The proof of efficiency of capital-intensive technologies is rather difficult. Classical efficiency calculations depend on clear information about the stream of inflows and outflows. For determining the economic and organizational impact of flexible automation systems we use computer simulation and process-related cost accounting.
First we draw up a computer model of the planned production system. As a next step we create a forecast for the future production based on recent sales figures and on a market analysis. The results of this forecast provide the data to run the computer simulation. The results of the simulation supply the input figures for precise cost accounting that keeps overheads small. These results provide figures on the expected returns.
As the considered alternatives typically are quite similar to each other, the evaluation can usually be reduced to a parameter variation of one model. Parameter variation can also be used to optimize a selected alternative.