The second life of IT products

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IT reprocessing at bb-net

Used IT equipment is often far from being junk. At bb-net in Schweinfurt, old devices are laboriously reconditioned and sold under the brand name tecXL.

When bb-net boss Michael Bleicher looks at his new factory hall in Schweinfurt from the command post, then you can see his pride. What began in 1995 with the establishment of Bleicher Computer Systems in his own parents' home is now an established medium-sized company with 14 million euros in sales and 65 employees.

bb-net concentrated early on on the reconditioning of used IT products. In the meantime, over 100.000 devices are collected, processed and put back into circulation in Schweinfurt every year. The lion's share of 60 percent is accounted for by notebooks, 30 percent are desktop PCs. The rest is divided between displays, servers and printers. The used devices are mostly returns from leasing transactions, but system houses or companies also help to ensure that bb-net does not run out of supplies.

Bb-net plays into the cards that the product cycles have become longer and are no longer so dependent on software cycles. “Today a device can be used much longer,” says Bleicher. In the past, old devices were scrapped or shipped abroad. Nowadays, after reprocessing at bb-net, they are fit for a second life. However, the process is only worthwhile if there are sufficient quantities available. The reconditioner relies primarily on the brands HP, Dell, Fujitsu and Lenovo. In addition, many projects now include the return and the corresponding treatment with data deletion, recycling or disposal. “The withdrawal is often decisive for whether a project is won”, explains the bb-net boss.

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However, it is not enough to wipe a used notebook with a damp cloth and sell it again. The preparation process at bb-net is very complex, so that in the end the devices can hardly be distinguished from new goods. After a thorough cleaning inside and out, any data that is still present is deleted in a certified manner. If necessary, the computers can also be upgraded with more powerful components such as SSDs or additional memory modules

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