3 Must-Ask Questions for Purchasing Refurbished Machinery

When sheet metal fabricators need equipment to get the job done, they can be hard-pressed to find equipment on short notice – which means there may not be budget resources available to make a new purchase. The alternative, then, is searching for less expensive options, like used equipment.

Searching for refurbished machinery can go either way: you could end up with a dependable machine that effectively aids production for years… or you could end up with a lemon that leaves you worse off than you already were. To avoid a lemon situation, make sure you ask the following questions when shopping with a dealer:

Rebuilt Bender - before

Before Roto-Die Remanufacturing

Rebuilt Bender - after

After Roto-Die Remanufacturing

  1. Have the tooling, electrical, and hydraulic components been replaced or rebuilt? When?

A used machine likely has had some work done on it at some point during its life. Superficial repairs, like eliminating rust on the machine’s base, tend not to affect the machine’s operation. If vital components like the hydraulics have been replaced, however, any oversight during the repair process can shorten the future life of the machine or limit its production capabilities. With a demanding workload, there’s no room for faulty equipment.

  1. Does the machine come with a warranty?

This one is really a no-brainer; a used machine may be more susceptible to breakdown than a new one. If you can secure a warranty for repair, you can protect your investment. Sometimes you can determine whether or not the machine carries a warranty just by checking the listed price. Quality used machinery can be expected to be around 20% less expensive than a new model; if the price is substantially reduced beyond that, you may be looking at equipment missing a warranty – or worse, rebuilt with outdated parts.

  1. What is the serial number on the machine?

Even if you can’t find the other answers by speaking with the dealer, there is no reason they would be unable to produce the machine’s serial number; well, no good reason. A serial number can lead you to information such as the machine’s original build date. When a serial number has been removed, this should serve as a red flag that the machine’s history, including service dates and equipment usage, is at best unknown and at worst falsified.

If you are in need of a used machine, seriously consider purchasing any remanufactured sheet metal fabrication equipment directly from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). You know that if the OEM has serviced the machinery, it has been carried out by professionals familiar with the model, its parts, and its functions. Roto-Die has its own Remanufacturing program, where not only do clients have the option to purchase a remanufactured Roto-Die machine outright at a lower rate, but also to trade in their old model for a credit toward a refurbished one.