As someone who lives and breathes refurbished imaging equipment, I understand the value proposition of refurbished equipment better than most. But there are some rare occasions when the value for money proposition of refurbished does not outpace the value of new.
I am a true believer in “horses for courses”; finding the right equipment to match the need. In most of my dealings the need is properly met with hospital-grade refurbished equipment from the big three (GE, Philips, and Siemens). However, in the clinical-grade X-ray category (i.e. not requiring unistrut or three-phase power), equipment from the big three may not be the best choice.
The reasons for this are three-fold:
1) The big three do not specialize in clinical-grade X-ray in the way many smaller companies do. In the clinical-grade category, new equipment from companies such as Americomp (with US manufacturing) stand out as better alternatives.
2) When the new price goes low enough, the refurbished value proposition goes away. Here are some approximate numbers for a lower-end refurbished X-ray room vs. a new one:
Used Rad Room
New Rad Room
Deinstallation, shipping to refurbishment facility, refurbishment, replacement parts, shipping to buyer's facility: $12,000
One-year service agreement: $8,000
|System, delivery, five-year parts warranty: $30,000|
As you can see, the advantages in cost-saving that you would have seen in refurbished hospital-grade equipment are just not there in the same way; particularly because extended warranties like the one above are common in new, clinical-grade X-ray equipment. This is not the case for their hospital-grade counterparts.
3) If a clinical-grade system from a smaller manufacturer seems right for your facility, you'll also want to consider the effect of buying new on parts availability. Smaller companies don't have the parts availability that big manufacturers do. Because of this potential for parts scarcity there is more risk in buying refurbished equipment made by these smaller companies. The warranty extensions offered by purchasing new systems from these manufacturers ensure parts availability.
In the long run, hospitals and high-volume clinics will still want to consider a used, hospital-grade rad room from the big three. There's huge potential for savings when purchasing this equipment refurbished. But, in the case of clinics with lower imaging demands, be sure to discuss all your options with a prospective vendor. Depending on your facility's needs, the best system for you might only cost a little bit more straight from the factory.
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