Tips for Purchasing Capital Equipment
For over a century, FENN has been proud to offer a wide variety of metal forming equipment to serve customers across various industries. For many metal forming customers, this means customizable machinery that is designed and built specifically for their individual manufacturing requirements. Our experienced team of engineers design a solution unique to your process. Although FENN offers some standard model machines, often customers find that a customized solution provides more of a competitive advantage and increased production capabilities. Standard FENN machinery can be combined with custom equipment accessories to create one-of-a-kind metal forming solutions. The decision to purchase capital equipment can be quite daunting, so we’ve put together this guide to explain some of the most common considerations one should make during the buying process.
You can buy new, used, or have machinery upgraded.
Purchasing new equipment can be an exciting time for a business. Maybe you have developed a new process, are expanding production, or are just getting started! There are many benefits associated with deciding to buy new. While this is naturally the most expensive option, there are a lot of ROI benefits that came with the price tag. Businesses often see it as a larger investment, but one that will maximize productivity. It’s a good idea to ask about speed and production rates from the OEM, to help you determine how a new machine could improve your manufacturing speed, reliability and quality. When working with FENN, these benefits can include equipment designed exactly to your specifications – no settling on features and capabilities, warranties, and integration options. Since new equipment is designed from the ground up, the design process can often be easily modified to ensure your new investment is incorporated properly with existing machinery already on your shop floor. New machines from FENN come with warranties to give you peace of mind and your machinery the support it may need.
For some customers, their budget dictates the purchase used machinery/equipment. This can be a great money saving option, however there are generally tradeoffs in exchange for the reduced price tag. The machine may not be exactly what your process requires or may have mechanical or electrical issues due to its age. To ensure optimal functioning and production quality, you may need to have the machine inspected and retrofitted by the OEM to make sure the equipment is safe to use, works properly, and appropriately fits into your process as required. The older a machine is, the greater risk a company has for downtime, requiring spare parts, and having overall functionality issues with the equipment.
An option for existing FENN customers is to upgrade their aging FENN machinery. FENN’s upgrade and rebuild program is popular for customers who must update older equipment for OSHA compliance, have processes that have changed, or are looking to increase their productivity. Common product lines for rebuilds are swagers, Torin spring coilers, and rolling mills. Contact us for more details!
Consider the total cost of ownership, not just the initial sticker price.
Because capital equipment purchases are generally large expenditures, it is important to consider the total cost of the machine over the complete length of its useful life. Initial cost is important, but it is also important to understand what types of service requirements, spare parts, ware parts, and maintenance costs are going to be incurred over the next 2, 5, 10 or even 20 years with the machine. Some machines may have a more expensive initial purchase price, due to their high-quality design and construction. While the high price may put some off, it’s important to consider how a machine with a better design and construction will hold up over the years vs a lower cost, lower quality option.
All FENN machinery is designed in built in the USA – with an on-site spare parts department and local service technicians, FENN is available to assist if an issue arises, we’ve got you and your machine covered. As another option, remote support capabilities are available with FENN machinery so we can help the minute you have a question.
When considering price, it is also important to understand what type of production or output levels come with each machine. If you find a price point attractive on a machine, ensure that it can handle the production levels you require, while also maintaining accurate consistency. To this point, if half of your output becomes scrap due to poor quality machine output, it is a better idea to consider a high-quality machine, and this may mean a higher price tag. The old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true with purchasing capital equipment. You want something that is reliable, repeatable, and robust. You need machinery you can trust for years of quality, consistent and accurate production.
Installation requirements: What will it take to get this on my floor?
Another important element to consider is “what will it take to get this machine into and installed in my shop?” The machines you are considering may have different requirements such as:
- Electrical installation
- Integration with other equipment on the shop floor
- Shop floor footprint – will the machine fit inside your shop within the allotted space you have, while allowing for appropriate operation space?
- Will the machine need a pit built into the floor or other special building requirements?
These are all machinery purchasing factors for consideration that FENN will help address during the process of planning, designing, and building your equipment.
Service, Support & Training.
When buying new machines, you will want to understand what type of training or installation support will be supplied with your new equipment. With the sale of each new machine, FENN offers operator training either at our facility in East Berlin, CT or on your shop floor.
When it comes to operator training, you should also know what types of training programs are available should your business experience turnover or new employees need to be trained on the equipment. FENN offers comprehensive training programs that can be tailored to meet your business needs. Whether you have purchased a new metal forming machine, upgraded an existing metal forming machine or your experienced staff is retiring, FENN is available to answer questions and offer training to keep your business productive. With training available on all machinery purchases and upgrades, CNC control software updates can be seamlessly integrated into your system. With our comprehensive services, we are able to support our customers by telephone, digital remote capabilities, and field service diagnostics and repair.
As with any major purchase you should consider the brand’s overall reputation for quality, reliability, and customer service. When purchasing capital equipment, you will want to find a company that you feel comfortable and confident in building a relationship with for the long term. Reputable companies should offer references upon request and may even be able to negotiate a visit to a current customer with similar machinery, given they are not a direct competitor. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, for over 120 years, FENN has an earned reputation of providing world class metal forming machinery and top-notch customer service. Contact us today to learn why our customers choose FENN – over and over again.
In summary, the more information you can gather about the machinery you want to purchase and the company you want to work with, the more confident and comfortable you will be with your final decision. Find a company that is a good fit for your business, a company you can create a partnership with. With experience building standard metal forming equipment, as well as customized metal forming solutions – FENN's product and service offerings can help increase productivity for your business. Contact us to today to see how we can help!