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Pros & Cons of Buying Used Vibratory Equipment

 by General Kinematics,

For your foundry, mining, or materials processing facility, the temptation to save money with used vibratory equipment is high. To make the best investment for your operation, however, it’s important to understand the pros and cons to buying used vibratory equipment. With that information in mind, you’ll be able to make a better decision or offer educated opinions to decision-makers or parties involved in the approval process.

The Breakdown of Buying Used Vibratory Equipment

Here are just a few of the benefits (and downsides) to buying used vibratory equipment…

Pro: Lower Cost

The first and most apparent benefit to used vibratory equipment is obviously the cost, but is it just the sticker price? Not necessarily. When you buy used vibratory equipment, you may be buying it from another facility closer to you, or that is similar in size and operation. This can reduce costs related to:

  • Installation (less risk to shut down the facility for a given set of time rather than full equipment failure)
  • Transportation
  • Engineering cost
  • Troubleshooting

When you purchase used equipment that’s just right for your facility, based on a previous owner’s similar operation, it can make the whole process much cheaper. 

Con: Higher Price Over Equipment’s Lifetime

Unfortunately, many managers and teams choose used equipment without really considering the costs associated with it. Sometimes, there’s only a small discount on the overall price of the machine compared to new. From there, you have to worry about damages, wear and tear, and use that can impact its function down the road. That’s not even accounting for the time and cost associated with shopping for the best used equipment.

If the equipment is older and more outdated, you may also have more expenses related to repairs compared to newer, more efficient models. If the equipment is constantly breaking down or you need additional modifications to your current system to make it work, this can minimize your return on investment and the overall benefit of purchasing used. Doing some in-depth cost analysis on new versus used can help you sort through these issues and troubleshoot as needed. 

Pro: “Like New” Condition

Many times, you can find equipment that was simply not the right fit or function for a facility, and it’s in “Like New” condition. This can save you a lot of money on manufacturing costs, as well as in setup or installation direct from the manufacturer. It also means less risk of breakdown, as the equipment is “like new.”

Con: The Real Definition of “Used”

There are plenty of ways to describe a piece of used vibratory equipment: “Like New,” “Running When Removed from Service,” or “Refurbished” to name a few. But when it comes to buying the used equipment, what’s going to work and what’s not? You or your team will have to verify the equipment to ensure that it works, and even that comes with risks after you disassemble and move the piece.

Keep in mind that any form of used equipment will not have the original warranty, which limits your coverage in the event that something does break. 

Pro: Remote Inspection and Dealers

No matter where you find your used equipment, it will need to be authorized in many cases to be cleared to operate in your facility. This requires an inspection, which you can request from a used equipment dealer or group. Even if you’re unable to see the piece with your own eyes, you’ll have someone looking into it to make sure you’re not just throwing money away.

Used equipment dealers may also offer to help you find the pieces you need, eliminating the time involved in searching. 

Con: Rigging and Setup

Just because an inspection has taken place doesn’t mean that the system will work as recorded in the original facility. Between tear down, packaging, shipping, unpacking, installation, and first use, there is a lot that can go wrong. The older the equipment, the longer the shipping and the intensity of setup required, the more problems you may encounter that can affect your ability to pass inspection.

Of course, there is also the unfortunate chance that inspector or dealers may only have their commission in mind, not your facility’s best interests. This happens rarely but can cost facility managers and budgets big time. 

Pro: Less Waiting Time

In the world of vibratory equipment, lead time from searching for new equipment to the first day of use can belong. Especially when a system is custom-ordered or out of stock, used equipment that is ready to ship can be incredibly beneficial for a facility on a deadline. 

Con: Faster Isn’t Better

Whether you’ve had equipment go out or you’re trying to streamline a new portion of your operations, it can feel like time is of the essence. However, rushing decisions like equipment purchase can lead to mistakes, lowered standards, and higher expenses overall. It might be worth a few extra days to find the right equipment, new or used. General Kinematics also has a range of vibratory equipment in stock for easier ordering.

Pro: Availability of Individual Equipment 

Finding the exact pieces you need for a lower cost can be very enticing. This can help you replace other equipment that has been retired or expand your operation for a fraction of the cost of a new or “custom” setup.

Con: Decreased Function or Output

When you put together your vibratory equipment in a piecemeal way, you may be sacrificing function and productivity over the long run. 

Whereas, when your system is new and/or works together flawlessly, you have to worry less about breakdowns, sizing or location struggles. Especially when the equipment comes with GK’s team of experienced engineers and techs who will help you through the installation and setup process.  

General Kinematics Vibratory Equipment Value

At the end of the day, what you really want from your vibratory equipment is a great ROI. You want to know that it will help your facility work faster, better, and safer than before and that you don’t have to spend a ton of time, money, or effort to keep it going. If you need vibratory equipment that’s ready to go and certified to the highest quality standards, check out our equipment inventory. You can also contact us to learn more about GK’s full line of vibratory equipment to meet your facility needs.

General Kinematics Corporation, incorporated in 1960, was established to market, design, and custom fabricate innovative vibratory equipment for the foundry, recycling, mining, and processing industries. Today the company continues as one of the world’s largest suppliers of vibratory processing equipment and has evolved into an industry-leading EPC firm. Headquartered in Crystal Lake, IL, General Kinematics has seven global locations providing engineering and support to a world-wide customer base. GK is a third generation, family-owned company and is ISO 9001 certified.