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IndustryArena Forum > CNC Plasma, EDM / Waterjet Machines > General Waterjet > What to Charge for Plasma Cutting Services
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  1. #1

    What to Charge for Plasma Cutting Services

    I recently added a cnc plasma system to my shop and wanted to see how others priced the services or how other people come up with a price for a particular job.

    Is there a formula people are using or is there a specific industry standard rate?

    Would love to hear what other are doing.

  2. #2
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    If I have time to look a job over and figure out how many inches need to be cut I will charge for material (figured @ 150% of purchase), 20 cents per pierce required and 15 cents per linear inch of cut.
    If I need an off the cuff quote I give it the old scientific wild ass guess method and generally that will get me pretty darn close really. When guessing you win some and lose some. As long as you win more than you lose you're ahead of the game.

  3. #3
    thank you,

    Since my cnc plasma system is new to me my off the cuff guess needs some help. I appreciate the info.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rescueweasel View Post
    thank you,

    Since my cnc plasma system is new to me my off the cuff guess needs some help. Site recomendado I appreciate the info.
    O primeiro aspecto que pode ser descrito enquanto o processo de encontrar um lugar para os melhores aspectos da criação do trabalho aqui é sobre o próprio plasma. Para que você precisa usá-lo?

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    For a while I was charging 2.7 times the cost of the material. It had it's flaws. First, A36 is about half as much as AR500, but cuts (roughly) the same. It is way to much "over", more lost jobs than won. It does seem odd to pay 2k for a sheet of 500 and only make $800 dollars on it, it feels like you need to be in the steel sales rather than cutting. But it works OK ("paying" customers are a must).

    Second is that steel prices waver far more than my cut costs. It still costs $.xx per pierce no matter what the steel costs.

    I do like Bill's "formula", experience will let you work his latter method more often with better results.

    I would love to hear other ideas on this topic.....

    WSS

    I know I have posted this chart before, but just in case anyone can use it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Steel wieghts.jpg  

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    A lot of my customers charge by the hour + material.

  7. #7
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    I use a real simple formula which allows me to achieve my shop hourly rates, and seems to deliver competitively priced plasma cut parts. This is for cut metal with no secondary operations such as tapping or welding or forming. It also assumes that the customer supplied a .dxf file with the part properly and accurately drawn, I eat the time for post processing (adding kerf, lead ins, nesting, etc)....but no additional part drawing.

    1. Do the math to determine your material cost per square inch. This number should include delivery cost. So if I buy a 4' x 8' piece of 3/16" steel for $130, and have to pay $20 delivery, then I take $150 and divide it by 4608 square inches, which comes out $.032 per square inch. Double that, so your selling price for 3/16" steel now is $.064 (6.4 cents ) per square inch.

    2. determine how many square inches of 3/16" steel you will use in the part you are cutting, add about 1/4" to accomodate scrap and kerf, if you are cutting something not rectangular, figure rectangular area around what you are cutting to cover your inevitable scrap loss. So, if you are making a round 11.5" dia circle, figure a 12" square for material. 12" x 12" is 144 square inches, so the material cost is 144 x $.064 or $9.22 rounded off.
    3. For cutting cost, use the same number generated in 1 above, but figure out you lineal inches cut. Most software can calculate the lineal inches in a part program, but on a 11.5 " dia circle there is 36.11 lineal inches of cut, round it to 37 inches, multiply by $.064, which comes to $2.37 cutting cost.

    4. Add your cutting cost to your material cost, $2.37 + $9.22 = $11.59. That is what I would sell an 11.5" 3/16" circle for.

    If I am nesting a bunch of parts efficiently, or using up a whole sheet of steel....I figure I am saving material handling time, and I will use my discretion discounting, but making sure that I can make my minimum hourly shop income. When my plasma machine or welder is running, I shoot for $100/hr in my one man shop. If it is just me grinding or doing other menial tasks, $60/hr.

    This works for me, while I only do it as a hobby....it has paid for my cnc machine as well as a whole shop full of tools.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    I use a real simple formula which allows me to achieve my shop hourly rates, and seems to deliver competitively priced plasma cut parts. This is for cut metal with no secondary operations such as tapping or welding or forming. It also assumes that the customer supplied a .dxf file with the part properly and accurately drawn, I eat the time for post processing (adding kerf, lead ins, nesting, etc)....but no additional part drawing.

    1. Do the math to determine your material cost per square inch. This number should include delivery cost. So if I buy a 4' x 8' piece of 3/16" steel for $130, and have to pay $20 delivery, then I take $150 and divide it by 4608 square inches, which comes out $.032 per square inch. Double that, so your selling price for 3/16" steel now is $.064 (6.4 cents ) per square inch.

    2. determine how many square inches of 3/16" steel you will use in the part you are cutting, add about 1/4" to accomodate scrap and kerf, if you are cutting something not rectangular, figure rectangular area around what you are cutting to cover your inevitable scrap loss. So, if you are making a round 11.5" dia circle, figure a 12" square for material. 12" x 12" is 144 square inches, so the material cost is 144 x $.064 or $9.22 rounded off.
    3. For cutting cost, use the same number generated in 1 above, but figure out you lineal inches cut. Most software can calculate the lineal inches in a part program, but on a 11.5 " dia circle there is 36.11 lineal inches of cut, round it to 37 inches, multiply by $.064, which comes to $2.37 cutting cost.

    4. Add your cutting cost to your material cost, $2.37 + $9.22 = $11.59. That is what I would sell an 11.5" 3/16" circle for.

    If I am nesting a bunch of parts efficiently, or using up a whole sheet of steel....I figure I am saving material handling time, and I will use my discretion discounting, but making sure that I can make my minimum hourly shop income. When my plasma machine or welder is running, I shoot for $100/hr in my one man shop. If it is just me grinding or doing other menial tasks, $60/hr.

    This works for me, while I only do it as a hobby....it has paid for my cnc machine as well as a whole shop full of tools.

    Jim
    Sounds very fair and reasonable... I wish you were close.. Thats reasonable for hobby items I would like to have from time to time..

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    Flat rate parcel post is cheap.....I ship quite a bit of steel that way.

    Jim

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    Don't know if this will help because I run Ox/Fuel & mostly cut 3/8" through 1 1/2" steel plate.

    I calculate material as Jim does on the square inch of material allowing for scrap. Most of my customers are other industrial shops. I can't mark steel up like you can for retail business. When I do 1 offs or a walk in I do mark material up x 1.43 That allows for 35% gross profit on material.

    I charge for drafting time on custom work, repeat work I do not.

    I use Mach3 so I do a simulated run to calculate time, add time for preheat & pierce (Oxy/Fuel) & on the heavier stuff I do (3/8" plate & thicker) I add an extra 20 minutes of time to load & clean off the table, carry scrap to the dumpster etc.


    I'll leave it up to you on how much per minute to charge as rates vary greatly from geographic area to area. In my area I average about $400.00 per 8 hour shift for the table alone, not including material mark up etc.

    I find myself in direct competition with the larger steel suppliers that run multiple head torches & tables as large as 8' X 40' I run about the same price per part as the big guys but my customers claim I maintain much better consistency to size & cut quality than they get from the big guys.
    If it works.....Don't fix it!

  11. #11
    Jim-

    Great Info, I like the way you calculate the price. I use sheetcam and Mach3 do they have the option you spoke about for calculating the linear distance of the cut?

    Thanks,

  12. #12
    Registered jimcolt's Avatar
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    rescueweasel,

    I am not familiar with SheetCam and Mach3....so I cannot answer your question about determining linear cut length measurements. I use the PlasmaCam software, and simply use the measure function...it accurately measures cut length.

    Jim

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