aPriori Expands Enterprise Capabilities with Latest Release of its Product Cost Management Platform
aPriori, a provider of product cost management software solutions, today announced the general availability of the latest release of its software platform. aPriori 2012r1 offers new capabilities and enhancements that expand the platform's cost optimization functionality with new baseline processes for manufacturers in automotive, consumer products, industrial equipment and medical equipment. The release also extends aPriori's enterprise architecture, providing a common consistent view of product costs across an organization and supporting new international costing capabilities. As a result, discrete manufacturers are able to expand their product cost management efforts to new product lines and plants, improve decision-making in product design, and speed time to market for new products and parts.
aPriori's Product Cost Management software platform is a flexible and powerful costing engine. It is able to quickly and precisely determine the cost of a part or product by automatically pulling geometric and feature information from a CAD model and leveraging its intelligent cost models to determine reasonable default inputs once the user has selected the manufacturing process, materials and the factory or region where it will be produced. As a product evolves through the development lifecycle, users have the ability to refine the cost by providing detailed inputs and overriding defaults to create a should-cost for negotiation or a manufacturing estimate. aPriori is used by designers, manufacturing engineers, cost engineers, sourcing professionals and suppliers to 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.
"An enterprise approach to product cost management expands the cost savings impact from a single department or project to the entire product organization," said Julie Driscoll, vice president of marketing strategy and product management for aPriori. "This enables employees in every role, on every project to estimate, track and optimize costs as appropriate in their roles. In this latest release, aPriori continues to help our clients realize this vision with expanded costing processes, increased global deployment capabilities and integration with other key business systems that use costs and provide costing inputs."
Key New Capabilities in aPriori's 2012r1 Product Cost Management Platform
Expanded Costing of Plastics Components - In response to demand from companies in automotive, consumer products, industrial equipment and medical equipment, aPriori 2012r1 significantly expands its ability to cost plastics components, including both piece parts and tooling costs. This enables users to cost entire products and examine the cost differences between plastic processes such as RIM or injection molding. New baseline cost models in aPriori 2012r1 include:
Thermoforming - including drape forming and vacuum forming, allows customers to cost production and tooling costs for parts made from heavy gauge sheet plastic such as fender wells and interior door panels. aPriori users can also examine trade-offs between different manufacturing processes earlier in the product lifecycle.
Structural Foam Molding - supports costing larger, thicker parts such as boxes, palettes and components in child safety seats.
Reaction Injection Molding (RIM) - supports costing varying sized, detailed components that may have a high-quality surface finish.
Cross-System Cost Integration - Enterprises are continuously encountering cost information isolated in disparate systems, with the need to reconcile information and push data into their system of record. With aPriori 2012r1, users have the ability to run aPriori from a command line prompt to auto-schedule the generation of output files to feed costs to downstream systems and reports for users and managers on an ongoing basis. This enables manufacturers to easily disseminate cost information across their organizations and provides a systematic, consistent view of cost.
Internationalization Infrastructure - With its successful expansion into Europe in the last year and the increasing number of global enterprise deployments of its cost management platform, aPriori has added new internationalization infrastructure to its latest version. aPriori 2012r1 extends its global portfolio of regional Virtual Production Environments (VPEs) to include Germany and the United Kingdom. These are data libraries that provide starting points for regional, ‘should cost' estimating. It also supports the localization of the system for different regional languages and user preferences (e.g., the ability to view data in metric or imperial units). A German language version of aPriori will be available in May 2012.
Automated Bulk Analysis for Increased Throughput - Cost engineering groups can now set up and schedule a batch cost analysis of hundreds or thousands of parts at a time. This automated capability enables users to cost many more products and parts while also leaving more time to focus on a short list of exceptions and components that can deliver the highest value in cost savings.
Easy Cost Data Re-Use - aPriori's latest release also adds the ability to copy settings from one-component to another. This enables users to reuse existing cost data as design components change names and part numbers throughout their lifecycle.
aPriori software and services generate hard-dollar product cost savings for discrete manufacturing and product innovation companies. Using aPriori's real-time product cost assessments, employees in engineering, sourcing and manufacturing make more-informed decisions that drive costs out of products pre- and post-production. With aPriori, manufacturers launch products at cost targets, maximize savings in re-work projects and never overpay for sourced parts.