Definitions of some Cost Engineering terms



a priori Proceeding from a known or assumed cause to a necessarily related effect; deductive
Cost Engineering

A branch of industrial engineering concerned with cost estimation, cost control, business planning and management, profitability analysis, and project management, planning, and scheduling.

Cost Creep

effect caused by not monitoring the commercial impact of changes to a part or product.


A technique to organize specific data relating to the relevant component element(s) of a business or institution in a logical hierachy, whereby like things are brought together by virtue of their similarities, and then seperated by their essential differences. - Joseph Gombinski

Design For Manufacture and Assembly

Design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA) is a product development method to consider and minimise manufacturing issues throughout the product introduction process. Successful DFMA results in lower product cost without loss of product quality

Drifting Cost

The drifting cost is the current estimated cost of a product in development. If the drifting cost is currently greater than the target cost more effort is required until the drifting cost is less than or equal to the target cost.


"It has been said an engineer is a man who can do for ten shillings (50 pence) what any fool can do for a pound...." - Neville Shute in his Book "Slide Rule"

Target Cost

A target cost is the allowable amount of cost that can be incurred on a product and still earn the required profit from that product.

Value Driven Design

A systems engineering strategy based on microeconomics which enables multidisciplinary design optimization.