I am a general manager of a job shop that only liquid paints plastic parts for OEM applications in automotive markets (grilles, hub caps, etc.). I want to get powder coating in the shop on a batch basis (dip cleaning, batch booth, powder gun, batch oven, etc.). Since I have a limited budget, I was looking for used equipment. Are there any sources for used systems? R.H.
People who are selling used equipment normally advertise in the classified section of Products Finishing. Often, the actual owner of the equipment will be the advertiser. But, sometimes the advertiser is an agent or used equipment seller. You have to be careful with these guys. Some have a good reputation and others are one step ahead of the law. I had one used equipment dealer say to me, “I live my life in the gray area.” Well, I am a “black and white” type of guy, so I advised my client to work with someone else.
Used equipment comes to the market often. Just like buying a used car, the truism “buyer beware” applies here also. You can save some money and get some real value, but only if you take the proper precautions. Here are some pointers:
- Be sure the seller of the equipment has clear title to the equipment. Often a used equipment dealer will advertise equipment that they don’t yet own. If this is the case, pay the true owner of the equipment and not the dealer. Also, the true owner may have some liens against the equipment, making purchase of the same unclear.
- Visit the site where the equipment is located. Visually examine all the components to verify that they are intact and operational. Sometimes the equipment has already been removed from operation and is stored in a warehouse or field. This would make verifying its operational condition impossible.
- Since all powder coating systems are custom configured using standard components, you should make sure that the system has the capacity and the size to accommodate your requirements. Modification of the equipment after purchase can be both costly and unwise if it exceeds the design criteria of the system.
- Pay about 10 cents on the dollar for used equipment that is “on-the-hoof.” The cost of removal, clean up, refurbishment, modification, shipping, installation and startup will bring your installed cost up to 50 cents on the dollar. Paying any more than this brings into question the reasons for buying used in the first place.
- Try to get all the documentation you can from the original equipment supplier. You may have to pay for this, but it can really help in the modification and refurbishment of the system. Troubleshooting the equipment after installation will also go more smoothly if you have drawings and manuals to refer to.
Good luck in your quest. When buying a used car, having an experienced mechanic test drive the car can provide some comfort. With used powder coating systems, using a qualified consultant to check the system before purchase can be just as comforting.