Should you invest in used machinery?
Machinery investment is always a big decision for any precast factory. In the case of used machinery, research requires extra attention. A machine audit is a practical service to find out if the machine meets the factory’s needs. Elematic Customer Support Manager Eija Aimolahti answers questions about the common issues a machine audit might raise.
What is the most important thing to check when considering buying a used machine?
Even if the machine is in good condition and no problems are detected, a machine audit is important. The added value of the machine audit lies in identifying possible hidden challenges that may be difficult to recognize and may cause problems in the future.
For example, electrical or mechanical components might be outdated, and replacements may no longer be available. If you notice this in time, you can plan the update and shutdown of the machine in time. This is how you avoid the unexpected challenges with the machinery.
Another example of issues with electrical components in a used machine could be that new PLC and touch screen might be needed. On the mechanical side of things, it is always good to make sure that the blade head lifting device for the saw is straight. If the blade is tilted, sawing cannot be done properly.
What are the typical updates that used machines need?
Requirements and regulations change, which could mean changes for the machinery too. Updating the safety features is thus a very common issue for older machinery. In some cases, the updates are legally required, and the machine cannot be used before they are installed.
Adding the blade cover and dust reduction for the saw are typical updates to meet the health and safety standards. Adding safety devices for collision prevention, like ultra-sensor and safety buffers, are also common updates.
When is a machine not worth the maintenance and repair?
Within the machine’s lifetime, parts that wear out may no longer be available, and maintenance and repair can become very challenging.
If the cleaning of the machine has been neglected for a long time, the risk of a breakdown increases. The sensors stop giving the correct signal into the control system if they are covered with concrete, for example. This causes a disturbance in machine functions like positioning, driving, and discharging. Cleaning the machine regularly is thus very important.
The lifespan of Elematic machinery is very long – from about 20 years and even up to 40 years. To keep the machine in top condition, the recommended cleaning and maintenance schedule should be followed and only original Elematic parts should be used. Compatibility problems that arise from using non-original parts can cause faster wear on the machine.
Meeting the requirements for a healthy and safe working environment brings more machine mileage.
A service visit that includes
- screening of the mechanics, components, electricity, and automation of the machine
- instructions for maintenance and cleaning
- recommendations for spare and wearable parts
- recommendation for safety equipment
The audit determines the condition of the machine and suggests needed maintenance and repair.
The value of the machine audit lies in identifying hidden challenges that may cause problems in the future.