August 2015 Trends Report

What has been bringing buyers to Bid on Equipment through the month of August and what are they looking for when they are here? This last month we noticed a large increase in interest in Machine Shop and Tools including Lathes,Grinding Machines, and Machining Centers.


Below are the top ten search that have shown the largest increases from Internet search traffic this month.

Interest in each of these terms has grown 170% – 1100%!

Used Walk In Cooler For Sale Used Wastewater Treatment Equipment
Used Meat Grinder Used Shrink Wrap Machine For Sale
Used Ribbon Blender Used Dust Collectors
Walk In Freezer For Sale Used Bagging Equipment
Stainless Steel Totes For Sale Boilers For Sale
The top ten overall categories for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Woodworking Equipment HVAC Equipment
Bakery Equipment Tanks
Machine Shop and Tools Lathes
Dairy Equipment Welding and Soldering Equipment
Restaurant Equipment Walk In Freezers
The top ten overall Manufacturer Pages for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Bridgeport Uniloy
Trane Lincoln
Wheelabrator Miller
Belshaw Multivac
Heidelberg Label Aire

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Pumps

Pumps are basic in nature, but serve a crucial purpose in many applications. To review, their function is in moving fluids by mechanical action via one of three different methods – direct lift, displacement or gravity. You’ll find pumps in automotive engines, industrial applications, in basements to move water away from the home foundation, in medical applications, etc. They vary in size from microscopic to large industrial varieties. Yes while pumps seem simple in nature, the types of pumps are about as vast as the applications they serve. Here’s a closer look at pumps – just think of this as your “ultimate cheat sheet” of sorts when it comes to these parts:

  • The early origins of the pump date back to ancient Egypt, around 200 B.C., with the creation of the shadoof. In a nutshell, the shadoof was an irrigation tool used to scoop and carry water from one source to another. Shadoofs still exist in some capacity today and are known in this modern day and age as “well poles,” “well sweeps” or just “sweeps.”
  • The types of pumps: While there are a variety of different pumps out there today, they generally fall under two main categories – positive displacement andcentrifugal. Specifically, a positive displacement pump traps an amount of fluid and then forces it through a discharge pipe. There are several sub-categories ofpositive displacement pumps, including rotary-type, reciprocating-type and linear-type. Some examples of rotary-type displacement pumps include the likes of gear pumps, screw pumps and rotary vane pumps. Plunger pumps, diaphragm pumps, piston pumps and radial piston pumps are all examples of reciprocating-type pumps.
  • Centrifugal pumps, on the other hand, transport fluids by converting rotational kinetic energy to hydrodynamic energy of the fluid flow. Centrifugal pumps are commonly used in more industrial applications, such as water, sewage and petrochemical pumping applications. The roots of centrifugal pumps date back to the late 1400s, though true centrifugal pumps didn’t become available until the 1700s.
  • Axial-flow pumps are another type of pump that, while classified in a different category than a centrifugal pump, operates in the same sort of manner.
  • Aside from electric motors, mechanical pumps are the second most common machine in the world.
  • Pumps need regular maintenance: While pumps are expensive (more on that later), one of the most expensive costs of ownership associated with pumps is failure due to unscheduled maintenance. In fact, it’s estimated that pump failure costs range anywhere from $2,600 to $12,000 (the average is said to be around $5,000). Pump fires are another source of destruction, as it’s estimated that one pump fire occurs per every 1,000 failures.
  • You won’t go through a day without using pumps: Even though you may not notice it, pumps play a vital role in many activities that you partake in throughout the day. For instance, every time you flush the toilet, a pump transports wastewater to a sewage treatment facility. When you drive your car, a fuel pump injects gas into the vehicle’s engine (on that note it’s worth mentioning that the typical car may have up to 12 pumps under the hood). A sump pump in your basement works to keep water away from the foundation after heavy rainfall. The fish aquarium in your living room is kept clean with the help of pumps. The applications – as well as your encounters with pumps – are vast.
  • Pumps are widespread: It’s estimated that pumps presently account for about 10 percent of the world’s total energy consumption, just based on the diverse range of applications they help power.
  • Pumps have made great strides in energy efficiency: Not too long ago, it was estimated that 2 out of every 3 pumps were wasting energy. It was also estimated that pumps wasted energy an estimated 95 percent of the time. That’s not the case these days, as pumps have really been developed to use less energy and operate more sustainably. In fact, it’s estimated that switching to these more energy efficient pumps on a grander scale would be equivalent to a 4 percent savings in terms of world energy consumption.
  • On micropumps: The smallest types of pumps are known as “micropumps.” Their origins date back to the mid-1970s and are used particularly in microfluid research settings. Micropumps can be integrated into both mechanical and non-mechanical applications. The first commercial micropump was announced in 2003.
  • Pumps can be expensive: Whether it’s for microscopic medical applications or for large, industrial purposes, pumps aren’t necessarily cheap. In fact, they can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Thankfully, when it comes to purchasing a new pump – for whatever the application is – there are other options aside from purchasing brand new. These include buying used, such as through a website like Bid on Equipment. When purchasing product through a site like this, you’re getting a like new product for a used price – and that can be a real money saver when it comes to buying expensive, capital equipment such as this.

As you can see, pumps are equipment that we take for granted in a variety of different things that we do every day. And now that you know a bit more about these crucial appliances, keep in mind these intangibles the next time you drink a glass of tap water, drive your car or are feeding the fish in your home aquarium. For more information about pumps – and about how to purchase them – visit Bid on Equipment at or call 847-854-8577.

Benefits of Used Air Compressors

Simply put, an air compressor is a device that converts power into energy by forcing air into a small volume and thereby increasing pressure. This energy in the compressed air can then be stored as the air stays pressurized. Most air compressors are either powered by an electric motor, diesel or gasoline engine. They are available in a variety of different styles, from compressors that operate via either positive or negative displacement, to low-, medium- and high-pressure models. This article is intended to give you a well-rounded scope about air compressors, as well as explain how buying used can save you money and still allow you to attain a quality product.


The applications of air compressors are plentiful. Perhaps the most basic – and most synonymous task – associated with air compressors is that of filling vehicle tires, as these appliances likely exist in every automotive shop across the country. But that’s hardly the only application that these products are suitable for. Here’s a look at some more common uses for air compressors:

  • Powering tools: Nail guns, jackhammers and other power tools are commonly powered by air compressors. This is beneficial because air compressors help add an additional element of safety to the task at hand, as there is little to no electricity involved on job sites.
  • Filling gas cylinders.
  • For powering HVAC pneumatic control systems.
  • For creating pressurized air for large scale industrial processes.

Aside from these aforementioned applications, it’s also worth noting that air compressors are being increasingly used and explored for new applications in new industries and markets.

Positive vs. Negative Displacement

The two main types of air compression are positive and negative displacement. Here’s a look at the key differences between each type:

  • Positive Displacement: These types of compressors work by forcing air into a chamber, with a decreased volume, to compress the air. There are three main sub-categories of positive displacement compressors. They are:
    • Piston-type, which rely on the constant movement of pistons as a means of pumping air into the chamber. One-way valves guide air into this chamber, where the air is then compressed.
    • Rotary screw compressors, which are devices where air compression is based on two helical screws and positive displacement. In rotary screw compressors, the helical screws turn and guide air into a chamber.
    • Vane compressors, which is a type of compressor that delivers very high levels of air pressure at fixed volumes. These types of compressors work by using a slotted rotor and blade placement to guide air and reduce volume inside the chamber.
  • Negative Displacement: The big difference between negative displacement air compressors and positive displacement air compressors is that those of the negative variety incorporate centrifugal compressors and thereby use centrifugal force to accelerate and decelerate the captured air.

Portable vs. Permanent Mount

Depending on the intended application or various applications, an individual or company may choose between either a portable or permanent mount air compressor. As the names imply, portable compressors are those that can be easily moved around while permanent mount compressors are installed in a sole location. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons between each of these two systems:

  • Permanent Mount: These compressors are generally cheaper than their portable counterparts. They are also generally more effective and can provide users with varying levels of power depending on the application. Upgrading the systems are generally easier and permanent mount compressors come in many electrical powered options. Maintaining them is also typically easier than other types of compressors. The big downside to permanent mount air compressors is that they’re not portable and it’s a rather large undertaking if it ever needs to be moved around a facility’s floor.
  • Portable: Unlike permanent mount compressors, the big advantage to portable compressors is their versatility, as they can easily be moved around warehouses, garages, etc. For this reason, portable air compressors are generally the most common types that you’ll find around auto shops, as they can be maneuvered from car to car to ensure each vehicle being serviced has the proper air pressure. The downside to portable compressors, however, is that they’re more expensive than permanent mount ones and they’re generally not as powerful.

Aside from permanent mount versus portable compressors, air compressors are also measured by the amount of air pressure that they deliver. Hence, there are low-pressure air compressors, or LPACs, which discharge pressure of 150 psi or less, medium-pressure compressors, which discharge pressure of 151 psi to 1,000 psi, and finally there are high-pressure air compressors, or HPACs, which discharge pressure over 1,000 psi.

Cost and Buying Options

A good air compressor, whether it be a portable unit or a permanent mount unit, can cost several hundred dollars. And while air compressors certainly aren’t the most expensive accessory that a homeowner can have in their garage or a company can have on its shop floor, the upfront cost does cut into a company’s bottom line and it is a significant purchase. That’s why it’s important to note that buying used is a viable option when it comes to these accessories. That’s where a service like Bid on Equipment comes into the picture, as it specializes in buying used industrial equipment and then selling it as previously owned merchandise to interested parties by the way of a bid. Simply put, purchasing an air compressor by these means will still allow you to secure a good product in an air compressor, but without the price tag of buying brand new. It’s something to consider when you’re looking to acquire a new piece of equipment, whether it’s an air compressor or some other piece of industrial equipment that you’re looking to acquire.

Contact Us Today

For more information on the benefits and types of air compressors that are on the market today, and to learn more about Bid on Equipment and the possibility of purchasing a used air compressor, either visit the company at or call them at 847-854-8577. Bid on Equipment accepts bids 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact them today for more information.

What You Need to Know About Opening a Brewery

One of the biggest pushes for entrepreneurs lately has been to start a micro brewery. In fact, according to estimates from the Brewers Association, as of 2014, it’s estimated that there were 2,000 micro breweries and about 3,500 brew pubs located throughout the United States. Compare these numbers with what they were just four years prior, in 2010, and the growth is astonishing. For instance, according to Brewers Association estimates, in 2010, there were just 620 micro breweries and a little over 1,000 brew pubs – so that’s a lot of growth in this industry in a matter of just four years.

As you can see, the brewing industry has grown rapidly in recent years, and will likely only continue to grow as consumer attitudes trend more away from name brand beer and more toward specialty craft beer. But if you’ve ever thought about opening up a brewery to capitalize on this trend, it’s worth noting that there’s a lot of hard work required to make it succeed and a lot of capital equipment you need in order to make your beers. In fact, according to estimates from Metropreneur, the cost to start a brewery can range anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars to several million. Much of this is based on the size of your establishment and how much volume you need to produce, as well as whether or not you’re going to bottle beer and sell off site. With capital equipment that can cost this much money, it may be worthwhile for new startups to invest in used equipment, rather than brand new equipment.

This post will take a closer look at what’s necessary to open up a brewery, as well as provide an overview of the beer brewing process.

Opening a Brewery? Here’s What You Need

Generally speaking, the minimum system brew pubs can operate with is a seven-barrel system. This is sufficient for small- to mid-sized brew pubs (think about 125 seats) that do the vast majority of their business on site. Breweries that are larger, or expect to sell product off site, will need at least a 10-barrel system. Furthermore, a seven-barrel system takes up to 1,000 square feet of space, while a 10-barrel system may take up to 1,700 square feet.

Now that we’ve covered a bit on the type of barrel system necessary, here’s some of the other essentials that a brewery will require:

As we noted previously, this equipment isn’t cheap. In fact, some estimate that, minimally, a new brewery is looking at at least $250,000 to $300,000 in equipment costs alone, with the average brewery investment coming in somewhere around $500,000. Most startups, of any kind, don’t have this type of money to spend and limited borrowing allowances. That’s why it can be so beneficial to purchase used, rather than new, equipment – especially through a reliable, credible source such as Bid on Equipment. By purchasing used through such a source, you’re acquiring gently used equipment that still runs like it’s new, and it’s this quality and affordability that can be so important when it comes to new brewery startups.

Brewing Beer

Hopefully if you’re reading this and are seriously considering opening up a brewery that you already know quite a bit about what it takes to make it. Certainly, there will be some trial and error along the way and it’ll take time to become true experts at brewing, but knowing the process couldn’t be more crucial when it comes to brewing beer. Beer brewing is essentially a seven-step process. These seven steps are: mashing, lautering, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, filtering and filling. Here’s a brief overview of these seven steps:

  1. Mashing: This step consists of mixing milled grain and water, and then heating this mix. Why heat it? Because the heat allows the enzymes in the malt to break down the grain starch into sugars.
  2. Lautering: Lautering consists of separating extracts won from the grain during the aforementioned mashing process. This is done either via a lauter ton or a mash filter. Lautering is a step that consists of two stages. The first stage is known as “wort runoff,” and consists of extract separating from the grains. The second stage in lautering is “sparging.” This consists of any remaining extract with the grains being washed off.
  3. Boiling: Worn extracts are also known as “wort,” and boiling these sterilizes them. Hops are added during the boiling process, which helps give the beer its flavor.
  4. Fermenting: Once the yeast is added to the cooled wort, fermentation begins. During this stage, sugars are won from the malt, which is then metabolized into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Fermentation tanks are essential for any brewery – and these tanks come in all sorts of different sizes. Most breweries today, however, use CCT, or cylindroconical tanks. One other thing to note about the fermenting stage of brewing – it’s this stage where the product can officially be called “beer.”
  5. Conditioning: This stage consists of cooling the beer to temperatures that are around freezing. This allows the yeast to properly settle and proteins to then settle out of the yeast. This stage also helps give the beer a smooth taste. However, it’s worth noting that keeping the beer pressurized is essential during this stage, or else it risks going flat.
  6. Filtering: While not all beer is filtered, it’s this stage that can really round of the flavor of the beer. There are a variety of filters that breweries use, the most common being pre-made sheets or candles.
  7. Filling: The final step in the beer brewing process, this involves filling, or packaging, the final product. This is especially important for breweries that intend on getting their product to consumers outside of their brewery’s confines. Beer can be filled into a variety of different containers, from bottles to cans to other sorts of packaging.

As you can see, opening up a brewery isn’t something to just do on a whim. It takes a lot of capital to get things up and running, and it takes a lot of skill and trial and error to make a great tasting beer that people are going to want to buy and consume. The brewing process is up to you to master, but when it comes to equipment, it can make sense for new breweries to buy used and save money up front. By buying used, you’ll be getting an effective, efficient like-new piece of equipment at a much cheaper price. For more information on buying used, contact Bid on Equipment today.

We packed this post full of information on Cartons. Can you contain your excitement?

What is a carton? Simply put, it’s a box or some sort of container, usually made from paperboard or cardboard. There is a multitude of different cartons, most of which are used in packaging applications. For instance, you’re probably familiar with egg cartons, as these hold eggs and prevent them from cracking. Folding cartons are another popular type of carton. These come in all different shapes and sizes and are used to store the likes of non-perishable foods, pharmaceuticals and more. Milk cartons, which are also commonly known as “aseptic cartons,” are another popular type, although the majority of these have been replaced with plastic jugs over the years.

While you likely come across cartons often – if not every day – they are arguably one of the things that are likely more taken for granted in life. In fact, the packaging roots of the carton date back to the late 1800s, when Robert Gair created the first carton as we know it today in Brooklyn, New York. Years later, the National Biscuit Company began administering cartons to package its crackers. From there, the carton itself – as well as the equipment that create cartons – evolved into what we now know today.

Cartons are created by a cartooning machine, or a cartoner. Cartoners are divided into two main categories – horizontal machines or vertical machines. As you might have been able to guess by the nature of the two types of cartoners, horizontal machines fill cartons horizontally through an opening, while vertical machines fill them through a top, or vertical, opening.

Now that you know a thing or two about cartons, it’s time to take a look at some of various different types of cartons that have been developed over the years. Here’s a look:

Seal end: This is one of the most popular types of folding cartons, characterized by one end that’s open and one end that’s sealed. Think of them sort of like a cereal box, as the bottom is usually sealed closed, but the top is able to open so that cereal can be poured. Specifically, the carton is glued along its depth and the top and bottom flaps are then folded over and sealed with glue after it has been filled with product.

Sleeve: Just like shrink sleeves, carton sleeves are mostly decorative in nature, and fit over an existing carton or piece of packaging to make it stand out more on store shelves or include some type of special promotion. Sleeves are usually open at both ends and simply slip right over the other carton or packaging.

Aseptic carton: These are the types of cartons that are best used for liquid packaging purposes. Specifically, they’re usually made from the likes of laminate, foil and polyethylene. They’re best utilized for the likes of storing and packaging milk, juice and soup.

Gable top: These types of cartons are similar to aseptic cartons in that they’re used to house liquid substances, such as milk and juice. They consist of polyethylene that’s been coated over liquid packaging board. The big difference between gable top cartons and aseptic cartons, however, is that most gable top cartons are opened by pulling a top out and pulling a spout area out. Some even consist of fitments, which help with pouring.

In terms of aseptic and gable top cartons, it’s also worth noting that these can be further broken down in carton subcategories: refrigerated and shelf stable. As the names imply, refrigerated cartons are designed to go into the refrigerator, while shelf stable ones are not. Hence, where such cartons – and the products inside – will be stored largely dictates how they’re made and what materials they’re made of.

Folding cartons: There are a bevy of different types of folding cartons (including seal end and sleeves that have already been mentioned on this list), but as folding cartons are among the most popular type of carton there is currently, they’re worth a separate entry on this post as well. Folding cartons are available in a variety of different tray styles. Some of the more popular (aside from seal end and sleeve) include tuck top auto bottom, tuck top 1-2-3 bottom, tuck end, four corners beers tray, lock corner tray, kwikset tray and walker lock tray.

Egg cartons: We already touched a bit on egg cartons in the intro to this post, but as they’re one of the more popular and recognizable cartons today, they’re worth mentioning again in a bit more detail. Specifically, egg cartons are usually made from molded pulp. This material uses recycled newsprint to protect the eggs, both during shipment of the product as well as within the home. While molded pulp is still among the most popular material that egg cartons are made of, PET and polystyrene are other popular material options for this carton.

No matter the carton, one thing is for sure – in order to quickly and adequately manufacture cartons, you need a cartoner. And while cartoners speed the carton fabricating process and increase a facility’s efficiency, this is capital equipment – and it’s not cheap. That’s where buying used cartooning equipment from a reputable outlet such as Bid on Equipment comes in handy, especially for facilities that can’t afford a big purchase or that need to unexpectedly replace a damaged or broken cartoner. At Bid on Equipment, you’re able to get like new capital equipment at just a fraction of the price. So instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cartoners, perhaps you’re buying it tens of thousands of dollars cheaper.

Cartoners play a big role in qualified facilities, as they don’t just create the cartooning at a fast pace, but many can even actually fill the cartons with product and seal the cartons too.

For more information on cartons – and cartooning equipment – contact Bid on Equipment today.

The Ultimate Guide to Autoclaves

If you’ve spent any time in a hospital, there’s no question that you’ve been in the presence of an autoclave. Autoclaves are somewhat of an unsung hero in hospital environments. Specifically, they’re pressure chambers that are used to sterilize equipment (i.e. surgical instruments, tools, etc.). This is done via high-pressure saturated steam for up to 20 minutes (although times depend on the exact load size of the items and the contents of the items themselves).

Obviously, autoclaves are imperative in hospitals, when it’s crucial that surgical instruments and other supplies are required to be made as clean as possible to prevent infection or complications with patients. Yes, whether you believe it or not, soap and water doesn’t kill all germs. But hospitals aren’t the only environment that autoclaves are utilized in. For instance, the chemical industry may use them to cure coatings and other products. They may also be found in other medical environments like vet clinics and dentists offices. Finally, high-end tattoo parlors may even have more compact units in the shop for sterilizing equipment. (We cover more potential autoclave environments later on.)

This post will take a closer look at all things autoclaves. Just think of it as the ultimate guide to this vital piece of equipment.

History of Autoclaves

The roots of the autoclave date all the way back to the 1600’s, when Denis Papin created a steam digester in 1697. Essentially a pressure cooker, the device was made of cast iron, featured a tight fitting lid and was used to prepare meat. The first autoclave as we know it was created exactly 200 years later by Charles Chamberland. However, whileChamberland gets much of the credit for inventing the first modern day autoclave, it’s important to note that it was the ancient Greeks who were among the first known to use boiling water as a sterilization method. There’s a big of homage with autoclaves to that Greek lineage, as the word “autoclave” itself is Greek for “auto self-locking device.”

How they Work

We already covered the purpose of an autoclave in terms of sterilizing products. But if you are wondering just how they work, just think of how a pressure cooker works. After all, the autoclave was born out of Denis Papin’s steam digester (i.e. pressure cooker) invention several hundred years ago. Autoclaves, essentially, are a more extreme type of pressure cooker. And they have to be extreme in order to remove 100 percent of the germs and bacteria so that items can be safely and effectively sterilized. With that being said, here’s an outline of how autoclaves work:

  • Items are placed into the unit’s sterilization chamber and the door is shut and sealed to secure them.
  • A vacuum pump then works to remove all of the air from inside the sterilization chamber. (Note: Some autoclaves won’t remove the air, but force it out by pumping steam into the unit.)
  • The unit is then heated to a point where it becomes effective for 100 percent sterilization. Normally, units are heated between 267 and 273 degrees Fahrenheit. After the unit reaches that temperature, the timer starts for the extent of the sterilization run.
  • Throughout the 15-20 minutes that the unit works to sterilize the equipment, steam is routinely pumped into the sterilization unit.
  • Following the 15-20 sterilization process, the chamber releases its pressure and steam, thereby allowing the items inside to properly cool, dry and ready for use.

There are two general autoclave cycles – gravity, which is also commonly referred to as “fast exhaust,” and liquid, or “slow exhaust.” The former is the cycle best used for dry goods and glassware, while the latter is used for liquids. The big difference between the two processes is that the liquid, slow exhaust method works to keep the liquid it is treating from boiling.

Autoclaves are also designed to be very safe when in operation. Obviously, steam at this high of a temperature can really do so damage. That’s why these devices are packed with security and safety features to minimize the risk of injury. It’s still advised that professionals have the proper training on how to use and operate an autoclave before attempting to sterilize any equipment, however.

Common Autoclave Environments

We’ve already covered some of the key environments for autoclaves – hospitals, vet offices, industrial settings, microbiology settings, dentists offices, etc. But there are a few other notable environments that we’ve yet to discuss. These include funeral parlors and waste treatment facilities.

In a nutshell, autoclaves are used in environments where contents need to regular be sterilized, so it makes sense that they would be growing in use within the likes of waste treatment facilities. The pressurized steam and super hot water can eliminate infectious diseases and other potentially harmful agents that could make people sick. As noted, funeral homes are another popular environment for these devices.

How Much do Autoclaves Cost?

Although autoclaves work similarly to a pressure cooker, don’t be fooled about them also being similar in price to a pressure cooker – they’re much more expensive. Autoclaves typically cost several thousand dollars per unit, with some more advanced units even costing tens of thousands of dollars. And while hospitals and high-end medical environments usually have the budgets to buy brand new and pay brand new prices, many of the other settings that utilize such equipment cannot. That’s where buying used or bidding on used equipment through credible, reputable sites such as Bid on Equipment can come in handy for companies and startups that are looking for a quality piece of equipment, but aren’t looking to break the bank.

Tattoo parlors, for instance, that want to replace or add an autoclave sterilizer to keep customers as safe as possible might not have thousands of dollars to spend. That’s where a used piece of equipment may come in handy – both for the purpose they intend to use it for as well as how it pertains to their bottom line.

As you can see, autoclaves play a big role in many different environments. And each of these environments will determine the size of the autoclave you need, which thereby helps determine the expense of the equipment. While you can buy new or used, it’s often not feasible for many to pay brand new prices. That’s where buying used from Bid on Equipment comes into play, as you can get like-new equipment for used prices. For more information on autoclaves, and to learn about how acquiring them through a service like Bid on Equipment can help you and your operations, contact us today.

10 Quick Tips About Used Restaurant Equipment

Are you in the restaurant business or considering getting into the restaurant business? If you are, you know that the one of the many key cogs to operating a successful establishment is the equipment that you have to help store and prepare the food you’ll be serving (not to mention intangibles like furniture and decor). The bottom line is that you need reliable equipment, because should there be a malfunction and the equipment have to come offline for a period of time, that’s likely going to lead to your inability to serve part of – if not all of – the menu that you’re offering to customers. In a worst case scenario, the restaurant might even require closing for several days before the issue can get repaired. And if you’re not making food and serving customers, you’re losing money – not making it. And if you have to turn business away, what’s the likelihood that these customers will ever return to your establishment? Probably not good.

For this reason, many business owners are somewhat reluctant to consider used restaurant equipment for their establishment. All used restaurant equipment isn’t related equal, but here’s a look at 10 tips about used equipment and why they’re almost always just as viable a solution as buying brand new:

1. Good quality: It’s estimated that as many as 3 out of every 10 new restaurants fail within the first year and up to 60 percent of all new restaurants fail within the first three years of operation. If that’s the case, the equipment needs to go somewhere – and in most cases, it is sold off to another source. Forget for a minute about where the equipment is sold off though – what’s important to get out of this tip is that there’s a bevy of gently used restaurant equipment out there for a fraction of the price of buying new. Yes, newer isn’t always better.

2. Saving money: Going the used over the new route is especially relevant for new restaurant owners who may have limited capital to get their operations going. While new restaurant equipment is nice, shiny and likely comes with manufacturer warranties, it’s also very expensive. Some owners just don’t have that kind of money to spend, especially when things like payroll, licenses, insurance, marketing and food orders are taken into consideration. That’s where buying used equipment can really come in handy.

3. Only buy commercial: When you’re shopping used restaurant equipment, it’s pertinent that the products you’re buying are commercial-grade. Not only is this pretty much mandatory based on the standards of local health departments, but such equipment is also easier to maintain and clean. What’s more is that this commercial-grade gear can stand up to the wear and tear of a restaurant or commercial kitchen.

4. Do your homework: Just as how some used restaurant equipment is a cut above others, certain manufacturers are as well. Know what manufacturers have a good reputation and which one’s don’t. To put this point further into perspective, if a piece of equipment is going to break down quickly and easily when bought brand new, it’s going to likely be even more of a problem used. Know the good brands from the bad.

5. Inspect the equipment: If you’re going to a restaurant auction or even a retail store that carries such equipment, be sure you give the gear in question a considerable eye test. Check for rust, missing pieces and other damage – anything to give you an idea of a) how old the equipment is, and b) how well it was cared for when it was last in use. You might even put on your reporter’s hat to find out where the piece of equipment was last used and do a tad bit of research to learn a few things about the venue. This may offer further clues on what type of item you’re possibly acquiring.

6. Warranties: You shouldn’t ever buy a new piece of restaurant equipment without a warranty. But in some cases, you might also be able to secure a warranty with a used piece of equipment. Be sure to ask about this – you might be surprised at what the answer is. Needless to say, if you purchase a used piece of equipment with a warranty, that’s even more of a win when you factor in the cost savings.

7. Make sure it’s up to code: Chances are if you ever got a new hot water heater, furnace or other main home appliance installed lately, someone from the city had to come out to inspect it and make sure it was installed right and is up to code. That’s another important factor when purchasing used restaurant equipment – make sure whatever piece you’re interested in is up to current health and safety codes. This is especially important when you’re looking at much older, more dated equipment.

8. Go with gas: In terms of many major appliances – let alone used restaurant equipment – it’s the gas appliances that generally have fewer moving parts than other types of equipment. Hence, these appliances are much easier to troubleshoot because of this if you ever run into a pickle where something needs maintenance. When taking into consideration electrical equipment, understand that there’s usually more moving parts. This makes such equipment much more difficult to troubleshoot.

9. Be wary of fryers: While this post is certainly designed to champion the benefits of buying used restaurant equipment compared to new equipment, we strongly recommend doing even extra due diligence when it comes to purchasing deep fryers. If you’re going used, be extra certain that the fryer you’re considering has only been gently used. That’s because fryers have a high failure rate based on how the equipment works. So if you’re going used, a thorough inspection to check for leaks and any other damages is a must.

10. Know who you’re buying from: There’s a big difference between a reputable seller and one who isn’t exactly ethical, so it’s important that you know who you’re buying from when it comes to anything – let alone used restaurant equipment. That’s where a service like Bid on Equipment comes in handy. The service collects various products – like used restaurant equipment – and opens them up for resale via bidding. But unlike other venues, you can rest assured that any equipment purchased from Bid on Equipment is in working condition.

For more information about purchasing used restaurant equipment – and what to look for in a good piece of used equipment, contact Bid on Equipment today at 847-854-8577.

Why We Love Machine Tools (And You Should Too)

From engine blocks to nuts and bolts to lifting devices, chances are that some sort of machine tool helped fabricate it. There are a bevy of different machine tools – from horizontal machining centers to vertical machining centers to water jet cutting machines to lathes to CNC milling machines and on. And they all serve a prominent role in creating many of the components that keep many of the things we take for granted operating efficiently. With that being said, here’s a look at some of the reasons as to why we love machine tools (and why you should too):

  1. Continuous use: One of the great things about most machining centers – namely computerized numerical control, or CNC machining, as opposed to manual machining centers – is that machines can be run around the clock to fabricate parts, all by just programming a computer. This leads to a great increase in efficiency when compared to more conventional manufacturing technology, as only one or two people are usually only required to be in the shop to monitor progress. In fact, the only time that many machine tools need to be taken offline is for routine maintenance every now and then – and usually that’s as simple as changing spindles on the milling machines.
  2. Easy to use: Fitting to the name, CNC machining is a manufacturing process that runs on computer software, rather than having to manually manufacture a product. This computerized manufacturing isn’t just highly efficient, but very high tech as well. What’s more is that it’s relatively easy to learn and even easier to update, as regular updates are pushed through often to enhance the capability of the machinery. The bottom line is that the process is fairly simple to comprehend and while mistakes can always be made, the technology isn’t something that you should necessarily be intimidated by.
  3. Highly accurate: Machine tools are very, very accurate. Because machining is so precise and computerized, manufacturers are able to ensure near 100 percent accuracy on every run (on some machine tools, accuracy is up to 0.01 mm). Not only are machine tools highly accurate, but they also offer great repeatability, so they have the potential to be highly accurate over and over again for as long as you’re completing part runs.
  4. Works in multiple materials: Not too long ago, most machine tools were only able to work on one or two materials. That’s not the case anymore. No, today machine tools can operate on a variety of materials, from steel to aluminum to space age materials and even to the likes of wood and plastics. Machine tools are no longer limited by materials, which is a big benefit in today’s manufacturing economy.
  5. Environmental friendliness: Not only are today’s machine tools designed so that they use as little energy as possible during runs, but many also offer recycling features. For instance, many subtractive manufacturing machines – which cut away material from a block – now offer a feature that gathers scrap material from the process and allows operators to recycle it so that it can be eventually used again. In terms of the former point, many even offer integrated solutions to allow operators to monitor how much energy they’re using. Some more advanced machine tools include a whole gamut of technology to analyze the entire system and advise on ways to eliminate waste and conserve energy.
  6. Design software is highly advanced: Another benefit of many machine tools isn’t necessarily the machine tool itself, but the software that helps drive it. For instance, many software programs are so advanced that life-like simulations can be virtually created before a particular product goes into production via a machine tool. This software may essentially eliminate the need for prototyping in some cases, as the high quality of the modeling and simulation software is able to do it for the operator. Needless to say, but eliminating the physical prototyping from the process helps save both time and money in production runs.
  7. They’re durable: When you acquire a machine tool, you’re acquiring a piece of heavy machinery – and a quality piece of heavy machinery at that. Machine tools are fabricated from high quality materials and designed to be durable and long-lasting. After all, if you’re planning to run a machine around the clock and nearly non-stop, it’s going to have to be reliable and it’s going to have to be able to stand up to routine wear and tear. Today’s machine tools can do just that, as they’re more durable and reliable than ever before.

From durability to repeatability to high accuracy, the aforementioned seven reasons are why we love machine tools so much – and why you should love them too. With that being said, machine tools make a fine addition to any machine shop or manufacturing facility. But one thing that scares many people off from the computerized machinery that has revolutionized manufacturing today are the high costs that come with such equipment. Machine tools are heavy machinery – and they’re not exactly inexpensive to acquire. That’s where buying used or refurbished machine tools from outlets such as Bid on Equipment come into play, as you can ensure you’re getting a quality piece of equipment for much less than brand new price. This can be especially helpful if you’re just starting a machine shop and have limited capital. By visiting Bid on Equipment, you’ll find some of the top brand names in machine tool fabrication that you can place bids on in an effort to add such equipment to your operations.

For more information on why we love machine tools – and why you should too – and to acquire your own machine tool for your operations, contact Bid on Equipment today.

Benefits of Walk-In Coolers

If you operate a commercial facility - or even have a large residential facility - it may be a good idea to invest in a walk-in cooler. Walk-in coolers, or freezers, are pretty much are what they sound like - places to refrigerate or freeze stored food products in advance of preparation. They're much larger than standard freezers or coolers, which make them ideal for large food storing purposes (keep in mind that if you're running a restaurant, it's estimated you'll need about 1.5 cubic feet of storage space per every meal you serve on a daily basis). In fact, most walk-in coolers range in size from as small as 16 cubic feet to sizes as large as 400,000 square feet. You can even purchase multi-level walk-in cooler units for yet even more storage room, or have one custom built to fit specifically into a space within a supermarket, for example.

As you can see, in the right setting, walk-in coolers are a wise - and largely essential - addition to a commercial facility. Here's a further look at some of the key benefits of walk-in coolers so that you can judge whether or not one is suitable for your situation:

  • Purpose built: Walk-in coolers these days are built with industrial strength. Typically, they are manufactured with either stainless steel or galvanized aluminum (wall widths generally vary from 3.5 to 4 inches) and foam insulation is bonded in between the materials to prevent temperature loss from within. Cooler doors are also built to meet industrial standards, as this is the part of the cooler that receives the most amount of stress upon its regular use, particularly during loading, unloading and regular entrance into the unit to retrieve food items. Usually, walk-in coolers are built on a rigid, reinforced door frame and with heavy-duty hinges for premium durability. What's more is that these units are safe, often offering the likes of inside door releases and deadbolt locks in order to ensure that operators don't get trapped in and can restrict access to the cooler when appropriate.
  • Energy savings: If you need large-scale refrigeration, and are attempting to standardize consumer refrigeration to a commercial facility, not only are you likely sacrificing the performance of the equipment for its intended purpose, but you're also not doing yourself any favors as far as efficiency goes. Yes, for a commercial facility that needs a walk-in cooler, the costs to power the appliance are one of the facility's major expenditures. However, with an industrial-grade walk-in cooler, the appliance's internal components are designed to work better and designed to higher standards than standard consumer gear. Hence, you can also experience some noticeable cost savings compared to the alternative. So just what can you expect to pay in monthly energy costs for a walk-in cooler or freezer? For a 6 x 6-foot cooler, for example, it's an estimated $66 per month. For a walk-in freezer of the same size, cost is significantly higher at about $228. With this being said, there are ways to further reduce operating costs beyond what is estimated above. For instance, a walk-in cooler equipped with extruded polystyrene insulation is the best type of insulation there is and will likely reduce energy costs. Walk-in curtains also help minimize heat gain during loading or unloading of goods. Finally, regular maintenance of the unit, such as checking door sweeps and gaskets for wear, and replacing when necessary, can also help minimize energy costs.
  • Cooling power: To piggyback off the above point, just because walk-in coolers can save a facility money on energy costs doesn't mean that they lack in quality. Most small walk-in coolers are powered by a 1/2-horsepower compressor to cool the unit to around a 35-degree temperature. Walk-in freezers, on the other hand, will normally utilize at least a 1-horsepower compressor to keep temperatures as high as 10 degrees to as low as 0.
  • High tech: It seems that every major appliance these days can be designed and engineered to offer enhanced connectivity - today's more modern versions of walk-in coolers are no exception. Many of these units have begun integrating Bluetooth technology into their makeup, thereby enabling the unit to automatically alert facility managers if temperatures fluctuate beyond the normal settings. Many coolers also often feature interior, motion-detecting lights rather than light switches to further reduce power consumption. And finally, temperature recording systems are another attractive feature, and can help prove safety measures have been taken when it's inspection time.
  • Maintenance: Most walk-in cooler units need about as much maintenance as your standard residential or commercial air conditioning unit. Specifically, it's recommended that airflow and cooler ventilation is checked at least once a year, and that condenser coils are cleaned annually by a certified technician. Additionally, it's advised that the cooler walls are cleaned routinely as well. Stainless steel is easy to clean and maintain, while aluminum tends to dent easier and is somewhat more difficult to adequately clean.

While the aforementioned are some of the key benefits, there are also a few other things to know about walk-in coolers. For instance, when it comes to installation, these units can be installed on top of a solid concrete floor, as the flooring style provides adequate stability. With that said, it's still recommended that an insulation barrier is installed underneath the walls of the unit to minimize condensation. Insulation barriers are a necessity if the cooler is going to be installed over a wood floor, as regular condensation can rot the floor over time.

One potential drawback regarding walk-in coolers is their high cost. It's not uncommon for these appliances to cost several thousand dollars, perhaps even as much as $10,000. It's unquestionably a sizable investment - and not a price that everyone may be able to pay for. If you're uneasy about the cost of a walk-in cooler, however, there are alternative options. For instance, you can buy used, or put a bid on a used appliance in a qualified industrial goods marketplace.

For more information about walk-in coolers and acquiring them from a credible source such as Bid on Equipment, contact us today.

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