Even the best metal finishing solutions break down over time and constant use, especially if your shop runs multiple shift, seven-day-per-week operations. Unfortunately, a busted machine can cause significant downtime and grind your production process to a screeching halt. To avoid that loss in productivity and keep your work running smoothly, you’ll need to service or replace your malfunctioning equipment, stat.
Repair or replace—which approach will work best for your unique needs? As a global leader in the metal deburring and finishing market, we’ve provided many customers with new metal finishing machines, as well as parts and service for after-sale support. So let’s dive into the pros and cons of replacing your existing metal finishing equipment vs. purchasing a new machine:
Repairing Your Metal Finishing Machine
At first glance, repairing your metalworking equipment might seem like the best solution. After all, you and your team know exactly how this existing machine works—and sufficient repairs and service will bring it back up to par in terms of performance. Here are a few key factors to consider when taking the repair approach:
Pros of Machine Service & Repairs
Cost: Buying a new machine for finishing and deburring metal is a major investment, even if you elect for an older model. By correctly assessing and repairing your equipment with service and parts, you can bring your production process back online for a fraction of that cost. Your machine’s warranty may also cover the cost of any needed repairs—provided it wasn’t broken due to misuse, neglect, or lack of maintenance.
Speed: Depending on the depth of service your machine needs, repairs are often faster and more efficient than ordering and shipping brand-new equipment. Speedy repairs will let you get your solution back up and running quickly, which helps minimize machine downtime and lost productivity.
Familiarity: New or different machine models can take time to learn and configure properly, which amounts to more downtime for your metalworking shop. By fixing up your existing equipment instead of replacing it, operators can get back to work immediately with a tool they’re familiar and comfortable with.
Cons of Machine Service & Repairs
Continued Repairs: Every metal finishing machine has an average expected lifespan. And while mileage can vary a bit based on usage and maintenance, your equipment will eventually reach the end of its run. You may fix this current issue only for another problem to spring up a month or two later, necessitating more service, repairs, and costly downtime.
Operator Safety: Metal finishing machines are powerful tools with many working parts. A damaged or outdated machine can create unsafe operating conditions if it breaks down at the wrong time, potentially causing injuries and downtime. This point is particularly important if you’re considering making the repairs yourself.
Production Inefficiency: As the technology of metal finishing improves, new and more innovative machines are released onto the market. By sticking with familiar and outdated equipment, you may be passing up on crucial benefits that these more recent models offer—including more efficient deburring and finishing processes, customization features, smaller footprints, and more.
Replacing Your Metal Finishing Machine
Upgrading to a new metal finishing machine is also an attractive option, especially if your current model has become outdated or damaged beyond simple repairs. Here are a few important considerations for replacing your metalworking equipment:
Pros of Machine Replacement
Innovation & Efficiency: Replacing your old metal finishing equipment with an updated model can open up a world of possibilities for your shop. The latest metal finishing machines can be outfitted with a wide variety of working heads, abrasive belts, oscillating discs, and rotating brushes to match your customers’ exact finishing needs—improving the quality, consistency, and efficiency of your work!
Simplicity: If the source of your current equipment’s problem is crippling damage or multiple broken parts, it may be easier and more cost-effective to simply replace the entire machine. Replacement lets you skip the trouble of dismantling the whole machine or paying for individual parts out of pocket.
Operator Safety: Modern metal finishing machines feature state-of-the-art safety solutions to help prevent operator and machine safety issues. For example, today’s metalworking equipment can be outfitted with industrial dust collection systems to reduce the possibility of sparks catching fire during metalworking operations with combustible materials.
Cons of Machine Replacement
Cost: Depending on the extent of service or repairs your current machine needs, buying a new one may cost significantly more money. Tools for finishing and deburring metal are a big investment—and your existing warranty may cover the costs of needed repairs.
Downtime: Buying and installing a new metal finishing machine takes valuable time, which may result in more downtime for your shop—and potential timeline issues for existing projects. Service and repairs will usually be a more time-efficient solution, at least for minor damage or malfunctions.
Unfamiliarity: Even the most experienced operators may need time and training to adjust to a new metal finishing machine. Those initial growing pains may cause slight problems in your workflow until your team gets familiar with the latest tool.
Note: No matter which route you take, we recommend checking your machine’s warranty before you make a final decision. Again, you may be able to avoid out-of-pocket costs if your machine is newer and still under warranty.
Apex: Your Partner for Metal Finishing Equipment & Service
If you’re still not sure whether replacement or repairs are the correct choice for your metalworking shop, then contact Apex Machine Group today. Our experts can give you support and advice to help you make the right decision—and even connect you with cutting-edge solutions for finishing and deburring metal if you’re interested.