Painting Up A Storm

We unveiled our new paint shop at Techbuyer this August, providing in-house restoration on switches for our technical facility. Customers want ICT that feels as good as new as well as equipment that performs as well as new and so our repairs department have been working hard to provide a solution on-site.

It is a golden summer for the Right to Repair movement. Governments around the world are starting to support the practice. Refurbished and repaired equipment seems to be coming into the mainstream, and the cosmetic appearance of equipment is becoming increasingly important.

Network switches are a high-value item, worth between £300 and £1,000. They connect devices on a computer network by packaging data and transporting it to the next destination. With their large flat surfaces, they are great candidates for a facelift during the refurbishment process, especially because they can be in public view.

Painting up a Storm

Although the painting does not affect how well they work, we always like to provide the best customer experience on refurbished equipment and make the choice as close as possible to buying new. Techbuyer was one of the first companies in the sector to offer the same three-year warranty as you would receive from a manufacturer. It was also one of the first to commission its own (now increasingly eco-friendly, but more about that in another blog) packaging.

Opening the box on new hardware should be an exciting experience, whether it is new or refurbished, which is why we work as hard on the outside as we do on how well it performs. The painting process involves preparation of the surface, filling cracks and creating a more even finish, making the equipment more durable as well as more attractive.

“With the scratches gone, we can get the best value out of it,” explains Tony Lischke, team leader of RMA and repairs, “We have been using an outside contractor for some time. Bringing the job in-house means that we can really increase the number of switches we process. We have been able to paint almost the same number of pieces in the first day as we were doing over the course of a month before. Going forwards we are hoping to expand the paint department, adding other components for restoration which will result in us creating another job.”

Our Facilities

The paint shop has been built in an area which is separated from the rest of the technical facility. It has its own local exhaust ventilation system to clear the air of contaminants whilst the paint contractor works. Matching the colour to that of the original manufacturer has meant sourcing some paints from the US. The next step is to colour match these with local alternatives which can be applied using a spray machine of the kind you would see in a vehicle repair shop. Developing this approach would also enable the use of water-based paints of the kind some car manufacturers use.

At Techbuyer we are always looking to do things better and this is just one of the ways that our repairs and returns department is doing this. Bringing painting in-house enables us to process more ICT quicker than we would previously have been able to and save hundreds of pounds in the process. We are also saving on carbon related to transport.