The difficulty arises from the fact that many semi automatic plastic strapping machines look similar... on the outside and perhaps on the inside too. The same manufacturer can rebadge, slightly reposition components and present the strapping machine in different livery as is often the case with strapping machines imported from the Far East, and although this might be at the request of a Distributer it is also the means of making lower specification and component machines appear very similar to high specification strapping machines, so how do you tell the difference?
It's not easy and too often only becomes apparent 6 -12 months after the purchase is made because ' on demonstration' all semi automatic strapping machines strap boxes with no discernable difference. When the strapping machines have been worked over a period its only then that the durabilty of the components become apparent and that percieved 'bargain buy' starts to get very expensive to keep operational... and becomes an 'Egg on Face Machine'.
These lower spec semi automatic plastic strapping machines can be landed in UK for £200- £250 and are eagerly sought by the non specialist strapping machine merchants as they offer the prospect of good margins, particularly as in many cases no or inadequate service backup is given, leaving the specialist Strapping Machine Companies to try and pick up the pieces. These strapping machines are know in the trade as 'revenue generators' because that's exactly what they do - create regular ongoing revenues for service departments.
In many instances those featured on the internet are offered by one/two man import organisations with no interest in offering after sales service... not even spares!
So how do you avoid ending up 'with egg on face?'
Don't be tempted by offers indicating typical savings of say £200 on a semi automatic box strapping machine unless its made by a specialist strapping machine company (not catalogue or general packaging merchant, ) as this is a good indicator of the difficulties that could arise, and would apply more so if the strapping machines were automatic because you would be more dependent on them working reliably. Beware also of buying from companies that do not publish a postal address and ask yourself why would they do that?
Bear in mind also that even if strapping machine service facilties do exist, every service call requested is likely to cost in the region of £120 -£150 and this can quickly amount to substantial expenditure that rapidly cancels out the percieved saving made on the purchase price.
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