A look at reasons to purchase used equipment.

The only way a new-to-you piece of equipment offers any value is if it’s affordable, yet:

  1. It works
  2. It lasts
  3. It can be introduced in a relatively turnkey fashion

The prospect of used coordinate measuring machines may appear to be a great value. However, caveat emptor, as they say.

You need to ensure that there will be an obvious ROI, and that this used machine will offer as much (or more) value as a new machine.

Is this achievable? Absolutely?

Cost-Savings

It’s not advisable to make the cost your main decision-maker or purchase-driver. A low price holds no value if this new equipment comes with “hidden” costs like downtime or constant upkeep/maintenance.

Yes, you will save 50% or more on the actual purchase price if you buy a used piece of CMM equipment. However, does that represent half of the value? That depends on who/how you get it.

You may see a good deal at an auction or online somewhere. However, this can be risky if you’re not going through a seller/reseller/dealer authorized by the Machinery Dealers National Association (MDNA).

They can ensure that your equipment is mechanically sound and ready to be put to work. If it’s unsatisfactory in any way, they will repair it at no cost.

Turnaround Time

For those who are pressed for time, the use of CMM may be the best way to go. A used unit can be scheduled for delivery almost immediately.

Standard new CMM machinery may have a 6-10 week delivery time. This can be problematic if you’re replacing broken or damaged equipment. You could be facing downtime that is hurting your productivity and your facility’s output.

In these cases, your delivery time needs to be measured in days, not weeks or months.

Training

Again, the sooner your CMM is being used, the sooner it can start showing you a return-on-investment. If you have to take your employees off of the floor and into a classroom for an extended amount of time, your time-to-value stretches out over months, instead of weeks.

Not much has changed in CMM in recent years. However, the machine controllers and software used to support these machines have grown more robust and more complex. This is where you might want to leverage e-learning programs to train/up-train your staff as quickly as possible.

Parts and Service

Of course, the biggest concern with investing in a used-anything is being stuck with an antiquated model, which means the replacement parts will be hard to find.

Fortunately, that’s not the case with a used CMM machine. The amount of support and the accessibility of replacement parts will give you the peace-of-mind of knowing that this machine isn’t one incident away from being completely obsolete.

You can easily find and order any new parts (either computer or mechanical), even if your machine is already over 20-years-old.

Of course, no two situations are the same. Used CMM equipment is not ideal for every company. However, too many companies assume that they will have to sacrifice quality, reliability or support when they purchase used equipment.

Never assume used means used-up!