Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Software Tools

Applied Economics in US Manufacturing

Assembly Plant
Photo Credit: The Chrysler 200 Factory Tour, an interactive online experience using Google Maps Business View technology, takes consumers inside the new 5-million-square-foot Sterling Heights Assembly Plant for a behind-the-scenes peek at how the 2015 Chrysler 200 is built.  
CostGuide - Metal Plate


Manufacturing Cost Guide

A tool that estimates the costs that US manufacturers face and can be used to help gauge the potential returns on manufacturing industry research projects through cost reductions. The tool can be used to answer questions such as:

  • An organization is conducting research to reduce redundant engineering labor. How much do manufacturers spend on engineering?
  • A researcher is proposing a project to reduce the use of steel by advancing material standards, thereby, reducing scrap caused from material deficiencies. How much do manufacturers spend on steel?


Monte Carlo


Monte Carlo Tool

This tool makes simulation simple. It is used to implement Monte Carlo analysis, which uses probabilistic sensitivity analysis to account for uncertainty. This tool is developed to follow the simulation segment of ASTM E1369.


SI Tool

Smart Investment Tool

This Excel tool implements the methods discussed in NIST Advanced Manufacturing Series 200-5, which is a guide to Investment analysis. The tool implements the following methods:

  • Discounting: the process of adjusting future values to present value terms
  • Present value: the adjusted value of future cash flows
  • Net present value: the difference between the present value of all cash inflows and the present value of all cash outflows over the period of the investment.
  • Internal rate of return: a rate of return calculated as the discount rate at which the net present value is zero
  • Payback period: the time required to recoup an investment
  • Sensitivity analysis using Monte Carlo techniques: a probabilistic sensitivity analysis that randomly samples from probabilities for a selection of input variables


Created January 24, 2020, Updated June 24, 2021