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Thread: Engineering Services Announcement.

  1. #1
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    Default Engineering Services Announcement.

    ...My phone rings fairly frequently with people wanting me to design something so that it is lower in cost to them. In fact people will talk my ear off hoping I will email them a file. The problem is I need to let them talk my ear off because I don't know which ones are legit and which ones just hope they can talk me out of something.

    ...So here is my solution if you are a business person or group buy, calling wanting a one-off design on short term design rates, for projects taking less then a week of man-hours.

    First 20-30 minutes on the phone are free.

    .... Printed circuit board design: 249$ NRE per board run + 250$ per 8 hour day, minimum two days + 1099 Form, plus additional 50$ per hour for every hour spent sourcing exotic components. Plus expenses and actual costs. Add 150$ a day per assembly to 20 units, more if board is larger then 4" x 4" or uses SMDs. If your looking for a design to support a existing assembly, I expect a working assembly on my desk before work begins, this is especially true of TEC or ND:YAG based design work.

    .... Microcontroller programing, 450$ NRE + Expenses + 200$ a day + 1099 Form.

    .... Electro-optical assembly design, 500$ NRE + 300$ a day + 1099 Form + Expenses + cost of initial run of any prototypes/sample parts in escrow. Any sourcing of exotic/nonstandard parts is 49$ a hour.

    Some plain speak about modern manufacturing in today's economic climate.

    ...Why the in Escrow for electronics parts? Parts quotes for electronic components are valid for 30 or 90 days, however in today's economy, if a part is not a common "jellybean" part sourced from more then one manufacturer, it is often unlikely that a vendor will have the part in quantity for more then 2-5 days at a time, as a certain nation is buying all stock of EVERYTHING they think they will need for the next 2-5 years, in anticipation of worsening trade with the US.

    ...As well as the fact that few manufacturers other then TI, National, and Analog are running large runs of any wafers. Quotes with 90 or 137 day lead times are the norm, not the exception. So if your run needs 24 pieces of a TEC controller, I may need to buy them on the spot without time to contact you. This need to buy on the spot is really true of laser diodes, which are running 3-4 week lead times at best. Most jobs can be done without these parts.


    ...Why the up front escrow for machining? If I source parts from local shops, they expect to make the part. It takes time and effort for their line production staff to look at a part and decide what it costs to make it. I can often get a much better quote if I can make a snap decision and make the order on the spot. In other words, I do not wish to "burn out" my welcome at local shops seeking quotes for projects that do not go forward. This can be bypassed by paying the extra costs for a "Rapid Prototyping" facility to make a "one off" prototype if I cannot do the work in house.

    ....Why the 49$ a hour for parts sourcing phone time? I usually have to call 3-5 vendors to get one return call. I often have to sit and wait for emails before a project can proceed, and for say a Chinese galvo or laser vendor, it can be 5 days before you get a reply, even if you phone China directly. This usually slows projects and I avoid it like the plague, but some times you have to stop work and source parts. So parts sourcing time is not "work product" time, and is billed at a rate that recovers my expenses.

    ...Hobbyists calling for help, people looking for outdated schematics, and pinouts, and researchers seeking a few minutes of advise or help locating a material etc are still at the price of the promised but never delivered "I owe you a beer some time". I hate beer anyways.

    Hobby or small business repairs are still at the lower, "space and time available" rates.
    Businesses seeking long term relationships are at much different rates.

    These rates are valid for 30 days.

    Thank you for your time.

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 10-10-2010 at 07:11.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up

    Bout damn time; You go too much knowledge and experience have so little materially.

    LEM rates are discounted though right?
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  3. #3
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allthatwhichis View Post
    Bout damn time; You go too much knowledge and experience have so little materially.

    LEM rates are discounted though right?
    My LEM attendance now has to pay for itself or break even. This year was just a little below break even, which is fine. Hallway repairs are still cheap or free depending on your hobby/pro status and any service needed to ensure a LEMs main events proceed will be "Professional Courtesy" as it has been since 1992. Stuff like a quick mirror clean in a projector, etc, are professional courtesy as well.

    Steve

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    You do a lot for us....many thanks to you. I just wish I knew what you have forgotten...or just neglect to recall.
    You are the only one that can make your dreams come true....and the only one that can stop them...A.M. Dietrich

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    It makes me sick to see someone with your knowledge working for $250 a day when a damn plumber charges $500 for a half day with a $350 minimum.

    I have seen 3 recessions in my life and one fact is they never last. Soon you will have to charge $2000 just to get rid of the bad jobs.

  6. #6
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=-=Jim=-;166980]It makes me sick to see someone with your knowledge working for $250 a day when a damn plumber charges $500 for a half day with a $350 minimum.

    All I'm doing is bringing my prices down to compete with F1 or H1B Visa labor, which is what my previous customers have switched to. If you can't beat them, join them.

    Steve

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    Steve,

    It sounds good to me that you get paid for your experience, time, labor and everything that you have done to obtain your knowledge. Let someone else work for free if they can.

    Best Wishes, Ian

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    You are too cheap. A guy with your expertize should be making at least double that for consultation services and engineering.

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    I must of pushed you over the edge on Friday Steve. Thanks for the pin outs on the Coherent supply. I hope to be firing this thing up later in the week. I feel your pain though on the helping people bit. I get it all the time as well. Let's face it that's the way it is sometimes. Like others have said you should be making 7 figures.

    Check your PM

  10. #10
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    Not you, some one else.

    Steve

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