The question is frequently asked, “Do we buy new or do we only buy used?” There are many pros and cons to this age-old query. It simply is a question that can only be answered by the individual who is considering purchasing the proposed equipment.

New Furnaces

The major difference between new and used equipment is given in the choice of name itself. To buy new means exactly that – that one has purchased new equipment that has never been used before for any other process. Conversely, used equipment means that the furnace has been used for whatever purpose it was originally designed.

In purchasing the equipment new, it means that all the steel, refractory, insulation, mechanical handling, pumps, drive gear boxes, control panels and PC/PLC have been “designed” for the equipment. It means that the purchaser of the new equipment will purchase the furnace concept, the furnace engineering and the manufacturing. Further, the purchaser will pay money up front in order to fund the project by the furnace company and will continue to fund it until such time as most of the purchase price has been met. Then the furnace is delivered to site.

It further means that the purchaser now has a piece of new equipment that is guaranteed to perform the specific duty for which it was designed. It is further understood that the delivered furnace equipment will meet all (certainly most) of the performance specifications.

The writer has always insisted that both the purchaser and the project manager of the company building the furnace are all on the same sheet of music. In order to ensure this, it will be necessary for both parties to sit down and go through the seller’s proposal and equipment and performance specification with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that both parties understand what is being offered and what the equipment is capable of. This is the most important aspect of the negotiation of the furnace sale – that both parties know what the equipment will be capable of.


It is important for both parties that the purchaser has the furnace site available and ready to be able to accept the furnace and to allow the installation to take place in as short a time as is practical. The writer has seen incidents where the furnace has arrived on site, but no doors are high or wide enough for the furnace to pass through.

In one case, the equipment was being installed on the fifth floor, and there was no means to take the furnace up to the fifth floor. This was finally accomplished by the utilization of a helicopter lift service and the removal of the wall of the facility that faced onto the street. These sorts of conditions, events and happenings are a reality. It is further necessary to have the site prepared with all the appropriate services on and ready to be hooked up to the furnace.

The establishment of the installation site with all of the appropriate services and any points specified by the furnace manufacturer are mandatory in minimizing the installation time.