Reply by Madmark2

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Posted on Cheap Product Boxes

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1810 posts in 1501 days

#1 posted 09-29-2020 04:07 PM

Remember that your per unit cost should drop in half every time you add a zero to the production quantity.

Suppose your “all in” cost for the first box is say $5. The 10th should only cost you $2.50 to produce. The 100th $1.25, the 1000th, $0.63, etc.

This cost reduction is from better skills at making them, lower costs for bulk buying, and better production techniques as quantities grow. You’ll find that you will figure out how to boil the labor content out. For example gang cutting instead of cutting one piece at a time.

On a related side note this type of production requires precise and repeatable cutting so that the lid from the first box will correctly fit in the 100th box. Thus fences like the Incra are a great help because you can reset to a given 1/32” measure +-0.002” in seconds. The speed difference alone in repeating a given measure exactly will pay the upgrade cost.

You’ll never be able to do interchangeable batches without precision tooling. The standard TS fences just can’t repeat to 0.002” in time. You can get that precision, but at a huge labor cost as you set, measure, tap & repeat. Either that or dedicate a tool to each operation and never change the settings (as is done in factories).

There are three factors in a bid, speed, cost, and quality. You can only control two.

  • Fast and cheap, it won’t be quality.
  • Fast and high quality won’t be cheap.
  • High quality and cheap won’t be fast.

In a past life I was a factory production manager & engineer.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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