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Johann Peters

Johann Peters



Material flow cost accounting - first step towards resource efficiency

Material flow cost accounting (MCFA) is a method that has been standardized to meet ISO 14051 guidelines. It is the perfect first step to achieve maximum resource efficiency in your production process and focuses specifically on exposing inefficiencies and material losses.

Highlights of our software for material flow cost accounting

Calculating the true cost of material losses

In addition to classic cost analysis, which looks at cost per product, Umberto NXT MFCA identifies how much can be saved if material losses can be reduced or eliminated.

With the MCFA method, costs are not merely allocated to the product itself, but proportionately to all material and energy losses. The use of this method helps to visualize the ‘hidden’ costs, which can often be even more than the pure production cost itself.

Result visualization of material flows and costs via Sankey diagrams and a cost matrix

Just how expensive are the losses a business absorbs in a given production cycle?

This is most easily shown with the help of flow and Sankey diagrams. You can show all material and energy flows (or just those of a specific product) and their associated costs with Sankey diagrams, either in classic or in MCFA view. This allows you to compare the results at a glance and focus on the potential for improvement.  

Making greenhouse gas emissions from losses visible

In addition to analyzing the cost of material loss, the tool can also examine the climate impact of products and its losses. Simply use the integrated Global Warming Potential (GWP) ecoinvent 2.2 database. The latest ecoinvent 3 GWP data are now also available upon request. The results will be evaluated in a GWP matrix and can also be displayed as Sankey diagrams.

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Test Umberto NXT MFCA free of charge

Just download your free trial version of our software for material flow cost accounting. You can test it for 14 days and start with a first analysis of your material efficiency.

Material efficiency through

material flow cost accounting

Further features at a glance

What are my options when building a model?

  • For production processes up to 25 processes and up to 100 variables per process
  • Freely defined parameters
  • Calculation of Carbon Footprint with GWP data (ecoinvent 2.2 or optionally the latest ecoinvent 3 GWP data)
  • Process specifications with user-defined functions (mathematical formulas)
  • Save model sections in the module gallery for later reuse
  • Integrate inventories and inventory changes

What are my options when using cost calculation?

  • Material flow cost accounting (Calculation of true costs associated to material losses)
  • Unit cost accounting
  • Free definition of cost types
  • Direct material costs
  • Waste management costs
  • Process costs
  • Assign variable costs to each cost center

What analyses and reports can I generate?

  • Mass and energy balances for the entire system as well as for sub-systems
  • Analysis based on processes, products, flows
  • Display cost analysis in tables or graphs
  • Export of all result data to Microsoft Excel
  • Sankey diagrams of cost, energy, and mass flows
  • Sankey diagram graphics export is quick and easy
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Free Umberto web presentation

We offer free web presentations for an quick and easy introduction to Umberto. Here you can find the upcoming dates.

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Umberto software trainings

We would like to give you the best start for working with Umberto. That is why regular software trainings take place, where the software is explained in depth. Here you can find an overview of the next dates.

Umberto user Martin Schottler says:

Umberto user Martin Schottler says:

"The Umberto models I present to my clients leave a lasting impression long after I have left the room. I have been using Umberto for over 15 years."

Dr. Martin Schottler, Consultant for process engineering, Averem Verfahrenstechnik, Germany

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Everything starts with good advice

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Umberto NXT MFCA – Software for material flow cost accounting

What is material flow cost accounting?

Material flow cost accounting based on ISO14051 is a method of analyzing and economically evaluating material flows within a business. The method is specifically focused on material losses incurred during production. In conventional cost accounting, these losses are budgeted as waste costs or, in a best-case scenario, are allocated a market price if they can be recycled for further use.

In both conventional accounting and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), the cost for waste disposal is attributed to the product. This makes managerial sense when calculating the profit margin, for example. Material flow cost accounting, though, takes this process one step further by proportionately isolating the energy, material, personnel, and all other overhead costs associated with the wasted material – just as you would calculate these costs for the product itself. By using this method, a true costing of material loss that includes a significantly wider range of factors is achieved. Even if you are able to sell wasted material as a resource, the overall loss in value is probably much higher than you assume.

The sum of all costs attributable to material loss is equal to the maximum cost savings that can be obtained in a theoretically optimal state in which there are no material losses. Another way to view these potential cost savings is as an investment budget for reducing waste. By calculating the real costs of material loss you therefore dramatically increase the potential for optimization.

Implementing material efficiency with material flow cost accounting

Umberto NXT MFCA is a software for material flow cost accounting, to help you implement the method of material flow cost accounting. The software, through simulation and visualization of material flow networks, analyzes a business's production processes and all the associated material and energy flows. It then lets you evaluate the results according to both conventional and material flow cost accounting methods.

By avoiding non-essential material and energy flows within your production processes you not only increase energy and resource efficiency but also reap the benefit of cost reduction.