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Manufacturing Cost Guide

The Manufacturing Cost Guide is 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. These 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.


CostGuide - Metal Plate
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gregory Kirchner welds a metal plate in the metals fabrication shop at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Jan. 27, 2017. Kirchner is assigned to the 3rd Maintenance Squadron. The aircraft metals technology airmen measure broken or worn parts, draw working sketches, make templates, perform precision grinding and remove deposits from parts. They also write programs for machines using manual and computer-aided manufacturing. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher.

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?

We welcome any comments or suggestions for further developing this tool:  douglas.thomas [at]


Created March 21, 2019, Updated June 24, 2021