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Is Buying A Used Conveyor The Right Choice?

Some facilities may consider buying a used conveyor instead of a new one when the time comes to replace a worn out piece of equipment. While this can save some money, it will likely end up costing the plant more in the long run. New products are built with the latest parts and technologies available. This can greatly extend the life of the machine compared to a previously owned device. Also, buying a new machine ensures the manufacturer will provide ongoing maintenance and offer more extensive warranties. This can be a crucial layer of protection against breakdowns and loss of productivity.

Even the best kept used conveyor will wear out much sooner than a newer model. Purchasing a previously owned machine is a short-term decision that becomes more of a gamble as time goes on. For a company on a tight budget, this may be the only way to get a plant up and running. For most companies, though, the cost of replacement and continuing maintenance is likely to outpace any savings within a short timeframe. Money is also not the only cost of taking on older equipment, either.

With an older machine, breakdowns are expected with more frequency. As any plant manager knows, even a brief period of inactivity can cause severe productivity shortfalls. To make up for lost time, extra work will be required, pushing workers and other processing machines to a more grueling pace. This is when injuries and fatal breakdowns are more likely to occur. In effect, one breakdown can cause a period of inactivity that sparks a problematic chain reaction. Even a thorough inspection before purchasing won’t catch all possible problems in the future either. In short, a used conveyor just can’t be counted on to the degree that a newer machine can.

Newer models are also better supported by their manufacturers. When purchasing new, the device can be bought through the manufacturer. This builds a solid business relationship and gives the plant a resource in case something goes wrong with the machine. Previously owned machines, though, are usually bought through resellers that can’t offer the same expertise that the manufacturer or direct supplier can. This means that the facility may be on their own if the device suffers a malfunction. A general technician may be able to perform the fix without help from the manufacturer, but it will likely take more time than usual.

Modern transport machines have improved greatly since just 10 years ago. They are more efficient, more rugged and come with state of the art interface technology. A cutting edge interface can offer features like checkweighing, more advanced recordkeeping, additional programming modes or a more responsive alert system if there is a malfunction. These can help the facility keep better track of a product stream, and determine if there are any issues with quality.

A previously owned machine can provide a stopgap in some situations, but buying new ensures a processing facility has the best technology in the most durable package available.

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