Electro Rent grows European operations with UK office opening

July 03, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Test equipment rental company Electro Rent – which is marking 10 years of operations in Europe – has recently opened a new facility to service the UK market. Reflecting on the evolution of the rental sector, the company’s Managing Director for Europe, David Saeys, cites the broad range of financial and operational options that can be provided to engineers and project leaders.

The company can trace its roots back 50 years, in the USA, moving into Europe and China in 2005. It maintains a “pool” of rental equipment valued at €550million and comprising over 40,000 units, which it holds in a small number of key locations around the world (in the USA, in Mechelen, Belgium, in China and now in Staines, UK). David Saeys says that the company does not aim to replicate its stock in each location, rather, it tailors instruments held in each place to the needs of each region; but that it can, and does, ship units around the world in response to specific requirements. It categorises its holding as serving General Purpose T&M; Digital Design; Wireless & Wireline; and Electrical & Power sectors.

In its equipment profile, the company says it purchases from the number one and two suppliers in any given category, but this still gives it a supplier base of over 200 manufacturers. Electro Rent tends not to hold the very highest-end of any given instrument type, Saeys comments; for example, at present, a 100-GHz oscilloscope would be very much a research instrument, and most like to be a long-term and outright purchase for a major project. But the company – using the same example – would have 50-GHz-class units, “and everything up to that level”.

EDN Europe posed the question to Saeys; “Given that engineers, broadly speaking, are aware that equipment rental provide instruments at short notice, as an alternative to purchase, what would you consider to be the least-known aspect of Electro Rent’s operation?”

“It is probably the breadth of options we can offer, and the flexibility to move costs between capital spend and operational budgets [‘capex’ and ‘opex’]. We offer straightforward rental; or finance towards purchase; or sales of used equipment. Rental can be for one week to one year, and can be terminated if the unit is no longer required; or equipment