RK Rose+Krieger relies on the costing24 web service from simus systems to respond quickly to customer enquiries about individual products and to support development projects. Read on to find out how the company is saving significant time and effort, submitting bids faster and meeting its cost targets.
As a leading developer and manufacturer of high-end components and functional modules for use in automation and production, RK Rose+Krieger GmbH has stood for unique products in the fields of linear and profile technology and connection and module technology since 1972. As well as catalogue products, customers can order custom products, system solutions and special designs from them. This results in the company having to respond to numerous enquiries from all over the world on a daily basis.
Calculate bid price for new components quickly
Quick response times are important, because the faster a bid is submitted, the greater the chance of winning the contract. In common with many other manufacturers, this involves performing costing calculations for components that are not yet available in the required version.
The same applies to new products developed by the full-service supplier, which regularly ranks among the top 100 innovation leaders among German SMEs. After all, the products have to be brought to market competitively on a global scale.
This is handled by a three-person technical order processing team at the company’s headquarters in Minden, Germany, where about 220 of the more than 500 employees worldwide are based.
“We perform costing calculations with many variables, mostly series with small, but sometimes also large batch sizes, turned and milled parts as well as sheet metal work. We also work in preparation for new development projects, provide updates on individual milestones and, for example, accompany new linear units until they are ready for series production,”
explains Kai Dröge, a cost accountant in the Technical Order Processing department. This applies to both in-house production components and outsourced work.
It all comes down to the right tool
The costing results and supplier quotes are transparently documented in a spreadsheet, along with the date and version. However, it took Kai Dröge a long time to find a satisfactory solution for calculating the price of the components:
“Buying and maintaining a special software tool for this is simply not worth it. We made several attempts to use our CAD system to perform the calculations. But it was too expensive and pretty inconvenient.”
Then, about three years ago, Kai Dröge was introduced to the online costing platform costing24 from simus systems in an online webinar. RK Rose+Krieger reorganised its material master data with simus systems in 2016. Since then, the simus classmate software tool has helped to classify new components and facilitate the search for existing CAD models. What could be more obvious than to give costing24 a try?
Costing platform at costing24.com
costing24 is an online platform that calculates the manufacturing costs of turned, milled, flat and bent parts. This is done by uploading a 3D CAD model of the component to be costed in SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Autodesk Inventor, Siemens NX, CATIA V5, Creo Parametric, JT with XT-Brep or STEP formats. To do this, all you have to do is drag and drop the model into a window in the software.
Prospective new customers are offered some sample parts for turning, milling, drilling, flat and bent part machining for testing. Once a raw material has been selected, costing24 automatically recognises the operations involved in the manufacturing processes required and calculates the costs for the number of units required or a batch size scale in just a few seconds.
Registered users can set individual parameters such as hourly rates, cutting values and set-up and non-productive times. They can calculate their own models, customise the virtual machine park, create calculation variants and save up to 100 models for 30 days so that they can be reused.
“costing24 is very easy to use, and you can upload your own blanks and define raw materials,”
explains Kai Dröge. The results can then be viewed with a mouse click: this includes not only the manufacturing costs, based on set-up and unit costs, but also the machining and finishing costs, scaled by batch size, including machining times. The geometric areas are colour-coded according to cost. Dröge explains:
“You arrive at the result very quickly and can export it directly to Excel. That’s what convinced me in the end.”
Lean solution for medium-sized companies
In a final step, general security concerns about cloud solutions were dispelled:
“costing24 is hosted in Germany. Outsiders can’t do anything with the geometry data format used by simus. The native CAD models are deleted after the calculation,”
explains Kai Dröge. Companies can enjoy all the benefits for a monthly flat fee of €200. RK Rose+Krieger employees can calculate 200 components per month with this model – without the expense of installation, training, maintenance and updates. simus systems is rapidly expanding the new platform and now offers direct integration into the SolidWorks and Inventor CAD systems. And the environmental “costs” are also taken into account now. Calculating the carbon footprint of a component makes it easier for many suppliers to meet the demands placed on them by customers.
For long-term use, Kai Dröge has adapted the calculation data for the machines and set up production variants for smaller and larger batch sizes. “I don’t maintain the cutting data because it changes so quickly,” he says. “I ask manufacturing when I get to that point.”
costing24 is also an appealing proposition for other employees in the company because of its ease of use. Apart from Kai Dröge himself, a department manager and an employee who plans processes for new projects also benefit from the platform.
Used in many departments
“The straightforward ability to determine the manufacturing costs quickly for each component and know where a project stands in terms of costs saves on a lot of time and effort,”
explains Kai Dröge. Enquiries about cost orientation services are eliminated in early phases of the project. During later phases, incoming quotations can be verified more quickly. Strategic purchasing uses the workflows and cost breakdowns in costing24 as a secure basis for negotiation. The main advantage is convincing, Kai Dröge concludes:
“We find it inspiring how easy it is to use and the short path it offers to the result. The high level of accuracy meets our requirements perfectly.”