Rebuilt or New Equipment Blog
If you are considering used equipment it is very important to purchase from someone you know and trust. Many customers, especially in Central and South America will no longer consider remanufactured equipment from the United States because they have been let down before by a poor purchase. We have several competitors who sandblast and paint, do a minimal amount of repair, and call the equipment “remanufactured”. However, the equipment really has not been rebuilt at all, their condition is a small step above “used as is”. These pieces either never work correctly or they operate for a short period of time and then require a major rebuild.
Many times over the years I have had customers who typically are friends or long time business partners who are considering remanufactured or new equipment ask me; “Paul, if you were spending your own money on this, which way would you go?”
I always hesitate and think carefully before answering, as I realize they mean the question literally. I know they are asking me because they respect my opinion based on previous projects where I directed them in making a good decision. So I feel a sense of responsibility to answer correctly and thoroughly to maintain the close relationship and friendship. If I had to pay for the piece of equipment with my own money, which way would I go? Typically, the answer depends on the type of equipment and what type of rebuild is being discussed.
There are certain pieces of equipment that I would never recommend be purchased refurbished or rebuilt even though we have before and will again sell them. Equipment like screw conveyors, valves, and auxiliary equipment I would only purchase new. Any item that cannot be rebuilt is another area where I always recommend new. We sell items rebuilt or used as-is because some customers simply cannot afford anything else and they are in a desperate situation and need something fast.
The decision gets tougher on pieces of equipment that are designed specifically to be rebuilt over and over again and that have a very long useful life. These are the best candidates for rebuilding because after the rebuild they have the same useful life as a new piece. So if an item can be rebuilt to the same useful life as a new one and the customer can save investment then I would recommend a remanufactured piece. New equipment is great, but comes with making an investment that can make remanufactured look very attractive.
The equipment in the rendering industry where a customer can save investment and get a better value or “bigger bang for the buck” on a remanufactured machine would include the following pieces:
Continuous Cookers that utilize steam on the shell
Expeller® presses and mechanical screw presses
Dewatering presses that are in good condition
Steam tube dryers
Some care must be given to the type of rebuild that is being considered. For example, on a batch rendering cooker, we might offer the best used as-is unit we have that has a useable shell, a re-shelled cooker and a new cooker. The cooker that has a useable shell clearly will always have the lowest investment, but it might or might not be the best value. For example, if the inner shell is close to being worn out and the customer will need to reshell the unit in a year or two then it likely is not the best choice and not the best value. If it were my own cash, and if I owned the plant, I would not purchase this cooker even though it had the lowest investment. If the cooker with the used shell had very good shell thicknesses then I would purchase the lowest cost option as it would have the best value. Sometimes, it makes sense to reshell a vessel when purchasing a rebuilt cooker. In most instances, I would purchase a reshelled, fully remanufactured cooker instead of a new cooker, if it were my own money. The wear components such as the inner shell, shaft, paddles, mechanical seals, bearing inserts, and drive can all be rebuilt or purchased new. A cooker rebuilt in this manner would have the same useful life as a new one and some reduction in investment is achieved.
I am proud that, at Alloy, we rebuild things correctly and we build business relationships that last for decades, and in some cases, lifetimes. We do not try to make fast cash or a quick sale. We would prefer to lose a sale to one of our low cost, poor quality competitors than to secure a sale and provide a poor quality product. This leads to a single sale to a single customer. Instead, we want to be their lifetime rendering vendor by providing exceptional service, quality, workmanship and value. We stand behind our remanufactured equipment with the same warranty as a brand new piece of equipment.
It is because of our ethical approach with customers that I get the question of what would “you” purchase in the first place. In the end my answer depends on the piece that is being considered and the condition of the piece being rebuilt. I have recommended new and remanufactured in these cases but every time I honestly tell the customer what I would do if it really was my money and I explain why.
Give me a call the next time you are considering new or remanufactured equipment