Fabricating & Metalworking Profiles Apriori Technologies

By: Thomas Cutler

In the August issue of Fabricating & Metalworking Magazine an important feature titled, "Getting Finance and Engineering on the Same Page" profiles the fact that these two critical areas do not speak the same language. The full feature can be read at

In manufacturing, the measure of the amount that matters is, of course, cost, or cost of goods sold (COGS). Traditionally, industry has taken a "rear-view mirror approach to product costing," says Frank Azzolino, president of Concord, Mass.-based aPriori (www.apriori.com).

Azzolino's company is touting a technology that he says hopes to, in essence, reverse the mirror, to delve into cost estimates early, during design. The technology integrates directly with CAD, incorporates information about potential processes and facilities, and can appear as a kind of "cost-ticker" on the bottom-right of the screen. Cost estimates and detailed analysis can be viewed in a Web browser, too. Want to change the geometry, the material or other part feature? The cost in the corner automatically changes. According to the company, as more design decisions are made, the more accurate the cost estimate in the corner becomes.

It's not as simple as an on-screen ticker, Azzolino says. The estimate weighs in on various factors that the user can tweak, from the cost of different materials to the processes themselves, be it three-axis milling to sheet-metal fabricating and welding, studying the different relationship geometric features have with each process.

"We also examine the information about the facility," Azzolino says, "different routings, different machines and processes, and the feeds and speeds that drive them."

aPriori's Cost Management Software Platform enables manufacturers to better understand product cost decisions early and throughout the product lifecycle. aPriori's Cost Management Platform empowers manufacturers to lower cost-of-goods sold (COGS), provides real-time visibility to "cost-critical" decision information, and builds critical cost knowledge to go on the business "offensive." aPriori's patent-protected cost management platform allows companies to assess, control, and reduce cost of goods sold by whole percentages. The aPriori Platform enables "Cost Knowledge Before it Matters."

"aPriori has customers in a variety of industries including High Technology, Industrial Equipment, Automotive, and Heavy Machinery. Recent customers include John Deere, Panasonic, Thomas & Betts, Flextronics, JLG, and Dana Corporation."

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