As a plant engineer or manager of a manufacturing facility, you know that maintaining your current equipment and infrastructure is crucial to keeping your operations running seamlessly. However, there will come a time when you need to decide whether to repair or replace certain components. Making this choice can be challenging, as each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.
In this article, I’ll provide you with the information you need to make a better decision; so that, by the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of when to repair and when to replace, to help keep your plant operating at peak efficiency.
Assess the Damage for Your Next Steps
Before choosing to repair or replace your manufacturing facility equipment, it's critical to assess the degree of the damage first. Conducting a thorough inspection of the equipment is crucial in determining the best course of action.
Look for signs of wear and tear, corrosion, and any other visible damages. Taking the time to look at all components of the equipment, motors, belts, hoses, and electrical systems, is indispensable. Note the extent of the damage, and if it can be repaired quickly or if it's too far gone.
What are the factors to consider when determining whether to repair or replace equipment?
When it comes to manufacturing equipment, sometimes it’s more cost-effective to repair the equipment, and sometimes it’s better to replace it altogether. So, what are the factors to bear in mind when making this decision?
Here are some to help you make the right choice.
Out with the Old, In with the New
It is essential to consider the age and state of the parts when deciding whether to fix or replace the older equipment.
If the equipment is old but still in good shape, it may be better suited for repairs. Essentially, the older a piece of equipment, the more likely it is to have salvageable parts. In certain cases, these spare parts can be a cost-effective solution to get older equipment operational again.
However, if the equipment is severely aged or in very poor condition, replacement may be the optimum choice.
Considerable deterioration of the equipment may mean that repairs will only provide a temporary solution, requiring additional repairs in a short time span. In such cases, the investment in a new or upgraded machine is the most practical course of action.
Long-Term Maintenance Cost and Upkeep
Weighing up repair versus replacement, it's wise to keep in mind the long-term costs and maintenance of the part. All this depends on the severity of damage, the quality of parts needed for a repair, the availability of the parts, and other factors.
If you opt for a repair, you may need to invest in additional parts and labor costs down the road if the issue arises again. This could be more expensive than procuring a new part that lasts longer.
Generally, if the total cost of repair, including labor costs, exceeds 50% of the replacement cost, it can be a wiser choice to consider replacing it. Replacing an equipment requires more upfront costs, but this approach helps save on repair costs in the long run, which can add up.
Surplus Inventory Options
When weighing repair or replacement of manufacturing facility equipment, checking out surplus inventory options is a great way to keep costs low. Surplus inventory refers to items that are unused, like-new, or gently used but no longer needed by the original owner. You can purchase these parts in great condition at a fraction of the cost of new parts.
Sometimes, these surplus items can be a smart investment for your facility. So, look for a reputable supplier of surplus industrial automation, MRO, and electrical products, like Radwell International, that has a vast selection of parts in good condition and come pre-tested and inspected by experts.
Equipment Downtime Impact
Equipment downtime can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. When a piece of equipment fails, vital production processes can come to a grinding halt, resulting in missed deadlines, supply chain disruptions, lost revenue, and lower customer satisfaction.
In some cases, the expense of repair may be worthwhile if it prevents any major production downtime. However, if the machine is responsible for a core process in your operations, replacing the component can be the optimal choice, even if it comes with a higher upfront cost. Investing in a more reliable and efficient replacement can help ensure that your plant’s operations are always running smoothly and efficiently.
Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact
When deciding between repair or replacement, it’s important to factor in energy efficiency and environmental impact. As technology advances, so do the efficiency standards of new equipment models. Investing in an upgraded machine can significantly result in the reduction of a manufacturing company’s energy consumption and carbon footprint, leading to long-term cost savings on power bills and fewer pollutants released into the environment.
Newer equipment may have more sophisticated features that can streamline your production process and raise output.
Repair or Replace? Turn to the Experts
Choosing between repairing and replacing a component in a facility is never a straightforward decision. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. Ultimately, it pays to weigh all these before making a choice. If you’re uncertain, it could be beneficial to consult with experienced technicians or engineers that can help you in evaluating your choices so you can choose the optimal solution for your situation.
For help, contact Radwell International for a precise cost comparison between repairing and replacing your equipment. Our aim is to equip you with all the parts, products, and services to keep your operations running without a hitch. If your machinery breaks down, we have a range of solutions to help you get your production back up and running.
For more information on how Radwell can assist your operation,