It's fairly easy to know when to replace your main processing equipment. Constant breakdowns, infinite repairs, inability to keep up with product yield goals, not compliant with updated sanitary design and industry standards — all are signs it's time to replace your main equipment.
But what about your supporting equipment? The tables, hooks, dumpers, vats, racks and carts that keep your processing moving along? In most cases, they either work and meet your needs, or they don't. So how do you know when it's time to update them before it wreaks havoc on your operation?
Know the Signs
Here are a few signs that it might be time to start looking to replace the supporting equipment in your plant:
You're in a slow season
Slow seasons are the perfect time to update all of your supporting equipment. Any downtime needed to take old equipment out and bring new equipment in can easily be made up and still keep you on track to meet your product yield goals.
Supporting equipment is showing wear and tear
The older your supporting equipment, the more wear and tear you'll see. Dings and dents, casters not working like they used to, trays not fitting correctly, hooks and gambrels not holding correctly — all point to the need for replacements. Look over your supporting equipment. Is it showing signs of wear and tear? If so, get it replaced before it becomes unusable during your busy season.
Equipment is not operating as efficiently as before
Dumpers, carts, movable racks all can start slowing down and running less than efficiently. Gummed up casters make it harder to push carts and racks, aging dumpers can take longer to lift product — all costing you time and money in your processing operation. If your supporting equipment isn't allowing you to operate efficiently, it's time to replace it for newer, more efficient, equipment.
You are replacing your main equipment
Whenever you replace your main processing equipment, it's a good idea to replace the supporting equipment your employees will use with it. Not only will newer supporting equipment help them work more efficiently (see the point above), but there's a good chance your older supporting equipment might not integrate as smoothly with your new main equipment. Upgrading your supporting equipment will guarantee a smooth integration.
You are purchasing more supporting equipment
Are you looking to increase the amount of supporting equipment you already have? Consider replacing your current supporting equipment at the same time. You can often receive a discount for bulk orders, plus replacing the supporting equipment you have now will allow you to work out some of the issues you might have with that equipment - such as carts and racks not having enough capacity.
These five tips will help you know if it's time to replace the supporting equipment in your plant before it causes a breakdown or interruption in your regular operation.
This article was written by Jason Vana from Food Manufacturing and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.