Choosing Used vs. New Process Equipment, Part 2

To help you determine if used equipment is right for your budget and process, here are some important items which need to be considered.

1.       How important is the equipment to your process? 

For example, if you are planning a biofuel manufacturing facility and the key component to the process is thefermentation vessel, purchasing a used pressure vessel and mixer may not be wise, especially if you are not planning on modifying the equipment but are installing it as is.  It will be hard to find the exact component on the used market to suit your process needs and it may not work to your satisfaction. 

2.       Warranty - Most used equipment comes without any warranty. 

The fact that it is used makes it more likely that it can and will breakdown.  If you do not have a well trained maintenance staff on hand, it may be difficult to make these repairs quickly without factory assistance.  Again, if the equipment is important or the heart of your process this can lead to extended downtime, additional costs and loss of revenue.

3.       ASME stamped pressure vessels - It will be hard to find the exact vessel to meet your process needs. 

More than likely you will need to add or change the nozzles on the vessel meaning you will need to make certified ASME vessel repairs.  This will certainly add cost and time to the project and could uncover hidden problems with the equipment (see comments in table from part 1).

4.       Process vessels with mixers - The mixer needs to be the right type and horsepower to suit your process. 

Because the mixer is a key piece of mechanical equipment, you may want to consider factory refurbishment.  Mixer refurbishment can run from $3,000 to $17,000.  If you replace or modify the power of the mixer on an ASME vessel, the nozzle loads on the vessel must be addressed as well.