Comment of the century Cost of ownership


Thread Starter

Brian E Boothe

Hi all ; ("Comment of the century") "this is to show the cost of ownership Points,,

After one of our SCADA Machines had went down Due to a HD Fail,and i had given him the news or Owner/CEO had Burst out "(I HATE #%#%^$ Computer's I dont want anything to do with them") well i Commented, (" your an Proclaimed automation Company i think u have no choice"), my hand are tied it a propritary Machine non standard, YOU Spec'd the machine, at any rate, the HD ended up costing $376.00 after waiting two weeks for the HD to be shipped customers Final Cost, $745.00 after labor and reinstallation, now if this had been a standard PC (aka, not starting with the First etters of I or C or G and D ") the HD would have cost $89.00 for the EXACT SAME Manufactured HD "Seagate" and size constriants and Purchased for any 1 million Distributor/Vendors, the Final bill would have been $89.00 X $65.00Hr reinstallation Time it took me 3 hours to reinstall the HD and reinstall software and update OS final Customer cost $284.00,, on another Point ive seen RAM prices for this exact machine "$546.00 for 1-gig SDRAM",,

Someone getting screwed,,, huh
Happens everywhere in many ways. Here's one we see on the front end of projects. Specify, evaluate, get maintenance approval on a $1500 transmitter. Purchasing "saves money" and buys the $600 one (junk) maintenance listed as "Not On Approved Vendor List".

New junk arrives, is installed, and requires such frequent maintenance that the $900 savings is quickly gone just in manhours consumed. If it's on any feed or product lines, multiply the losses. Finally, maintenance just buys a new one($1500 one!).

We call "Save Now, Pay Dearly Later!" and fail to see how losing money in the long run saves the company a dime.
I would be very interested to know the name of the company that did that to your user. I have my own guesses/ Does the company name start with an A?

Eddie Willers

As I understand your argument, if this had been a standard PC you could have bought a standard hard drive for it and installed it cheaply and quickly.

Instead you paid a lot of money and waited a long time for... a standard hard drive.

Why did this PC's hard drive, which you said is EXACTLY the same as a commercial model, take you so much longer (or a higher labor rate) to install and rebuild?

What am I missing?

Michael Griffin

Some of the "industrial" hard drives come with a lock-down device to secure the heads during shipping of the machine. A better solution would be to not use a hard drive, but that would require thinking of these things before designing in an operating system that has to have one.

Curt Wuollet

I think I was left with the impression that the cost had to do with staying within a warranty/support contract rather than just fixing the thing. I think hardware contracts are kinda silly when you can replace most any part of a generic PC for less than the cost of the time spent dealing with customer support and certainly less than the cost of the downtime.


Michael Griffin

A colleague was working on setting up a new machine with a CNC controller that used one of these "special" hard drives. He found that a standard hard drive would not work with the CNC controller - I don't recall the details, but I believe that a standard drive wouldn't even plug in.

As I said in my previous message, I think that the "need" to use one of these special hard drives was due to a poorly thought out system design. The example I have given above used an embedded PC with ordinary MS-Windows, and MS-Windows seems to be the element that required the hard drive. It is likely that the "special" hard drive became part of the CNC package because too many machines were being delivered to customers with dead hard drives. It is also likely that someone wrote the software design specs without looking at how they would affect the overall machine reliability in the customer environment.

A better solution would been to have written the CNC control software to use an operating system that did not require a hard drive. There are plenty of examples of people booting desktop oriented Linux software systems from flash cards to show that this is quite feasible. Given the relatively low cost of flash memory cards (including in 1G sizes), there is little reason to stick with conventional hard drives if you are concerned about mechanical shock and vibration damage.

Brian E Boothe

because i was made to get it from IBM ("oops" i said it...). Seagate 80GB HD and 512MB ram cost us $723.00. Standard 80GB HD and 512MB ram is $180.00.

Brian E Boothe

The below statement EXACTLY fits what i'm saying, with this situation, that's all our boss wants to do, is "call tech support". Well "u better get on the phone with tech support." that all he ever says to us, i could get him the solution and HOW to fix the problem, and he says "well he says u better call tech support." look, why have AB Certified People and Computer People working for him, when all he has to do is CALL TECH SUPPORT? He doesn't need US or any employees at all, hell fire us and call tech support!