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IndustryArena Forum > Metalworking Machines > Uncategorised MetalWorking Machines > Vertical Mill, Lathe Project Log > How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?
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  1. #37
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    Jul 2011
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    27

    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    If I may add my 2 cents, though you seem to have solid advice from very experienced people already.

    I have ran a number of businesses in various industries over the years (gawd that makes me feel old) & found there are all types of customers out there. Some you will keep forever and some you can't run away from fast enough. Time & experience will help you differentiate the two.

    As far as setting a rate goes it very much gets down to confidence. Confidence in yourself, your skill set and your ability to complete the task. You have worked HARD to gain your knowledge. And you continue to work HARD to keep it relevant and up to date. You have worked HARD doing the grunt work, working your way through the system to become the man (or woman) you are today. You have spent you hard earned cash as you progressed through the system on tools and equipment to make you more efficient in what you do. If what you do was easy then every mug would be doing it. Don't sell yourself or your hard work short!

    On the business front:
    It is important to acquaint yourself with reliable suppliers with a quality product who actually know what they are selling. Treat these people with the respect they deserve. When things don't go according to plan, and they will. These people will soon become your crutch & ultimately your savior.

    It's a business deal, and a customer is just that. Many will comport themselves as "a friend", but this is only a ploy to get a sweeter deal. A friend is someone who's house you have been to for dinner, or gone on holidays with etc. etc. How many customers can you say you have done this with? While we're on the topic, that never works either. Friends and business truly DON'T mix.

    A paying customer is entitled to a few things. Your professionalism in work, advice and manner. To be kept in the loop, this applies to delays as well as running on time updates. Respect, the person you are dealing with is more than likely just doing his/her job. They undoubtedly have someone THEY need to answer to.

    Be reliable and trustworthy! If you say you're going to do then do it. If you're doubtful, then be upfront about that. If you think you can't then just say no. Failures happen (refer to Murphy's Law) but there is nothing worse than the failure you know you should have avoided.

    Accept responsibility for your failures. It's hard, but trying to BS yourself away from blame makes matters worse. Accept and deal with it. You're only human after all

    Never forget it's YOUR name on the finished job. That means it's your name attached to the decision to use cheaper or inferior products, or to use scotch-locks where solder joints should have been etc. From experience I can tell you a customer never says the job failed because I pushed for unreasonable deadlines or I chose to go with a cheaper product.... They simply say (insert your name) F'd up, he's sht, don't use him.

    Don't be afraid of being an "overcharging learner" as you put it (within reason of course). The nature of the beast is that new things will pop up from time to time. Just try to handle it without scratching your head or that lost look on your face. Someone on this forum once had a tag that read something like "If you think you know everything you soon realize you actually know nothing". So true....

    Last but not least, this is the advice I gave to a few of my apprentices when they wanted to go their own way with a new business venture. F%$K OFF YOU F*$^ING INGRATE...YOU PIECE OF Sh! Just playing. What I actually said was pick something you're good at, something you enjoy doing and work hard until you become the first name that falls from peoples lips when they think of that thing.

    Sorry if I wandered off topic a little, it's just that I see you want to succeed and I want you to succeed. If I can contribute to this with my advice/experience then I am happy

    You want value? How's that for stretching the absolute out of my 2 cents worth

  2. #38
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    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_The_Man View Post
    If I was still in it to the same degree, I think I would be looking at Dynomotion/Kanalog They have a forum site here and support looks very good.
    I was always surprised that Galil did not come out with their own front end controller as they did with the now legacy 1000 card, which was a nice HMI for small systems, I think the posts I made on their forum about the lack of PLC factor, got them going with one eventually, Acroloop had 5 PLC controllers on the Card!!.
    Al.
    Thanks or the tip !

    Dynomotion/Kflop/Kmotion is interesting, too bad it relies on a windows host but, there's apparently a Linux port...

    Thanks very much !

  3. #39
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    Mar 2013
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    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hytek View Post
    If I may add my 2 cents, though you seem to have solid advice from very experienced people already.

    I have ran a number of businesses in various industries over the years (gawd that makes me feel old) & found there are all types of customers out there. Some you will keep forever and some you can't run away from fast enough. Time & experience will help you differentiate the two.

    As far as setting a rate goes it very much gets down to confidence. Confidence in yourself, your skill set and your ability to complete the task. You have worked HARD to gain your knowledge. And you continue to work HARD to keep it relevant and up to date. You have worked HARD doing the grunt work, working your way through the system to become the man (or woman) you are today. You have spent you hard earned cash as you progressed through the system on tools and equipment to make you more efficient in what you do. If what you do was easy then every mug would be doing it. Don't sell yourself or your hard work short!

    On the business front:
    It is important to acquaint yourself with reliable suppliers with a quality product who actually know what they are selling. Treat these people with the respect they deserve. When things don't go according to plan, and they will. These people will soon become your crutch & ultimately your savior.

    It's a business deal, and a customer is just that. Many will comport themselves as "a friend", but this is only a ploy to get a sweeter deal. A friend is someone who's house you have been to for dinner, or gone on holidays with etc. etc. How many customers can you say you have done this with? While we're on the topic, that never works either. Friends and business truly DON'T mix.

    A paying customer is entitled to a few things. Your professionalism in work, advice and manner. To be kept in the loop, this applies to delays as well as running on time updates. Respect, the person you are dealing with is more than likely just doing his/her job. They undoubtedly have someone THEY need to answer to.

    Be reliable and trustworthy! If you say you're going to do then do it. If you're doubtful, then be upfront about that. If you think you can't then just say no. Failures happen (refer to Murphy's Law) but there is nothing worse than the failure you know you should have avoided.

    Accept responsibility for your failures. It's hard, but trying to BS yourself away from blame makes matters worse. Accept and deal with it. You're only human after all

    Never forget it's YOUR name on the finished job. That means it's your name attached to the decision to use cheaper or inferior products, or to use scotch-locks where solder joints should have been etc. From experience I can tell you a customer never says the job failed because I pushed for unreasonable deadlines or I chose to go with a cheaper product.... They simply say (insert your name) F'd up, he's sht, don't use him.

    Don't be afraid of being an "overcharging learner" as you put it (within reason of course). The nature of the beast is that new things will pop up from time to time. Just try to handle it without scratching your head or that lost look on your face. Someone on this forum once had a tag that read something like "If you think you know everything you soon realize you actually know nothing". So true....

    Last but not least, this is the advice I gave to a few of my apprentices when they wanted to go their own way with a new business venture. F%$K OFF YOU F*$^ING INGRATE...YOU PIECE OF Sh! Just playing. What I actually said was pick something you're good at, something you enjoy doing and work hard until you become the first name that falls from peoples lips when they think of that thing.

    Sorry if I wandered off topic a little, it's just that I see you want to succeed and I want you to succeed. If I can contribute to this with my advice/experience then I am happy

    You want value? How's that for stretching the absolute out of my 2 cents worth
    Wow, very nice sum up, & funny too, talk about golden 2 cents

    Thanks very much Hytek !

  4. #40
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    23221

    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmn View Post
    Dynomotion/Kflop/Kmotion is interesting, too bad it relies on a windows host but, there's apparently a Linux port...
    Yes, just uses it as a HMI.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  5. #41
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    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_The_Man View Post
    Yes, just uses it as a HMI.
    Al.
    Cool !

    Thanks very much !

  6. #42

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    341

    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Lots of good advice!

    Cheapest or most expensive is not always best. Ask yourself, if you did this job according to the Customers desire for cheapest but they are expecting to get the "most expensive" outcome and the results are to meet your expectations (for you), would it be wise and would you be happy using "your" product?

    As others have said, agree on a price or rate and if it is not fair for you (or the Customer, but this is his choice), walk away. Remember, you also will be first contact point for when there is a problem or a failure to meet the expectations "expected or demanded" by the Customer. If what you did can't meet those expectations what are you going to do? It's your reputation after all and you have to supply some sort of warranty.

    Don't sell yourself short or doubt your abilities by trying to do a good job at an unrealistic price or with inferior parts - you have to eat too and breaking even or running at a loss doesn't work for very long.

    One of my Niece's partners does 4x4 add-ons and upgrades, he is in high demand because of his workmanship and reputation and is not inexpensive but he often spends much of his time fixing up 4x4 add-on botch jobs done by the lowest bidder because they stuffed it up. The moral here is that cheapest generally ends up costing more than what was "saved". A new bonnet or fender because the stuffed up one is impractical or too expensive to fix (labour costs) and needs replacing to start and do the job again but properly.

    Someone always has to be your first Customer so get it right first time then they can be a happy and supportive reference.

    Another Aussie $0.02 :-)

  7. #43
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Quote Originally Posted by he1957 View Post
    Someone always has to be your first Customer so get it right first time then they can be a happy and supportive reference.
    Another Aussie $0.02 :-)
    True, most of my work came from word of mouth.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  8. #44
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    Dec 2019
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    3
    Thanks for your great recommendations, guys. I want to found retrofitting services too but I don't know enough about it. Right now I have some online businesses in other fields about which I read on myinforms and I want to save some money to get into retrofitting and related fields. I do hope it will be worth it.

  9. #45
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    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Quote Originally Posted by he1957 View Post
    Lots of good advice!

    Cheapest or most expensive is not always best. Ask yourself, if you did this job according to the Customers desire for cheapest but they are expecting to get the "most expensive" outcome and the results are to meet your expectations (for you), would it be wise and would you be happy using "your" product?

    As others have said, agree on a price or rate and if it is not fair for you (or the Customer, but this is his choice), walk away. Remember, you also will be first contact point for when there is a problem or a failure to meet the expectations "expected or demanded" by the Customer. If what you did can't meet those expectations what are you going to do? It's your reputation after all and you have to supply some sort of warranty.

    Don't sell yourself short or doubt your abilities by trying to do a good job at an unrealistic price or with inferior parts - you have to eat too and breaking even or running at a loss doesn't work for very long.

    One of my Niece's partners does 4x4 add-ons and upgrades, he is in high demand because of his workmanship and reputation and is not inexpensive but he often spends much of his time fixing up 4x4 add-on botch jobs done by the lowest bidder because they stuffed it up. The moral here is that cheapest generally ends up costing more than what was "saved". A new bonnet or fender because the stuffed up one is impractical or too expensive to fix (labour costs) and needs replacing to start and do the job again but properly.

    Someone always has to be your first Customer so get it right first time then they can be a happy and supportive reference.

    Another Aussie $0.02 :-)

    Thanks for the advice he1957 !

    Well guys, just to set the record straight, the cheap Chinese motors I am considering have been tested and recommended by a reputable, experienced guy(also a member here on the zone) so, I'm on the safe side of things(as much as I can)... at ~$1200 for a 5.5KW servo bundle, I guess it's very cheap... just a little more than a Mitsubishi encoder alone....I know it's lacking some of the Mitsubishi features but, no one expects a race car at the price of an SUV.

    What do you guys usually pay for a brand name 5.5KW 70Nm servo bundle ?

    Thanks Very much !

  10. #46
    Community Moderator Al_The_Man's Avatar
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    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmn View Post
    Thanks for the advice he1957 !

    What do you guys usually pay for a brand name 5.5KW 70Nm servo bundle ?
    Thanks Very much !
    Just as another side comment on this question, the systems such as Galil, Acroloop, Kmotion etc, because these systems close the loop in the controller, they are able to take advantage of simple non-intelligent (transconductance - torque mode) drives.
    This means that almost any manufacturer of drive & motor can be mixed and matched such as A-M-C, Copley, Aerotech etc, often used to run any motors that are on the machine and still viable.
    The PID loop is between motor and controller so very minimum tuning, if any is required by the drive.
    Al.
    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.

  11. #47
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    Re: How do you guys, price your retrofit services ? What traps to avoid ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_The_Man View Post
    Just as another side comment on this question, the systems such as Galil, Acroloop, Kmotion etc, because these systems close the loop in the controller, they are able to take advantage of simple non-intelligent (transconductance - torque mode) drives.
    This means that almost any manufacturer of drive & motor can be mixed and matched such as A-M-C, Copley, Aerotech etc, often used to run any motors that are on the machine and still viable.
    The PID loop is between motor and controller so very minimum tuning, if any is required by the drive.
    Al.
    Thanks for the replies Al !

    Word of mouth... double edged sword......it takes skill & art to achieve.

    Thanks for the info but, the main problem is the lack of machine documentation & the motors' condition, some of which have clearly been messed with so, I'd rather not bet my reputation on unknown 40yo electrical HW (from what I saw, I wouldn't call it electronics) +70Amp is sure to produce a very loud bang alarming everyone that you've got no idea what you're doing...which is not good as a business plan .

    Thanks very much !

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