Pricing an Equipment Chassis

What does a Equipment Chassis Cost:
The price a vendor will charge for a chassis will depend on a number of factors. First, is the chassis off the shelf [OFS] and already designed. The cost of an off the shelf chassis is published, so there are no cost issues, although there may be variations in the product that produces changes in the price.

Another issue with off-the-shelf gear or Commercial Off the Shelf [COTS] equipment is that it doesn't always meet all the requirements needed for a particular application. A chassis will be the correct size, hold the correct backplane and may include fans, but any system connectors required at the rear of the chassis will be non-standard. That is, there is no backplane standard, that also includes the dimensions for the equipment case, that defines specific system connectors at the rear of the box. So connectors would need to be added to the rear chassis either by the chassis vendor or by the company purchasing the chassis. When the vendor is ask to add connectors, the chassis than becomes a costume chassis.

A custom chassis is a different issue and depends on what the chassis consists of. Some vendors may not even bid on producing a custom chassis. In general custom work would include the addition of cables and or connectors on the rear panel. Also power supplies may also be required within the chassis, or larger supplies than what might be provided. Fans under the card cage are usually provided, but their size and number may need to be changed.
Assuming a chassis vendor will take the work they may charge a Non Requiring Engineering [NRE] fee. There also may be some kind of Setup fee in addition to the NRE, so be sure to inquire about any fees that are in addition to the basic cost of the chassis. Of course you would also need to know exactly what is included with the chassis in addition to the metal shell and backplane.
A separate fee may also be charge for any cabling required in the chassis. Some vendors may out source cable work and may not do the work them selves.
Some vendors may also charge a different cost depending on the number of chassis produced. That is, the more equipment you purchase the less it will cost, and you can spread out the set-up fee over more gear.

Shop around between the vendors, there are a number of companies that do this type of work, as you will find in the link below. Just be sure to only include items in the specification that are required for the chassis. Any additional items may increase the bid [for no reason]. However, if the vendor already has a ready-made design which include features not required, you may want to accept those if they don't impact the design. The company does not have to change the design which in turn increase the cost, if a currently designed is selected to be modified.

Index Page; How To Specify a Equipment Chassis

Equipment Chassis Manufacturers.

Inquire about the delivery dates, or dock dates when the bid comes in, including any lead time for parts required to do any custom work. The delivery date could be just as important as the cost of the equipment. In many cases the delivery date will be the same no matter what is required by the specification, with 12 weeks being common.

Remember, anything you have the vendor add to the chassis will add cost to the over-all product. That is, the cost of a power supply, for example, would be the cost the vendor has to pay for the supply, plus any overhead the vendor adds from its procurement process. So a $400 power supply might really be $800 after the vendor installs it.

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