Downtime, the one thing every business fears. Downtime can have detrimental effects on businesses financially. When downtime occurs, firms cannot manufacture the product they need slowing down the supply of their product to their distributors and customers. Maintenance is essential for any business to ensure that downtime does not have such a significant impact on business companies are developing plans and processes to mitigate downtime. However, parts do need replacing or repairing when issues arise. Both, replacing and repairing have their pro's and cons, so knowing what is achievable both physically and financially is vital for a business.

With recent developments in machine monitoring and the rise of technologies under the umbrella of Industry 4.0, we see businesses developing solutions to detect problems quickly and even predict issues before they arise. This software and hardware development is allowing manufacturers to find the faults and determine the right course of action for the machine.

When a fault is detected, it is essential for manufacturers to inspect the machine and identify the cause of the problem. Once this has been done measures can be put in place to either replace or repair the failed part. We are exploring the pros and cons of both repairing and replacing components.

Repairing Parts

Repairing failed components can sometimes be seen as the most cost-effective method for getting the machine back up and running. However, this is not always the case. There are costs involved in repairing components from the cost of the engineer working on the part and the loss of time while the machine is inactive.

Even once a repair is complete, it does not guarantee that the part will continue to work without fault in the future. This can cause further downtime and cost if the part fails again.

Repairing parts, if done correctly, can also save time. If repairing the part can take a few hours, this can also be quicker than ordering a new part and then installing, which in some cases can take a few days or even weeks.

Replacing Parts

When a machine fails, many manufacturers look into replacing the part with a new or compatible part. Replacing can be more cost-effective as time is not spent on the repair. However, this can also have a negative impact as if the company does not hold the spare part, and they will need to order the part which can take time.

If replacing parts is the companies the first solution to parts failing, it is vital that the business keeps in stock spare parts or has a local supplier with stock to reduce the downtime of the machine and potential losses.

Some manufacturers have started adopting a hybrid solution, stocking replacement parts and repairing the damaged components. Firstly, replacing the failed component quickly with their spare parts allows the machine to continue to operate while an engineer fixes the damaged component. This type of workflow has enabled businesses to reduce downtime and minimise losses.

Sometimes it is not always possible to find a replacement part or even repair the part. In this occasion, businesses are forced to upgrade their machines which can be costly. It is essential to plan for situations like this and develop disaster recovery plans that can be put into action quickly.

In summary, ensuring proper planning, excellent stock management and having a fast responding team is essential to keep your business running efficiently even when parts do fail.