Design & Build Process

Step 2: Front-End Engineering

Are you automating or installing a new custom machine? Do you need a “quick quote” or an engineered solution that guarantees a completed project that is completed on time and on budget?

The “Quick Quote” Risk

A company willing to provide a “quick quote” may include all the major components and ancillary equipment with their quickly-developed quotation. On the surface, this may seem like what you need for your automation machine design, but in reality it is potentially doing you a disservice.

Quick Quote Risk

Be aware that “quick quotations” are based upon numerous unknowns. The number could be too low because of unknown information, underdeveloped mechanical design, or the number could be unnecessarily loaded with contingency because of the unknowns. Machine design engineering bids are based on historical similarities to your machine or a simple checklist of roughly outlined features rather than finding a custom solution that works for your needs and objectives.

Many companies will bid low to secure the order and then blame the lack of detailed written specifications as additional charges accrue through change orders. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with your integration partner at that point.

Why Front End Engineering?

When you contact EPIC for a quote, we provide you with an accurate bid based upon fully extracting your requirements and understanding your machine’s end goal. This ultimately results in a successful project outcome. The key to this WIN-WIN outcome: Front End Engineering (FEE). Our machine builders engineer your machine from the beginning to uncover the unknowns and mitigate financial risk for our customers.Custom Machines Design and Build

To arrive at a fixed bid that is not laden with contingency, we preform preliminary engineering up-front to guarantee accuracy in the quoting process. The result of FEE answers these questions with tangible deliverables:

1) How are you going to design/ build my machine?

  • Preliminary 3D design
  • System layout
  • Mechanical functionality
  • Controls strategy
  • Fabrication & assembly timeline
  • Testing parameters and goals
  • Shipment plan
  • Plant integration & startup plan

2) How long is it going to take?

  • Critical path project schedule for automation machine design accountability
  • Long lead time equipment is specified and accounted for

Front End Engineering Timeline


3) What will your machine cost?

  • Guaranteed detailed fixed bid quote
  • Controls strategy
  • Equipment drawings
  • Ancillary equipment list
  • Equipment pricing
  • Programming pricing
  • Startup plan

At EPIC, each project is unique. Therefore, we take the time to understand your custom machine engineering requirements in the development fixed bid quotation, which often includes:

  • Automation vs. Labor
  • Desired Production Speeds
  • Machine Footprint
  • Levels of Front-End Engineering

We realize that not every client is looking for a fixed bid quote upfront. Maybe your project is scheduled for the next year, and you just need a rough order of magnitude (ROM) quote for budgetary reasons. It is also possible that you need a +15%/-5% bid instead of a firm +0%/-0% fixed bid. If you are unsure of which FEE method is the best fit, contact one of our custom machines engineers to guide you in the best direction.

Click here to view the different levels of FEE…

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Are you ready to get started with your modular process project? Contact an engineer today (314) 845-0077. At EPIC you will be put in direct contact with a project engineer who will help you get started...

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