Question

“If we can get that new robot to combine with our other automated equipment, we’ll have a complete flexible manufacturing system (FMS) in place in our Northridge plant,” said Hal Swain, production manager for Diller Products. “Let’s just hope that reduced labour and inventory costs can justify its acquisition,” replied Linda Wycoff, the controller. “Otherwise, we’ll never get it. You know how the president feels about equipment paying for itself out of reduced costs.” Selected data relating to the robot are provided below. Engineering studies suggest that using the robot will result in a savings of 20,000 direct labour-hours each year. The labour rate is $16 per hour. Also, the smoother work flow made possible by the FMS will allow the company to reduce the amount of inventory on hand by $300,000. The released funds will be available for use elsewhere in the company. This inventory reduction will take place in the first year of operation. The company’s required rate of return is 20%:
Cost of the robot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,600,000
Software and installation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 700,000
Annual savings in labour costs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ?
Annual savings in inventory carrying costs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 190,000
Monthly increase in power and
maintenance costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 2,500
Salvage value in 12 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 90,000
Useful life. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 years
Required:
Ignore income taxes.
1. Determine the net annual cost savings if the robot is purchased. (Do not include the $300,000 inventory reduction or the salvage value in this computation.)
2. Compute the net present value of the proposed investment in the robot. Based on these data, would you recommend that the robot be purchased? Explain.
3. Assume that the robot is purchased. At the end of the first year, Wycoff has found that some items didn’t work out as planned. Due to unforeseen problems, software and installation costs were $125,000 more than estimated, and direct labour has been reduced by only 17,500 hours per year, rather than by 20,000 hours. Assuming that all other cost data were accurate, does it appear that the company made a wise investment? Show computations, using the net present value format as in (2) above.
4. On seeing your analysis in (3) above, the president stated, “That robot is the worst investment we’ve ever made and we’ll be stuck with it for years.”
a. Explain to the president what benefits other than cost savings might accrue from using the new robot and FMS.
b. Compute for the president the dollar amount of cash inflow that would be needed each year from the benefits in (a) above in order for the equipment to yield a 20% rate of return.


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  • CreatedJuly 08, 2015
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