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.

New NIST Tool for Estimating Manufacturing Industry Costs (Beta version)

It might seem that estimating manufacturing industry costs (e.g., total machinery maintenance costs for all manufacturers) would be easy and have a great deal of data available for estimation. Unfortunately, there are many cost areas where data is not available, and some data only covers a portion of a cost category. For instance, the Annual Survey of Manufactures provides data on maintenance; however, this only covers purchased services. Internal costs, such as those for a maintenance department, are excluded. This gap leaves a need for additional cost information for decision makers.

NIST’s new tool, the “Manufacturing Cost Guide,” is a product that estimates various manufacturing costs at the industry level using a combination of public data, survey data, and modeling. Costs are grouped into various standardized categories such as the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system along with other non-standardized costs. The tool is in its beta version, meaning that feedback is encouraged and welcomed, including comments on expanding the tool. The “Manufacturing Cost Guide” is an evolving product; so, subsequent versions will expand cost categories and features.

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?
  • A research organization is proposing to reduce energy consumption from machinery. How much is spent on energy for machine operation?
  • An organization wants to promote energy efficient lighting in manufacturing facilities. How much do manufacturers spend on lighting?

Currently, the tool provides cost estimates for hundreds of cost categories in hundreds of manufacturing industries.

More information is available at:

Released January 24, 2020, Updated March 24, 2021