Category Archives: Kipware® Quoting and Estimating Software

This category pertains to all things involved with KipwareQTE® – cost estimating software and KipwareCYC® – machining cycletime estimating software and KipwareTRK® – Machine Shop Quotation Tracking and Analyzing Software.

Keys When Estimating Machining Cycletime

At Kentech Inc., we have spent a lot of time over the last 25+ years working and perfecting our KipwareCYC® – Machining Cycletime Estimating Software.  KipwareCYC® started out as a resource for estimating cycletimes for machine purchase justification. Clients would come to us with the request to estimate machining time based on equipment they were considering purchasing. THIS WAS A BIG DEAL to be sure. The client was going to lay down some serious cash to purchase  a new piece of CNC equipment … based heavily on our cycletime estimate to machine their workpiece on that equipment.

Well over the years we have produced quite a few happy clients … enjoying a nice revenue increase thanks to those cycletime estimates and new equipment purchases. So we know a little about accurate machining cycletime estimate … from hands on experiences.

Two of the main factors we have used over the years to incorporate into our machining cycletime estimating are :

  1. Cutting  parameters used in the estimate MUST reflect the speeds and feeds being used on your shop floor during the machining. Using book knowledge … pie in the sky parameters … other people’s data and processes … will only lead to inaccurate estimates. This is one of the fundamental keys to accurate machining cycletime estimating. You can read more about our feelings on this issue in our previous BLOG post  … CLICK HERE to read that post.
  2. The time that a tool is actually engaged in the cut … the “length of cut” … is the most accurate way to estimate that tool’s cutting time. Using other factors like volume of material being removed … does not accurately reflect a tools cutting time. The volume of material being removed does not reflect the path the tool takes in the cut … only the amount of material being removed. The path the tool takes in the cut … the true length of cut … is the only factor that will produce an accurate cutting time.

Our KipwareCYC® application always has used a tools length of cut when calculating cutting time. Coming from the shop floor … we also realize that this is not an easy factor to obtain. That is why we created our companion app for KipwareCYC® … the Cut Length Calculator. This ingenious application uses a mix of conversational, fill-in-the-blank forms as well as the ability to import DXF files yto assist the user in calculating a tool’s length of cut quickly and easily. Our patented Machinist Mode transforms the mouse into a cutting tool … all the user need do is click around the part to simulate the cutter path … and CLC will turn that into a length of cut calculation … for either turning or milling calculations.

For more information on the Cut Length Calculator … included standard with KipwareCYC® … we invite you to watch the video below.


Quoting and estimating is the lifeblood of your business … and any accurate quote begins with an accurate machining cycletime estimate. It is undoubtedly STEP #1 !!

We invite you to check out all the features and power of KipwareCYC at our website … https://kentechinc.com/kipwarecyc/.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

We’re taking our talents to …

After 30+ years in the metalworking industry … we are about to expand our scope as I TAKE MY TALENTS TO … WOOD !!

decision

On October 22, 2016 … KÄRV was born !!

Personally I have been dabbling in woodworking for quite a while and I felt the time had come to take it to the next level.  I mean why not?? Through Kentech Inc. we have developed all the software needed to operate a manufacturing business through our quoting and estimating … CNC programming … and shop utility software. When you come right down to it … making products from wood is very similar to making products from metal. A collaboration between Kärv and Kentech is a NATURAL !!

We invite you to follow our progress along here at the Kipware Blog and on our CNC Machinist Blog as we rev up. We will be detailing our progress as we receive and set-up our X-CARVE cnc router from Inventables. We we will be illustrating and blogging all the steps from unpacking to first cut at the blogs … so please follow along.

After we get the X-CARVE up and running we will be illustrating and blogging about how we integrate our Kipware® quoting and estimating software and Kipware® programming software into winning work … and producing work !! … so please follow along.

karv_sign2

We will also be publishing more on the offerings from Kärv on the Kärv website … www.KarvWoodworking .com. So please visit the website as well. Who knows … you might even find some items of interest for yourself or for gifts.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Craftsman and Maker … www.KarvWoodworking.com

Guidelines for Calculating Machine HOURLY RATE

We tout this fact all the time in our marketing … at Kentech Inc. we are MACHINISTS … we cut chips, we programmed, we ran shop floors for years … then we became software engineers and designers and built software products we saw were lacking during those years. What we refer to as Real World Machine Shop Software. 

As a result, many of our clients come to us to take advantage of that experience … especially those just starting out. Since quoting and estimating is one of the first tasks a new shop needs to get right … we get asked quite a lot of questions about these areas. Our KipwareCYC® ( machining cycletime estimating software ) and KipwareQTE® ( cost estimating / quoting software ) titles are two of our most popular titles. One of the “hot” topics we encounter during online presentations of these titles is often concerning the cost to charge for a machining or a shop rate. So we thought it was a good time to add a blog post with some guidelines we feel are simple enough … but important enough … that can get you to an accurate figure.

Since many shops will utilize an hourly rate as a basis for charging for machining time, this post is dedicated to some helpful guidelines on how to calculate that machining hourly rate. Below are some points we consider important when calculating the hourly rate for a particular machine. The areas requiring calculations include :

Equipment – Cost Per Hour of Operation … a common formula : (machine purchase cost + expected lifetime maintenance cost) / expected hours of operating life.

Direct Labor Cost per Hour … a common formula : (total annual labor costs + taxes + benefits + paid time off) / (total annual hours worked – breaks and training time)

Overhead Cost Per Hour  : Any costs not directly involved in machining a part is overhead. These include costs for administrative staff salary, equipment, furniture, building lease, maintenance and office supplies. Calculate the annual costs of these, then divide by total labor or machine hours for the year. This will be your overhead cost per hour

Once the above costs are calculated … you can use the formulas and guidelines below to arrive at either a “general” shop hourly rate or an hourly rate based on a specific piece of equipment.

General Machine Shop Hourly Rate … a common formula : Average overall shop rate = (average machine cost per hour + labor and overhead cost per hour) x markup

Machine Specific Hourly Rate … a common formula : (specific machine(s) cost per hour + labor + overhead cost per hour) x markup

Somewhat simplified … and usually a work in progress as factors may change. It is important to gather all the figures in the formulas above as best you can … as accurate as you can … and to keep tabs on any factors that may change along the way.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Feature Release – KipwareCYC® Runtime Calculator

Kentech Inc. is pleased to announce the release of the Runtime Calculator (RTC) feature for KipwareCYC® – Machining Cycletime Estimating Software.runtime_ad_logo

RTC is designed to allow users to quickly and easily calculate total hours … total days … and total labor costs for production runs from 1 to 1 million.

RTC can be used as a stand alone application with manual data entry … or users can import previously created KipwareCYC® cycletime estimates and KipwareQTE® machine database information for more automated and accurate calculations.

Below is a screenshot illustrating the available user inputs and options available in RTC.

RTF_screenshot

Please view the animated release video below for additional information and to view RTC in action.

Whether used as a stand alone application … or as a fully and seamlessly integrated application with KipwareCYC® and KipwareQTE® … RTC will provide users with accurate and consistent delivery and production data for scheduling or quoting.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

A Major Hidden Cost Missed When Quoting

We developed our KipwareQTE® quoting and estimating software from our real world experiences on the shop floor and running a variety of different machine shops. Over the years, one main category when quoting that is often misunderstood, under quoted and even completely ignored is perishable tooling.

Do you include perishable tooling in your costing and quoting?

If your quoting a part that needs 100 holes drilled … do you include the cost of the drills and center drills?

Our experience from talking with potential clients shows that 80% of estimators DO NOT include perishable tooling in their costs and estimates. A major mistake … that is directly effecting their bottom line … negatively !!

KipwareQTE makes it easy to include perishable tooling into your estimating process. How?
Two ways.

ONE – users can create a database of perishable tools and their associated costs. Then adding tools costs to the quote and estimate is simply a matter of pulling down a drop-down list and selecting the tools that will be used in manufacturing.

TWO – Using an estimated tool life … KipwareQTE® will perform all the calculations to include the complete cost for each of the tools and also calculate the number of each tools required for inclusion in the Bill of Material creation. That way the shop will be prepared when the job hits the floor.

Estimating

Beyond the feature.

We like to think that thoughtful and important features like this illustrate what sets Kipware® and Kentech Inc. apart from our competition. A simple design, a meaningful feature … that can make the difference between making and losing money … and isn’t that what it’s all about.

We invite you to explore our Kipware® Business Software titles … and discover the difference that REAL WORLD MACHINE SHOP SOFTWARE can make.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

KipwareCYC® – New Release – Multiple Part Machining Time Estimating

The design of KipwareCYC® from the start has been to assist users accurately create machining time estimates for their workpieces … and has been based on creating that time to machine one part from start to finish. Estimates are created while users walk the part through each machining operation for each machine required … creating a time to complete each operation on each machine.

This release of version 7.0.0 of KipwareCYC® now includes the ability to take that single part estimate and research and calculate how that single part time will be effected by using :

  • Multiple pieces in a fixture
  • Multiple fixtures
  • 4th axis or tombstone fixturing using multiple pieces per side of the tombstone while machining multiple sides of the tombstone
  • Multi-axis spindle and multi-turret turning centers
  • Swiss style turning centers

Making use of many of our proprietary formulas already employed inside KipwareCYC® … rapid time, cutting times and handling times ( indexing times ) can now be easily incorporated through the use of these new features and the Multi-Milling and Multi-Turning option screens.

Details are outlined in detail below … or you can watch the video :

MILLING OPTIONS

mill_screenUsing the MILLING option … users have the option of choosing either a MULI-FIXTURE or INDEXER type set-up. Using the FIXTURE TYPE option … users can define

  • # of pieces per fixture
  • # of fixtures
  • distance between the fixtures

Using the INDEXER type option ( designed for HMC’s utilizing a tombstone or 4th axis indexer ) … users can define

  • # of pieces per side of the tombstone
  • # of sides that will be used for machining
  • Indexing time of the table or 4th axis indexer.

KipwareCYC® will then auto-calculate the additional RAPID TIME, CUTTING TIME, and HANDLING TIME ( indexing time ) required and present the user with all the new calculations for comparison. This new feature will not only produce a  more accurate cycletime for multiple parts … but will allow the user to research and compare what might be the better fixturing options to employ.

TURNING OPTIONS

lathe_screen

The TURNING option was designed with multi-spindle and multi-turret type as well as swiss-style turning centers in mind. The cycletime on a multi-spindle machine is in essence the time for that turret with the longest machining time. In KipwareCYC® the user now has the ability to move operations between the turrets to define that turret’s cycletime … and in essence the cycletime to machine the part that was originally estimated using a single spindle machine.

The user is presented with a drop-down list of all the operations from the estimate created for the single spindle machine … and can then move the operations between turrets to find the optimum time and sequence of operations.

Estimating

What does it all mean?

In addition to quickly and easily turning a single part machining time estimate into an estimate for multiple parts on multiple fixtures or time using a more powerful and capable machine … users have new power to research and explore the best machining option to obtain the optimum machining time available on their equipment.

These new features are … once again from Kentech Inc. … cutting edge and innovative. These options coupled with the proprietary formulas employed inside KipwareCYC® give users added power and flexibility to not only win more work … but win more profitable work.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

 

 

 

Machine Shop Quotation Tracking … The Difference Between Trudging Along and GROWING.

Let’s face the facts … shall we. If you are like most shop owners :

  1. You do your best to make sure that you get your quotes and estimates out the door on time and as accurate as possible.
  2. Once the quote is sent … you might even follow-up with a phone call or email … sometimes.
  3. You might even check to see what quotes are outstanding … occasionally.

But the dirty truth is … You don’t REALLY track and analyze your quoting and estimating process … DO YOU ??

If the above show fits … we invite you to click the link below and watch our fun and informative animation on our KipwareTRK – Quotation Tracking and Analyzing Software.

As the animation points out :

  1. KipwareTRK® is a completely user-configurable software application that allows users to quickly and easily analyze their quoting and estimating process.
  2. KipwareTRK® will present you with views and information on your quoting and estimating process that you never dreamed of. Information that will help you to find the weaknesses … the problems … so you can formulate a process to address them and keep your business and your profits strong.
  3. Users can create an UNLIMITED number and type of sort and search criteria … so you’ll see what you want to see … when you want to see it. Having access to the data that will be presented to you through KipwareTRK® can be the difference between growing your business … winning profitable work … or just trudging along.
  4. When used in seamless conjunction with our KipwareQTE® – Quoting and Estimating Software … you don’t even have to do anything to build the database of quotes and estimates that will be tracked and analyzed. When you create a quote in KipwareQTE® it can be automatically added to the KipwareTRK® database.

We invite you to look at your quoting and estimating process in a new light … and in new ways … with KipwareTRK®. Please visit our website or YouTube channel through the links below for additional information and video presentations on all our Kipware® Business Software titles.

Estimating

Website : www.KentechInc.com/KipwareBusinessSoftware.html

YouTube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/user/KTSoftware

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

The FARCE that is Feature Based Cost Estimating

Taking a trip around the net you might find a few of the machine shop job costing and estimating software applications out there touting their application as “FEATURE BASED” estimating. My first reaction is always … REALLY ??? Does anyone really fall for that sales gobbly-gook speak ???

What else would you want to estimate … 
THE NON FEATURES ?????

With further thought it becomes abundantly apparent that it simply sounds good … makes for a good sales pitch … catches the eye … but the reality is … don’t be fooled. As a professional think about it. If you have a part with a variety of “features” that need to be machined … the simple act of estimating the time to machine those features … WHICH IS REALLY ALL THE ESTIMATE IS BEING CREATED FOR … is the act of feature based estimating. THERE ISN’T ANY OTHER TYPE !!!

And What About Those Features ??

AND … if you are touting feature based estimating you better be able to handle ALL kinds of features … not only simplistic milling and turning of simplistic parts. Real world workpieces have odd shaped pockets and contours … odd shaped turned parts with various types of grooves and undercuts. Simplistic “feature based” estimating app’s simply don’t handle the “real world” well.

AND … this is not a “fluff it off” input either. Watch some web demos and you’ll see the demonstrator utter the famous words … “OK let’s say that’s 10 inches.” Great for a demo but how did you get that figure? If they don’t show you … they must be hiding something … like it’s really hard to obtain.  This input is just as much at the heart of an accurate estimate as insuring that the speeds and feeds used accurately reflect your shop floor cutting parameters … not just some “book knowledge”. Our KipwareCYC® has been tested and developed on real shop floors and we have hundreds of clients who purchased our KipwareCYC® after having compared their actual machining times against times created with KipwareCYC®. You don’t get any better than that. And the system we have created using the tool’s length of cut … is by far the most accurate way to estimate cycletime … and our Cut Length Calculator app is the easiest and most accurate way to calculate that length of cut.

Accurate speeds and feeds without accurate tool engagement time produces inaccurate estimates as well.

There is really only two ways to calculate the amount of time a tool is engaged in the cutting process … and therefore determine the cutting time for the tool. Those inputs are (1) measuring volume of material being removed and (2) tracing the tools length of cut while doing the cutting.

Using Volume of Material Removal as an input Is NOT REALISTIC !!

If the machining time estimating software is using an input related to volume of material being removed … that should be a RED FLAG. Why?

  • FIRST – Volume of material is NOT an indicator of the time a tool is engaged in the cut. And calculating the time the tool is actually engaged in the cut is the BEST way to determine cutting time. This type of input does not accurately reflect the tools time of engagement … because the tool may follow an unorthodox path while cutting … and that takes time.
  • SECOND – it already assumes that you have or are going to create a CAD drawing of the workpiece … and an accurate, to scale drawing at that. What if that’s not the case … as in about 85% of work that gets quoted in the real world. From sketches, from drawings that are not to scale, from prints … the volume input is next to impossible to obtain without an ACCURATE – TO SCALE CAD drawing … so you’ll need to create a CAD drawing.

Using Extends or Outline as an Input

The most accurate input for determining a tool’s length of time or engagement in the cut is the length of cut input. Why? Because this input actually traces the tools path while in the cut … which may not consist of “standard” type movements as reflected in the simple volume of material being removed.  This input is a little tougher to achieve … a little bit more of too much and it will be overkill … but you can get much closer to the actual time of engagement with this method. BUT … the toolpath must be accurately reflected for the calculation. Having a part that has a non-standard outline and saying that the extends are 6 x 3 is NOT accurate enough. You need to trace or follow the tool will take around the contour to insure you are as close as you can get. As mentioned above … our Cut Length Calculator app which comes standard with KipwareCYC® is by far the most accurate way to obtain a length of cut … using either a conversational, fill-in-the-blank format … or a DXF input.

Take a look at “feature based” estimating on STEROIDS in our KipwareCYC® – CUT LENGTH CALCULATOR video … the link is below :

Soooo … let’s Review

  • “Feature based estimating” is really just the act of creating a machining cycletime estimate … since you are really only creating the estimate so you can tell your customer how long it’s going to take to machine the part, and the associated costs. DON’T BE FOOLED.
  • The most accurate way to estimate cycletime for machining is yto utilize the time of engagement for the cutting tool. Volume of material being removed is a very subjective and inaccurate input and a tools length of cut is the most accurate.
  • KipwareCYC® is coupled with the Cut Length Calculator application and can provide users with a quick and accurate length of cut for traditional, standard operations for BOTH milling and turning … or utilize a DXF file so users can accurately trace the path the cutting tool will take around a non-traditional shape … giving closest length of cut calculation without the overkill.

If you agree with the points we have outlined here … we welcome your thorough review of KipwareCYC®, the companion Cut Length Calculator application and for costing … our KipwareQTE® software.

For additional information on the complete KipwareCYC® – Machining CycleTime Estimating Software application … CLICK HERE.

AND … for complete information on turning that cycletime estimate into a complete COST ESTIMATE and QUOTATION … check out KipwareQTE® … CLICK HERE.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.