Industrial costs vs. Do it yourself costs

  • Thread starter Topher925
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  • #26
misgfool
I guess this frustration is felt by everyone that has projects like this? Its going to take me 6 weeks just to get my photodiodes. The only suppliers I am looking at now are ones that specifically deal with universities and research related institutions. Its nice to have salesman that actually return emails and that can give you a quote in less than 14 days. Anyway, I think I got just about all my parts found now, just gotta wait for them to arrive.
Have you done a risk management plan?
 
  • #27
mheslep
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Ah, thanks.

Now that I have started this project, I'm already hitting some road bumps. :rolleyes: I am having a lot of trouble getting parts and even communicating with suppliers. I call them up, tell them exactly what I need and ask for a quote. They then tell me to send them an email of what I want. So I do so, then maybe a week later and I get a reply saying they are out of stock of something, they don't do what their website says, or say that there is a $1,000 minimum order. This is beyond frustrating.
Samples!! Ask for samples Topher, all free. That's basically how the world operates below minimum quantity orders. No purchase orders, or credit card checks either to slow you down. Worst case is you get spammed by their sales people in the future. If the sales guy won't do it, the application engineer often can. The company pay off for a freebie like this is that they're getting their product into the hands of somebody who may very well be ordering much more than minimums in the future.

Edit: caveat emptor, do the sample requests early. The downside risk is that the sample shipment gets dropped through the cracks, the sales guy leaves, whatever, and you have no recourse - there's no order number or enforcement mechanism for your freebie.
 
  • #28
mheslep
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At the end of the year the manufacturer has to pay taxes on what they have on the shelf so they don't like stocking any more than they have to. However, if you buy it first, then they'll be happy to store it for you in a customer holding area (presuming you buy a lot from them).

CS
Yes taxes on capital equipment are part of it, but I think its the kink that idle stock puts on ROI that hurts the most - that is the cost of the money required to stock shelves.
 
  • #29
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Have you done a risk management plan?
Nope, not at all. I'm an ME not an MBA major.

I've tried asking for samples from all these places and got nothing. Not even samples for a few LEDs. Most companies these days won't give out samples to universities but only to major OEMs and manufacturers. For Example; http://www.marktechopto.com/Sample-Cart/leds-sample-cart-start.cfm?part_number=LC503FPG1-15Q-A3 [Broken]
 
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  • #30
misgfool
Nope, not at all. I'm an ME not an MBA major.
These days even for engineers it is typical to consider possible risk factors in projects as a part of planning and figure out ways to mitigate them. Besides being preemptive, when it has been written down, responding to problems is faster. It has little to do with the MBA creatures.
 
  • #31
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UPDATE:

IT WORKS!!!!!!! I got the basics of a single sensor working and just finished testing it and it works BEAUTIFULLY. So much better than I even anticipated actually. I think I might even be able to achieve much greater accuracy and response time than I had even anticipated. I just gotta finish fine tuning the amplification circuit and do some more work on the algorithms but after that I am ready for calibration! w00t!

BTW, my total costs are still about 3% of that of industrial versions of this sensor!
 
  • #32
FredGarvin
Science Advisor
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BTW, my total costs are still about 3% of that of industrial versions of this sensor!
Even factoring in a cost for your time?
 
  • #33
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Even factoring in a cost for your time?
I'm a grad student Fred. So maybe like 4%.
 
  • #34
mheslep
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Nope, not at all. I'm an ME not an MBA major.

I've tried asking for samples from all these places and got nothing. Not even samples for a few LEDs. Most companies these days won't give out samples to universities but only to major OEMs and manufacturers. For Example; http://www.marktechopto.com/Sample-Cart/leds-sample-cart-start.cfm?part_number=LC503FPG1-15Q-A3 [Broken]
Unfortunate. I thought you were a part time grad student - working for somebody doing a high altitude wind turbine project at some point?
 
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  • #35
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I used to be but not anymore. It was a venture capital project which was having issues with funding. Given the state of the economy and the way the project was headed I decided to be a full time grad student.
 

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