Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


WELD-IT — Result In Brief

Project ID: 262580
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Hungary

Computer-aided pricing for welders

A new information technology (IT) system helps to price, plan and manage complex welding jobs. The sophisticated and flexible tool enables welding companies to define optimal processes and costs more efficiently.
Computer-aided pricing for welders
Welding is integral to the building of metal and thermoplastic structures, making it a vital process in many industries. There are many factors to be taken into account when designing a joint, including the amount and nature of the load, sheet thickness and materials involved.

However, the cost of the manual welding work is often the most crucial element in manufacturing decisions and yet — in contrast to the high automation used in most engineering — welding costs are often calculated manually with minimal use of IT tools. This can be a long, drawn-out and inexact process.

The EU-funded 'Welding process planning and parametric pricing software solution for SMEs' (WELD-IT) project developed tailored software to support welding engineers in defining optimal processes and preparing quotes. The WELD-IT system's main output is a welding documentation pack (WDP) that incorporates all variables for the job and presents relevant information to both customers and suppliers. The WDP is generated by a decision-support system' (DSS) based on an adaptive-network–based fuzzy inference system' (ANFIS) using WELD-IT–developed computer-aided design (CAD) modules and databases. These automatically generate many pricing elements to a high degree of accuracy.

One of the strengths of the system is its flexibility as it can combine cost data generated by the DSS with manual input from welding experts.

The WELD-IT tool will help reduce time and costs spent on pricing welding jobs. It is especially relevant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which account for many welding businesses, and will help this traditionally conservative sector adapt to the needs of the modern market place and shorter product development cycles.

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