No matter how big or small a business is, packaging equipment is a large investment. Our number one recommendation for packaging equipment is regular maintenance – we believe in this so strongly that we give our clients 24-hour access to our factory-certified support technicians. We also provide maintenance plans and training to ensure that our clients fully understand how to care for their investments in machinery.
While our machines and equipment are built to last for many years, once they’re operating they endure daily wear and tear and eventually need to be replaced. Interruptions or downtime with machinery can be devastating for a business, and can even cause safety hazards for your staff, making it critical to know when it’s time to upgrade or replace your equipment.
We always strive for repair and cost effective strategies, but how will you know when it’s time to purchase new machinery?
Increase in Downtime
The first obvious sign that your machinery is nearing the end of its lifecycle is frequent downtime and troubleshooting needs. Just like your car or your computer, when problems occur regularly and maintenance needs increase in frequency, it’s time to look at new equipment.
Pro tip: Listen to your customers. You may not notice some packaging errors but your customers will let you know when you have let them down.
Unfortunately, as some machines age the associated hardware and software age in tandem. It’s often the case that software can’t be updated to fit current production needs, and replacement parts or materials become obsolete. While make-shift replacements can provide a provisional solution, they also create the potential for bigger problems (such as unexpected or immediate break down) and will only keep production running temporarily.
Pro tip: Make sure you stay up to date with the availability of parts that your machines may need; when necessary parts are no longer in production it’s time to consider a machinery upgrade.
Reduction in Speed
When machinery starts to operate at slower speeds it’s a sign that there is deterioration somewhere in the system. Bottlenecking and back-ups are one indication that production is running at a reduced speed. If left unattended, a slow-down will eventually turn into a halt in production. Either way, this means loss in revenue and potential for long-term problems. Our machinery experts can provide thorough maintenance to alleviate the issue or make recommendations for new machinery options.
Pro tip: Keep a record of production speeds to help you to understand your systems capacity and notice even slight changes.
To meet customer demands and stay relevant against competitors it’s often profitable for companies to add and change the products they sell. This profitability can be lost if the machinery used to package the new SKUs is not optimized. You may be able to save costs and increase production by re-evaluating your packaging equipment. Newer machines can often meet diverse packaging demands with greater speed and utility.
Pro tip: If you add or change SKUs be sure to have a packaging machinery expert re-evaluate your production line to make recommendations for upgrades or changes.
What should you do next?
If you are experiencing one of the problems above, contact Hughes today to talk with a packaging machinery expert about service and replacement options to ensure your business operates at highest efficiency.