- Quality. How well is the bending machine built? Is it built on a sturdy welded steel frame, or a bolt-together aluminum extrusion frame that is susceptible to vibrating loose? What are the quality of the metal and electronic parts?
- Manufacturer Location. Where is the machine manufactured? If built outside of the US, other countries do not have access to the same high-quality materials, components, and labor. How easy is it to get parts? How easy is it to talk to the factory or owners, if necessary, regarding an issue?
- Manufacturer Profile. Is the company you are buying from experts in the industry, and how long has the company manufacturing the machines been around? Are they expected to be around for another 10 years?
- Technical Support. How knowledgeable is technical support? How quickly do they respond to a question and/or issue? Do they charge for phone support for the life of the machine?
- Warranty. Do they have a one, two, or three-year warranty? What does the warranty cover?
- Ease of Use. How easy is the machine to use? Can you be up and running on your own, or do you need to have an on-site training session? Turnover is inevitable – how long will it take for you to teach someone else in your shop?
- Cost. What is the price of the machine? What is included in this price? Are there any hidden items that will cost you more later?
- Maintenance. What is required to keep the machine functioning properly? What are the potential mechanisms for leaks, part failures, and loosening? Does the machine need to be recalibrated periodically? Is a manufacturer’s technician required for the most part replacements?
- Duration. With proper maintenance, how long can the machine be expected to run? Will this machine last for 10 years, 20 years, more? Will the manufacturer support the machine beyond a warranty period?
- Enhancements. Are software and mechanical upgrades available over time, and for how long? How are enhancements communicated to existing customers?