One of the biggest obstacles to the specification of stainless steel in certain applications, is the misperception that it’s more expensive in comparison to other initially cheaper options. In the short term, that may be the case but a new world-first App from the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (sassda) is set to lift the lid on the ‘bigger picture’ – namely stainless steel’s ability to ensure far lower overall life cycle costs (LCC).
The benefit of the newly launched App – which is now available on the Google Play (Android) Store and will be available in the Apple iStore by the end of the year – is that it allows for the real-time calculation of the LCC of stainless steel via an easy to use, pre-programmed calculator. This requires the entry of key top-line data, followed by the simple click of a ‘Calculate’ Button which in turn generates a breakdown of the relevant costs and the ability to e-mail this to the relevant recipients.
Sassda Executive Director John Tarboton elaborates; “The App was created to assist engineers to calculate total LCC using the standard accountancy principle of discounted cash flow, so that total costs incurred during a life cycle period are reduced to present day values. This allows a realistic comparison to be made of the options available. In terms of material selection, the APP also enables potential long-term benefits to be assessed against short-term expediency.”
He adds that many months have been spent working out the correct formulas that now form the backend of the app, which has removed the burden of this type of time-consuming calculation from the end user.
“This will prove invaluable for professionals in the field, wanting to bypass the complicated process normally associated with this type of calculation that most professionals are unfamiliar with; unless they also have an accountancy qualification!
“In this way we’re also hoping to educate the market on the inherent benefits of stainless steel which include minimal maintenance, a minimum 60-year lifespan and significant ‘green’ benefits,” adds Tarboton.
The sassda Life Cycle Cost calculator is also available via the following link: http://sassda.co.za/the-life-cycle-costing-of-stainless-steel for non-Android phone owners.