Fabricated Equipment


Fabrication is the transformation of materials, non-consumable supplies, and hardware into a one-of-a-kind piece of equipment that meets a unique research need. Additionally:

  • Every component of a fabrication must be essential and necessary to the function of the entire fabrication unit.
  • Applicable fabrication costs may include materials and supplies that are integrated into the fabricated unit, freight, construction, installation, training or assembly labor.
  • Materials and supplies that are necessary for the construction process or testing of the fabrication but are not integrated as final components of the fabricated unit must be charged as supplies and are not deemed capitalized fabrication costs. Examples of this would be fuels, gasses, or compressed air.
  • If you have received an award on which you will be building a fabrication (or adding to an existing work-in-progress fabrication), please contact the Office of Insurance and Purchasing Services.

Requests for the expenditure of a fabricated equipment item on any sponsored project award must be submitted to the Property Accounting Specialist prior to the assembly and capitalization of the item, regardless as to whether the fabricated equipment item was included in the original proposal budget.

The University owns the property title to all fabricated equipment, unless specifically stated otherwise in the applicable sponsored award terms and conditions. PIs and departments cannot authorize University-owned equipment to be transferred, delivered, or sold without prior approval from both the Office of Insurance and Purchasing Services and Office of Sponsored Projects.

Please see the University's Property Management Policies for more information: 

Movable Equipment Manual

Equipment Capitalization Policy

Fabrication Account Request Form

Frequently Asked Questions
 

Do I Need a Fabrication Account?

Fabrication accounts should be created when equipment cannot be acquired off-the-shelf to meet a user’s needs. Instead, the equipment is fabricated from individual parts and is built on campus. The total cost of the materials used in the equipment fabrication must be estimated to equal $5,000 or greater and have a useful life of at least one year.

How Do I Request a Fabrication Account?

To request a fabrication account, the Fabrication Account Request Form is completed by the department administrator or Principal Investigator at the start of a fabrication project. The form is to be forwarded to the Property Accounting Specialist for first review. The form is then routed for review to the Grant/Contract Accountant assigned to the department who is requesting the account creation. On the request form, the department provides a parent account number under which the Grant/Contract Accountant will create a child account for the Fabrication. The Grant/Contract Accountant will then communicate back to the requestor and the Property Accounting Specialist to provide the created fabrication account number which can begin being used.

What Happens Once I Have My Fabrication Account?

Purchases for parts and materials will take place over time, therefore a fabrication is considered a “Work in Progress” (WIP).

What Do I Do if I Have to Make a Modification to the Fabrication Account?

All modifications to the original equipment items request must be initiated by the PI or department and submitted to the Property Accounting Specialist in the Office of Purchasing Services for review and approval. Modifications may not be used for adding individual components to an existing item of stand-alone equipment, such as upgrades to computers or other existing equipment.

Rebudgeting
If additional costs beyond the approved budget are needed during fabrication, a revised budget should be submitted to the Property Accounting Specialist and OSP for approval; otherwise, these costs will not be acceptable as part of the fabricated equipment item and cannot be applied to the Fabricated Equipment Project.

Scope Change
Requests for changes in scope of the fabrication that significantly modify the fabrication description or purpose require additional justification and must be submitted to the Property Accounting Specialist and OSP for approval.

Extension of Time
Requests for an extension of time for the fabrication must be submitted to OSP for approval. Fabrications that extend beyond estimated completion dates with no significant progress or sufficient justification will be disallowed. The new completion date must be on or before the sponsor award completion date.

Reduction of Time
If the fabrication is completed sooner than expected, the PI or department must notify the Property Accounting Specialist and OSP to begin the closeout process.

What Do I Do When the Fabrication of my Equipment is Complete?

The unit should be marked as “Presently in Use” with the Property Accounting Specialist when a fabrication has completed development, it is ready for use, and it meets the $5,000 threshold. It is now considered active equipment for depreciation. The department must transfer the fabrication charges posted to the child fabrication account to the parent account for capitalization purposes.

The PI and department are accountable for their fabricated equipment item(s), including maintaining appropriate financial records and tracking the location and status of equipment item(s). After the fabrication equipment item has been completed, the PI and department must coordinate the closeout process with OSP and the Property Accounting Specialist in the Office of Purchasing Services.

Roles and Responsibilities
 

PI & DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATOR

Submits Fabricated Equipment Request Form to Property Accounting Specialist, coordinates sponsor approval request with OSP as required, at time of completion transfers expenses from fabrication account to capital equipment via a journal entry, tags fabricated equipment item, reviews expenditures for allowability, notifies OSP and Purchasing Services of equipment transfers in accordance to Equipment Capitalization Policy.

OSP

Establishes fabricated equipment project account and coordinates sponsor approval requests as required.

OFFICE OF PURCHASING SERVICES

Reviews and approves the Fabrication Account Request Form, verifies budget items are allowable fabrication costs, and provides asset tags to Dept/PI.

Please contact the Property Accounting Specialist, Wendy Simas, at 401-863-3086 or Wendy_Simas@brown.edu with questions regarding fabricated equipment.