Purchasing Used Offset Printing Machine: Things to Know

Press machines, just like cars, are now made more durable, everlasting and reliable so that they can run for longer years without any impact on their efficiency. If we look at the scenario 15 years ago then buying a Heidelberg or Komori press with 80 million impressions on its clock would have been a doubtful investment, but now a Heidelberg with 250 million on the clock is a rather easy investment, this means that the machine will run for another 5 years without any hassle. Automation, faster print rate and ready to use products can take your clock to 25 million for a year is not highly unlikely.

The matter is how much return we get on our investment. For an example a 6 years old press machine from a good manufacturer like Heidelberg will have 90-95% efficiency in comparison to a new one, but its cost will be half of the price of a new machine. So, you are getting 90% results by at 50%price. Small companies can always benefit from this but even those companies that can buy new machines are in a win-win situation as well. A good refurbished printer is no-brainer to companies. One can ensure the quality of a pre-owned machine by choosing the best dealer. There are many reputed dealers in India as well. They also give you sample print test and full satisfaction. They also have hired good engineers from Heidelberg, KBA, Komori or Manroland, or die-cutting machine who for a few thousands do a complete inspection.

How printers ensure that they get a good deal and a good machine and where should they look for, who should they consider?

The task of looking for available options of used printers was a pain in the nose. It was similar to finding a pin in the ocean. But the internet has alleviated this problem. Earlier the only trust worthy person for such a work was the National Dealer, but unfortunately even he didn’t have access to this much information as much as Internet has given now. PressXchange.com and presscity.com has revolutionized the way we printers can look for available printing machines across the globe which are sold by the owners, the dealers or intermediaries. Catching up with four to five dealers will let you know the market value of all the available products. A dealer might not be the most economic way to get a machine even when they constantly moan about their small margin in these machines due to the transparency provided by the internet. A good dealer does thing and provide substantial results. He is a hustler and knows all the information from info about financing your purchases to dismantling, reinstalling and electrical connections etc. Identifying a good machine should be an easy to do task for him, which is what makes him reputable and is the source of loyalty of his customers. His work speaks for itself, he won’t even think about selling you crap in his wildest dreams.

 When buying a machine what happens differently to a brand new press purchase and install? Is a warranty Normal?

Two main factors come into play when choosing a used printing machine: one is that the previous machines are well-built and more reliable, the second one is that the new machines come at a very high cost; making a hole in the pocket of small company owners. Many new dealers don’t refurbish the machine entirely because of higher cost involved in this process. The shipment and inspection is itself a darn process. Installation of used machine is a very complicated task in itself, old pipes, uneven rollers, hydraulic pipes and bearings needing replacement, these problems will come in the limelight while the installation is being done. But a good dealer company will not let the customer leave the site unless they are completely satisfied, and the first job should be successfully done in front of the customer. Only after this you are supposed to pay. Most of the dealers will offer you a limited time warranty such as three months for parts and maybe on labor if they carry out the installation in their own country but this is less in front of the guarantee that you used to get on completely refurbished machines. Exported machines by a dealer may come with really less warranty or maybe not even a guarantee as it may cost the dealer a hefty amount of money. Dealers have to make money as well so they have to find the leanest way to build this in a budget.

What other print machines are good buys, which second-hand presses are the most high profile but what other kit lends itself to second-hand market?

A bindery machine from main manufacturers like Polar, Mueller Martini, Heidelberg and Stahl are in popularity among buyers. The everlasting auto-plates from Bobst make it a less demanded market but highly flourishing and equally valuable for Packaging machinery.  Coldset and Heatset web presses are suffering and are in the worst phase of the company. Any smart buyer can find an excellent press at a large fraction of their cost, when new. The latest technology has allowed manufacturers to manufacture machines that are highly efficient and are more durable, they are made to last more years than before.

The market for used print machinery is young and will take time to mature, we think it is due to the built in discontinuance, advancing technology and lack of support on old machines by their manufacturers and the price with unavailability of inks. New dealers provide people with excellent engineers who have experience in dealing with these machines, they have specialist who deal only with these products and they use it ensure the end-user gets the best deal. These changes have changed the scenario of offset refurbished pre-owned machines.

What type of printer is best fit for second-hand?

Earlier start-ups and small companies seemed to be the only market for used printing machines but this thing seems history at least in western countries. Nowadays, even well established industries are looking for used machines as they have realized that these machines give more output at very less price. Larger companies which are looking for expansion or getting their hands dirty in a new niche are also prospective customers. Finance companies know that the value of a new machine drops drastically the day it is used, while that of a preowned printing machine falls gradually, they consider used machines a good investment.

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