2008 journal article
Applying Target Costing in the Development of Marketable and Environmentally Friendly Products from Swine Waste
The Engineering Economist, 53(2), 156–170.
Management of swine waste generated in the United States is a challenging problem facing engineers, farmers, scientists, regulators, and policy-makers. Technologies for processing and storing swine waste have not been fully developed and refined in a manner acceptable to the public and environmental regulators. The primary concerns with improperly disposed swine waste are the effects on human and livestock health, surface and groundwater quality, air quality, and conservation of nitrogen fertilizers (Hagenstein 2003 Hagenstein, P. R. 2003. Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations: Current Knowledge, Future Needs, Washington, D. C.: National Research Council, National Academy Press. [Google Scholar]). The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the concept of target costing by applying it to a very specific example: the production of biomethanol from swine manure. This study summarizes the analyses that outline a design and calculate a preliminary cost estimate for a proposed system for producing biomethanol from swine manure (initial process). In this study the target costing process is demonstrated with calculation of a target cost. This article also demonstrates an application of value engineering as a systematic, interdisciplinary examination of factors affecting the cost of a product so as to find means to fulfill the product's specified purpose at the required standards of quality and reliability and at an acceptable cost. The article is organized as follows. First, the purpose of applying target costing methodology to the development of marketable by-products from swine manure is outlined. Next, target cost is calculated for biomethanol made from swine manure based on current methanol prices and currently available subsidies for biomethanol made from swine manure. A system for producing biomethanol from swine manure is described. The current cost is calculated for producing biomethanol. Concepts of value engineering are employed to reduce a significant cost component of the initial process resulting in Process II. Finally, value engineering is employed the second time to further reduce the cost of Process II yielding Process III.