Green IT Refurbishing
24 Aug 2020
The refurbishing of IT hardware usually focuses on the refurbishment of end user devices such as PCs, laptops or smartphones. Today, however, we would like to introduce another area of used and reconditioned hardware: network technology. Reconditioning infrastructure devices such as switches or routers is particularly worthwhile, as new equipment is comparatively expensive and used equipment still offers many companies excellent performance. Not only this: using refurbished network technology offers immediate advantages over new hardware because Dead on Arrival, for example, is no longer an issue, and because Green IT Solution offers a ten-year warranty on refurbished hardware.
The used condition of the devices we receive for reconditioning is very varied. Some of them are (almost) new – these devices are referred to as „New Open Box“, and they often arrive still packed in their original packaging, frequently having been operated in test situations for only a few hours, or stored as backup devices without ever being used at all. Even manufacturers like Cisco offer used goods that they have reconditioned themselves. Other devices have been used productively over a longer period of time already. No matter what the condition of the device, we make sure that no data exists from the previous owner, and we test all devices for their functionality.
Since the purchase of used hardware is also a matter of trust, we would like to show you how we recondition our hardware in such a way that we can return it to the market with a clear conscience
The reconditioning process
Delivery and inventory
All used IT devices that reach us are checked on delivery for completeness (including accessories), condition and any transport damage. The devices are then labelled and an inventory created, whereby the hardware device is given its own inventory number. To do this, the hardware components of each device must be checked. It can happen that additional components have been installed in many of the devices that do not correspond to the standard equipment. These are not removed immediately, but are documented in the inventory and also recorded on the label. In addition, the manufacturer’s serial number for each device is also documented and recorded on the label. If special components are available, these are also recorded on the label with their own serial number.
Hardware testing and cleaning
After documentation, the delivered devices are inspected visually and cleaned. Old inventory stickers are also removed, so that no conclusions can be drawn by the buyer concerning the previous owner.
During the cleaning process, dust is removed and the fans blown out. Scratches and other optical defects are also documented and repaired after a successful hardware functional test. A note is also filed stating whether all the components that make up the original delivery condition are present – for example brackets for rack mounting.
Hardware testing is performed in two stages. Each device is tested for hardware and software functionality. This ensures that no defective switch leaves our reconditioning department. The Dead on Arrival phenomenon, which occasionally occurs in the case of new products, can therefore be ruled out, because every switch has been tested extensively.
First, a visual check is made to ensure that all connections and ports are in perfect condition. Care is also taken to ensure that all ports work and that no parts are bent or otherwise impaired in their (mechanical) functionality. If defects are already apparent at this stage, the affected parts are either replaced or the switch is sent for recycling. This is followed by the initial hardware check for general functionality, with power and console cables. The device is switched on, the boot process controlled, and power supply unit, LEDs and fans checked to make sure that they are working. If parts of a switch are defective, they are replaced. Parts subject to wear are mainly power supply units and fans. If a component needs to be replaced, we employ used and reconditioned parts wherever we can, so that reconditioning is as environmentally friendly as possible.
Reset to default settings
After the hardware check has been completed, all passwords and configurations on the switch, such as VLAN settings, are deleted and the device is rebooted. The switch is then reset to the default state. The functionality of the switch and the individual ports is tested in the default state. If there are ports for SFPs, these are also equipped and checked for functionality. If the switch fails at this point, it will not be sold. Afterwards, a test report is created, in which the condition, possibly existing hardware errors, and successfully completed functional tests are documented. A copy of this test report is enclosed with the switch.
Preparation for delivery
The software on the switch can also be adapted to customer requirements. In this case, desired firmware versions or entire configurations can be uploaded, so that the switch is ready for operation and only needs to be plugged in on arrival. The hardware configuration can also be adapted to customer requirements, of course – in which case, we equip the switch with all necessary cables or SFP modules.
Once a switch has successfully completed all the tests, any visual defects are repaired. Should the housing have scratches, it is repainted to restore it to a like-new condition. Any missing parts such as mounting brackets or cables are also replaced. Errors that cannot be corrected are documented in writing and a photo is enclosed.
Packing and shipping
Once all reconditioning work has been completed, the goods are finally packed. Only in very few cases, such as „New Open Box“ hardware, is the original packaging still preserved. The devices are therefore packed appropriately by us. We try to avoid plastic as far as possible. Although this is not always 100% possible for reasons of transport safety, the multi-part fixing packaging shown above offers a good compromise. If we use plastic packaging (in part), we take care to ensure that the materials we buy from our suppliers are recyclable.
Stretch-wrapping the pallets secures the goods with foil in such a way that slippage is prevented and safe transport can be guaranteed. Moreover, this saves filling material. For the latter we use paper and cardboard and not polystyrene or anything similar.
Do you have any further questions about our reprocessing process? Or would you like to know whether the purchase of refurbished hardware is a worthwhile investment for your company? Then please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to advise you on any questions concerning IT and networks.