Background for the Non-industrialist
That projectile ammo that comes out of your Hurricane guns has been created by a player with minerals and a BPO or a BPC. When BPOs are purchased off of the market, they are not researched. This means that creating from the BPO will most likely result in a loss given the competitive market that exists.
People invest time into increasing the ME (Material Efficiency) level to a high number to lower the material requirements in order to build the item.
Often times I see people researching their BPOs to a an insanely high level. More is always better when it comes to ME? Wong.
If you take a look at the EMP L BPO on chruker.dk’s site, there is a box titled Research Levels. Take note of the stated Perfect ME level as going beyond this number will not change the build requirements.
Charting the cost to produce the item based on ME levels shows a logarithmic trend towards the perfect ME level. For our EMP L BPO this perfect level is 320. Researching or paying additional costs for a further researched BPO is worthless.
Take note as every item has its own perfect ME level. Here is a shot of ammo research jobs showing how different the ME levels can be for each type.
Though I did not cover PE (Production Efficiency), the same rules apply in order to reduce the manufacturing time of an item.