Engineering Standards For Estimating

Process Automation on the Gears.Engineering standards for estimating is critical in order to come up with a consistent way of quoting.   Standards are based on time and not dollars because shop rates are different based on each individual company.  Standards are different based on machines and skill which are relatively consistent.

Engineering standards shown are for the metalworking industry and can be adjusted based on your machines and skill level.  Software has improved greatly in the last few years with software from vendors such as Metamation Inc., Sigmanest  and others.

Sheet Metal parts take about 20-60 minutes to program or 3 minutes per 1 minutes of machine time.  CNC Lathe parts take about 20-60 minutes to program or 10 minutes per 1 minute of machining.  Machining Center takes 4-40 Hours or 30  minutes to program 1 minute of machining time.

Tool design for fixtures, drill jigs, welding jigs, etc has been approximated that the manufacturing time and cost will be 2 times greater.

You should create a spreadsheet for estimating that uses the standards shown or use an estimating software like QuoteIt! from MIE Solutions to enter the formulas which best match your requirements.

Estimating Engineer Tasks

Mie Solutions Estimating Engineering

The estimating process is just that, its an estimate or an educated guess.   Companies many times will add to the beginning of a quote a process step called Engineering.  Engineering can mean many things including

  • CNC Programming
  • Design Work
  • Creating Solid Models
  • Creating Prototypes

During the estimating process it is key to include these costs into your quote.  Things to consider is this charge can be either amortized into the unit costs or as a separate charge.  The nice thing about amortizing the costs into the piece price is that a repeat job your profit will go up because this tasks has already been complete.   A separate charge has the advantage of lowering the price to the customer for future job orders which may give you a pricing advantage in the long run.

Hourly cost for these engineering tasks need to be taken into consideration based on the cost of the employee completing these tasks.

Lastly, a key consideration if you do lots of engineering work is becoming a partner which gives you a head up on your competitors.

Take a look at an ERP system that handles engineering tasks at