Imagine scoring a great deal on a used machine, only to find you have to spend a lot more to get it to work. That’s a risk you take if you don’t do some homework beforehand. There are good reasons for buying used rather than new, but there’s also a lot to think about. Here’s our advice.
Reasons for Buying Used Machinery
Here’s a quick recap. The main reasons for preferring a used machine include:
- Immediate availability – you might wait months for a new model from the factory
- Pay less
- Reduce depreciation charges
- Match what you already have
However, there are some downsides. One is that you won’t get the latest features and technology, (although you might question whether you really need them.) Another is that you may not get as many years life out of the machine. Here’s what else to consider.
Will it Meet Your Needs?
You’ve seen a great press, folding machine or CNC machine tool, but will it work for you? Will it integrate with any existing automation? Is it the right size? Can you link it to your ERP system (if that’s how you run your operation)?
Will Your People be Able to Use it?
Many shops prefer to standardize on a particular controls system manufacturer. Introduce a new brand and you may need to invest in training.
The same applies to setup and operation. If it’s unfamiliar to your people it may take longer than you expect to become fully productive.
Can You Maintain it?
Companies disappear and parts go out of production. Before settling on a particular machine check that the manufacturer is still in business. If not, can you get replacement parts? Consider also that spares and repair services may need to come from the component manufacturer and not the machine builder. Controls systems in particular can become obsolete faster than you might expect.
What Condition is it in?
There are many aspects of machine condition to consider. Service or maintenance records are a bonus, but look to see if wipers and way covers are in good shape and if the oil has been changed recently.
If the machine can be powered up, put it through its paces. Run the spindle up to high rpms and check for noises and vibration. Do the same with the motion axes, being careful to look, listen and feel for signs of excessive wear.
What do You Know About the Seller?
Due diligence is important – you should verify that the person you’re dealing with either owns the machine or is authorized to sell it for them – but it only takes you so far. Is the seller familiar with the type of machine you’re looking at and can they advise you on what else you might need or what accessories might prove useful.?
In addition, what kind of reputation does the seller have? Are they known for being fair and easy to work with or do they have a history of complaints? In short, will you feel comfortable dealing with them?
The Equipment Hub has been buying and selling machinery for a decade. We’d like to help you obtain what you need and dispose of what you don’t. Contact us and let’s talk.
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