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Looking for Ideas to include manufacturing information/cost in Solidworks

Question asked by Dan Sikorski on May 28, 2015

I'm trying to come up with a means of including manufacturing information and thus cost information from within Solidworks, I have seen the costing tool, but that seems to only work for parts (not assemblies), and I'm not sure if it would work given all our different work centers and the complexities of including overhead.


What I'm thinking, is to create custom property fields that allow our manufacturing engineer to enter routing operations line by line. For example, Routing Operation 1, Routing Operation 2, etc. As well as, Routing Time 1, Routing Time 2, Routing Time 3.


Somewhere else (Excel?), we know that there is a cost associated with each manufacturing Operation. For example, if Operation 1 is "Saw Part to Length" and the time is 0.25 hour then we know the cost is hourly rate of saw multiplied by 0.25 hours. Simple enough. But what is the best way to accomplish this? If we only had a few machining centers, this would be simple, but it seems we have 100+ operations.


So, we'd want manufacturing engineering inputs to be: the machining center, material, and run times.

Somewhere we have a lookup table or something of material costs, rates for each machining center, etc.

And the output to be cost information for a part or assembly.


I'm not looking for someone to do this for me, but, before I dive into it I wanted to see if anyone had any input so I don't go down the wrong road from the start.