Machinery is the lifeblood of any manufacturing business. The ability for your equipment to operate without fail can be a bottom line issue. It has safety implications for your team as well. However, knowing when it’s time to repair or replace vital manufacturing equipment can be challenging for business owners.
Should I replace or repair? How much are repairs going to cost? What is the extended life of the equipment if I repair versus replacing? These are all important questions manufacturers need to ask. There are certainly benefits and pitfalls associated, but we are here to help. The following five machinery replacement essentials to consider can serve as your roadmap to efficiency and productivity. Let’s dive in!
1. Take a hard look at your machinery equipment and maintenance schedule
The costs involved with replacing or repairing machinery equipment are always at the forefront when decisions need to be made by manufacturers. To most business owners, replacing is a last step due to the price tag of new equipment. But the opposite can be true in some cases.
You can get a good idea of potential equipment problems to come. Regular maintenance is good, and many manufacturers take preventive maintenance and care service (PMCS) seriously, doing it weekly. But there is also technology, like vibration sensor that can detect issues early, saving money and time down the road.
2. Don’t make assumptions when it comes to repairs and replacements
Repairs can add up pretty quickly on manufacturing equipment, since the specialization and the parts needed to make repairs have a hefty price tag. And if you combine that with multiple repairs over a fiscal year, and you have a big problem that can negatively affect your bottom line. Instead of assuming repairs are best, examine long-term repair costs versus replacement of the equipment. This will give you a clear picture of what to do.
This is very true for new equipment that needs repair. In most cases, if the machinery equipment is relatively new, repairs may be the best option. Why? Because replacing new equipment with new equipment is not short-term budget friendly. On the other hand, if the equipment that is having issues is older, it may be time to call it a day and replace it.
3. Think about the loss of production before making a decision
This is an important machinery replacement essential to consider, because the workflow and production you put out equals profits that are coming in. Depending on the industry and type of machinery equipment you have in place, repairs can often be done faster than physically replacing a unit. And since time is money, you’ll need to do a bit of math.
Let’s say a piece of equipment takes two weeks to replace, in order to meet state and federal guidelines, as well as implementation standards of your company. This two weeks will cost you $10,000 in production. However, repairing the equipment will take three days, at a cost of $2000. The repair option is definitely more cost effective.
4. Safety is a very important consideration when it comes to machinery equipment
Considering safety should be the first thought when considering replacing or repairing machinery equipment. If equipment is not safe, you are putting the lives of your team in jeopardy. You will need to make a calculated judgement call and balance your bottom line with the safety of your operators.
You also need to consider the safety of nearby equipment. For instance, if a piece of machinery can damage other machinery in your manufacturing facility, the costs of ignoring the problem can be far more dangerous and expensive down the road. Think safety of team first, safety of surrounding equipment second, and monetary cost third.
5. Consider the efficiency gain with new machinery equipment in place
Every manufacturing CEO and facility manager knows that efficiency equals profits. The ability to crank out products faster can be a calling card for retaining current and future clients. This makes replacing problematic machinery a potential must-do. If you can increase efficiency by 25 percent by replacing a piece of machinery equipment, the sticker shock will pass as soon as profits increase. This is a very sustainable manufacturing essential to consider.
In conclusion . . .
Deciding whether to repair or replace machinery equipment can weigh heavy on the mind. It is expensive, time consuming, and has bottom line costs down the road. The above five machinery replacement essentials to consider are not the be-all, end-all, but they are among the most important considerations. Take a deeper look at your equipment and make the right call.