Over the last few weeks, I have been involved in quite a few meetings with our sales and engineering teams responding to customer requests to help repair machines they bought from competing vibratory suppliers. Many of these machines have only been installed one to three years, and are experiencing catastrophic failures that are creating excessive downtime. In almost all cases, General Kinematics had bid on the initial work, but lost because the opposing solution was “cheaper”. Unfortunately, the small amount they saved upfront was quickly consumed in lost opportunity costs and repairs from downtime that could have been prevented with a little more digging upfront.
When you are looking to purchase capital equipment, you must invest time in determining what really matters for the long-term success of the project. One of the best places to start is talking to other users of similar equipment.
What references have the companies bidding on the work given to you to prove their solution will be successful?
Have you asked the other companies bidding on the work for references of their competitors?
Both good and bad references will help you understand how each company’s equipment has performed in other applications, and how those companies responded when there was a problem. Give each company a chance to respond to both the good and bad feedback you received to see who is being honest and who is not.
Another thing to consider is the actual design of each machine. It is important to make sure each design compensates for the environment they will be operating in. Here at GK, our engineers are involved in every step to make sure the unit will be the perfect fit for not only the physical footprint but your process as well. Some things to keep in mind include:
In foundries where hot metal is being conveyed, does the conveyor have heat expansion considered in the design?
Does that recycling screen you are looking at have a high enough stroke to prevent jamming and blinding?
Knowing the effect your material and corresponding process has on equipment will help you make sure the machine you are buying will be suitable for the application.
Finally, find out if that company be there for you if you have a problem.
What does their service department look like?
Do they have engineers that will pick up the phone and help you through your problems?
What kind of components are on each machine, and are they readily available in a location near you, or will they have to ship from somewhere overseas with extended lead times?
All these things are important to know and consider in your project cost and value analysis. General Kinematics has Field Service on the ready around the globe to be there for you when you need them.
Price is always important when you are looking to purchase something, but the intangible costs are not usually included in those prices that really matter. Proper diligent research on the companies you are asking to bid on the work is paramount to ensure that the machine you are buying today will be running 5-10 years down the road, and the company that sold it to you will be there to support you. If you are experiencing problems with any vibratory machine, General Kinematics can help pick you up when others fall flat.
At GK, care is put into every part of our process. From the moment of conceptualization to the end of your equipment’s life General Kinematics is there for you. We are constantly innovating not only or equipment, but also our behind the scenes processes in order to be the most responsive, highest quality provider of material processing equipment and related services. We are lucky to have a team of people who love the brand and truly care about the work they deliver in every department. Check out the people behind the GK brand: