It may seem as though once you’ve purchased a piece of equipment you’ll never have to think about buying that again, but there are some significant advantages to upgrading old machinery. Many OEM’s offer trade-in programs to allow customers to get rid of an older machine and replace it with the most current technology – OMAX and Sodick to name just a couple. Many shop owners wonder if it’s really worth the money to simply replace one EDM with another or one waterjet with another, but hundreds of customers have weighed the costs vs benefits and have made the change.
One of the benefits of an upgrade is having the latest technology. Think how fast technology is changing these days. The cell phone you bought 10 years ago looks nothing like the one you can buy today, and the machine tool industry is advancing just as rapidly. Your old machine’s control and software platform could be costing you a significant amount of money. Consider an OMAX waterjet for example. The latest software takes into account years of research on how the jet stream performs in specific materials. So rather than a generic algorithm that slows the jet down 1” before every corner to allow for the bottom of the stream to catch up, the current software adjusts the ramping down to begin at the exact moment it’s necessary based on the specific material and thickness currently being cut. This may not sound like much but in a large run it could result in hours less cutting time and hundreds of dollars saved. Not to mention that the faster one job gets off, the sooner the next one can get started.
Another benefit to upgrading is new hardware. New hardware can result in less down time as well as a reduced cost for replacement parts. Many components are now made from a longer-lasting material, are able to hold tolerance longer, reduce energy costs, etc. All of this will lead to better parts coming off the machine with improvements in surface finish and accuracy, but also fewer hours spent on repairs and replacement of consumables.
Why would an OEM want your old machine? There are a few reasons for a manufacturer to have interest in your older machine. In many cases they can refurbish that machine to have some of the features of a new machine and then offer it to customers who are unable to afford a fully new unit. It will often come with a more limited warranty, and limited service and support, but can be a great fit for places such as educational institutions where funding is extremely limited. Second it allows the manufacturer to get older systems out of the field all together. In some cases this keeps them from having to stock parts that may only be used on a handful of machine, and in other situations it provides a benefit by not requiring their service technicians to be trained to work on the earliest generations of their equipment.
The demand for your used machine has never been higher, and OEM’s are offering top dollar. Consider trading-up to the best in current technology to keep your shop running at peak performance and maximum efficiency. Contact Brooks Associates to get a quote on the value of your trade-in as well as the specific benefits you would see in a new unit.