Giving Used Medical Equipment a Secondlife


Having worked for Canon Medical Systems in logistics for many years, Johan Vochteloo, took on management of the European demo equipment. Johan gained a unique insight into the demo equipment’s lifecycle that laid the foundation for a brand-new project, Secondlife, which was officially launched in 2009 and has since become a successful venture that has provided affordable, refurbished, top quality Canon Medical systems.

“We had a huge warehouse, full of outstanding demo equipment,” said Johan. “Part of it could be sold, the rest was returned to the European Head Office. I remember wondering what to do with all this excellent equipment that hasn’t been sold yet?”

Dynamic maintenance environment

Refurbishing medical equipment demands a lot of work with many strict regulations and legal aspects, which can change over time. In addition, the equipment hardware and software used in demos, of course is continually changing.

“I have developed a sort of ‘Bible’, in which every piece of equipment that qualifies as refurbished equipment is defined. We had to write refurbishment manuals for each type of equipment we were using, and also prep the equipment itself,“ said Johan. “The task of writing and updating manuals can seem endless. We almost have to write our manuals over and over again.”

Custom built facilities

Secondlife has a new facility in Zoetermeer, which contains several areas dedicated to each step of the process. It has an inbound area were the dismantled materials will be received and checked on completeness, and damages. A cleaning and disinfection area were all units will be cleaned and disinfected before it is handed over to the engineers. There are two CT refurbishment booths and one multi-modality booths, in which CT’s and larger X-Ray models can be worked on, including interventional ceiling mounted systems. The multi-modality booth can also be used for trainings and to receive customers to inspect their new system. The facility is a dedicated area that enables three systems to be serviced simultaneously and provides every engineer with his or her own work facility. When the systems are ready they are moved to the outbound area, where each system is packed and crated for shipment and the necessary paperwork is added.

Expanded team

With considerable expansion of facilities and Secondlife operations, Canon Medical’s Secondlife team has required a much bigger team. It now comprises of two CT engineers, three Ultrasound engineers, two mechanical engineers, two account managers and one trade desk coordinator to properly refurbish its equipment fleet across Europe.


“What began from a crowded warehouse full of demo equipment with potential, but requiring tender loving care that only our skilled engineers can give it, has grown into a successful and thriving subsidiary business. Secondlife equipment sells everywhere across Europe,” added Johan.

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