Ascertaining the right time to replace your material handling equipment might not be as easy as it seems. If you replace your equipment too soon, you may not get the full return on your investment; you would also have to spend more on new equipment sooner than needed. On the other hand, if you replace it later than you should, you might experience loss of productivity and unpredictable downtime all while incurring additional maintenance cost. Keeping old equipment in operation for too long also carries the risk of accidents. For example, wire and rope damage to a fully functioning articulating jib might cause a mishap. But we will explain how you can know the right time to replace your old equipment.
- Increased need for repair and maintenance
Routine maintenance and repair on any equipment is necessary. But when you notice that a machine needs repair very frequently, that should be a major a sign for you to replace it. Moreover, when your equipment starts to need major repairs that cost higher than usual, it is time to replace it. You can refer to OSHA’s guide on maintenance and inspection to keep everything on track. A general rule of thumb is to look out for machinery if it’s had more than four repairs within the span of a year.
- Reducing productivity
Firstly, when your equipment needs frequent repair, it results in downtime that leads to a decline in productivity. Secondly, you should assess the productivity of your material handling equipment and its performance by tracking the time taken by the equipment to move loads from one point to another. If you find that there’s a decline in performance, then it’s time to change the piece of equipment.
- Age of equipment
With many kinds of material handling equipment, 10000-12000 hours is a generally accepted life span before major maintenance needs come into play. For equipment that’s heavily used, this mark would be reached much sooner so this number is not very relevant. But for equipment that isn’t heavily used, 10000-12000 hours of usage is a good number to know if it’s time to replace it as parts and components reach the end of their natural shelf life.
- Signs of wear and tear
You should keep an eye on the machinery for signs of excessive wear and tear. Moreover, you should ask the maintenance provider to advise if the equipment shows signs that indicate you should replace it. There are various signs to look out for:
- Severe corrosion and abrasion on parts of the equipment like compromised chain links or brittle ropes and slings. These are at risk of breaking without warning.
- External damage on equipment: broken welds, cracks and surface damage.
- Wear and tear on end truck wheel of jib crane.
- Hook bending, wire and rope damage can render your fully functioning articulating jib prone to accident.
Therefore, it is important to look out for the above mentioned signs in order to replace your old pieces of equipment with new and better ones.