aPriori Targets Cost Reductions across the Manufacturing Product Lifecycle

aPriori 2015 R1 offers capabilities for access management, strategic sourcing and user-guided costing

Concord, Mass.March 13, 2015aPriori, a provider of enterprise product cost management software solutions, announced the latest release of its platform. aPriori 2015 R1 is designed to meet manufacturers’ growing cost management needs from product design and engineering, through strategic sourcing, manufacturing and assembly. The latest release provides more detailed cost estimates and flexible user controls to support sourcing activities and collaboration with suppliers. It also incorporates new capabilities for costing the increasing number of electrical components found in products across every industry today. The release is generally available immediately.

“In aPriori 2015 R1, we continue to evolve our platform to help manufacturers realize greater cost efficiencies and profits across a larger set of their products,” said Julie Driscoll, aPriori’s vice president of strategic marketing and product management. “In addition to enabling more employees to manage cost, we’re also providing manufacturers with the ability to cost more types of components. The new release also gives users more control to fine-tune cost estimates to reflect the unique characteristics of their products and parts, as well as the capabilities of their suppliers. As a result, customers will be able to drive greater product cost efficiencies across their entire product lifecycle.”

The aPriori platform is architected to provide real-time cost information on parts and complete products. The software leverages computer-aided design (CAD) and intelligent cost models to quickly determine feasible manufacturing methods and product costs, while generating detailed manufacturing analysis and cost estimates that quantify the impact of changes to product design, materials, manufacturing processes, volumes and location in real time. aPriori also enables manufacturers to leverage product cost data hosted in other enterprise applications to communicate product cost information between all functional organizations involved in product definition and delivery. This includes the import of complex engineering bills of materials (BOMs) from enterprise resource planning (ERP), product lifecycle management (PLM) and other enterprise applications. The system also includes enterprise-quality business intelligence capabilities that provide intuitive, role-based insights for design, engineering, manufacturing, value engineering, and sourcing executives and managers.

aPriori 2015 R1 expands on the platform with a number of new capabilities:

  • Enhanced user management and access control that provides flexible, rules-based management of enterprise users to expand usage, while complying with global information technology (IT) security requirements. This may include controlling access to component estimates by division or location. As a result, manufacturers can equip more employees to impact product cost when it happens in the product lifecycle.
  • Improved cost overhead calculation that enables more detailed estimates for cost engineering and sourcing. aPriori 2015 R1 incorporates baseline cost estimates that calculate material; direct and indirect overhead; and sales, general and administration (SG&A) to provide a more accurate starting point for customer virtual production environments (VPEs) used for estimating purchased components. The direct and indirect overhead rates are based on rich, bottoms-up calculations that can be accessed and modified within aPriori. This detail supports manufacturers looking for opportunities to reduce cost by examining supplier cost structure.
  • Greater usability and control for fine-tuning cost estimates, which ensures predictable, understandable results when doing real-time edits to components during cost refinement or negotiation with suppliers. This gives users highly granular control over cost inputs to reflect the unique aspects of their products, parts and suppliers.
  • User-guided cost models that provide for costing components made via progressive die, stage tooling, turret press and injection molding. These models enable accurate estimating for components for which users do not have CAD models.
  • The wire harness cost module, which enables accurate component and assembly costing for wire harnesses used in many electrical parts by enabling users to take inputs from input tables/files rather than a solid model. Originally designed for high-tech and electronics manufacturers, this capability now addresses components produced by virtually every company in the manufacturing space today.
  • Machining cost model improvements that provide out-of-the-box costing for a greater variety of parts with turned features. These include parts made from square or rectangular bars with turned features, such as shafts, bosses, holes, down-hole components with off-center bores common in the oil and gas drilling industry, and machined castings and forgings that have turned features in non-parallel directions.  
  • Improvements to automated costing that streamlines cost estimating by automatically reading attributes from CAD models ,including Catia, Creo, NX and SolidWorks. Data from the CAD model is used as input to eliminate duplicate entry and support analysis.
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