Buying X-ray scanners can be a tricky task. You not only want machines that meet your security needs, but you also need them to fit within your budget. Spend too much and you might not afford all the scanners you need. Spend too little and you may compromise your security plan. You need to find the middle ground that optimizes performance and affordability. And you cannot find that without accurate and comprehensive pricing.

The full cost of X-ray machine ownership includes more than just the sales price. Vendors’ quotes often include maintenance, delivery, and installation costs. You need to combine all these costs to calculate accurate X-ray prices. Then, you can better compare all the vendor options presented to you.

So what costs do you need to know when buying X-ray scanners? Below are the 6 most important costs to consider. Add them together and compare them to determine the most affordable X-ray unit for your security needs.

1. Sales Price

(If you need help figuring out which X-ray scanner to buy, start with our helpful whitepaper). X-ray units range in price from thousands of dollars per unit up to as much as millions of dollars each. You want to ensure the machines you buy will fit within your budget. Sales price is not just the base unit cost either. It should also include accessories and extra equipment. Accessories include roller tables, larger hard drives, and even custom paint jobs. You may also need to buy extra equipment for specialized X-ray units, such as mobile scanners. All these costs are important to factor into the unit sales price.

2. Maintenance, Repairs, and Spare Parts

Like other high-tech equipment, X-ray scanners are most useful when they actually work. Maintenance and warranty plans are critical in ensuring proper system operation. X-ray vendors should provide pricing for warranty packages, anticipated repairs, and spare parts. You need these cost estimates since they affect each unit’s lifetime value. Be sure to select the service package that suits your operating needs. Do your X-rays need to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Maintenance and warranties for continuous operation can be expensive. But it is better to know your costs ahead of time then to pay an arm and a leg later in unexpected repair fees.

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3. Site Preparation vs. Customization

It is not unusual to find X-ray installation sites needing updates before the systems arrive. Perhaps a doorway needs widening and larger sites may need civil engineering works. Start X-ray purchases with a site survey to make sure these updates are not surprises. Then, coordinate with the X-ray vendors to see if they can assist you and save you some money. Instead of costly civil work, your vendor may have cheaper alternatives: customized units. At Astrophysics, Inc. we take pride in our ability to customize any X-ray unit to fit our customers’ needs. We can narrow units for easier transport through doorways. We design customized conveyors that align with existing infrastructure. No matter the issue, we have a customized solution perfect for your needs.

4. Delivery and Installation

Shipping an X-ray unit is not a cheap job. Packaging costs. Freight delivery fees. Import / export licenses. Legal documents. You may need any combination of these (and more) to deliver your unit on site. And once it has arrived (via air freight or ocean shipping) you must install it. Some units need a forklift (or larger equipment) for proper and safe installation. Include this installation equipment in your initial estimates to avoid surprising budget overruns later.

5. Operator Costs

Operator costs can make up a large part of the X-ray price. When determining operator costs, include both salaries and training costs. Be aware of high operator turnover or their unfamiliarity with a new system. These factors likely mean extra training, leading to increased operator costs for each unit.

6. Energy Usage

Some people may find this to be a minor consideration. Even so, be sure you know how much electricity each X-ray scanner uses. Monthly utility costs can add up, especially if the scanner will need uninterrupted power. Be sure you do not ignore these; they are another important part of X-ray unit costs.

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One last thing – do not forget about other minor costs. These include interest payments (if the X-rays are bought on credit) and currency adjustments.  Although small, including these costs with 6 above with paint a complete picture of the total price when buying X-ray scanners.

With these costs in hand, you can confidently compare X-ray offerings between vendors. The prices you compare will include the same items, leaving you to focus on machine specs and performance. Armed with the full X-ray price you can comfortably pick the most cost-effective units tailored to your security needs.

Looking to install X-ray scanners at your county courthouse? Need a system to scan package deliveries? Interested in a cargo pallet scanner? At Astrophysics, Inc. we pride ourselves on designing state-of-the-art X-ray scanners that make hidden threats visible. Our dedicated Sales Team is ready to help you find an X-ray scanner perfectly suited for your security needs! Call our team at (909) 598-5488 or submit a brief Sales Inquiry form to start an X-ray conversation today!