Coordinate measuring machines are no longer a luxury purchase in most sectors. Whereas in the past, you might only have bought one to keep clients happy, today they offer significant time savings and can help you cut down on the cost of errors and scrap. But if you’ve got a tight budget, you’re going to want to find bargain prices by buying a used coordinate measuring machine.
One of the advantages of buying used is that you can find all major OEMs from independent metrology dealers. There are three big manufacturers of coordinate measuring machine: Zeiss, Mitutoyo, and brands under the Hexagon M.I. family, as well as smaller manufacturers and manufacturers of equipment like laser scanners and portable arms. For example, you can find the latest Zeiss CMM models available used from an independent metrology shop. Often independent retailers will sell new equipment from a single umbrella company like Hexagon, but they buy and repair used coordinate measuring machines of most major brands and quality vintage. Not only do they put machines through a thorough inspection and testing process in their quality lab, they can also perform any upgrades or retrofits you need to make the machine fit your orders and keep up with contemporary technology standards – especially software.
There are more than a few reasons to stick to buying from independent retailers like Canadian Measurement Metrology, a.k.a. CMM. There are a lot things auction houses and shops selling their machines directly don’t know or care about:
Auction houses regularly sell computers for coordinate measuring machines separately, not really aware of what they have. Those computers can have important data and software on it, and they will prove costly to replace if the auction house separated them.
Software on a used coordinate measuring machine is frequently out of date. If you find a used machine with current-generation software, you’ve lucked out with a great bargain. Thanks to the money you save by buying used, it shouldn’t be too costly to buy up-to-date software as well as pay for training courses (offered by CMM) for your in-house metrologists. PC-DMIS is one of the most commonly used metrology software programs and may be approaching universal status, but more specialized programs exist for specialized tasks.
An auction house doesn’t know whether or not a coordinate measuring machine works, and if you’re buying directly from another shop, they may not care or know themselves. Never buy a used coordinate measuring machine without at least a guarantee from the metrologist. A reputable metrology shop will make sure it functions to specification when it’s installed on your shop floor or your money back.
4. Replacement Parts:
Coordinate measuring machines have a long lifespan, especially if you take the time and effort to care for it properly. But that doesn’t mean that the OEM will continue to make replacement parts. Ask a metrologist about the availability of replacement parts before you buy a used coordinate measuring machine. You should also know whether or not the machine you’re buying has any non-OEM parts, as that can negatively affect the value of it – through the right retrofit that adds versatility or speed can be a good thing.
An expert metrology dealer is your best asset when you’re trying to save money buying a coordinate measuring machine. Look for members of the MDNA (Machinery Dealers National Association), an organization that includes as part of its charter a responsibility to inform clients about the machine that best fits their needs. It’s the smartest way to invest in metrology equipment.
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