Used Packaging Machinery Buying
Pre-owned or used packaging machines are not like cars.
There generally isn’t a certified pre-owned program, they often don’t come with
a warranty and many times, the price isn’t that much less than new. So why buy used?
There are deals to be had but you’ve got to do some work to
find them. Used equipment dealers specialize in, you guessed it, used machines.
Their aim is to buy low and sell high. Another avenue to look for used
equipment is your local packaging distributor.
Often times, the local folks need to sweeten a new machine
sale and offer to take back the old machines in trade. In addition, their goal usually
is to create a new on-going customer and might sacrifice a bit of profit on a used
machine to make that happen.
No matter where you buy the used packaging equipment, there’s
still a risk of buying a dud. Here are some suggestions on how to minimize that
What is the current
condition of the packaging machine?
Like a used car, a used shrink wrapper or
stretch wrapper may look amazing in pictures and video and it certainly could
be. But as with pre-owned vehicles, beware that there are things an untrained
eye can miss. Like an ASE certified auto mechanic, an independent
highly-trained packaging technician can look under the hood and point out
things that could make or break the deal.
2. Can you see the used packaging equipment in person?
The best-case scenario is the equipment is
still in operation in the seller's facility. That way, you can visit to see the
packaging system in person while it is running the in regular production. This
will give you the best overall picture of its capabilities.
Even if the machine isn’t in continuous
operation or has been mothballed for a while, you should insist that the seller
run it for you. If they can’t or won’t, it’s best to proceed with extreme
caution. This is not to say that the equipment is bad, but making a substantial
investment in used packaging machinery without seeing it successfully run increases
the risk of buying a headache.
3. What is the packaging machine's history?
Who was the original packaging equipment
manufacturer? When was it manufactured? How long has it been in operation, and
more importantly, how many hours or cycles has it run? Like a used car, make,
model, year and mileage can give you a good indication of the level of wear on
a used packaging machine.
This is where working with a local trusted distributor
can really pay-off. In many cases, the distributor selling the used machine
also sold it when new and has maintained it throughout its life. It’s a bit
like buying a used car that’s had one owner and has been serviced only by the dealer.
4. What application/environment was the machine originally built
Most packaging machines are based on standard
platforms but may have been customized for a particular product. Let’s use a
flow-wrapper as an example. You may need a machine to wrap hockey pucks where every
product is the same size and weight.
Let’s say you, a hockey puck manufacturer,
found a machine that was used in a bakery to wrap sandwiches. A sandwich
wrapping machine might have dust/crumb modifications, gas flush, and a valve applicator
added. It might also a tear notch in the seal jaws as well as zipper
applicator. Hockey pucks don’t need any of those things but might need other
options to ensure they run through the machine
Retrofitting is possible, but remember it is
much easier (and usually less costly and labor-intensive) to build a machine to
your specifications than to retrofit an existing machine to your specifications.
Plant environment should also be taken into
consideration. If your product necessitates sanitary design or
enclosures with a higher IP Rating, a machine used to package snacks will
likely not fulfill those requirements.
Discount Packaging Depot offers a wide variety
of used packaging machines. If you don’t see what you need on the website, call
us. If we don’t have it, we may be able to find it for you.