Companies Talk About Best Practices for Buying
Machinery and Equipment
July 13, 2010
With glasstec, the industry's biggest glass equipment and machinery
show, only months away some fabricators are starting to think about
whether now might be a good time to invest in new equipment. But
when it comes to purchasing and installing new glass processing
machinery and equipment, careful consideration and examination are
keyafter all, you want the equipment to meet your specific
needs. In recent years a number of glass fabricators have taken
the plunge into such new purchases, and say they have been quite
successful in doing so. They say careful planning and considerations,
cautious steps and simply working with those they trust were instrumental.
Eugene Negrin, president of Galaxy Glass & Stone in Fairfield,
N.J., purchased a large-format water jet late last year. For him,
he says, the process was perfect and he would do it all again the
exact same way.
"It's exceeded my expectations," he says of the water
jet, which he adds is in operation about eight hours a day. "I've
been buying equipment since 1984, when I purchased a 13-spindle
edger, so I've been doing this for some time. I research the equipment,
look at the market, hone in on the manufacturers and then have discussions
Negrin adds that researching the manufacturer is critical, particularly
during a time when so many companies are going out of business.
"Trust, but verify," he says.
"You need to investigate the manufacturer and its abilities
because today you don't know [whose going to stay in business],"
says Negrin. "Plus, I always tell the manufacturer I want to
see two or three similar pieces in operation; I make the investment
in time [to see the equipment in advance]."
Mike Kelley, who handles special projects for Tulsa-based TriStar
Glass Inc., says his only regret about the equipment purchase they
made last year, a HOAF modular laminating system, was that they
should have bought more pieces.
"We're still buying equipment and see that now prices are
starting to go back up," says Kelley, who adds that they learned
the importance of being prepared to take advantage of these opportunities
as they are available.
"We should have made the purchases sooner and done so more
aggressively," Kelley explains. "But we were being conservative
about it at the time and now we are playing catch up."
And what about as advice he'd give to others also considering such
"It's still the people business and it's best to deal with
those you trust. Follow your instincts; if you don't like the people
you're buying from you're probably not going to be happy with the
purchase in the end," says Kelley.
Wolverine Glass Products in Grandville, Mich., also added new equipment
last year, a cup wheel flat edger, but instead of buying new Mark
McGann, president and owner, decided to go with a factory re-build.
"I've had great results with it," says McGann of the
edger, which was re-built by Salem Distributing.
According to McGann, he made the decision to go with re-built equipment
because, given the economy, he was trying to be conservative.
"Re-built equipment can be about half the cost of buying new
equipment," he says.
Making this type of purchase is also a bit different compared to
"When you're buying new equipment you can go to the machinery
shows and see the equipment and how it's going to work. With this,
though, you have to trust that it's going to do what you want it
All in all, he said he had no surprises with this purchase, but
says the electrical requirements are one area to be aware of.
"With new equipment you can have the electrical requirements
spec'd to your specific needs, but when buying a re-build it's not
as cost-effective to change the power supply," McGann adds.
And for others who may be considering a similar purchase, McGann
recommends a factory re-build versus doing so in-house "unless
[the company] has the personnel to do the work."
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