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Where to Buy Used Semiconductor Equipment

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 17, 2016 1:23:56 PM / by Ichor Systems

Ichor Systems

Traditional Methods for Sourcing Used Equipment

Traditionally, there are three basic ways for buyers to enter the used semiconductor equipment market:

  • Open Market – work directly with brokers and resellers
  • Third Party Vendors – akin to buying a used car through a dealership
  • OEM’s – buying through an original equipment manufacturer

Navigating the Open Market

The number one thing to know about this option is that it's a “what you see is what you get” market place. Buyers assume 100% risk. Buying equipment on the open market can be compared to making a purchase through an online broker or buying an item from an online website. Typically buyers in this market are experienced engineers that have the expertise and time required to repair and maintain the equipment.  Also on the plus side – most often, the equipment is immediately available for placement in semiconductor fabs.  

That said, there are several other factors to consider:

  • "As Is" means there have been no software updates and the electronic hardware is probably outdated.
  • No guarantees exist that the tools or equipment will be functional
  • Customer must arrange logistics of picking up the item(s) and bear cost of crating and transport
  • Buyer is solely responsible for installation
  • Warranty at best, is a 14 day, money back guarantee
  • Software license is not included
  • System may not be compliant with all mandatory safety upgrades
  • No obsolescence management programs
  • Limited spares availability (no OEM supply)

While it may be possible to arrange with the OEM to get the equipment up and running, obtain spare parts or service the equipment, the costs of thesedownload-buyers-guide services are entirely born by the buyer and can significantly and unpredictably add to the total cost. Typically the software license would also have to be purchased before the OEM would work on the tool.

Working with Third Party Vendors

The advantage of going through third party vendors is that they lend some degree of expertise to the transaction. Because third party vendors contract with former field service engineers, a buyer can at least expect to receive assistance with installation, diagnostics and initial operation. Often, these vendors also have inventories of parts and accessories that can be swapped out to meet a particular buyer’s needs.

On the other hand:

  • Service experts may have knowledge of certain product lines but be unfamiliar with the specific OEM’s tools and equipment they are sent out to service
  • Warranties are typically only 90 days
  • Buyer assumes any additional warranty costs for service and parts
  • Software license is not included
  • System may not be compliant with all mandatory safety upgrades
  • No obsolescence management programs exist
  • Limited spares availability (no OEM supply)

Buying from OEMs

There are several reasons why buying from an OEM is a more reliable option, including:

  • Used systems are fully factory refurbished
  • Parts are replaced or repaired as standard
  • Up-to-date controls and electronics are added where applicable
  • Each piece of equipment is tested and only ships when it works like new
  • System is packaged and made ready for collection by buyer
  • On-site installation is included; engineers ensure it operates in the buyer's facility
  • Equipment and tools come with standard OEM warranties
  • Offers latest productivity upgrades
  • Fully compliant with all mandatory safety upgrades
  • Systems are certified used and service contracts are available for maintenance
  • Software license is included in price

Evaluating the Cost of the Different Options

One of the important factors to consider when choosing where to buy refurbished semiconductor equipment is cost. With the open market and third party vendors, you will likely get a higher discount than you would buying direct from an OEM.

But the quality of the product varies the further you get from the original source. With the OEM solution, you may pay a higher price but the quality is superior.

There is, however, another solution 

How can buyers get the best of both worlds?  By combining the factory refurbishment, service and warranties of an OEM with the price point of a third-party vendor. If you're wondering if that's possible, it is! The solution is to purchase refurbished semiconductor equipment from a licensed, third-party, OEM partner, like Ichor. 

Advantages of purchasing from a licensed, third-party, OEM partner:

  • Up-to-date controls and electronics are added where applicable
  • Provides factory certified technicians and parts (licensed, third-party vendors have access to OEM parts)
  • Parts are replaced or repaired as standard
  • Equipment is tested to OEM standards
  • Only critical OEM spares are used during refurbishment process
  • Fully compliant with all mandatory safety upgrades
  • Offers latest safety and productivity upgrades
  • Matches performance to installed systems
  • Accurately and reliably predicts total cost
  • Ensures rapid response with fastest ramp to production
  • Guarantees performance
  • Presents the lowest risk option
  • Software license is included in price
  • Warranties can extend beyond 90 days
  • Established obsolescence management programs are in place

As a licensed OEM partner, Ichor can provide buyers with refurbished systems up to the par of factory-refurbished equipment. Working with Ichor, you become the beneficiary of our specialized knowledge and expertise in the design, manufacturing, testing, installation and service of OEM semiconductor equipment. Buyers achieve their financial and performance goals while Ichor provides the service of a licensed, third-party refurbisher. 

To inquire about our legacy services, please click here

Topics: Refurbished Semiconductor Equipment

Ichor Systems

Written by Ichor Systems

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