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Second-hand machinery in industry: Do second-hand machines reduce the burden on the environment?

The growing world population and ever-increasing prosperity are increasingly depleting our natural resources. In short: we are running out of raw materials if we do not use them more sparingly. This is where the use of equipment and machines over their full lifespan has a particularly sustainable effect. A used industrial machine does not have to be thrown on the scrap heap just because a company goes bankrupt or changes its production. The used machines can be reconditioned or modernised and continue to perform reliably for many years at a new location.

That is why a production company should always ask itself the question: Does a new purchase really make sense or is buying a second-hand machine the better solution? It is important to realise that the quality of a good used machine can be equal. Second-hand dealers will only buy a machine if the quality is still good. Buyers also get a warranty, which provides additional protection for the investment. Another advantage is the lower acquisition costs, which is particularly interesting for businesses with a limited budget.

The role of industrial machinery in relation to our environment

There are various researches and programmes on resource management in the industry to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the protection of our environment. However, what is often not mentioned when talking about resource management or sustainability is the role of machinery and its associated impact on our environment. After all, large amounts of carbon dioxide are also emitted into the atmosphere when new machines are produced and shipped all over the world.

Always remember: machines for industry are highly functional, durable and designed for continuous use. Some machines are rarely used or only used for special tasks and have only exhausted a fraction of their planned service life. They can almost still be described as as good as new. Disposing of them therefore makes no sense at all in terms of the urgently needed conservation of resources. Second-hand machinery dealers recognise the potential of a machine and can give practical, neutral and manufacturer-independent advice to companies interested in it.

What is the sustainable alternative: buying a new machine or buying a second-hand machine?

This is obvious to everyone: The most sustainable alternative is to buy second-hand machines. This is because their service life is extended and the amount of waste in landfills is reduced. But what are the arguments in favour of buying new? As with other technology-oriented products, buying a modern machine of the latest generation also helps to protect the environment to a certain extent if, for example, it achieves better values in energy efficiency than older models.

But there are other factors to consider depending on the machine, the brand, the model, the work it will do and the materials it is made of. Here it helps the company interested in buying to analyse all the factors and the current operating situation to make an informed decision between buying a new machine or buying a used one. In most scenarios, buying used machinery makes much more sense. Another advantage: used machines are immediately available and cheaper, which is often a particularly important aspect.

If a machine is already getting a bit long in the tooth, a machine overhaul in partial areas or a general overhaul by a competent expert in second-hand machinery is a good idea. Apart from sustainability, there are many good reasons for overhauling used equipment:

  • Up to 50 % lower costs compared to a new acquisition
  • Higher plant availability
  • Upgrading to the latest technology, modernisation
  • Functional expansion, modifications
  • Process optimisation through automation equipment
  • The bottom line is that this approach is profitable for all parties involved. The buyer saves money because he does not pay the new price. And ultimately, the environment also benefits, because no resources are wasted on new construction.