Thermal Spray Lab Costs

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In a previous post entitled Thermal Spray Pricing part2, we discussed about considering material costs for those steps involved in thermal spray processing that are quite hazy and grey such as grit blast materials, part cleaning chemicals, thermal spray masking compounds and such. Continuing in the same stream of thought, in this post we will address thermal spray lab costs and specifically the consumable materials used in thermal spray metallurgical lab evaluations.

The way most thermal spray companies cost out their lab work is by simply putting on a blanket lab cost of let us say fifty dollars or hundred dollars or some such number that never really reflects the actual cost. The only way the actual cost can be envisaged is if the thermal spray lab evaluation work was outsourced to someone else and then you can simply take their invoice value and apply it towards your own costing procedure for the future. That is a very simple procedure, but then again, the cost of the outside outfit may be higher than your own internal cost or lower than your own internal cost and this needs to be kept in mind when using this approach.

The labor rate of your lab is fairly easy to figure out both from payroll data and the amount of time it takes to process and evaluate a metallurgical mount or tensile test and such. What is usually overlooked is the cost of the metallurgical lab supplies. This can run into the thousands of dollars depending upon the amount of work that your internal metallurgical laboratory puts out. Take into consideration costs associated with all of the metallurgical lab supplies including but not limited to polishing papers, polishing cloths, diamond compounds, cutting saws, mounting materials such as epoxies and bakelites, tensile testing buttons, tensile testing epoxies, etc and find out the amount spent per year and divide it by the number of jobs processed through your thermal spray production facility. This will give the cost of metallurgical supplies per job on an amortized basis. This should be the value used for future costing purposes. Added with labor data and a reasonable ( note the importance of the word reasonable ) mark up will allow for lab costing data to be applied to the overall costs data, so you can price your thermal spray jobs effectively.

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