Packagers face the dilemma of selecting new or used machinery. The pros and cons of each can make it a tough decision. Here’s a look at some of them.
of all, the term “used machinery” covers a lot of ground. At one end is brand
new, never installed machinery. At the other is machinery that is little more
than scrap iron. Then there is everything in between.
condition of a used machine can be an unknown. How much hidden wear does it
have? Are all the electricals up to par? For the knowledgeable buyer these
questions can be largely resolved by careful inspection or observing the
machine in operation.
Some builders sell “remanufactured”
machines. The meaning can vary from company to company but is generally taken to
be a step beyond refurbishment with replacement of all wear parts such as
shafts and bearings and upgrades to new machine standards.
number of companies sell used machinery. Some simply buy and resell. Others
will refurbish to varying degrees and provide ongoing support after the sale.
Establish a relationship.
So, when should you buy used
instead of new? There are a couple key factors to consider:
machinery will have a lower price tag than new. This lower initial price may be
offset by higher costs of preparation and installation as well as higher
maintenance and operation costs. The total cost of the used and new options
must be evaluated to get a true picture.
packaging machinery is built to order. Three-month delivery on pretty much
anything is fast. Some machines may take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to
deliver. A used machine can usually be delivered in about the time it takes to
truck it to the plant. The ability to get online quickly with a new product or
with additional capacity is often worth a lot.
some drawbacks of used machinery as well:
machine technology is improving daily. New machines use individual servo drives
and computer controls for greater flexibility and reliability.
and maintenance manuals along with schematics and parts lists are a must for
any machine. These may not be available for older or especially obsolete or
orphaned machinery. Some dealers maintain extensive libraries and can supply
this. Others do not.
Contamination-It may be hard to
guarantee that a used machine has not been used with a material incompatible
with your product. No matter how well it has been cleaned or refurbished, there
is always a risk of residual contamination. This may not be important for a
cartoner used on a detergent line. It is absolutely critical on a filler to be
used with a food product.
Buying used machinery will entail
more risk than buying new. But the careful buyer who can evaluate and deal with
the risks might find some substantial benefits. F&BP
New versus used
John Henry, Certified Packaging Professional (CPP), is renowned as the Changeover Wizard. His company, Changeover.com, specializes in improving line efficiencies for packagers by reducing dowtime. Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or 787-550-9650.
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