Used equipment offers two attractions. First, you can avoid delivery delays incurred when ordering some new equipment. This may provide significant schedule savings — even as much as six months or more — in procurement. Having a unit quickly up and running again frequently is worth a lot. Second, used equipment costs less, sometimes a lot less. However, if issues arise with the equipment, cost savings can dwindle or disappear. Getting used equipment to the plant and properly working requires different skills than those for purchasing new items. So, let’s look at potential problems and also a situation where used equipment proved a bad bargain.
First, though, let’s distinguish between remanufactured and used equipment. Remanufactured equipment undergoes reconditioning to a “like new” state by the original equipment manufacturer or a specialist vendor and generally comes with a warranty. Commonly available remanufactured equipment includes control valves and pumps.
In contrast, used equipment mainly consists of items from shuttered plants. You usually purchase such equipment as-is (or perhaps after cleaning) and where-is. The item may have sat idle for years or longer, rarely comes with any warranty or performance guarantee, and often lacks mechanical or process design documentation.