University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003 - $16,150
80% of a product’s cost is decided early on by design, purchasing and manufacturing decisions. However, little information on cost is typically available until the design is completed and the company begins manufacturing. This lack of information about cost during product development can have a great impact on overall expense, particularly if design changes are made later in the product cycle. The Enterprise Cost Solution E-Team developed a technique, called Feature-Based Costing (FBC), that quickly and accurately estimates production and tooling costs early in the design process using readily available information. The device determines information automatically from the engineer’s solid model and does not require user input. FBC software estimates total part costs, including material, overhead, processing, and tooling costs.