Should you just replace old equipment?
Many organizations have equipment that is several years old, maybe even several decades old. In fact there are quite a few that still use machines that are over a hundred years old!
Just because equipment is old does not automatically mark it for replacement. There are several factors to consider when to finally bid goodbye to a piece of equipment.
Factors that decide equipment replacement
1. Can you still get spare parts?
How much does it cost annually in spare parts to keep the equipment running? Your maintenance software can help by giving you detailed reports of spare parts use and costs over the year for different equipment.
2. Is better equipment available?
Even if the equipment is still very functional it may make sense to upgrade and buy newer equipment. Productivity may be higher or maintenance costs a lot less with newer equipment. Review maintenance software reports for annual maintenance costs and downtime of the equipment to consider for replacement.
3. Is the equipment breaking down more frequently?
Look at maintenance software reports to see the maintenance work being done on the equipment over time. Look for trends that tell you that the equipment is breaking down more or needs a lot more maintenance. This may be sign that they should be replaced soon.
4. Is the quality of the products being made by the equipment declining/ are you getting a lot of performance related complaints in spite of regular maintenance?
This can be a sign of an equipment that needs replacement but can also be a sign of poor maintenance practices. Review who is doing the maintenance work. Check work order feedback for signs that maintenance procedure are not being properly followed.
5. Is most of your maintenance budget and time being spent on a few equipment?
If you know that there are comparable equipment that need less maintenance that you can use instead, it may be time to seriously retire the trouble makers that are consuming most of your resources. Your maintenance software reports that can compare historical costs of different equipment can help you pinpoint the equipment to investigate.
6. Do you still have the skills available to keep the equipment running in top condition?
This is especially of importance when dealing with very old and complex equipment. You may only one or two craftspeople who know how to keep the equipment running. Unless you are able to implement a program of skills transfer to other personnel you may run the risk of not having the capability to fix the equipment when it breaks in future. If you have a lot of equipment you can identify such skills bottlenecks by looking at personnel usage reports in your maintenance software that show which personnel worked on which jobs over a period of time. If you see the same few people always called on to do maintenance on some of the equipment this may be a sign that you have a possible skills shortage for these equipment.
Looking for maintenance software aka CMMS software?
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