What is Machinery and Technical Specialties?
The American Society of Appraisers is an international organization of appraisal professionals. ASA members represent all disciplines, including Machinery and Technical Specialties (MTS). The MTS discipline includes ASA members who perform market or liquidation value appraisals for various purposes such as sale, acquisition, ad valorem tax, eminent domain, collateralization, insurance or residual forecasting.
Aircraft—This appraiser specializes in developing current and projected market values for used reciprocating engine aircraft and turbine-powered aircraft, including corporate, commuter and private applications of airplanes and helicopters as well as all types of airline equipment encompassing the largest wide-bodied aircraft. They also value other aviation support equipment, such as spare parts, special tools and ground support equipment.
Computers and High-Tech Personal Property—These specialists appraise all types of computers, from small personal computers to the largest mainframes, and all of the related components, including tape and disk drives and printers. They appraise complex electronic equipment including everything from large telephone switching systems to oscilloscopes, from medical and dental equipment to small hand-held instruments to X-ray machines and CAT scanners.
Cost Surveys—Appraisers in this specialty are involved mainly in allocating value among the various components of real property and personal property in commercial and/or industrial settings. They are experts in the cost method of valuation as required for insurance coverage, insured loss analysis, accounting and tax allocation in mergers, acquisitions and other forms of business sales.
Industrials—The industrials appraiser values the property, plant and equipment of heavy industry and the process industries, including, but not limited to, oil refineries, steel mills, smelters and mineral mills, extrusion, sheet and plate manufacturers. In such operations it is extremely difficult to separate the values of the real property, machinery and equipment, and intangibles in any meaningful way, yet the appraiser must consider both total and component values.
Machinery and Equipment (M&E)—Appraisers in this specialty are professionally qualified to evaluate all types of industrial properties; machine shops; refineries; hospitals; communications facilities; transportation equipment; process facilities; construction equipment; office machines, such as computers, copiers and word processors; as well as the entire contents of buildings. The M&E appraiser provides estimates of fair market value, fair market value in use and valuation for ad valorem tax purposes. Additionally, equipment analysis for future and residual values is fast becoming one of the more common assignments for today's M&E appraiser.
Marine Survey—Both commercial surveyors and yacht surveyors practice under this specialty. They perform damage surveys and appraisals, usually required by insurance companies, detailing descriptions of the nature and extent of damage to yachts, larger vessels or marine cargoes, recommending repairs to restore property to its prior condition and estimating costs involved. Similarly, surveys and/or appraisals are required to determine condition and value upon sale of yachts, small craft and ships.
Mines and Quarries—These specialists are concerned with the value of mineral reserves other than oil, gas and other fluids, whether available through surface or underground mining or quarrying operations. Coal; industrial minerals, such as talc, bentonite, clay and limestone; and construction materials, such as sand, rock, gravel and marble, are valued by engineering/mathematical methodologies for purposes of taxation, property sale and litigation.
Oil and Gas—These valuation experts are concerned with the value of hydrocarbon reserves under the surface of the earth, whether proven, unproven, developed or undeveloped. They must also determine values of various types of interests in minerals, subsurface leases and unexplored properties. Often with backgrounds in engineering, geology and mathematics, they are concerned with future values as well as present values in an environment of economic and technological uncertainty.
Public Utilities—These appraisers estimate both tangible and intangible values for properties in connection with rate case studies, sale or acquisition, eminent domain (condemnation), property tax appeals and insurance placement. This specialty requires special knowledge in order to take into account the unique economic and value characteristics of public utility properties and to properly recognize regulatory factors that influence value conclusions.