UNDOUBTEDLY many manufacturers have been faced with the problem of turning down an order of limited quantity production which would require the purchase of new machinery. We hear of numerous cases of this kind, and frequently the problem has been solved by the purchase of used machines.
In other cases, the acceptance of these limited quantity orders is predicated on locating the necessary equipment at a price which will enable the manufacturer to write off a goodly portion of his capital investment on the order.
We know of a case right now of a manufacturer whose acceptance of a fairly large government order depends upon his ability to locate a used machine of considerable size.
In this issue we present the case history of a power installation which would not have been made had it not been possible to purchase rebuilt equipment. The cost of a new plant was too great. The Engineering Department of the firm in question had the courage and confidence in their own ability to solve this problem. They had previous experience in the purchase of used equipment and placed the order with an equipment concern which engineered, redesigned and assembled a unit of rather complicated specifications at a cost which was well within the limited appropriation.
There should be no fear on the part of any production executive in specifying used or rebuilt equipment. Of course, investigation of the supplier is a natural procedure, however, the experience of many large users of machinery throughout the entire country has clearly established the responsibility of dealers in used equipment.
Another point that is hard for us to understand is why some users are reluctant to talk about their purchases of used machinery. A plant executive once said to us, “We don’t want to let our competitors know we buy used and rebuilt machines.” Years ago, possibly this argument could be used to discredit a competitor, but we feel that this “bugaboo” has long been exploded in view of the millions of dollars spent each year by progressive manufacturers in the purchase of equipment which had already seen service in some other plant.
Considerable publicity is given to new installations, and rightly so. However, if we owned stock in a business organization that was alert enough to take advantage of the economies in used machinery purchases, we feel that our chances of receiving dividends would be far greater than if we had our investment in a concern that scoffed at the idea of buying “used.” We are not taking issue with active concerns who keep replacing their old equipment with new, but we believe that manufacturers who put the “damper” on publicizing their purchases of used equipment are hiding their light under an old fashioned and outmoded bushel basket.