Glass vials on filling line

February 11, 2019

5 Overlooked Costs of Used Equipment


Have you been challenged to install a packaging line quickly? This is becoming a frequent occurrence as companies strive to capture market share in the fast-paced food and beverage industry.

Does your plan include reusing or buying used equipment to reduce lead time and cost? On the surface, this appears to be a reasonable solution. There likely are hidden costs that need careful consideration.

The following five factors are often overlooked or downplayed:

  1. Safety can’t be “grandfathered”! Before reusing a machine, a risk assessment should be completed to address safety issues and bring the machine up to ANSI or ISO requirements. Per the OSHA General Duty Clause, each employer “shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”
  2. Obsolete controls devices may no longer be supported or commercially available. Control devices, such as PLCs, HMIs, VFDs, etc., should be replaced to prevent extended down time or higher maintenance costs in the future.
  3. Used machines may have wear and tear, or may no longer be rate-capable. Age and/or past modifications can take a toll that will require significant updating or servicing. Equipment documentation may no longer be up to date. Any of all of these will make it more difficult to commission and maintain the equipment after it is relocated.
  4. The machinery may not be capable of producing new package sizes without significant modifications. Even subtle changes to the product or packaging features from the used equipment’s original design intent should be given careful consideration. Additionally, the machine may not allow for quick and efficient changeovers like modern, servo-controlled machines.
  5. Machine center ergonomics may not meet modern requirements, which will result in the need for costly platforms or lifts when relocated.

One or more of these pitfalls can turn what appears a quick, easy solution into an expensive and time-consuming one that requires additional engineering, returning equipment to the OEM for updating/refurbishment, or redesign of machine centers. These expenses and delays are part of the true cost of used/relocated equipment.

Additionally, it’s worth considering where the used equipment’s age lies on the “bathtub curve.” Equipment nears the end of its useful life as it approaches the 7- to 10-year-old mark, resulting in more frequent failures and higher maintenance costs.

Haskell’s professionals can quickly provide the expertise with equipment specification, integration and installation that’s crucial to moving your project forward efficiently and effectively and to ensuring that you don’t get soaked by the bathtub curve.

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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