QMT Features: July 2007
CMM for sale - one lady owner
Used measuring machines are a growth market but what are you getting for your money? Hexagon unveils a QA initiative to take the headache - and risk - out of buying a used CMM.

Hexagon Metrology has revamped its pre-owned CMM sales and aftermarket operations in a major £1 million overhaul. The move - designed to meet growing demand for pre-owned machines and rising customer expectations - offers end users higher spec, quality assured machines together with up-rated after sales service and support.

The company - one of the UK's largest suppliers of pre-owned CMMs and aftermarket services - is targeting a 10% increase in market share over the next 12 months on the back of its investment and the significant uplift in demand.

It currently has more than 100 pre-owned CMM users on its books in the UK and overseas where its second user expertise is increasingly sought after.

The complementary up-rated services are now branded as Hexagon MetrologyQA and Hexagon Metrology+ to reflect the increased emphasis placed by the company on quality and aftermarket care.

The Hexagon MetrologyQA brand - which stands for Quality Assured - covers the up-rated, pre-owned CMM preparation and sales operations. Hexagon Metrology+ - which symbolises added value - is the new identity for the company's market-leading aftermarket services and support programme. Both are ISO 9000-approved.

The revamp of the services includes:

· An extensive upgrade to the mechanical refurb, electronics and software work areas

· An all-new pre-owned showroom and demonstration facility

· Expanded parts and CMM inventories

· More rigorous inspections and higher spec refurbs

· Improved warranties and aftercare

Hexagon is aiming the 'up-specced' services at first time CMM buyers and SMEs as well as larger enterprises looking for cost effective ways to increase inspection and measurement capacity.

The nationwide operations are managed and run from the Hexagon Metrology UK HQ at Telford in the central Midlands. Satellite centres in Swindon and Milton Keynes will provide additional support for customers.

The QA centre will refurbish and supply competitor brands as well as Hexagon's own extensive range of CMMs. It is the only quality-assured 'any brand' used CMM operation of its type in the UK to be provided by a multinational OEM.

The current Hexagon-approved, used CMM inventory includes 14 refurbished machines ranging in price from £6,000 to £37,000. All are sold with a comprehensive training package, a six months 'no quibble' warranty and the option of flexible finance packages.

Non-Hexagon brands in the showroom include Mitutoyo, LK, Numerex and Zeiss. For companies with requirements that cannot be met from stock, Hexagon has introduced Pathfinder, a Europe-wide used CMM locator service.

Enhanced after sales services offered under the Hexagon Metrology+ brand include:

· CMM installations, calibration and training

· PC-DMIS 'common platform' metrology and manufacturing software strategies

· Software installations

· OEM-standard training and hotline support

· Comprehensive breakdown cover

· Ongoing service and support contracts

· Recalibration, retrofits and upgrades

· Subcontract inspection / measurement / part programming

· National Physical Laboratory-accredited dimensional training

All installation and service work is carried out by Hexagon's own factory-trained and Health and Safety-cleared engineers. Customer support services are provided by fully qualified in-house staff.

"There has been a glut of poorly-refurbished and inadequately serviced machines in the marketplace in the past," said Hexagon Metrology's Sales and Marketing Manager, Gavin Bell.

"So over the past five years we have worked hard to fill the 'quality gap' and are now seeing a growing acceptance of pre-owned CMMs among first time buyers and existing users.

"But it's still very much a case of 'buyer beware' which is why we've invested so heavily in our newly-revamped 'quality assured' operation.

"Under our new regime no refurbished CMM gets the Hexagon MetrologyQA seal of approval until the mechanics, electronics, drive systems and complete system integrity have been checked and double-checked. Only then does it move from the workshop to the showroom.

"This means Hexagon customers can enter the second user marketplace with total peace of mind. And with our ability to satisfy all the customer's needs from machines to software to sensors to service, it also provides them with a unique one-stop shop."

The revamp of the Hexagon pre-owned and aftermarket services had been driven in large part by increased customer demand and expectations, he added.

"Understandably our pre-owned CMM customers now demand the same level of quality, and Hexagon Metrology+ service and support, as purchasers of our new machines and this is the key differentiator that has driven the business forward." l

Email: enquiry.uk@hexagonmetrology.com


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