Hello Dr. Lasky,
Could you send me a pdf or word.doc file with more details about your techniques on cost estimating for SMT assembly. I would like to use your methods to calculate the cost of an assembly process that is not automated. This is an area that I have always had a problem with. Hopefully I can learn how to do this.
When teaching cost estimating I usually require the students to model the cost of manufacturing chocolate bars (even though the main thrust of the course is costing SMT processes.) The reason I do this is to demonstrate that cost estimating is similar no matter what the process is. The elements of cost are the same: labor, materials, equipment amortization, rent and utilities. Although ProfitPro™ (available from SMTA) was designed for SMT assembly the transition to chocolate bar is straight forward. The materials in SMT assembly (PWBs, solder paste and components), become sugar, cocoa and milk, the labor is still labor, the equipment is different but is still amortized and rent and utilities may cost more or less but are still there. There is no mystery in cost estimating, it is similar in all processes.
I will send you some class notes on this in a few days.