Engineers must ask numerous questions when determining whether to make or buy automated assembly systems. Here are 24 important things to consider.

Depth of experience in designing automated assembly and test (AA&T) systems ___    ___

Ability to integrate AA&T system into production process ___    ___

Ability to provide turnkey services ___    ___

Ability to absorb an AA&T project without disrupting the organization ___    ___

Ability to deliver the system on-budget ___    ___

Degree of protection from risk this option represents to customer ___    ___

Number of AA&T systems they have built in the past ___    ___

Ability of the organization to add value to the project ___    ___

Financial stability of the organization ___    ___

Ability to deliver the system on-time ___    ___

Ability of the organization to invest adequate capital in this project ___    ___

Ability to control design and engineering costs ___    ___

Ability to control labor costs ___    ___

Ability to reverse the decision, if necessary, and pull the plug quickly ___    ___

Ability of organization to command preferred pricing for raw materials ___    ___

Amount of floor space that is available for this project ___    ___

Ability to provide on-going support for maintenance and upgrades ___    ___

How the organization’s core competencies match project needs ___    ___

Ability and willingness to deal with frequent engineering changes ___    ___

Ability to provide a TS16949 quality level product ___    ___

Ability to monitor new technologies and R&D activity ___    ___

Ability of organization to command preferred pricing for equipment ___    ___

Ability to minimize waste ___    ___

Ability to provide adequate training, support and documentation ___    ___

TOTAL: ___    ___

How to Use This Worksheet
1.Fill in the chart above using the legend below.

2.Multiply each entry by the factor in column one. Not all criteria are equal. A factor of three means that point of comparison is three times as important as a point of criteria with a factor of one.

3.Total the columns to determine which option best suits your needs.

1 = Less than adequate.

2 = Adequate.

3 = More than adequate.