Maintain or upgrade your analyzer? How to decide.

Your analyzer’s service agreement is up for renewal, so do you renew or replace your equipment?  Given the importance of reliable analysis to operational productivity, timing your decision right is key.

At Hitachi High-Tech, we build our analysis equipment to last in the toughest of environments. We also work with our customers to keep our machines running at top performance. For many that means servicing and maintaining your equipment year on year. However, sometimes it really does make economic sense to upgrade your instrument. Here our expert Wayne Ramirez advises on the key factors to consider when deciding whether to renew your contract or your machine:

When you should upgrade

Our instruments are made to be as future-proof as possible. This means that as features get smaller and detection levels get lower, your analyzer is designed to cope. However, there does come a point when your analyzer may need a lot of attention just to keep it going – as with any equipment in constant use over many years.

If your analyzer is working perfectly most of the time, and you are calling on an engineer for an onsite visit no more than two or three times per year, then great. You don’t need to upgrade and can simply renew your contract.

On the other hand, if the following points describe your situation, especially if your machine is more than eight to ten years old, you could be financially better off if you upgrade.

You’re experiencing significant production downtime

If your production grinds to a halt when your analyzer needs repairing, it’s costing you money. We aim to get an engineer to you as soon as possible, but if you’re a high-volume facility, and your older analyzer is frequently halting production, it’ll be worth looking to upgrade.

You need more than five engineer visits per year

More than five visits per year is over and above servicing, recertification or preventative maintenance could be a sign that your instrument has developed a fault. If this is due to wear and tear, and is unlikely to improve, you’ll need to consider replacing the instrument in the near future.

You want to use your analyzer for more applications

Perhaps you need an analyzer that can cope with a higher throughput. Or you want to analyze samples of different sizes. If your current analyzer is not quite fitting the bill any more, service contract renewal time is the right time to review your options.

If you do decide to upgrade, and whether it takes you a week or six months to decide which analyzer is best for you, as a current customer our experienced engineers will continue to support you and your instrument while you make your decision.

What to look for when you upgrade

Upgrading your analyzer is an opportunity to get the latest detection equipment to support your business. Hitachi High-Tech have been manufacturing X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and other analytical instruments for over 40 years and we are constantly developing our products. Our analyzer ranges are used in quality control, process control, safety and compliance testing across many industries and our instruments can be found in facilities worldwide.

Yet, it’s not just about the instrument. As you are aware, XRF, Optical Emissions Spectroscopy (OES) and Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) analyzers are precision instruments and need regular calibration and servicing. That’s why we employ experienced service engineers, based in our dedicated U.S. facility and out in the field, who are experts. It’s also why we only use authorized parts; while it’s possible to get parts on the cheap, unauthorized parts cannot be relied upon to deliver the accuracy and performance you need. They’ll invalidate the warranty and in the very worst case, damage your analyzer.

We also understand that your analyzer is crucial to your ISO certification and we can help you at audit time. For the standard ISO: 9001 certification you may need to show that your analyzer has been serviced annually, and we can provide you with a certificate to show that it has. And if you need ISO: 17025 auditing, we are A2LA accredited and can support you in your annual ISO audit for your XRF coating thickness and OES instruments.  

A heads up on this year’s Section 179 tax deduction

If you decide that now’s the time to upgrade your instrument and you’re based USA, you need to know about this year’s 2020 tax break, Section 179.

We’ve written about this tax break in detail here. Section 179 allows you can deduct the full purchase price of the instrument from your gross income in a single year. This applies to equipment purchases up to $2.59M if taken delivery before December 31, 2020.

If you do decide to upgrade your analyzer this year, you’ll need to act fast to take advantage of the 2020 tax break. Contact us today to talk about how you can benefit from the Section 179 tax break.

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Date: 29 July 2019

Author: Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science

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