April 4, 2024

Democratising process automation: Cost engineering

IT&Production article: Low Code for cost engineering

Process automation has evolved significantly from manual labour to sophisticated software systems. ARRK Engineering, Facton and Synera have developed software that automates product costing and makes it accessible to non-engineers via the Synera Run browser interface.

In engineering, especially computer-aided engineering (CAE), there's no one-size-fits-all automation solution due to the complex journey from concept to virtual prototype. Synera's platform aims to simplify this with a universal low-code language that facilitates the automation of complex tasks such as costing. The platform's Cost Robot workflows, developed in collaboration with Facton, enable accurate calculations of component costs and CO2 emissions, using data-driven decisions to minimise human error.

The work of cost engineers changes fundamentally when they can combine all the necessary tools in an automated workflow.

The configure-to-build approach involves cost engineers defining company-specific workflows. These workflows, initially mapped on paper, are transformed into visual nodes on the low-code platform. This modular, scalable system allows users without engineering or programming skills to operate it effectively.

The software's ability to interface with different tools is a key feature. It integrates the entire product development process on one platform, connecting tools for requirements management (RM), finite element analysis (FEA), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and more. In particular, it links to costing tools such as Facton and accesses databases, CAD, PLM, PDM and ERP data, ensuring high data quality and accurate calculations.

Once integrated, the platform enables automated workflows for cost and carbon footprint calculations. Designers and cost engineers can input design components and volumes to receive real-time data, providing purchasing departments with accurate cost estimates. The system ensures transparency by allowing users to trace workflow structures, data sources and decision-making processes. The Cost Robot workflow can be integrated directly into the platform or accessed via the Synera Run browser interface. The browser version prioritises ease of use, making cost data and CO2 emissions accessible to non-technical staff.

The workflow can be shared via Synera Run in the browser to enable employees without engineering knowledge to calculate component costs

Setting up the workflow is challenging, mainly due to the time and availability of cost engineering experts and the quality of input data. Automation requires initial set-up, but offers long-term efficiency as workflows can be reused. However, poor quality data, especially from handwritten drawings, can affect accuracy.

For manufacturing companies, automating costing with cost robots can be highly beneficial, drastically reducing the time required for cost calculations from several weeks to a few seconds, saving time and money.

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Would you like to learn more about Low Code for cost engineering? Read the full article in IT&Production Online (in german) and discover the benefits of this innovative approach.

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Want to know more about low code for cost engineering? Visit our website, watch our webinars or read about this approach in our white paper or case study.

Discover the benefits yourself – Test Synera's Low-Code platform!

Would you like to experience the benefits of Connected Engineering and our Low-Code Platform firsthand? We invite you to test Synera's Low-Code Platform 14 days for free and discover how you can make your product development more efficient and agile. Experience the future of product development and explore the possibilities that our innovative solution offers. Click here to explore the Synera Low-Code Platform and optimize your development process for your use case today.

Or get a free demo from our CEO Daniel Siegel. Every first Tuesday of the month he will take you on a guided tour of our synera software. You will discover how to automate your workflow and how to speed up your development process. There will also be a Q&A session where you can ask all your burning questions. Register here for free.

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