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Secrets of a good cost score

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RonGeorge View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 12:12am
It is a bit surprising this discussion hasn't been carried out here yet. The average score for cost event at RIT was something like 44. Only University of Maryland got a perfect score of 100. I'm really curious -  how in the world do you get a high placing like that? Most people must be doing something really wrong and still not "getting the idea".  Successful teams and judges are welcome to chime in this discussion. Please share your experience.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErikHardy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 8:03am

If I remember right, the Oregon state advisor Dr. Paasch mentioned roughly 1 point for every $100. I may be mistaken here as I cannot find his post.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adrive7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 8:40am
Isn't it setup so only one team CAN get a perfect 100? I think the lowest cost gets 100, and everybody else's score is based on the lowest cost. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErikHardy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 8:49am
Originally posted by adrive7 adrive7 wrote:

Isn't it setup so only one team CAN get a perfect 100? I think the lowest cost gets 100, and everybody else's score is based on the lowest cost. 
 
Roughly every $100 above the lowest is a deduction in a point?? Can Anybody confirm this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 9:00am
Is there an actual tabulation on sae.org of the costs of each team?

Edited by RonGeorge - Jun/14/2010 at 9:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paasch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 12:42pm
Originally posted by ErikHardy ErikHardy wrote:

If I remember right, the Oregon state advisor Dr. Paasch mentioned roughly 1 point for every $100. I may be mistaken here as I cannot find his post.


Rough math.  I'm assuming the spread between the lowest cost car and the highest cost car at around $8500, divide that by 85 points and you have $100/point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote asims Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 6:14pm
Originally posted by adrive7 adrive7 wrote:

Isn't it setup so only one team CAN get a perfect 100? I think the lowest cost gets 100, and everybody else's score is based on the lowest cost.


Its in the rules guys:

Originally posted by The Rules The Rules wrote:

Prototype cost score = 85 x [(Max Cost – Your Cost)/ (Max Cost – Lowest Cost)]
Where: “Your Cost” is the cost as corrected by the cost judges. “Lowest Cost” is the corrected cost of the team producing the lowest cost vehicle. “Max Cost” is the corrected cost of the team producing the highest cost vehicle.


Based on this, one team will receive full points (100) and at least one team - possible more if some reports aren't submitted -  will receive a zero.  The $100/point idea is a rough estimate requiring a $8500 spread from high to low.  This may or may not be reasonable at each competition, but is probably good for ballpark guesses.

This scoring method forces a relatively even distribution of points.  If everybody submitted a report we could expect an average score of close to 50.  Based on that, the 44 average of RIT is far from unexpected.  The only way you could expect a large number of high scoring teams would be if the highest cost was significantly beyond a couple standard deviations of average.


Edited by asims - Jun/14/2010 at 6:17pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 6:55pm
What is crucial to understanding this issue is knowing how the judges "adjust/downgrade" your cost if they feel your cost report does not give a representation of the actual cost of your car. I believe it is only after this stage that they rank it based on the above given formula.

In past experience, especially from SC, we felt we were slapped with an unusually "high" adjustment cost. In the judges' true cost for our car, there was an additional $10,000 added to what we submitted in our report (which was a five figure cost anyway). How did I know? Well, a few hours after the competition, someone from SAE posted the actual costs of each school in an Excel file. It was quickly taken down in a hurry.  We were able to save a copy of it onto our computer before that.

I was extremely puzzled and concerned especially after all the time we spent compiling the report. However, I didn't get the chance to ask this question to a member of the jury.


Edited by RonGeorge - Jun/14/2010 at 7:08pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErikHardy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 8:56pm

do we have to beg for this fileHug

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 9:37pm
I just checked my computer and I still have it. I also checked the results website once again and can confirm that their revised spreadsheet eliminates a column containing the actual prototype costs of all schools. Why they did this within the span of 2 hours is not clear. There must be some clause preventing them from releasing this...

I can share the file as long as I know there is no issue for me to leak this information here. Somebody from SAE has to tell me that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 9:41pm
Originally posted by paasch paasch wrote:


Rough math.  I'm assuming the spread between the lowest cost car and the highest cost car at around $8500, divide that by 85 points and you have $100/point.



The spread between lowest and highest scores for SC, according to the data I have, is 18359 dollars, believe it or not. Way off from 8500.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adrive7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 9:52pm
Originally posted by RonGeorge RonGeorge wrote:

I can share the file as long as I know there is no issue for me to leak this information here. Somebody from SAE has to tell me that.

Eh, it's their leak. Who's to say everybody didn't manage to get it on their own? Seems like anything else, once it's out there it's out there
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SDTech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 10:00pm
The secret to a good cost score is to build a cheap car but don't build your car cheaply Tongue...we've done pretty well on cost for the past few years and we don't do anything special.  Being extremely thorough will help tremendously though.  Both of our cars were audited once again this year in Bellingham and when it was all said and done they had added maybe a couple of hundred dollars total between the two cars.  Make sure you have a receipt for everything you possibly can, even if you got it for under 20 bucks.  If you get audited and they ask about a price looking too low being able to show them a receipt shuts that down pretty quick. 

Think about cost during the design process as well.  Do you really need that extra tube in there to mount something to, or is there another way to do it?  I see a lot of cars with extra tubes in the frame used solely as a mounting point for bits and pieces of the car, that adds up in both weight and cost.  Will the $4000 set of shocks gain you enough points in other events to make up for the guaranteed hit you will take in cost points?  Go through the extra calculations and find out if you really need a 1/2" bolt or rod end or w/e.  Smaller bolts are cheaper.  We ran 1/4" bolts holding the suspension arms to the car on all 4 corners, upper and lower, and didn't have any problems. 

Take a hard look at your cost report.  The little things add up really quickly and can make the difference between 90 points or 30.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 10:01pm
Originally posted by adrive7 adrive7 wrote:

[QUOTE=RonGeorge] Eh, it's their leak. Who's to say everybody didn't manage to get it on their own? Seems like anything else, once it's out there it's out there


Just shot the Baja folks an email asking whether its okay to share. Will let you know how the reply comes tomorrow. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErikHardy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/14/2010 at 10:12pm
Originally posted by RonGeorge RonGeorge wrote:

Originally posted by adrive7 adrive7 wrote:

[QUOTE=RonGeorge] Eh, it's their leak. Who's to say everybody didn't manage to get it on their own? Seems like anything else, once it's out there it's out there


Just shot the Baja folks an email asking whether its okay to share. Will let you know how the reply comes tomorrow. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLReedy21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 2:12am
Another "secret" is to build things instead of buying them.  Our rack comes out much cheaper than anything you can purchase with not a terrible amount of work put into it.  Things like hubs and uprights are also big areas to shave some $ off by building instead of buying...especially OEM parts which must be priced for book value.  We cut something like $350 off the report just by making out rotors instead of using OEM parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MK17 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 9:20am
Originally posted by RonGeorge RonGeorge wrote:


I can share the file as long as I know there is no issue for me to leak this information here. Somebody from SAE has to tell me that.

That's good because I'm pretty sure all of us here are from SAE (I know I'm a member) and we approve. Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MK17 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 9:23am
Building is the only secret to making a cheap car. Our car had a carbon steel frame, cheap aluminum body panels and no flair and still was worse in the cost report then schools w/ chromoly frames and carbon fiber panels because those teams had custom made gear boxes and hubs which brought their overall cost down tremendously.

Edited by MK17 - Jun/15/2010 at 9:24am
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1- Stop putting the most expensive dampers you can find
2- Stop relying on ATV parts and start designing and/or build thing as Chris said. And don't trust any shop that tells you machining a gearbox casing takes 10 hours. Either your design is flaw or the shop screws you.
3- Design for manufacturing and assembly
4- Stop listening to what your teachers tell you is good
5- Be extremely extensive in your part list. Our report is 2 inch thick with manufacturing data and invoices.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 10:09am
Hmm. I got the reply from an SAE official John Radecki. They suggested not to leak out (a second time) the prototype cost info since if it was intended to be shared, they would not have removed it from their website. Sorry... Thumbs Down

Its not hard to make a chassis inhouse..but to build your own products like gearboxes in the shop, you must have the appropriate manufacturing knowledge and the right machines no? It is not so easy. I can't see how you can build such complex parts when you dont have the know-how or expertise. Our planetary set us behind by only about 300 dollars. In the real world, you outsource things that someone else can make cheaper with standard parts and better quality. To select whom you go to, you ask for quotes on the job and they bid.   Would a weekend enthusiast really want to be driving around in a piece of junk is the question?  So I really do not see how you can build everything that goes into the car yourself when you lack the resources needed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErikHardy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 10:13am
Originally posted by RonGeorge RonGeorge wrote:

Hmm. I got the reply from an SAE official John Radecki. They suggested not to leak out (a second time) the prototype cost info since if it was intended to be shared, they would not have removed it from their website. Sorry... Thumbs Down

Its not hard to make a chassis inhouse..but to build your own products like gearboxes in the shop, you must have the appropriate manufacturing knowledge and the right machines no? It is not so easy. I can't see how you can build such complex parts when you dont have the know-how or expertise. Our planetary set us behind by only about 300 dollars. In the real world, you outsource things that someone else can make cheaper with standard parts and better quality. To select whom you go to, you ask for quotes on the job and they bid.   Would a weekend enthusiast really want to be driving around in a piece of junk is the question?  So I really do not see how you can build everything that goes into the car yourself when you lack the resources needed.
 
How about the costs without the team names. Approve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frank P Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 11:32am
Originally posted by j-man j-man wrote:

1- Stop putting the most expensive dampers you can find
2- Stop relying on ATV parts and start designing and/or build thing as Chris said. And don't trust any shop that tells you machining a gearbox casing takes 10 hours. Either your design is flaw or the shop screws you.
3- Design for manufacturing and assembly
4- Stop listening to what your teachers tell you is good
5- Be extremely extensive in your part list. Our report is 2 inch thick with manufacturing data and invoices.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wishin4snow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 1:54pm
Originally posted by j-man j-man wrote:

1- Stop putting the most expensive dampers you can find
2- Stop relying on ATV parts and start designing and/or build thing as Chris said. And don't trust any shop that tells you machining a gearbox casing takes 10 hours. Either your design is flaw or the shop screws you.
3- Design for manufacturing and assembly
4- Stop listening to what your teachers tell you is good
5- Be extremely extensive in your part list. Our report is 2 inch thick with manufacturing data and invoices.
 
Sorry but I have to disagree with the second part of #2. Coming from a background in a machine shop and going to school for it, I know what goes into machining. Unless the gearbox has little material and open tolerances, there is no way to machine in under 10 hours. I am taking into account programming, set-up, and sneaking up on tight tolerances. Especially, if only one or two parts are being made. The gearbox I made two years ago was quite ellaborate but probably took 30 hours of programming, set-up, and machining. I also had to remove quite a lot material.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frank P Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 2:01pm
You have to keep in mind that if you split your programming time on 5000 pieces... that's about 22 seconds each...  we are talking about cost not machining procedures.

Edited by Frank P - Jun/15/2010 at 2:03pm
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The 09 and 10 gearbox took 2 evenings of programming, setuping and machining and I am not an expert. The problem is if your favorite machine shop sponsors you the machining of any gearbox and says that it worths 500$, its not what you have to put in the cost report because he did included setup and programming and some extra time if he can be credited of some taxes. You need to ask them how much running time you have.

Its not uncommon to see these shops putting non-experienced machinists on these projects and they program everything with the drawing on the controller. This is a lot longer than with advanced CAM system with feature recognition and helical plunging.

Also, many shops/school still don't want to invest in cartridge and inserts mills. We are now in 2010 and they should. I usually mill at speeds and feeds between 8000-12000rpm and 100-250 in/min directly in finishing for tolerances of +/- 0.005 with a cut of 1/8''. 


Edited by j-man - Jun/15/2010 at 2:33pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dillon_b12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 2:51pm
Kevin,

How were you programming?  I can't imagine any modern CAM program taking any where near that long to create a tool path for a gearbox unless it was INCREDIBLY complex.


Edited by dillon_b12 - Jun/15/2010 at 6:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paasch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 4:37pm
Originally posted by j-man j-man wrote:


4- Stop listening to what your teachers tell you is good

I think that perhaps this depends on the teacher...Smile
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Machine shop use advanced tools in our area, but not necessarily when machining for student so you have to make sure they do. That was my point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wishin4snow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 5:12pm
Originally posted by dillon_b12 dillon_b12 wrote:

Kevin,

How were you programming?  I can't imagine any modern CAM program taking any where near that long to create a tool path for a gearbox unless it was INCREDIBLY complex.

When I was in high school, I competed in Rapid Prototyping/Automated Manufacturing through SkillsUSA (formerly VICA).  Competitions were 8 hours and teams were made up of a CAD man, CAM man, and machine operator.  We were to take a print, create CAD models, create toolpaths, machine the part, turn it in, receive a revised print, re-draw the part, re-program, and re-cut in that time period.  I was the CAM guy and can't ever remember taking more than 30 minutes to do my programming in MasterCAM 9.

Jean-Martin,
I spent my summers in high school working as a machinist.  Every shop in my small hometown of Hardinsburg, KY used insert cutters extensively.  Is this not the case with machine shops in your area?

Schools don't use carbide cutters often because of the cost associated with inexperienced students breaking them.  We were given ONLY HSS turning blanks in machine shop class until we proved that we could grind them and use them properly.  Then, we were given ONE brazed carbide cutter.


I was using MasterCAM X3 to do the toolpathing. Granted I wasn't familiar with this software considering I was use to GibbsCAM. Even after taking a class for it, I would still take a decently long time. Mainly because I wanted to verify everything was working correctly. It was also a pretty complex parts with many different depths. I am not a fan of MasterCAM cause you do it one way and the next time it doesn't work. I also didn't mean that programming took that long. The machining was most of the time because of not very rigid fixturing. I also turned a 50 lb. piece of aluminum into about 10 pounds.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 5:17pm
Might I ask posters to stop digressing and keep the discussion on topic? The thread is about costs, not the intricacies of CAD/CAM.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dillon_b12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 5:55pm
Originally posted by RonGeorge RonGeorge wrote:

Might I ask posters to stop digressing and keep the discussion on topic? The thread is about costs, not the intricacies of CAD/CAM.

Discussing the "intracacies of CAD/CAM" is part of learning how to become more efficient at CNC machining which in turn minimizes cost.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 6:01pm
Granted discussion is good , but don't stray about by telling us what you did in your high school machining career. Also there's another thread open right now about CNC and milling.  I just want to know people's opinions and suggestions on how to keep costs down and little insight on how the prototype costs are "downgraded" which no one has been able to explain so far.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote exbaja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 6:25pm
The three biggest items from my experience are:

1) Simple car.  Simple car = less components = less cost
2) Make your own parts.  Home made parts are generally cheaper then purchased components.  If a noob took 25 hrs to make a spacer, do not cost it at 25 hours.  Cost it for what it would take an expert to make that part
3) Bending instead of welding, punching holes instead of drilling, buying stock close to the correct size, etc.  All of these result in lower costs.  

I wish I could share a successful report...but that would give it all away!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dillon_b12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 6:52pm
Originally posted by RonGeorge RonGeorge wrote:

Granted discussion is good , but don't stray about by telling us what you did in your high school machining career. Also there's another thread open right now about CNC and milling.  I just want to know people's opinions and suggestions on how to keep costs down and little insight on how the prototype costs are "downgraded" which no one has been able to explain so far.

I was simply providing some basis for my claim that it shouldn't take that long to program something.  

My post was submitted at 1:51PM.  The CNC thread was started at 1:52PM.

My post has now been revised.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErikHardy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 8:12pm
Originally posted by paasch paasch wrote:

Originally posted by j-man j-man wrote:


4- Stop listening to what your teachers tell you is good

I think that perhaps this depends on the teacher...Smile

I'll let you know when I meet him.... Shocked

What about used ebay parts?

The general consensus so far seems to be...
Homemade will generally be cheaper
Keeping things simplified
??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dillon_b12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 11:11pm
Most of the purchased parts we use are used parts bought from eBay. Unfortunately, that doesn't help you any on reported costs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLReedy21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 11:17pm
Just to totally kill the setup and programming thing it states in the cost report procedures that only the actual machining counts for the cost document.

"5. Fabricated/Manufactured parts do not include design or setup time for your manufacturing, actual run time only."
-Chris Reedy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLReedy21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/15/2010 at 11:45pm
It would seem that maybe the underlying problem is understanding how to work the system.  The cost document is set up in such a way that it benefits you to use parts that are fabricated simply with little material.  We all know that but it would seem that maybe some teams are being way too generous when admitting how long/how much/how many it takes them to build parts.  That's not to say that you should make things up or fudge the numbers but you damn sure shouldn't give away 10 hours of CNC time on setup because you don't know that you shouldn't include it.

Add that to using inexpensive dampers, wheels, tires, and hardware and it all adds up very quickly.

As far as the magical "cost adjustment" I have no idea how it is applied, but I can tell you that without a well documented report you're never going to have a lot of luck in the cost event.  We will have a couple guys work for a week solid on documenting everything on the car from counting rivets to gathering and cataloging all the receipts for parts of the car.  With all that information it is very hard to dispute our final cost number.
-Chris Reedy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jhu42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/16/2010 at 6:42pm
Originally posted by RonGeorge RonGeorge wrote:

University of Maryland got a perfect score of 100. 


Correction -> University of Maryland BALTIMORE COUNTY  (UMBC) got a perfect score of 100




Not the same as University of Maryland !!!! 

just for clarification  Wink




Edited by jhu42 - Jun/16/2010 at 6:42pm
Adam Baumgartner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RonGeorge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/17/2010 at 1:19am
After a few exchanges of emails with an SAE insider, I learnt why some teams had high "adjusted" prototype costs and low cost scores.

While compiling the extensive cost report, no matter how much work you put in, teams could have forgotten to use the drop down menus in the category column for each design item. Turns out the judges scan through hundreds of pages of reports using those drop down menus as search criteria, so if you bypassed it by copy-pasting your own description of items, its likely those items are not going to be marked. In the end, the inspector will see that you have a substantial amount of required items from drop down menus missing in the cost report. They add the missing items to the prototype cost on the coversheet of your report and "downgrade" it that way.  So the cost you submitted as $10,000 could now be rectified to $20,000!

In other cases, some schools may also have used the wrong edition of the costing sheets (such as 2009) or tampered with the inbuilt rules...but these will automatically give you a zero.

Its a little shameful to say that the first scenario happened to us, just because we found out at the last moment that we had all our numbers in the 2009 costing sheets. During the process of getting those numbers into the updated 2010 sheets, we copy pasted items into the category column, thus bypassing the inbuilt "read-only" feature of the sheets.  This minor mistake proved to be huge factor in our penalization to a high prototype cost.

I hope this writeup helps you guys from other schools realize how overlooking these little things will cost you in "easy" points. Early preparation is the only solution that will combat such mistakes. Sure won't happen again from us.


Edited by RonGeorge - Jun/17/2010 at 1:22am
-Ron George
Systems Engineer (Cummins Turbo)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wishin4snow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/17/2010 at 4:10pm
Originally posted by CLReedy21 CLReedy21 wrote:

Just to totally kill the setup and programming thing it states in the cost report procedures that only the actual machining counts for the cost document.

"5. Fabricated/Manufactured parts do not include design or setup time for your manufacturing, actual run time only."


Touche!

A little off topic but my friend just sent me this think and thought it was pretty cool.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2sh0Vx/industrialinterface.com/blog/2009/09/23/8-reasons-engineers-should-spend-their-free-time-in-the-machine-shop/
-Kevin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piranha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/12/2010 at 5:24pm
There are not secrets in the cost report, rules are very clear about it.
- Use the correct year format.
- Report EVERY single part used in your car. (sponsors stickers, ties, gray tape, tire valve caps) 
- Describe all the process used in your fabricated parts (simple cars = less cost = more points cost event > less performance / less points in design evaluation)
- Add all purchased parts receipts (check amount in the lastest rule book) (foreigner teams have to compared with polaris/mc master suppliers) 
- Don´t assume any rule change, READ the rules every year
 
I followed these advice and We could obtain 3rd and 4th place in the last 2 years cost event.
But we used a very simple performance in our cars, Rear susp. simple swing arm, vw buggy shocks absorbers, simple sheet aluminum panels, don´t use chromolly, carbon fiber, ABS termoform panels, willwood brakes, FOX air shocks, electronic devices, 7073 T6 aluminum.
 
More for less in some cases....¡¡¡¡
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rob71zilla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/13/2010 at 7:39am
^ without knowing what teams actual final costs were then how do you know where you could have placed the last 2 years?  Several of the items you said not to use are key components in having a good performance so it's a bit of a trade off too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piranha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/13/2010 at 10:44am

We placed 4th in Montreal and 3rd in S. Carolina event cost.  Yes, I mention a key components, but we are team La Salle Bajio from Mexico our campus school have 10 year in baja competition, before the open forums and internet communications always we solved our lack of money, special materials or student prize for sponsorships with our limited resources. Now it´s more easy buy in internet, search parts etc... But these limitation gave us the ability for do it more with less, obtaining good places in these 10 years. In SC, we started the last day in 11th place, but we didn´t have good luck with our gear box in Endurance event.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rob71zilla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/13/2010 at 1:11pm
Sorry I interpretted your post as you could have gotten 3 or 4 and not that you actually did compete
 
I understand what you are saying and all I can add is that teams have gotten so good and so advanced since 10 years ago that you really can't use "cheap" parts if you expect to be a top tier team.  If you want to be an elite team then you need to invest in things like data aquisition, good shocks etc.


Edited by Rob71zilla - Jul/13/2010 at 1:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p.lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/14/2010 at 11:27am
I like several points we've discussed in this thread:
  1. Know the rules and make sure your costs are correct and you aren't accidentally penalizing yourself in the report (examples: correct CNC machine costs/times, use labor time for a proficient machinist not a noob's actual machine time)
  2. Proofread and edit the report to avoid adjustment penalties for errors
  3. Document all the parts to back up your claims
  4. When possible, use the fabrication technique that will minimize cost... I'll add that you should look for donated services or loaner tools if you don't have the tools to make your parts cheaper
It has been said before, but I'll repeat it... make sure that cost savings that earn points in the Cost event don't lose more points in the other events. Inversely, make sure that design and engineering choices earn points in these other events more than they reduce your Cost score. I bet FEI's solar panels were worth plenty of Design Judging points, but probably didn't give them much of an advantage in Dynamic events. They still probably came out ahead in the trade-off for the added cost of the electronics.
 
Compromise is the nature of engineering. Understanding trade-offs affecting cost is an important professional engineering skill.
 
I've said many times that I'm willing to lose a few positions of rank in Cost to make up for low scores elsewhere in the competition. Too much focus on minimizing cost, like minimizing weight, can distract you from making a car capable of capturing the rest of the 900 out of 1000 points.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paasch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/14/2010 at 5:33pm
Originally posted by p.lewis p.lewis wrote:

I've said many times that I'm willing to lose a few positions of rank in Cost to make up for low scores elsewhere in the competition. Too much focus on minimizing cost, like minimizing weight, can distract you from making a car capable of capturing the rest of the 900 out of 1000 points.

I guess I'd have to agree.  In 2009, OSU won both Oregon and Wisconsin, while scoring 48 (26th) and 72 (49th) points in cost respectively.  Winning both endurance races helped some... Smile

That said, a point is a point, and the ones in cost count just as much as the ones in any other event.  There was a nice discussion at fsae.com about designing to maximize points scored at competition.
Bob Paasch
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p.lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 3:13pm

Originally posted by paasch paasch wrote:

In 2009, OSU won both Oregon and Wisconsin, while scoring 48 (26th) and 72 (49th) points in cost respectively.  Winning both endurance races helped some...

Exactly the kind of trade-off I'm talking about. Most importantly to me, placing in endurance or a dynamic event is much more rewarding than doing it in cost. If you're team is a competitor for top 10% overall, then cost becomes more important. If the only thing you've got going for you is a high cost score, that's not enough to motivate you to do better next year.
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