Yes you did say "it was not mandatory". Makes sense. How much travel does the consulting side of things require for you & are you in an area heavily populated with manufacturing to support that business?
Also, being fairly new to this forum, how do you include the "originally posted by" into your reply. I haven't done that yet.
I only charge for the cycle time, material, shipping, and HST. Ive got a nice reapeat job and it pays 50 dollars an hour. I could charge more probably 150 an hour but thats where im comfortable. I make 44 peices an hour. I charge a 1.15 a peice. I cut the material while the machine is cutting the parts.
In my manufacturing technician course hourly rate was much more complex.
thankfully in the home environment I go with what I feel is fair and ignore everyone else because your doing the job not them. I myself receive alot of rude comments on what I charge people but Ive never had one from a customer. Its also fair to charge on your personal assement of the customer. Charge according to what they can afford. Ethics are more important then they seem.
So my point is the only person that needs to think its a fair deal is you cause your doing the work.
Hmmm...Interesting concept. So if I can only afford to pay you half of what it is worth, you still do it for that?
Put it out there what are you worth per hour? What is your magic number?
My own work is in business consulting, but I have done some simple analysis of my brother's work (he is a machinist by trade and training).
It does not seem to matter that much how small a job is, by the time you think it through, do any sort of paperwork or drawings, setup your tooling, make a part, and clean up, and write up the invoice, the minimum time is still about 4 hours.
There will be times that you can do a part faster, and at times slower. There will be times that are more computer intensive or more machine intensive, but I really doubt that on average that even parts as simple as that one, including your associated time, will really be much different than 4 hours.
Tooling really does wear out, so don't assume it has an infinite lifetime.
With that in mind, I suggest that you run a test yourself on 3-4 parts that you have been asked to make and see what the total time involved really is, including the overhead.
Create an example quote and invoice for a part:
- 4 hours of labor x $ 40 / hour
- 4 hours of equipment, software, and tooling use x $ 40 / hour
Total = $ 160
Tell him this really is what is involved in making a part like this, and see what he comes back with. My guess is that he wil want a discount, but at least then you can ask him which part of the quote is too high and then decide to do future work or not.
I paid only for the cycle time, material, shipping and HST. Ive got a nice programming job and pay $ 50 per hour. I would rather be calculated as 150 per hour, but that's where the comfortable. 44 I peices one hour. I recommend a 1.15 a peice. I cut the material while the machine cutting of the parts.
In my production technician hourly rate was of course much more complex.
I'm happy at home with what I feel is honest and ignore all others because you're not working them. I myself have a lot of rude comments calculate, what I receive people, but I've never been a customer. It is also fair to your personal aces management of customer load. Charge in line with what they can afford. Ethics is more important than they seem.
In all of this discussion, one important issue was ignored. The home/hobby machines are much slower than full size production machines and they cost much less to replace.
If you have a small bench mill, it will take much longer to machine the parts. Charging by the hour while puttering around your garage or basement as your hobby mill chugs away will quickly price yourself out of competition.
I am just getting started in metalworking but I do have related experience.
I am a retired cabinetmaker and the difference between a professional millwork shop and a home shop are significant. The time it takes to process materials varies significantly. At one point I worked in a shop with an automated saw capable of cutting 6 sheets of 3/4" thick, 4 x 8' panel stock at a time. Automatically moving, cutting and turning the stack as required. In my own cabinet shop, I could process all the parts for the cabinets in a normal kitchen in less than a day. But back when I first started it took almost a week to do the same work on an old 8" bench top saw in a one car garage.
If we are talking prototypes or very small quantities, then of course the prices can be higher since commercial shops will be even much higher.
I would start by determining the estimated lifespan of the machine, calculate the cost per hour for the machine, overhead for electricity, coolant, disposal, computer & software upgrades & licenses; in other words what does it cost you to have the machine running and wearing out.
Then figure out how much time you will need to spend getting & pre-cutting the materials, running the parts, cleaning up, shipping or delivering the finished parts, how much time designing & programming for your machine, setup time, jigs and fixture creation, re-adjusting the machine, quality control measuring, de-burring, etc.
What about part failure liability? You need to make sure that if you make the part according to the customers specifications you will not be liable if it fails and kills someone. The make sure you buy the correct materials as specified by their engineers. Consider having the customer supply the materials as blanks cut to size. There are legal differences between processing a part and making it, that you should discuss with an attorney. Who also should help you with your standard contract.
Then figure the cost of tooling. What if a bit breaks? How many will you need to inventory. What about materials storage, deadlines, delivery schedules, and the all important billing cycle. How long before you get paid and how much will you be out of pocket before you get paid and for any given period if the product is ongoing?
Personally I never start a job without a significant down payment and full payment on delivery. Any customer seeking net 30 can look elsewhere. I learned my lesson decades ago while waiting months for a fortune 500 company to pay me a couple hundred dollars.
I do like the auto repair analogy but as a cabinetmaker I always wished I could make half what my auto mechanic charged me. Even when I had nearly $100,000 worth of tools & equipment.
I started down this whole (or is it hole) road as a hobby but I have already spent many thousands of dollars. Getting a return on my investment is looking like something to be explored. My plan is to develop a small product or two that I can sell at retail rather than try to be a small job shop.