At first glance, the question seems straightforward. But it gets complicated once you take a closer look at other relevant factors.
For example, after being used for a significant amount of time, your equipment has become familiar to your staff. Operations are performed intuitively. It’s second nature. Productivity rises, and it becomes difficult to justify replacing such equipment.
Then, slowly, maintenance and repairs start becoming necessary. Efficiencies decline, and line staff become less productive. The slow degradation builds on itself until, one day, the issues are no longer insignificant. In this case, it could be time to consider upgrading to newer, more reliable equipment.
What’s more difficult to foresee is the small window of time just before a piece of equipment breaks down for good; a window of opportunity when equipment can be upgraded with an acceptable investment, prior to a sudden failure that puts your entire operation at risk.
How can you be certain it’s time to replace aging equipment? First, take a good, honest look at your line efficiencies. How do they compare to prior years? Does this data exist? Are you starting to shut things down while machines are repaired? Are customer complaints about quality on the rise? Are you experiencing profit losses due to poor performance on the production lines or experiencing mounting overtime? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider replacing your equipment before it’s too late.
Still, it might be the case that your equipment isn’t the problem. Maybe your downtimes and repairs are due to operator turnover and training deficiencies, or maybe you’re just using inexpensive, low-quality materials that don’t play nice with your machines.
In that case, the best solution is an investment in employee training. Or talk to your purchasing department about upgrading the quality of materials designed to work with your specific equipment. These steps could save you thousands in the long run, while also extending the life of the equipment you already own.
Our simple question has suddenly become quite complex, so what’s the answer? How can you be certain whether it’s time to repair or replace your equipment? Better yet: where can you go to receive an impartial evaluation of your equipment and processes?
That one’s easy: Call FPS. We represent a variety of quality machine manufacturers and offer specialized technical services. Our technical services group operates autonomously from our equipment sales team, so there’s never a conflict of interest.
A relevant example: FPS recently provided an equipment-replacement proposal to a major beverage manufacturer, while our technical group developed recommendations required for the manufacturer’s line refurbishment. After an initial review by company’s managers, both teams were invited for a collaborative session to further supplement their decision.
Our new business partner was able to confidently evaluate all options to make an informed decision, knowing we had their best interests in mind.
If you value unbiased consulting regarding your equipment and business processes, please call us first. We’re here to help.