Features to Look for in a Used Coordinate Measuring Machine

When you need to replace or add a coordinate measuring machine in your shop, you can be facing a significant investment. It can be tempting to buy discounted used instruments when you see the price, but unless you go with a dealer that repairs preowned equipment and retrofits it to your needs, you may be wasting your money. The hardware is incredibly durable, and a new coordinate measuring machine can last 35 years with some maintenance and care. Quality preowned metrology instruments can cost as little as 50 to 65 percent of the price of a new one and still last decades. But when you’re on the market for one, here are some of the qualities you should check.

Popular software – Computer systems and software are the first things that need to be updated, with software generally remaining useful for 5 to 10 years. A recent software update can be a great deal. If there’s a more recent release of the software, you’ll be able to update easily. Look for common software like PC-DMIS, or else you may find yourself with hardware running on an obsolete program.


Brand Names – Brown and Sharpe or DEA are some of metrology’s biggest names, and they are the most likely to have replacement parts available down the road for an older purchase. Repairs and retrofits are the best way to extend the equipment’s lifespan.

Installation fees – After you buy a used coordinate measuring machine on auction, you’ll quickly have to find a way to move it and install it (without damaging the bearings). Like unexpected repairs, installation fees can come as a surprise unless you buy from a reseller who can handle professional installation for you.

Retrofits – Be careful if it’s been retrofitted with non-OEM parts. They may reduce the value of the machine, but not always. It’s common for businesses to require changes for their own specifications. If they’re done using parts from other popular brand names by well-known, ANAB-certified metrologists, non-OEM retrofits may in fact be good for longevity.

Guarantees – Resellers like Canadian Measurement Metrology Inc. offer guarantees that preowned hardware will work once it’s been installed on your shop floor. However, few, if any, resellers offer warranties. They offer this guarantee because they have thoroughly inspected and tested all of the tools they’ve purchased preowned and fixed any issues before putting them back up for sale. A used CMM machine from Canadian Measurement Metrology has been inspected, repaired, and checked for accuracy according to ISO standards.

Good condition – The more you can learn about the instrument’s history, the better. Was it used on the shop floor or was it cloistered in an isolated inspections lab? You’ll have a good idea of how it was used just on first blush, but it also helps if you can see it in action (or a video) before buying anything. Canadian Measurement Metrology can provide videos or let you see their used coordinate measuring machines at their facilities. Trust a reputable metrology dealer for your used inspection equipment.