Should You Replace, Repair or Retrofit?

It’s a common question manufacturers face when equipment fails or starts showing its age and outdated technology. Knowing when it’s time to repair, replace or retrofit – and which of these to choose –  can be difficult. More often than not, cost effectiveness tops the list of all things to consider, along with the equipment’s importance  in the process and impact on productions.

The ability to recognize signs before major problems occur will help to alert you when it’s time to make a decision and if replacement is ruled out, knowing the difference between repair and retrofit will help you correctly decide which is best for you. Typically, whatever you choose, the investment will eventually pay for itself with increased efficiency, lower costs and a reduction in maintenance, repairs and safety issues. However, making the correct assessment is critical to making the correct choice. Here are some signs your equipment is ready for a change: 

repair or replace?

Signs It’s Time to Take Action:

  • Age is beyond industry standards
  • Overall condition deteriorating
  • Increase in safety concerns
  • Inability to integrate new technology
  • Parts and service diminishing in availability
  • Maxed out capacity
  • Reduction in productivity
  • Increased downtime and maintenance
  • Rising costs in labor and spare parts
  • Declining performance

When these signs start accumulating, the time has come to weigh your options. The more signs you see, the more complete replacement makes sense, especially if equipment is extremely old, unsafe and lacking the latest technology. However, it’s wise to consider the other possibilities first.

Retrofit vs. Repair

Repair involves fixing a broken component. Some repairs cost more than others, depending on the component as well as the severity of the problem and the difficulty in repairing it. If you have repaired the same issue on multiple occasions, it’s time to consider either replacement or retrofitting.

Retrofitting uses system and equipment knowledge and engineering expertise to tailor solutions for your specific needs. It involves assessing equipment then making restorative modifications for some components and repairing or replacing others. This is a great option if overall equipment health is fairly good and in fact, it has many benefits:

Benefits of Retrofits

  • Cost-effective
  • Flexible
  • Custom designed to fit with and optimize existing equipment
  • Replaces older technology without having to replace entire system
  • Enhances efficiencies
  • Cuts down installation time and maintenance costs
  • Modernizes systems to meet new and changing process standards
  • Increases lifespan of equipment
  • Improves safety

Retrofitting is an alternative Belco Industries is happy to provide and something we’ve become known for in an industry that doesn’t always offer such an option. We pride ourselves in customizing solutions that best solve your specific problems and will stand behind our products for the lifetime of their use. If you are noticing signs of wear and tear or having recurring issues with your equipment, give us a call at (616) 794-0410 and we will help you determine the best course of action.

After all, we’re The Systems Solution People.

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