Legacy Equipment: Patch, or Pitch?
As a manufacturing company, your focus is on ensuring that your equipment is running efficiently, effectively, and at a reasonable cost. As machine and robotic safety experts, we at ZCS run into what we refer to as “legacy equipment” quite often. This being what is considered older, outdated equipment that is still a common part of many manufacturing processes.
There are notably some advantages to using legacy equipment that you already have. For starters, your operators are already familiar with the equipment and have built their processes around it. Additionally, you may be saving the costs associated with purchasing newer equipment.
However, these factors may be offset by the disadvantages that come with using legacy equipment. For example, is the equipment becoming outdated and inefficient? Is the equipment unsafe, and becoming expensive to maintain as upgrades are required? Are you incurring maintenance costs throughout the years that when added up are costing you more money than if you were to have replaced the equipment in the first place?
This makes every case involving legacy equipment unique, as there are different factors to be considered based on the age, wear, and use of the equipment.
So, how do you know if you should patch your legacy equipment or pitch it?
Here are some factors to consider:
- What is the cost of replacing vs. the cost of repairs (present and future)?
- What is the estimated change in productivity for an upgrade or replacement?
- What kind of change management will be required?
- What kind of down time is expected for repairs? Replacement?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and we cannot provide you with all of the information you require through this article alone. What we can do, is schedule a visit to your work site and evaluate your equipment for you. Our experience in thoroughly assessing manufacturing equipment and providing safety upgrades uniquely qualifies us to assess your equipment and provide professional advice. If you decide to maintain your equipment, we can help to plan, coordinate and implement the maintenance work, making the process seamless. If you decide to upgrade the equipment you have, we can help design the upgrade, and our in-house team can install the upgrade if you like. If it makes the most sense to replace the equipment, we can go to the build shop to ensure that the equipment will be compliant to your local legislation, minimizing delays and issues. Whether you decide to maintain, upgrade or replace your equipment, we will support your team through that process. We always consider the end users and operators, and can supply training for employees, to help with change management. With an honest and integrated approach, ZCS can be trusted to help you make an informed and intelligent decision regarding legacy equipment. Call us today at 1 (800) 945-1924 to schedule a site visit with one of our team members!