Tips for buying used robots

  • Hello friends:

    Many people are off late buying used robots and i thought it will be useful for used robot buyers as a reference.
    I have numbered them for convenience so i request anyone who adds a tip to continue the numbering...

    A few tips to consider while buying a used robot:

    1) Always buy robots only from reliable sources (known companies or companies that have a reputation to protect)
    2) Inspect the robot for missing hardware, software, batteries, physical damages, motor or reducer damages, big backlash etc.
    4) Inspect the Teach pendant and the related cables
    5) Check for the required IO board (or atleast a one that you could use)
    6) Try to avoid autions with "as is where is condition" terms
    7) Do not buy too old robots - you will end up paying more for spares than the robot itself
    :smiling_face_with_sunglasses: Always insist on the manuals - robot manuals + the peripherals if accompanying
    9) Ensure that the key spares for the robot are available in the market prior to buying the robot - Identify the spares suppliers too..
    10) Be aware of the licensing policies from the used robot manufacturers. Make sure of the robot manufacturers' charges.

    Edit from Werner Hampel
    I have summarized the most important points of this thread in this article.

  • 11) If you are not a robot expert, hire a qualified company / personnel. A few more dollars will ensure a good buy
    12) if necessary get the robot refurbished / overhauled. A good start = lesser trouble during operation.
    13) Greasing is recommended
    14) Buy a couple of small spares alongwith the robot - fuses etc
    15) If possible include the robot training in the deal - however it is recommended to avail this service from experts
    16) Remember the packing and handling charges are additional.
    17) Do not forget the applicable duties and taxes in addition to the transportation expenses
    18) Avoid online buying - usually you discover a lot more that what is mentioned on the specifications
    19) Some bigger companies offer warranty - check all the terms and conditions. read the fineprint meticulously
    20) validate if the robot purchase meets the reach, payload and the accuracy requirements of your application

  • .... some more points..

    21) if you get to carry out a health check by powering up, check for abnormal noise in each axes
    22) You should also check the motors for overheating and over torqing in extreme stretched conditions
    23) find out if you need a certain grade of IP protection on these robots depending on your application


    Edited once, last by jlevis ().

  • Thankyou,
    As a commercial operator and supplier/Integrator of several different makes of industrial robots, for over 25years internationally. I feel that some members should be reminded that recommissioning very old models of robots for re-sale , is not going to do the industry any favours.
    I have no wish to take the moral high ground , however, asking members to assist in this endeavour, probably knowing that parts are almost impossible , to get , to have serviced & have credible on going support , will not help in both the short & long term.
    Over 15 years ago we looked at a similar method to give clients the feel of automation @ a first level entry price, all that happened was the continued failures and impossible support (even for us) put most of these clients off industrial robots for life.
    So all I ask is, "If you ask for support in this revamp for $, please don't take offence if your posts are ignored".

  • After having spent my time working for a robot company and dealing with the "used" and "obsolete" robot issue, I have formed these opinions:

      • The mechanical bits, if maintained well, will last a long time. I describe "ong time" = 7 or more years, but certainly could be more.

      • The control components have a realistic lifetime of 5 years in operation. The computer components become obsolete through supercession of newer technology; the software (think Windows' string of new versions) becomes obsolete; power components age because they're handling all those watts being pushed through them.

      • The company accountants assign capital asset depreciation schedules of 20 years to systems with robots. This is completely unrealistic, but forces operations to keep those arms deployed and on the books.

      • The robot companies are pressured by the sales force to "support our customers" and keep supporting aging & obsolete products and software.

      • Then you get the company behavior & policies to force retirement of older equipment. Fanuc's policy is one extreme example. Usually repair parts simply run out of inventory and support becomes impossible or prohibitively expensive.

      • And finally, entrepreneurs will try to continue supporting obsolete equipment because they perceive a market niche and a chance to make money.

  • To all,

    As a guy that daily has to deal with old, ie:Windows 95 robots and has new robots as well. It's a no brainer. The old filing systems like floppy disc drives, arms with belts that need adjusting, no parts support....ect. it's just not worth the pain. To keep them running requires support and $$$. I've managed due to low volume product. However if I can buy a new robot at todays prices and improvements in software and built-in HMI I would do it. Being a welding guy since ABB S2 version the new thru-the-arm cables are much easier to program.

  • 25) Check the controller cabinet matches the Manipulator- many are mismatched
    26) Always have the original Operating software and Key i.d. disc or robot number- very expensive to get a replacement

  • Evry thing You have said is truth. But thing worth to be remember is that there are markets where renewed robot will find customer even if You tell him "it will work few months, maybe a year".

    For example i'm helping to start up three old kukas. And the owner is really convinced that it is worth of time and money he spend on it.

    There are no impossibles, there are only possibles waiting to be found.

  • Depending on your son's age and your location I recommend that you check your local community college/technical school for a robot class. Many offer night classes which make scheduling much easier. Also keep in mind on-line course work is not for everyone nor are all on-line classes the same in content, presentation, instructor skill, etc.

    There may also be a robot club at a local school where he can learn from other enthusiasts.

  • Quote

    Does anybody know where the various manufacturers have set cut-off points for support in their country?
    Do they still stock/make spare parts?

    i think i heard that Kuka is stocking parts 10 years after product was discontinued.

    1) read pinned topic: READ FIRST...

    2) if you have an issue with robot, post question in the correct forum section... do NOT contact me directly

    3) read 1 and 2

  • Those tips are really helpful. Thanks for your effort guys. :icon_wink:

  • Hi I came to my present job from a company that had all new robots installed (fanucs) for each job as it came online, now I am fighting everyday with Abb S3 systems and older versions of fanucs and would state that new is better!! Especially if you can get involved at the installation stages and pick the brains of those installation engineers !!!!!!!!

  • In my opinion old robots are not worthwhile nowadays mainly because of the spares availability, support, and old sofwares installed in them.

  • 28. Check that the index (0) marks are legible on each axis. Some day you will have to zero your machine and it would help to have these marks to know if you are in the right ball park.

    Thank you!<br /><br />Sincerely,<br /><br />David Ellis

  • a additional point:

    24) dont forget, that if you want to use that robot in Europe you need the CE certificate

    Check it twice, to be sure that CE is up to date, because there where changes in EU law in last few years.
    When you will have to give final customer/end user CE for robotic cell, you can have problem if one of components is not fulfill law demands.

    There are no impossibles, there are only possibles waiting to be found.

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