People often call me when they are considering replacing an older chiller that is nearing the end of its useful life. Usually, they are not sure if the timing is right for them to be purchasing a new chiller. The main factor for an imaging center owner or manager to consider whether or not they need to replace their current chiller is whether they want to make the investment at this time. Frequently, the concerns about the investment distill down to the question of whether it makes sense to replace the chiller in order to save money on the maintenance of an old chiller and of course losing revenue and patients when the old chiller goes down. My answer typically encompasses several other factors, as there are other costs involved when it comes to chillers, as well as intangibles which should factor in the decision making process. I will examine some of these factors below.
Replacing your MRI Chiller can be a daunting process, as it can involve a significant capital expenditure and potential lost revenue as you change out your older chiller. Hopefully, the following information will be able to alleviate some of these concerns.
One of the first things I ask someone who is looking to replace an MRI chiller, is if they have a trusted mechanical contractor who has been servicing their existing chiller. If they answer yes, I would advise them to discuss the status of their current equipment and see if their contractor believes it is time to make the decision to replace. If the answer is no, I try to put them in touch with a contractor in their area who I have worked with before and have a relationship with. If an MRI chiller does not have regular preventative maintenance, it becomes more likely that there will be complications or service problems.
Another benefit of having an experienced mechanical contractor, is that they can help you avoid downtime as you change out your systems. You may be able to utilize city water for a short period of time to ensure that your cold head compressor stays online as your new chiller is being installed. One of the benefits of KR Products chillers is ease of installation. A skilled contractor should be able to have the chiller installed, tested and operational within a day.
One of the most important factors in deciding whether to replace your MRI chiller is the cost of helium. The last five years have seen large increases in the price of helium, because of this, it is more important than ever to have a reliable chiller that is regularly serviced. The potential costs for an imaging center or hospital that loses a chiller can be up to $1,000 per day in helium, as well as the lost revenue when not scanning. My advice to potential customers is always to be mindful of the additional costs associated with a failed system. It is far better to replace a chiller before you need to. Direct Medical Imaging tries to keep most KR Products models in stock so we can ship same day, but there is still the time lost for shipping.
Certain chiller manufacturers are based overseas, this means that replacement parts are not only more expensive, but also take longer to arrive. This adds greatly to the cost of keeping an older chiller, this is definitely a factor to consider during this process. For example, Direct Medical Imaging can usually ship out replacement parts same day, direct from the KR Products factory in St Louis, MO via next day air.
Your replacement MRI Chiller does not need to be the same brand or model as your current system. It is up to you to choose what best suits you, many of our customers place a lot of emphasis in supporting an American company. KR Products is based in St Louis, MO. As well as the benefits of supporting American jobs, the value that comes from having a source for parts and technical support just a phone call away is incalculable.
To sum up; the investment of a new chiller can pay for itself with the savings made by avoiding a costly shutdown of your MRI. Choosing the right company to work with you to make decisions regarding your chiller can make the entire process easier.
Please contact Direct Medical Imaging if you have any questions about a replacement MRI chiller.