Is It Better to Repair or Replace Packaging Equipment?

man working on packaging line

Packaging equipment is essential for businesses in almost every industry, from food and beverage to automotive sectors. This machinery enables businesses to effectively store products and send them to stores or directly to customers. 

Keeping your packaging equipment working at peak productivity is critical to meeting your production quota and continuing to increase revenue. Your machines will naturally wear down over time, but there are several avenues you can take to ensure you continue packaging on schedule. Based on your current needs, machinery and future goals, you can choose to either repair or replace your packaging equipment.

In this guide, we will explore the advantages of repairing and replacing packaging equipment and learn how to know which option is the best choice for your business.

Repairing vs. Replacing Packaging Equipment

Choosing whether it’s better to repair or replace your packaging equipment depends on several factors. Some reasons why you may decide to repair your machinery include:

  • Saving money: Repairing your machine is the most economical option, as you will only have to pay for replacement parts and service fees. You will also save money by not paying increased insurance rates that often come with using a new machine.
  • Minimizing downtime: Replacing a few broken parts, adjusting features to help the equipment work better or adding upgrades for increased productivity will not take long to complete, so you can return to production quicker than other options.
  • Having greater familiarity: Your team members will already know how to operate your current equipment, so you can get right back to production without needing to train them on how to use new machines. 

There may also be cases when replacing your packaging equipment is the best option for your operations. Several factors that may influence your decision to purchase newer machinery include:

  • Increasing productivity: Modern equipment often works faster and more efficiently, allowing you to produce additional products. This machinery is more versatile, so you can use newer materials or techniques that help with saving time and money. Also, installing replacement equipment is a good option if your older machines continuously break down. 
  • Accessing replacement parts: Machines over 15 years old often have discontinued parts that cost more money to replace. Even if your packaging equipment is still functional, replacing them with newer models can be more economical. Modern machines have greater access to parts and upgrades, reducing downtime and repair costs.
  • Cutting costs: Replacing old packaging equipment with newer options will save money by allowing you to use more efficient modern techniques. If your current machines frequently damage products or require repairs, consider replacing them.
shrink wrap sealing machine

How Long Does Packaging Equipment Last?

Packaging equipment can last practically indefinitely based on how well you maintain it and how many upgrades and parts are available. Often, you can extend a unit’s life span by:

  • Installing upgrades: Packaging equipment is designed for growth. Often, available upgrades allow you to increase production or enhance your current productivity, removing the need to purchase a new machine.
  • Maintaining and cleaning parts: Preventive maintenance is essential for ensuring packaging equipment lasts as long as possible. Cleaning your machinery regularly and replacing parts before they cause bigger issues enables your equipment to run longer and more reliably with less unexpected downtime.
  • Instituting safety procedures: Human accidents are a normal part of life, but you can limit their frequency by establishing guidelines to prevent mishaps and protect your equipment. You can also extend the life of your machinery with procedures for incidents such as fires or other damaging events to ensure your team members know how to handle situations appropriately.

While packaging equipment can last for years with the right parts, procedures and maintenance, you may need to consider replacement to keep up with modern market trends or save money on frequent repairs. 

Is Packaging Equipment Repair Expensive?

The cost of packaging equipment repair depends on factors such as the age of your machine, the time in between repairs and whether factories are still producing the unit’s parts. For example, repairing older equipment can be expensive if they frequently require new parts that cost more because they are difficult to find. Your time is valuable, and the downtime caused by repairing this equipment can result in lower profit margins. 

However, if you have a machine that is still relevant, works well and has high part availability, equipment repair is less expensive than other options. As a result, the expense of repairs depends on your unique situation. 

When Should You Replace Packaging Equipment?

While repairing your packaging equipment is often a viable option, there may come a time when replacing your machinery is the best choice for your business. Some factors to keep in mind when deciding if you should replace your packaging equipment include:

  • Maintenance frequency: You should consider purchasing new equipment if you experience frequent downtime due to the constant need for repairs.
  • Client complaints: Your clients will often notice issues with your machines before you do. If there’s an increase in comments about reduced quality, you may want to look into installing new equipment. 
  • Limited part availability: Once your unit reaches a certain age, buying parts may become more complicated if companies discontinue them. Replacing your machinery with a new unit will save money and time.
  • Production quota: Older equipment may start to work slower and cause you to fall behind on your business objectives. In this case, purchasing new machinery would benefit your company.
  • Company changes: Over time, your business may expand or downsize based on various factors, making it necessary to find new units that meet your requirements.
  • Safety hazards: Having safe equipment is essential for production. If your current machines introduce risks to your team members, it may be time to replace them with new units.

While there are various advantages of purchasing new equipment for your needs, you can often replace your current units with used equipment that functions as efficiently as newer models for more economical prices.

Benefits of Refurbishing Packaging Equipment

There may be cases when you need to improve your current equipment but would prefer not to spend money on new machines. In these instances, you can refurbish your packaging equipment. Refurbishing essentially updates the entire unit. Several advantages of choosing this route include:

  • Increased efficiency: Refurbishing your packaging equipment enables you to enhance your production with your current units by integrating newer technology and parts.
  • Reduced repairs: Once you refurbish your equipment, you can run them longer because their improvements will help them require fewer repairs.
  • Less expense: Refurbishing your units is more economical than full replacements and will save money in the long run by increasing production.

Choose Viking Plastic Packaging, Inc. for Your Packaging Equipment Needs

At Viking Plastic Packaging, Inc., we take a solutions-based approach to provide packaging equipment, consumables and full-scale service to our clients. Our professional team members can take on any challenge, from offering packaging equipment and packaging line consulting to supplying maintenance, service, parts and consumables for your machines.

We provide premium equipment and materials, along with manufacturer-trained technicians and over 50 years of industry experience, to help you increase your packaging operations’ productivity and prolong the working life of your equipment. When you choose Viking for your packaging equipment products and services, you can trust that we will deliver high-quality results in everything we do. 

Learn more about our company today, or contact us if you have any questions about how we can assist your business with our packaging equipment services.