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How refurbished compressors can perform like new

A compressor operates on a job site
An Atlas Copco refurbished compressor Source: Atlas Copco

Giving compressors a full extended second life is more than just good business for Atlas Copco. Most compressors have the ability to be renewed and used again for a second life. But second life doesn't mean the compressor is a downgrade. Users can expect their revitalized compressor to perform just like new. Plus, refurbished compressors are also typically less expensive to buy than new ones and can play an important role in offsetting climate change.

Atlas Copco's compressor renewal process

More than 300 compressors flow through Atlas Copco's refurbishment centre in Poland. A team of engineers take the most promising used units, inspect them, evaluate the economies of renewal, strip them, and bring them back to reconditioned status.

"Today, the new compressor market is booming," says Dominic Fancini, who is in charge of global used equipment at Atlas Copco's compressor business. "But these same machines will – in three or five years' time – find themselves coming onto the second-hand market. We need to get ready for that influx and have the resources in place to give the best of them an extended and second life.

"There's very little compromise when you buy used from the people who made the equipment in the first place," he says. "You get a machine that's fully reconditioned, and with warranty."

Not all compressors can be renewed

Not all used compressors qualify for renewal. For some – typically the compressors that have worked hard for a long time – the work involved in bringing them back up to a resale standard is too much. Only the best used compressors are refurbished.

"We live and die by the provenance of our used equipment," Dominic says. "Buying used can be a risk for everyone, and the chance of making a mistake can be high, so we need to be extremely careful we can guarantee that what we are selling is what we claim."

To do that, Dominic and his team buy from trusted sources, such as users of Atlas Copco's new compressors, especially those in the rental sector, but also on the open market from known traders. High-pressure and specialty air compressors are the most sought-after on the used market.

Upgrades are not quick fixes

Upgrading the used compressors to the quality Atlas Copco seeks is not a quick, simple, or cheap process. First, the incoming compressors go through a verification stage, where an assessment of what's needed – technically and cosmetically – is drawn up, and the cost of doing so is calculated. (Ensuring that the likely selling price is sufficient to make the whole exercise commercially viable.) Once this is signed off the compressor is stripped, needed parts replaced (e.g., batteries) and items such as starters, alternators, and more are reconditioned. The screw element of the compressor unit is also closely inspected for wear.

Sustainability is not an afterthought but has been designed into the compressors from when they were first designed. 100 percent of the oils used are recyclable, 95 percent of all body panels are too – and 80 percent of all major components can be refurbished.

"They come back from the finished process looking like they're new," says Dominic, "Even the decals are perfect."

Company info

Sickla Industriväg 19
SE, SE-105 23 Stockholm


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