Author:Kitmondo Customer Team
Here are five crucial tips to consider when buying a used scanning microscope.
1. Contact everyone
Contact as many used equipment suppliers as you can to build up an accurate picture of which used SEMs are on the market.
2. Conduct a “desirability assessment”
Survey all staff that will be involved with the scanning microscope, from the top to the bottom of the workplace. Someone that only uses the microscope occasionally, and wants a feature that raises the cost or even make the instrument unwieldy, should be given limited input. Once the list of required features has been compiled, award each a score out of 10. This desirability score out of 10 needs to be standardised against a performance score. This results in highly desirable features that do not perform well scoring low, whereas less desirable features that perform superbly score higher overall.
3. Arrange demonstrations
Use the desirability assessment to choose representative samples for the demo. If a machine fails to match the higher standards of the demo, you cross it off the short list.
4. Rate photographs from each machine
Examine the photographs from each machine, arranged in lines reflecting the procedures used. Locate the best micrograph in each section and award it 10/10. Similarly, rate the fastest times 10/10. Give lower scores to poorer quality micrographs and slower times. Multiply the two scores together for each manufacturer and divide them by the maximum score for the test. Then multiply by the desirability assessment score, and look at the resulting points for each manufacturer.
Once you’ve made your choice, don’t be shy about haggling with all your might – a used SEM doesn’t come cheap but most suppliers have 5-10% to play with for a discount.
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