Dec 6, 2011

aPriori Announces G.A. of Latest Version of its Product Cost Management Platform

New release expands industry applications and increases customer ROI with high-precision machining, new manufacturing process coverage and greater ease of use.

CONCORD, Mass - aPriori, a provider of product cost management software solutions, today announced the general availability of the latest release of its software platform. aPriori 2011r2 offers new functionality and enhancements that expand the platform’s cost optimization capabilities for companies with high tolerance machining requirements in the automotive, oil & gas, semi-conductor equipment manufacturing and aerospace/defense segments. In response to the growing market need for better methods to estimate the costs of hard tooling (e.g., capital investments to support part production) that can be used by both experts and non-experts, aPriori has also significantly upgraded its capabilities to generate highly detailed tooling cost estimates for components.

“Aberdeen research has found there are undeniable benefits to improving engineering decision making: reduced product costs, better product quality, increased innovation and faster time to market,” said Michelle Boucher, senior research analyst, product innovation & engineering, Aberdeen Group. “Improving visibility to product cost drivers is a top strategy for those who are most successful with this and Product Cost Management is a key enabler for that. This latest release from aPriori continues to make this easier with its support for key manufacturing processes and providing tools that are usable by all who impact product costs.”

aPriori’s Product Cost Management software platform is a flexible and powerful costing engine that is able to instantly and precisely determine the cost of a part or product from a CAD model, based on the manufacturing process, materials to be used and the factory or region where it will be produced. aPriori is used by designers, cost engineers, sourcing professionals and suppliers to get precise, real-time cost assessments that help companies attack cost at the point of origin. As design changes are made, or new product specs are introduced, aPriori automatically re-assesses and provides an updated product cost quickly and easily. Using this new level of cost knowledge, companies can make more informed design and production decisions and significantly reduce product costs throughout the entire product lifecycle.

“Premium product manufacturers whose customers have historically not been overly price sensitive are now increasing their priority on controlling costs,” said Julie Driscoll, vice president of marketing strategy and product management for aPriori. “For example, companies involved in manufacturing oil & gas equipment are finding that new government safety regulations are driving significant product cost increases. Their customers have demonstrated that they are not willing to shoulder all of these additional costs through price increases. This trend is forcing companies to analyze opportunities to control costs in the design and sourcing of components. In response to this market need, aPriori 2011r2 includes significantly enhanced high tolerance machining capabilities that will allow these companies to quickly and easily calculate cost throughout the entire design, sourcing and manufacturing process, and understand the financial implications of each and every tradeoff decision they make.”

New Capabilities in aPriori’s 2011r2 Product Cost Management Platform

Enhanced Machining - aPriori 2011r2 introduces new costing capabilities for companies with high tolerance machining practices that machine components from stock. Users in automotive, oil & gas equipment, semi-conductor equipment, aerospace & defense will benefit from aPriori’s ability to accurately automate the costing of parts with precision machining requirements. New baseline cost models in aPriori 2011r2 include Mill/Turn, 5-Axis Milling, Deep Bore/Trepanning, Deburr and Inspections.

New and Expanded Baseline Costing Processes - aPriori 2011r2 continues the company’s commitment to expanded manufacturing process costing and baseline cost modeling with the addition of the following modules:

Powder Metal — estimates material mixing, forming and sintering which can optionally be followed by heat treatments, machining and surface treatments.
Packaging — adds cost models for the following packaging processes: Carton Forming, Pack & Load and Carton Sealing including support for semi-automated packaging of small and medium sized parts and manual packaging for parts of all sizes.
Rapid Prototyping —enables manufacturers to estimate costs at the prototype stage without the expense of tooling. Specific processes include SLA, SLS and 3D Printing.
Tandem Die — estimates costs of stamped parts made via automated transfer of parts between multiple presses. It is part of aPriori’s Sheet Metal II process group designed for higher volume die requirements in industries such as automotive. This group also includes progressive die, transfer die, stage tooling and standard press.
Blow Molding — this new process includes the ability to calculate cost for plastic products such as simple tanks, ducts and bottles.
Roto Molding — improves geometry recognition and adds support for containers with non-round openings; e.g., ovals, rectangles, etc. This provides more detailed and accurate costing and enables fact-based negotiation with suppliers.
Injection Molding — incorporates improved models for baseline cost and revamped tooling. Users benefit from accelerated cycle time calculation and more accurate estimates, access to more detailed tooling estimates for plastic components, and the flexibility to meet the needs of users with or without advanced tooling knowledge.

Detailed Tooling Estimates for Plastic and Stamped Parts - aPriori has extended its out-of-the-box costing capabilities to generate detailed tooling estimates that include information about the physical attributes of the tool (e.g., mold size, actions, lifters, etc.), materials and purchased items (e.g., core & cavity plates, ejector box etc.) and labor and machine times (design, machining, assembly, tryout etc.). Each time a component is cost, a tooling cost is automatically generated, providing non-tooling experts quick access to precise estimates. As manufacturers are requesting more detail in quotes from their vendors this solution can also provide suppliers a means to quickly and accurately generate quotes, allowing them to respond to more RFQs and drive increased revenue.

Tools to More Efficiently Cost Components and Leverage Cost Data - With aPriori 2011r2, aPriori users can now access new pre-configured views for parts and rollups, saving time and enabling greater self-sufficiency. For example, users have the option to view a summary, process detail report, or should-cost analysis for any part. Default roll-up views include outlier analysis, should-cost analysis and process detail reports. Users can also continue to create and save their own table views. Other additions include user-defined defaults for production information settings, saving time when initializing parts specific to a project.

Expanded Platform Support - aPriori 2011r2 continues to expand its support of existing customer infrastructure with certification for Solidworks 2011, Inventor 2011 and Solid Edge ST3 CAD systems as well as Oracle 11g database.

For more information on aPriori 2011r2, visit http://www.apriori.com/product/apriori-2011-r2.htm.