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Panel Building Rates

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What is a typical hourly rate for panel building? The company I work for is looking at doing a large project that will invlove about 40 small panels and I am wondering about the quote that the intergrator gave me. Just wondering if it is high or about where it should be. Thank you in advance for your input

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I would guess between $42 and $60 USD / hour. But that is just a small part of it, what is in the panels will dictate the skill of labor required. You need to get quotes from 2 other independent sources to get a sense if their quote is priced right.

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One other thing to consider do the panels need to come with UL compliance sticker. I used to work for an SI with their own panel shop. They were UL qualified and wired all panels to that standard, but charged extra for the sticker.

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If it's quoted by the hour, get a firm estimate of labor time per panel!

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I got a Quote that stated the Engineering hours and the panel building hours and then a dollar amount for both. They are really simple panels and when I divided the panel building hours by the number of panels it was about 16 hours per panel.

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Just for clarification, I have all of our panels (except some junction boxes) built outside and am only interested in the bottom line. I'm looking for the panel to be complete, correct to the print, and on time and it doesn't matter how many hours the vendor puts into it to get it that way. And if I screwed up on the print I enquire if it cost the vendor any additional time/money and offer to re-imburse him for the grief.

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Are there any panel buliders here that would be willing to quote these panels for me?

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I'm willing and would definitely be competitive but I don't know that I could overcome the shipping charges to Nebraska

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I recently had several large panels built by an outside vendor, I got quotes from four different shops. Two were extremely high, (I found out later that they were booked solid, and didn't really want the work), one was about what I expected, and the last one was about 25% cheaper than the next lowest bid. I visited the lowest bidders shop, and was shocked at the facility, messy, the panels in progress were not very well done, not professional at all. These were complicated panels using Intrinsically safe isolation barriers, and in my mind I questioned the shop's abilities. I ended up using the next to lowest bidder. Let me tell you I had to fight the bean counters tooth and nail, to not use the lowest bidder, I ended up having to write a several page justification. My point is: The cheapest price is not always the best option. The best option is the lowest price for quality workmanship.

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I am making this PLC Law #34 Ken.

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Thanks, I never thought of it being a LAW, lol.

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I recently had that happen as well. This was a duplicate of a job the high bidder had won from us a couple of years ago but he was booked so his bid was so far over the top that I didn't understand why he didn't just decline to bid. But I also sent the bid to a brand new shop. An employee of one panel shop I use had left the company and started his own panel building shop. I liked the quality of his work so I sent a bid his way. He turned out to be the second highest bid. Too bad because I'm sure he could have used the work getting started out. The low bidder for that job also does very nice work and I had used them before so they got the job.

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When puchases are over a certain cost, we must obtain at least three bids. So... having a high bid is better than a decline to bid. At least for me anyway.

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Here's some more advice when comparing competitive bids. You want more than 2 bids because if 2 are within 20% of each other and #3 is 40% lower, chances are really good that #3 either doesn't know what he's doing or made the biggest mistake. Many times when a panel builder makes a big mistake like that they will just refuse to complete the job once they figure it out, which may not be until they are 1/2 way through it. You can technically sue them over it, but they know that your legal costs will likely be more than just paying their higher rate half way through the project. So here's an axiom for Law#34: The lowest price may just be representing the biggest mistake! Specific to your bid though, here are some rough guidelines to be able to figure out if you are being gouged for assembly labor. This is based on 1 panel. When you have multiple IDENTICAL panels some of the layout and setup times can be reduced, but not by much more than 20%. Basic setup / mobilization for each panel; 1 hour. Layout door for pilot devices; 1 hour for up to 10 devices, 10 minutes more for each additional over 10 Layout of back panel; 1 hour for up to 5 devices, 20 minutes for each additional. Includes wire duct layout. Punch holes, mount and wire a typical pilot device, i.e. pilot light, push button, selector switch; 20 minutes each. Mount and wire motor starters (or soft starters); up to 50A, 1/2 hour each; 60-200A, 1 hour each; over 200A, 1-1/2 hours each. Circuit breakers; 10 minutes per pole per breaker (i.e. 2 pole CB = 20 minutes, 3P = 30min.) Mount and wire relays and timers; 20 minutes each. Count relays with more than 4 poles as 2 relays. Mount and wire VFDs or other devices that require specialized control and/or signal wiring (shielded); starter times plus 1/2 hour each. Transformers or electronic devices that just need power supply and a few control wires; 1/2 hour each, 1 hour if over 20lbs. Fans / filters in door or side walls, 1 hour each. Air conditioner / heat exchanger; 2 hours

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Are you still interested in getting the quote from somebody else? Let me know by e-mail or phone 1-905-208-0591 I am in Canada but that does not matter our rates are cheaper here. Thx Sasha Haljkevic Panel Shop Manager CEC Controls Company Inc. 2401 Royal Windsor Drive Oakville Ontario Canada L6J 7X6 Tel: 905-339-3221 Cell: 905-208-0591 e-mail:shaljkevic@cceccontrols.com

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Sorry to everyone that has posted that I have not responed to. TWControls is currently bidding these panels for me. If I need any other bids I will keep you all in mind. Thanks

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