When thinking about the 3Rs (three R's) of the environment, people often say: reduce,reuse, recycle. As manufacturers struggle to achieve affordable and sustainable operations, three more R's spring to mind. It was here that SophieHand, UK country manager for EUAutomation, gained insight into the benefits of replacing, remanufacturing or repairing damaged or faulty equipment.
Since the first industrial revolution, manufacturing has been dominated by linear business models based on "get, make, use and discard". However, in recent years, with the depletion of natural resources and the corresponding rise in commodity prices, the disadvantages of linear economy become obvious. As a result, the regenerative model of multiple use of components is welcomed by many for its economic and environmental advantages.
When equipment breaks, it can be frustrating, inconvenient, and not always easy to deal with. The manufacturer faces a decision on what to do next - replace, repair or remanufacture with new parts. Replacing new parts may sound like the easiest way to solve a problem, but it's not always the cheapest option. Instead, developing a circular economy by selecting repaired or remanufactured parts can effectively reduce downtime and benefit the environment.
So what should manufacturers consider when equipment fails? The first factor is the warranty, which may cover most of the maintenance costs of the unit, especially during its first year of service. For problems that arise after the first year, maintenance engineers usually use the 50/50 rule, which states that maintenance makes sense when the combined cost of spare parts and labor does not exceed half the original value of the equipment. Supporters of the circular model, however, often disagree, arguing that it is always worth making or repairing unless the cost of repairs exceeds the cost of buying a brand new device. Believers in the circular economy will also argue that it is incorrect to assume that equipment will fail more frequently simply because it is old.
There are other factors to consider besides the warranty terms and the cost of remanufacturing or repair. The first is the area where machines operate, because in some industries, such as biomedical manufacturing, regulations force manufacturers to replace equipment regularly, making refurbishment or repair impossible.
Finally, one of the most important aspects to consider is whether the required equipment is still made by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or is obsolete. In this case, a company like EUAutomation can provide an alternative that offers a quick and easy solution. Eu automation also provides new and refurbished parts to help companies start up production lines and put them into operation if equipment fails.
Equipment is broken, next time is best to remember the three R (Replacing, Remanufacturing or Repairing)