The coronavirus pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on companies in a wide range of industries and has fundamentally changed the way they can contact customers. The second-hand machinery market is no exception: the inspection and evaluation of machinery by an expert took place under difficult conditions. And for the interested parties themselves, travel and contact restrictions made it difficult to impossible to visit the factories’ warehouses and get an idea of the machines on display.

But even independently of a pandemic, the inspection of second-hand machines involves a lot of personnel effort and costs. For such an inspection to be worthwhile, customers must be sure that the machine meets their expectations. Pictures and videos created by surveyors are a good approach to get at least a first impression, but it rarely comes close to a live inspection.

For this reason, the online auction house Surplex offers virtual 3D tours of its used machinery. In auctions with a large number of items, such as that of the insolvent automotive supplier TQM Europe in Heilbronn (Germany), the factory halls are filmed and photographed and finally merged into a 3D model. This gives interested parties the opportunity to take a detailed look at the machines – without having to be there in person.

This meant that inspections were possible even during the pandemic and public traffic in the factory hall could be reduced to a minimum. Various machines such as portal milling machines or hydraulic presses can be viewed in high resolution and in great detail. The long-term advantages, even after the pandemic, quickly become apparent.

Potentially interested parties are spared travel expenses and personnel costs. The first impression of the machines can be gained excellently thanks to the virtual 3D tour and a visit to the hall can still be arranged if there is interest. In addition, tours can be organised in a more sustainable and climate-friendly way. A trip to the inspection is only necessary if the machine really meets one’s own expectations.

A trained appraiser ensures that only high-quality machines are included at the Surplex online auction house; interested parties can also be sure that the quality will be right when using the 3D inspections. Surplex offers all important services from a single source: from on-site quality checks to dismantling and transport, Surplex creates confidence when buying and selling used machinery. With 200 employees, offices throughout Europe and over 500 online auctions a year, Surplex is one of Europe’s leading industrial auction houses.