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Old 12-08-2005, 04:23 AM   #646
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even if you do the engineering and machining in house,time is still money.
i agree with bob on alot of what he said .the molds are very expensive to make.they did the smart thing with the 05.they didnt change much on molds,only the machining end of it.the chassis and bulkheads seemed to be the big change.this assured a smaller loss when they released this car.the T2 i think has been under developement before the 05 was released.i feel with the lack of new parts such as suspension geometry,the 05 was kinda a hold you over and get used to a stick pack car until we are finished with the T2 car.

just my .02
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:22 AM   #647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritRacer
so in this computer age, there really is no release date other than....dec/jan/feb maybe???
My LHS said they should be out before Christmas (2005)...

Bottomline - A lot of suckers will be buying the T2 (me included). But, I still think the FK05 design will be the car to have for carpet/foam tire racing.

Last edited by Apex; 12-08-2005 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:28 AM   #648
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I don't know about that....the T2 was actually designed to accept 28mm foams from the box!!!!! a HUGE step in the right direction....
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:50 AM   #649
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Also the T2 is designed to take 3800's the fk05 still needed slight modding
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:28 AM   #650
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Things has been done in house is because either no supplier willing to accept their low qty amount or customer could not afford to pay high price for such minimum quantity they are offering, especially injection molding. Yes, quality is better controlled if done in house, but if the price right, all supplier will be happy to do it for you. In other words, if AE or others subcon their machining/injection production, their parts should be higher.. not the other way around like what the fact is now? fell free to correct me, this is positive discussions.
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:22 AM   #651
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Yes, that does sound good if the molds actually did cost alot. But in this time of CNCing and fast prototyping, mold costs and manufacturing have droppped significantly. For example, to create those arms today may cost $.13 per unit produced and a cost of DPD at about $1k-2k (including labor, hours, and intelectual property reg). The former soviet republic like China has a very low cost of labor for highly skilled workers. A manufacturing engineer there is paid 10-20 times less than an engineer here. And there the job pool is much bigger. Long story short, the turnaround time for those arms that used to take weeks to months now takes days to weeks. And you hinted at something very important about Xray, that they do their work inhouse (unlike others). Since they own the equipment unlike other manufacturers, the time from design to manufactured is even quicker (and the machine is already paid for). And molds do wear out after a number of units produced. In many cases with today's tech, it costs as much to create new/different molds as it does to swap out old molds. So ultimately, the parts are really less expensive than they appear to be. As a quick check of this, list all the parts for your rc car and get prices for them if bought seperately. The cost of that car would cost about $2000+. But, the wholesale cost of an FK05 is about $50-$100 less than the retail cost. Keep in mind the wholesale cost (what the dealer/distributor pays for it) provides a margin of profit for the manufacturer.

Ok, now a real world example: About a year ago a client of mine needed to source a manufacturer (end to end) for some small parts they were producing. The parts although not for RC were similar in that they were plastic/delrin and aluminum that had very tight tolerences (medical/pharmaceutical industry). The cost breakdown went like this -
Design consultant - $1,300 (about 15 hours of work)
Contract moldmaker - $600
CNC programming - $250
Raw material for a production run of 1,000 units - $5500
Misc (inspection, cleanup, etc) - $1,500
Total $9,150
All went into a kit of 2 other parts to upgrade a piece of equipment that cost about $85 per kit. Now if you do the math, the parts paid for themsleves after selling only 200 units (accounting for the other parts in the kit). And to make it even more amusing, the whole process went from the client writing the first check (to start the design) to the final unit being done in about 6 days. And this in the US, since we wanted to keep the work stateside. It would have been even cheaper if we had gone overseas or to Mexico.

Phew, sorry for the long diatribe, but no business is in business not to make money. If they are, they aren't in business long. BTW, Xray's advertising, packaging and marketing budget is probably more than was budgeted to actually develop the car. By the way, being passionate about what you build (as in Xray's case) doesn't mean you can't be profitable doing it. The 2 aren't mutually exclusive. I love my work/business but at the end of the day, the Misses needs to know that the lights will be on and the house still belongs to us not the bank !

Just my $.15 (15 cents) .

D...
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:33 AM   #652
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BTW, just so we are all clear. Even knowing and understanding how this stuff works behind the scenes, hasn't stopped me from paying the big $$$ for their stuff. More power to them, I wish I had thought of it so it could be me ! So when the T2s come out, I'm grabbing one too. But also, it's a great time for me to pick up a slightly used FK05 since I was searching for one when they disappeared off the shelves a few weeks ago.

As long as they are selling, we'll keep buying !!!

D...
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:20 AM   #653
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeman
BTW, just so we are all clear. Even knowing and understanding how this stuff works behind the scenes, hasn't stopped me from paying the big $$$ for their stuff. More power to them, I wish I had thought of it so it could be me ! So when the T2s come out, I'm grabbing one too. But also, it's a great time for me to pick up a slightly used FK05 since I was searching for one when they disappeared off the shelves a few weeks ago.

As long as they are selling, we'll keep buying !!!

D...
You are so far off its not even funny.

The average R/C car company has a 3-6 man R&D department. Engineers, CAD/CAM guys and at least one R/C expert.

You also have a production buyer, a production/factory manager, Factory staff, Production staff, sales staff, marketing staff. A small R/C company will have 40-50 employees and they all get paychecks

A typical suspension arm mold looks simple but is actually very complicated. You have two hardened steel molds, two hinge pin inserts, at least 2 shock mount hole inserts, a droop screw insert and ejector pins. The whole works needs to be connected to an oil cooling system. The complete mold and all inserts need to mate with an automated molding machine so the mold clamshells open and all the pins slide in and out automatically. Everything needs to be swiss watch precise so this is no mold flash and nothing jams.

Most molds are made on Electronic Discharge Machines (EDM). A copper CNC machined but hand finished male mold is brought in contact with a steel block in an oil bath. A strong current is passed through and the arc blasts a hole in the steel block.

You can CNC simple steel molds but they require more polishing and hand finishing of the mold than one made on an EDM. CNC female molds often do not look as nice and organic as EDM molds.

Most car manufacturers have molds made in China now but they still cost between $2500 to $5000 depending on material and complexity. I would say that 50% of the time the mold manufacturer gets the mold wrong and it has to be modified in house to work or sent back to be completely redone.

The same goes for alloy parts. Everyone (Yes, EVERYONE) has their alloy parts made in China now. I would say 30% of the metal parts are made wrong the first time. Often this is why there are delays to the release of the car. The parts have to be perfect before you can mock up a preproduction car and check parts fit. Often the production parts don't fit the way they did on the in house prototypes. A thousandth here and there is all it take for a tweak to occur. Chassis and top decks have to be adjusted and so on and so on until you have a perfect production car.

Hopefully instruction manuals and boxes are done by now. You can now make you first batch of cars.

Hopefully the 2nd batch of metal parts you order from China are the same as the first. Amazingly, this doesn't always happen.

A mild refresh of a car can be a $30k program. A new car from the ground up can be over $100K for a carbon plate car and over $150K for an all molded car like the TC4.

Oh, FYI...most dealers make between $15 and $50 when they sell most sedans. This is why you seem more monster trucks than sedans in most hobby shops.
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:46 AM   #654
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"a droop screw insert"

You need to be getting better mech designers
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:10 AM   #655
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Adrian,

You probably know very well what you are talking about. BUT don't forget that Xray is in Slovakia where the average yearly salary is about 8000$...
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:37 AM   #656
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvt01
Adrian,

You probably know very well what you are talking about. BUT don't forget that Xray is in Slovakia where the average yearly salary is about 8000$...
Labor costs in Slovakia are low but only a tiny portion of anyones cars are manufactured in house. Generally the design, actual automated molding and boxing of kits is all that is done in house.

No matter where you are it costs quite a bit to produce an R/C car. We are not talking about Barbie dolls or Toyota dasboard buttons here. Mattel and Toyota order 250K+ moldings every few weeks. Quantity drives the production costs down. Sedan manufacturers are lucky if they sell one tenth that many cars during the full production life of one model (1-3 years).
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:48 AM   #657
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Alright, this is my 3rd attempt at this post <PLEASE HURRY UP WITH THE UPGRADE!!!>

Manufacturing is indeed a high cost, tooling is a large part of that, changes to cavities from early proto cost money, then typically you need to make mass production tools, which are tougher, and more expensive.

They do not last forever, inserts/pins etc will last enev shorter times. Caviites need 'refilling' as the tollerances slip, and eventually replacing. Depending on the part you may get 70-80'000 parts out of a cavity.

salary is the major cost. This is why design and manufacture is becoming much more prevalent.

The cost of the part increases, as the manufacturer retains the salary overhead rather than the company. This allows lower overheads for the company developing a product, plus all the upkeep of machines is shifted from their books to the manufacturer.

The manufacturers off anything from fab only to full ID, R&D and then mass production, for a fixed fee.

All the customer needs to do is specify the part and pay.

R&D salary probably accounts for 40-50% of the total costs, maybe 7-15% of the final selling price in a good comapny.

R&D efficiency is now one of the key focus areas in many large companies, as tooling/production costs are contolled through compeition and the removal of many ancillary costs.

So a new car will require new tools, well, cavities need replacing and so that cost is negligable OLD to NEW car.

it is part development trough prototyping and the revisions that brings that causes cost..... and I am sorry to say the we, the customer, are the beta testers for these companies.

When they see alot of complaints about a part, they re-engineer and fix it....when the cavity needs replacing.....

Look at RC companies like microsoft windows. They do everything they can to ensure they release a good product. But they know there is no way they can find all the bugs, they rely upon the volume of end users to do that for them.

Only difference is, when was the last time Xray/Tamiya etc sent out a "patch" for defective parts???


Bit of a rant
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:55 AM   #658
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with all the cost involved...
how many kits do manufacturers sell in a year or given model run to be profitable? we all know most of the money is made with replacemant and option parts....
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:00 AM   #659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rc-zombies
with all the cost involved...
how many kits do manufacturers sell in a year or given model run to be profitable? we all know most of the money is made with replacemant and option parts....
My guess is xray's build of materials costs about $75-100~ish.

Total COST per kit inc R&D and overheads, maybe $180 - based on total predicted kit sales, so about 5,000 kits??

This is based upon a 40% sales profit margin vs predicted total sales.

I think you would have to be crazy to sell with a lower margin.
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:46 AM   #660
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apex
My LHS said they should be out before Christmas (2005)...

Bottomline - A lot of suckers will be buying the T2 (me included). But, I still think the FK05 will be the car to have for carpet/foam tire racing.
First of all, The kits are expected first of January.

Second of all, you are right in saying that the FK05 is still a GREAT car and deffinetly still the best car out on the market. However, the T2 will make the FK05 obsolete in EVERY aspect. For Ralph "WG" Burch to have had the FK05 for almost a year and attended almost every popular carpet race this year with the FK05 and have the car as fast as it will ever go, and then set out the T2 onto the track and within 3 battery packs of running it. ALREADY turning .3 tenths of a second a lap faster on a 10 second a lap carpet track and not even having it dialed in yet!!! THAT IS JUST INSANE. There is no doubt that this car will set the bar even further than where the previous X-Ray car has set it.
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