Should You Repair or Replace?

This is a question that's going to come up again and again for companies that use heavy machinery. When one of your machines breaks down, should you get it repaired, or should you replace it with something new? It's a tough one and it depends on a number of factors.

Cost

This will likely have the biggest bearing on your decision. Cost is largely dependent on the type of machine in question, the extent of the disrepair and how much of an upgrade you want if you are going to replace it. If it gets to the point where your machine is breaking down every couple of months, then repair costs will start out to outweigh the cost of buying or leasing a new machine.

It's handy that there are often lots of buying options when it comes to machinery, so even if you cannot afford to pay it all upfront, you will be able to get new machinery for your business. If you replace it, you'll also have to think about the cost of disposal – selling it for parts could help you recoup some of the cost. Additionally, the cost of maintenance in the long run, both in terms of time lost and the resources required, will be much lower for a new machine. In any case, make sure to do a thorough analysis of the relative costs of repair or replacement.

Training

If your replacement machinery is a newer model than your old one, or even a different make, then your staff is most likely going to need spend some time training to make sure they can use it safely and effectively. All staff who will be using the new machinery should have a read of the operator manual to ensure that they can take advantage of any new features that could improve their productivity and efficiency.

Downtime

Getting an entire machine replaced, whether it's a CNC lathe or an industrial drill, will take time to carry out. You have to get the old machine taken apart and/or removed and then you have to get new one transported to your business and installed by someone who knows what they're doing. If you only have one of these machines available to work on, then during the replacement process, you won't be able to do work on it, leading to downtime for your staff.

Of course, going down the repair route will also lead to downtime. Every time the machine needs to be repaired, you'll have to stop using it. Depending on the frequency of the breakdowns, you might decide that replacement is the only sensible option.

Safety

This is another important factor you have to consider. If you want to keep your old machinery and keep repairing it, you have to do a full safety analysis of it. Older machinery, especially older machinery that has required repairs, is statistically more dangerous because of parts falling off or breaking. Replacing your old machinery is always going to be the safer option of the two.

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