A fabrication is the transformation of materials, non-consumable supplies, and hardware into a one-of-a-kind piece of equipment or scientific instrument that meets a unique research need. Fabrications are considered capital equipment when they have an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more and a useful life of at least one year.

Fabrications are assigned a separate SpeedType in the financial system so that the costs for materials, supplies, freight, construction, installation, training or assembly labor can be segregated from other project costs. Use the eRA step-by-step guide for identifying a fabrication subclass in the project financials.

In most cases, fabrications should be completed and listed as in-service in the property record with sufficient time remaining during the period of performance for the completed fabrication to benefit the award.

1. Complete Fabrication Request Forms

2. OCG Review and Approval

  • Determine whether the fabrication is allowable (based on award terms)
  • Confirm the award has sufficient available budget for fabrication
  • Work with department to obtain sponsor approval, if required

3. SpeedType Set-Up by Property Accounting Office (PAO)

  • Assign separate SpeedType and subclass for fabrication
  • Notify department administrator of new SpeedType and subclass 

The department should regularly review expenditures on the award and the fabrication SpeedType in order to ensure that charges applied to the fabrication are appropriate and consistent with university policies. Costs that should be charged to the fabrication SpeedType:

  • Materials*
  • Supplies*
  • Freight
  • Installation and Training Labor
  • Construction 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 project supplies and are not capitalizable fabrication costs. Examples of this would be fuels, gasses, or compressed air.

When construction of a fabrication is finished, the department will need to confirm that the charges assigned to the fabrication SpeedType(s) are accurate and appropriate and notify the Property Accounting Office (PAO). An individual fabrication may be charged to multiple SpeedType(s) if it has been built using multiple awards. The department should provide all SpeedType(s) to PAO when a fabrication is completed. PAO enters the total amount charged to the fabrication SpeedType(s) into PeopleSoft and the fabrication begins depreciating. The department will also need to affix the property tag to the fabrication.

The status of a fabrication at award closeout may be one of the following:

  • The fabrication is complete and in service
  • Additional work on the fabrication is needed before it can be used for its intended purpose; work and expenditures for the fabrication will continue on a new fabrication SpeedType
  • The total cost of the fabrication never reached the $5,000 threshold or the fabrication does not have a useful life of at least one year and the component costs must be moved to a different non-fixed asset account code to complete the financial closeout.