There’s more than one way to buy a CMM

If you’re thinking of acquiring measuring equipment to improve your factory’s quality processes, there’s a type of coordinate measuring machine (CMM) to meet any inspection need – stationary coordinate measuring machines, portable measuring arms, laser trackers or vision systems and so on.

Better still, improving your quality capabilities doesn’t necessarily need to come with an upfront cost. No matter what kind of CMM you’re thinking about acquiring – there are now more ways than ever to get the measuring equipment you need without having to write a cheque or obtain a bank loan for an upfront purchase.

Here we will explore some alternative ways that our customers have procured measuring equipment.

Renting CMM equipment

Rentals make particular sense when the equipment is portable and doesn’t have to be installed, such as measuring arms and laser trackers. Short term equipment rental is an excellent option to manage short- term production surges that create bottlenecks in the metrology department.

Another reason companies rent metrology equipment short-term is to determine if it suits their application, as a way of deciding if they should commit to making a purchase. If the equipment being considered is not currently in the budget, rentals are an excellent opportunity to perform a real world Return On Investment (ROI) analysis on so they can justify the purchase. In other words, try the equipment in the process to see what measurable benefits are obtained such as an increase in cycle speed or a reduction in scrap. Armed with real-world data, it’s easier to perform the return on investment calculation. If the ROI is strong enough, it can be easier to secure the capital budget sooner.

The final rationale for renting is that rental equipment often comes under an expense budget and not a capital budget, and some companies may have more flexibility using expense budgets to rent equipment.

If your equipment needs are truly short-term, we offer traditional short terms rentals as well. Reasons companies use this service is for a short-term program or product launch, or to take advantage of market opportunities that may suddenly appear and that your company was not otherwise prepared to take advantage of. Sourcing rental equipment and even qualified metrology personnel from Hexagon allows the company to secure the business immediately. Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence has a dedicated contract services business offering rental equipment and short-term personnel we also offer traditional rentals as well. We have a large pool of CMM rental equipment available.

Capital Equipment Leasing

Debra Demotto, Account Executive at National Machine Tool Financial (Elk Grove Village, IL) one of our capital leasing providers, says that capital leasing is an increasingly popular option for companies to acquire equipment. Just about any kind of metrology equipment can be leased, from CMMs to Multisensor CMMs, Portable Measuring Arms, Laser Trackers, even software. “Unlike an automobile lease, an equipment lease is structured based on 100% of the equipment value over a 60 month term at a low fixed interest rate, with a $1.00 buyout at the end, after which you own the equipment outright. It’s a great way to acquire the latest technology with little or no initial cash outlay.”

So let’s say that you were interested in a new 7.10.7 SF shop floor cmm (pictured). You can utilise a capital lease to spread out the payments for 5 years, pay $1 at the end, and the machine is yours. Your return on investment payback could be far faster than 5 years. In fact, customers upgrading from a manual to a DCC CMM will see extremely quick paybacks based on the inspection speed gains alone. So the machine could have paid for itself long before you pay it off.

Demotto also points out that there are also unique benefits to leasing when you consider any state or federal tax incentives for investing in plant and equipment that may be available. “Under some of these tax incentives combined with a lease, it can be possible for you to write off the entire cost of the metrology equipment long before you’ve actually paid for it. We’ve seen customers where the amount they saved in taxes was MORE than the total of their first year’s payments.” Obviously, we aren’t tax accountants and you should consult your tax professional for how any available programs might apply to you and before you make a decision based on tax savings.


If CMM rental and capital leasing aren’t the right option for you, why not check out our comprehensive CMM buyers guide.

Or perhaps upgrading your current CMM is a better option? Read our blog outlining 5 reasons to upgrade your CMM here.


  • Andrew Scarella

    Andrew Scarella is the Digital Marketing Manager for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America. He contributes to this blog as well as updates the North American website and provides content for the company social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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