Equipment Buying Tips For
Sheet Metal Processing

Sheet metal equipment buying tips

Buying used sheet metal cutting equipment can offer a processor a significant discount, on the order of 30% plus, compared to buying similarly equipped new equipment. The problem with buying used sheet metal cutting equipment is that it may require significant rebuilding and maintenance.

 Also the parts may not be readily available, nor the technical support. This means that there is a balance to be achieved between the time, effort and cost of refurbishing used metal cutting equipment versus the cost savings.

 A decent rule of thumb is that if the used sheet metal cutting equipment will cost up to 80% of the new equivalent equipment after you factor in rebuilding, repair, and upgrading for necessary automation changes, then you're probably better off buying new equipment.

 There are times, and certainly today's economy may be one of those, where there are a number of coil processing and sheet metal cutting operations that are going out of business because there may be overcapacity. This means there are better than normal deals to be had on some sheet metal processing and cutting equipment.

 If you have made the decision that you would rather buy used for the cost savings, and you find a piece of equipment that suits your purposes with growth in mind, then here are a few tips that can dramatically improve your chances of getting equipment that has been well maintained.

 

Tip #1 If at all possible, find out where the equipment was last used, the date that it last ran, and the type of processing it was involved with.

  This type of information will include such critical factors as whether the plant was ISO 9000 certified, or what quality standards it had to meet. If the plant falls under those kinds of quality standards, often applied to automotive vendors and military contracts, then you can be reasonably assured that there is documentation on all of maintenance procedures performed on the equipment.

 This is almost equivalent to getting a clean Carfax report on a car, as well as full maintenance records. This alone could mean that the equipment is virtually ready to go, short of any problems caused by the rigging and removal of the equipment.


Tip #2 Check with the original manufacturer to determine what the status of the machine was and when it was considered operational.

  Additionally, the original manufacturer may know, and probably does in the relatively small industry of coil processing equipment, the entire history of the line. With a reasonably automated line, there will be a number of factors that determine how fast the line was run, metal gauge that was run on the line, the slitter life if that process is included, and the number of hours on much of the equipment.

 Based on these factors the original designer and fabricator of the equipment will be able to guide the new purchaser as to what operations will be expected for getting the equipment in shape. Common maintenance includes replacing all bladed components, adjusting levelers and tensioners, replacing the rollers, bearings and sensors, as well as checking all the drives for accuracy and linkages.

 The automation components are much more critical but less likely to fail. If the automation components had failed, including variable speed drives, servos, etc. then the line was not functional under those failures.

 But the line can be completely functional, though not performing optimally, with dull slitters, or bearings that do not meet specifications.

 

Tip #3 I is critical to determine what facility modifications will be required when you buy these multi-ton space demanding sheet metal cutting lines.

  If there is a great deal for a particular sheet metal cutting line, but the layout of the line and the overall orientation of the system will require significant modification to your facility, then that particular line may not end up being such a great deal after all.

 All of the factors, including the energy efficiency of the line, the construction modifications that will be required within your facility, as well as such things as whether or not you have the power requirements for the line, must all be factored into the overall expense of buying and installing the line.

 It is not an uncommon situation for a new engineer to determine that a line functions perfectly and decide to buy it, only to discover that it will not fit in the facility either because of the load placed on the concrete, or perhaps bringing the equipment into the production floor will require cutting out a wall.

 Every single detail about bringing the used piece of equipment into a facility must be carefully evaluated. The reason that used equipment tends to have this problem and new equipment tends not to, is that when buying new, you are getting the services of an applications engineer and installation team, often included in the price.

 Following these three tips will help minimize the transition for buying a used line and turning it into a new producing operation.


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1

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2

Consulting

Are you looking to buy or sell a piece of used equipment but are hesitant to take the next step? 

I have two decades of experience that I can share with you.  To schedule a consultation with me, simply email or call me and I will set a time with you to discuss the details 

email: gregk@stripmetalcoilprocessing.com

or call direct:

Office: 1-888-394-0181

Mobile: +1-905-334-9282

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3

Free Machinery Listing

Do you have a piece of used machinery you would like to sell?  MachineSaleX.com can
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Top 3 FREE Tips

to increase efficiency

  1. Use appropriate technology and by-pass manual labor where possible for the roll and coil changeovers.
  2. Coil cars can also cut transition and changeovers.
  3. Consider material handling elements such as coil storage racks if there is not a crane installed for keeping a coil car active.
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