in quantity.

    We already had a relational database quoting system that I made a few years before hand, that already had most of the actually useful functionality (for us) of costimator, so ultimately we kept using that instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmAlex View Post
    If this existed, how exactly do you think this would help you? You are going to be quoting the exact same price as anyone else using the same/similar software. Quoting is a time-consuming process. You can find ways to speed up your calculations and such, but accept that it will always take time.

    In addition, how do you think a software is going to do this for you? The software can't know how you plan on holding the part, what tools you want to use, how much they cost, how fast you are running them, etc. There are tons of variables that you need to take into consideration, and at the point that you are entering them into software to come up with a quote, you are essentially programming the entire part for free.
    I just assumed or would hope the program could be customized to a shops specific operations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregormarwick View Post
    We bought costimator a few years ago, two seats. It's over complicated so nobody uses it. The "automatic" quoting is greatly overstated - more like programming a conversational control, i.e. you define the features, more or less, and it calculates cycle times. For quoting low quantity parts it's of very little utility.

    It would probably be fairly effective if you were the kind of shop that only runs similar parts in quantity.

    We already had a relational database quoting system that I made a few years before hand, that already had most of the actually useful functionality (for us) of costimator, so ultimately we kept using that instead.

    Dang, appreciate the info.

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    I use an excel file that I began working on about 3 years ago, and has been a work-in-progress ever since. Now, I use it to generate cost-savings, to show customers how by buying more expensive/faster cutting tools, you can save money.

    It could actually be cut in-half, and be used strictly to calculate costs & bid jobs, but it does require a lot of inputs.

    First, it requires you to be able to "process" the part in your head. It is very dependent on speeds/feeds, but that can actually force you to begin standardizing, and can be a long-term benefit. But, you basically build a tool list, input speeds/feeds and it calculates time-in-cut x # of features and gives you a time for that tool. Tallies them up, and works that number against your overhead rate that you enter. <--- You are responsible for coming up with this number on your own.

    Breaks out how much cost is in the part based on your cycle-time & overhead. Breaks out the cost of perishable tooling. Includes blank material cost, and even calculates scrap costs. Per part, and for the batch/run. It factors chip-to-chip tool-change time, and lets you account for non-cut/rapid time.


    It is staggeringly accurate, but it does require a lot if input. If you get your speeds/feeds down for your commonly used tools, then it makes things go quicker. But it will still take a while.



    I guess I posted all that to day - don't ignore what can be done with excel, for free. (With time, no doubt.)


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