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Equipment rebuilding

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 AM

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Equipment today is being rebuilt by original manufacturers as well as independent companies with good results. The new or rebuild decision is indeed complex and needs to be grounded in fact, dollars and a look to the future.

Depending on the age and condition of the equipment, a full remanufacture might be necessary. This involves testing the equipment as well mechanical and electrical inspection by the rebuilder. Once this is done, you need to decide if the equipment will produce the quality of product your customer wishes at a productivity level that will yield you a decent profit.

Is it worth it?

Next, you need to evaluate the savings of buying new over a rebuild. What is the warranty? Is post installation service available? In many cases, the savings can be quite significant, especially if automation and high speed are not needed. If the piece is only going to be 50% chargeable on one shift, then new might not be the answer.

Look to the future

Will this piece of equipment serve you for the anticipated number of years? Will it serve more than one client or type of work? Keep in mind that it can be risky to purchase a piece of equipment that will supply only one client or one type of product. Maybe it is worth it, but that is for you to consider and decide.

In all cases of rebuilding, have a good contract with a clearly stated warranty. In addition, spell out the quality desires as well productivity expectations. Negotiations before rebuilding are healthy. Disappointment with the machine on your floor is not healthy.

Raymond J. Prince is a leading expert in pressroom technical and operational issues. He is vice president and senior consultant, operations management, NAPL (Paramus, NJ). Contact him at (605) 941-1492 or e-mail