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Pitfalls of buying used machines.

broke

Hot Rolled
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Sep 26, 2013
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I am looking at a used horizontal machine that is exactly the package I had quoted new a month ago. less than 10 years old from a reputable brand. I have it figured that I could pay for an inspection then proceed if it seems like a good fit. I could get the machine in house for less than half of what a new machine would cost. There are currently long leads on some of the components if I were to buy new so that is also a consideration. Some of the components need to be installed and service by experienced techs.

Aside from spending some of the saved money on repairs over the next few years what I should I have in mind? I have only added new equipment to this point and would gladly buy any of my current machines in the condition they are in as a used machine.

I found the machine on one of those online sites that connects buyers and sellers. It is not an auction.
 
How many hours on it?
How does it look and sound?
Are you familiar with that type of machine?
How is factory support for that brand and age?
Can you do basic work on the machine yourself or are you going to be waiting for a tech?
Can you tolerate potential downtime due to issues?
 
If your buying from a used dealer, you may want to call CNC shops in the city or area and ask them about the sellers reputation. Then ask / tell the seller your flying out with a service tech to see it run. Or hire a CNC tech to accompany you so it can be tested. I would open the Electrical cabinet and see if it's clean, doesn't smell burnt, run the tool changer, run the spindle and listen, Have the tech check for codes, check backlash of the ball screws and rapid them to see if they are noisy,, indicate the top of the table. Is there a set of manuals and see if they are clean, dirty would mean they fixed issues. Be sure to spend the cost of a coach class ticket to go inspect it. DO NOT believe what they tell you. Ive seen where people believe the salesman and get screwed. Most reputable dealer give a 30 day return, but you have to pay the trucking. Thats another thing check on the cost of trucking as it's super expensive now. Think of it as buying a used auto. Give it a test drive, have a mechanic look at it. Good Luck. :-)
 
How many hours on it?
9500 cutting hours
How does it look and sound?
I would have the local-to-the-machine branch of our machine dealer do a full inspection before making an offer and do the packaging for shipping.

I was able to see a 7-8 minute video showing all critical mechanical features. Everything sounds good

Are you familiar with that type of machine?

I have the same machine only 2 years newer.
How is factory support for that brand and age?
fully supported
Can you do basic work on the machine yourself or are you going to be waiting for a tech?
I would be waiting and fully dependent on the local support. We have spent enough money to have them on the hook
Can you tolerate potential downtime due to issues?
This is the point I keep coming back to. It's too early to know how dependent I would be on this machine immediately. I have only had about 8 lost days across 5 machines in the past 5 years due to something machine related I didn't cause.
 
I am looking at a used horizontal machine that is exactly the package I had quoted new a month ago. less than 10 years old from a reputable brand. I have it figured that I could pay for an inspection then proceed if it seems like a good fit. I could get the machine in house for less than half of what a new machine would cost. There are currently long leads on some of the components if I were to buy new so that is also a consideration. Some of the components need to be installed and service by experienced techs.

Aside from spending some of the saved money on repairs over the next few years what I should I have in mind? I have only added new equipment to this point and would gladly buy any of my current machines in the condition they are in as a used machine.

I found the machine on one of those online sites that connects buyers and sellers. It is not an auction.
I've bought all used HAAS equipment. Early on I was concerned with it but my 4 machines, maintenance and repairs vs buying new I am very far ahead.

I have a

2005 VF2SS
2006 VF3SS
2003 SL20T
2013 EC400 w/ 6 station Pallet Pool

I just bought the horizontal at an auction 6 months ago, it did have a bad spindle, but I got a great deal on it, even with a new spindle, which I put in myself, I paid about 10% for it in comparison what a new one costs. It has paid for itself every month since.

Replacing that spindle has been my single largest repair on all my machines, but other than that, between the other 3, I maybe have a total of $3k-4k in repairs over 4 years.

My VF2SS spindle motor went last year, I pulled that myself and brought it to a local electric motor shop and had it rebuilt in 2 days with upgraded ceramic bearings for $2200. If I remember correctly HAAS wanted $15k (installed) and would have taken 1-2 weeks.

Other than that, I like with HAAS I have been able to drive down to my HFO and grab any part same day or if they don't have it in stock, they can drop ship it from CA next day. Even the spindle I replaced, I picked it up the next morning.

That's something I find valuable, minimal downtime. I've watched high end machines sits for weeks waiting for parts. In the last 4-5 years I have lost maybe 5 days due to downtime.

All my machines have insurance that includes mechanical breakdown coverage, with a $500 deductible, and each machine's premium cost around $500/annually, I would look into adding similar coverage.
 
I personally own 7 cnc machines. I bought them all used. Oldest were about 15+ years old when I got them. Just make sure you have service and support for whatever you buy and you will be fine.

Most common issues I've had were replacing cooling fans, cracked air lines, cleaning filters.. and other maintenance that may have been neglected.
 
I've bought all used HAAS equipment. Early on I was concerned with it but my 4 machines, maintenance and repairs vs buying new I am very far ahead.

I have a

2005 VF2SS
2006 VF3SS
2003 SL20T
2013 EC400 w/ 6 station Pallet Pool

I just bought the horizontal at an auction 6 months ago, it did have a bad spindle, but I got a great deal on it, even with a new spindle, which I put in myself, I paid about 10% for it in comparison what a new one costs. It has paid for itself every month since.

Replacing that spindle has been my single largest repair on all my machines, but other than that, between the other 3, I maybe have a total of $3k-4k in repairs over 4 years.

My VF2SS spindle motor went last year, I pulled that myself and brought it to a local electric motor shop and had it rebuilt in 2 days with upgraded ceramic bearings for $2200. If I remember correctly HAAS wanted $15k (installed) and would have taken 1-2 weeks.

Other than that, I like with HAAS I have been able to drive down to my HFO and grab any part same day or if they don't have it in stock, they can drop ship it from CA next day. Even the spindle I replaced, I picked it up the next morning.

That's something I find valuable, minimal downtime. I've watched high end machines sits for weeks waiting for parts. In the last 4-5 years I have lost maybe 5 days due to downtime.

All my machines have insurance that includes mechanical breakdown coverage, with a $500 deductible, and each machine's premium cost around $500/annually, I would look into adding similar coverage.

Just a counterpoint to mother Haas having parts on the shelf-

If you buy a premium machine you are unlikely to ever need anything at all from the MTB. If you have a control/drive/motor issue with a Fanuc powered machine you have magnitudes more options for repair/replacement compared to Haas.
 
Just a counterpoint to mother Haas having parts on the shelf-

If you buy a premium machine you are unlikely to ever need anything at all from the MTB. If you have a control/drive/motor issue with a Fanuc powered machine you have magnitudes more options for repair/replacement compared to Haas.
I’ve watched Mazaks, Mori’s, Okuma’s sit for 2-3 weeks at a time just waiting for parts. Less than 2 year old machines in most cases.

Worked for a company about 6 years ago, watched a 16 month old Okuma MA-5000 sit for 2 months waiting for a spindle motor.

Mazak were by far the worst, didn’t matter what the part was, min 2 week down time.

Sometimes it comes down to service and support in your area, which I know Mazak is terrible. Heard a few months ago it’s min 2 weeks to get a tech out and they come from out of state.

Could I buy a brand new machine, sure, but my 4 used machines combined cost is less than a brand new VF2SS and they are all paid for, and have easily made 15x what I’ve paid for them.
 
I’ve watched Mazaks, Mori’s, Okuma’s sit for 2-3 weeks at a time just waiting for parts. Less than 2 year old machines in most cases.

Worked for a company about 6 years ago, watched a 16 month old Okuma MA-5000 sit for 2 months waiting for a spindle motor.

Mazak were by far the worst, didn’t matter what the part was, min 2 week down time.

Sometimes it comes down to service and support in your area, which I know Mazak is terrible. Heard a few months ago it’s min 2 weeks to get a tech out and they come from out of state.

Could I buy a brand new machine, sure, but my 4 used machines combined cost is less than a brand new VF2SS and they are all paid for, and have easily made 15x what I’ve paid for them.

I wholeheartedly support buying used machines. I would just buy way better machines than Haas for the same money if you are buying used is all.

Mazak is NOT a great builder BTW. I've owned several Mazaks and been around lots of them. The best part of a Mazak is the Mitsubishi hardware.

If you have the local resources to rebuild a Haas spindle motor what would prevent you from having it done locally instead of waiting 2 months from the MTB?

I know the answer has to do with warranty and motor shops not interested in a $30k problem motor from a new, unfamiliar machine, but if you had bought a 2013 Okuma HMC with a pallet pool and a dead spindle motor why would it have been a greater risk/expense than your Haas EC?
 
Likely b/c the Okuma has an integral would spindle/motor and the Haas likely has a separate motor/spindle?


(wound)

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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 
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I wholeheartedly support buying used machines. I would just buy way better machines than Haas for the same money if you are buying used is all.
I'm not saying HAAS is high end or top quality in comparison to some of what is out there at all, but for me, my HAAS machines do everything I need them to do and they are incredibly affordable and parts are very easy to get. I have never no quoted a job based on the material or any aspect because I have a HAAS.

Mazak is NOT a great builder BTW. I've owned several Mazaks and been around lots of them. The best part of a Mazak is the Mitsubishi hardware.
I am not a fan of Mazak at all, I just see a lot of people mention them when there is discussions over machine brands.

If you have the local resources to rebuild a Haas spindle motor what would prevent you from having it done locally instead of waiting 2 months from the MTB?
My spindle motor was rebuilt locally, that's what I said - "My VF2SS spindle motor went last year, I pulled that myself and brought it to a local electric motor shop and had it rebuilt in 2 days with upgraded ceramic bearings for $2200. If I remember correctly HAAS wanted $15k (installed) and would have taken 1-2 weeks."

I know the answer has to do with warranty and motor shops not interested in a $30k problem motor from a new, unfamiliar machine, but if you had bought a 2013 Okuma HMC with a pallet pool and a dead spindle motor why would it have been a greater risk/expense than your Haas EC?
I never said there was any greater risk/expense over my HAAS EC. I as just simply commenting my experience with different machine brand repairs. Downtime can kill a small company fast, if you are sitting around waiting for parts for any brand machine, 2-3 weeks can be a big loss. I'm not saying I have never seen a HAAS sit, cause I have, I was just sharing I have seen what some would consider "high end" machines have just as many problems and sit far longer.

What would you say the cost on a decent used 2013 Okuma HMC with Pallet Changer would be?
 
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Likely b/c the Okuma has an integral would spindle/motor and the Haas likely has a separate motor/spindle?


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
Yes HAAS does have a separate spindle motor/spindle.
 
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In my mind, you have thought through the process and if you can answer any problems you have imagined, no one can fault whatever decision you make. I have bought used and new machines, and have had excellent luck with both. YOu have thought it through, the decision is yours in the end and, IMHO no one can call you a fool either way. You can have a problem with a used machine, and there are posts here with brand new machines sitting for many months waiting repair.
I bought a pair of 10 YO, 10k hour machines and got a good 5+ years out of them but then since they were no longer supported[Bridgeport no longer exists] ended up scrapping them.
I guess be prepared for the shorter lifespan is the final caveat
 
Likely b/c the Okuma has an integral would spindle/motor and the Haas likely has a separate motor/spindle?


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox

I'm not saying HAAS is high end or top quality in comparison to some of what is out there at all, but for me, my HAAS machines do everything I need them to do and they are incredibly affordable and parts are very easy to get. I have never no quoted a job based on the material or any aspect because I have a HAAS.


I am not a fan of Mazak at all, I just see a lot of people mention them when there is discussions over machine brands.


My spindle motor was rebuilt locally, that's what I said - "My VF2SS spindle motor went last year, I pulled that myself and brought it to a local electric motor shop and had it rebuilt in 2 days with upgraded ceramic bearings for $2200. If I remember correctly HAAS wanted $15k (installed) and would have taken 1-2 weeks."


I never said there was any greater risk/expense over my HAAS EC. I as just simply commenting my experience with different machine brand repairs. Downtime can kill a small company fast, if you are sitting around waiting for parts for any brand machine, 2-3 weeks can be a big loss. I'm not saying I have never seen a HAAS sit, cause I have, I was just sharing I have seen what some would consider "high end" machines have just as many problems and sit far longer.

What would you say the cost on a decent used 2013 Okuma HMC with Pallet Changer would be?

There's a lot of variation in sizes and options, PP or not, etc. I'd say in the range of $15k to $150k. As hot as manufacturing has been the past few years I have not seen a higher end HMC newer than about 2010 come up for sale. Not that I noticed anyway. Prices go up and down. My theory is that higher end CNC's are more likely to come up for sale at way below market pricing because it's harder for some to determine the value. Haas used prices are strangely high. I've bought a couple for really cheap and then I sold them for way more than I'd value them at for what they are.

Just like you've done with your Haas machines others have done with top end machines.
 
There's a lot of variation in sizes and options, PP or not, etc. I'd say in the range of $15k to $150k. As hot as manufacturing has been the past few years I have not seen a higher end HMC newer than about 2010 come up for sale. Not that I noticed anyway. Prices go up and down. My theory is that higher end CNC's are more likely to come up for sale at way below market pricing because it's harder for some to determine the value. Haas used prices are strangely high. I've bought a couple for really cheap and then I sold them for way more than I'd value them at for what they are.

Just like you've done with your Haas machines others have done with top end machines.
I searched on eBay just to see what was for sale for Okuma HMC
2007 - MA-400 (No PP) $89k
2015 - MB-4000 (No PP) $166k

I wasn't necessarily in the market for a horizontal machine, it was always a, nice to have, thought. A pallet pool never crossed my mind.

This EC400PP came up at auction in February, I've watched many of these without the PP go for $60-100k at auction.

Pre-bid on this one was at $15k and when it came up, it wasn't climbing much at all, sight unseen, I decided on the spot to just throw a max bid of $25k at it and see what happens.

I paid $23,500 - Renishaw Probing, Thru Spindle Coolant, 8 pallets included...........etc etc.

I found over the phone the next day it had a bad spindle. $6k for a new from HAAS spindle I installed myself, rigging to get it to and set in my shop $2500, I'm $32k into a perfectly fine running HMC. Like I said, this thing has more than paid for itself in the short period I've had it.

I didn't solely bid on it cause it was a HAAS, had it been an Okuma, or any other brand, I would have bid as well.

Worked at a company that bought a new Okuma MB5000. It was maybe 6 months in, I believe it was the spindle motor, may have just been the spindle motor, one of the two or both, that machine sat for 6 months, they just couldn't get a replacement.

All used machines have the same risk, you just don't know, and a new machine of any brand can have just as many problems as the other brand or a used machine, you never know.
 








 
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