Why Investing in Reliable Metal Scrap Processing Equipment Is More Important Than Ever

With formidable workforce challenges facing the metalworking industry, a high measure of equipment reliability is no longer a “nice to have,” it’s a “need to have.”

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, companies report that it is currently 36% harder to find the right talent than it was just a few years ago, despite a high unemployment rate. It is predicted that the skills gap could result in 2.1 million unfilled trades jobs in the U.S. by 2030. These workforce strains mean that fewer skilled workers are available to perform preventive maintenance and complete emergency repairs, and to build new equipment and replacement parts. In short, if you have a metal scrap processing equipment failure, you may be facing significant downtime simply because there won’t be a qualified person available to quickly provide the service or part necessary for fixing the problem.

Additionally, many companies are outsourcing maintenance to contractors. Although this practice is shown to lower in-house labor costs, it is not without risk when it comes to equipment downtime. Because maintenance contractors service many companies, they do not have allegiance to your business alone. This can result in sluggish response times. Furthermore, maintenance contractors often lack in-depth knowledge of your business operations, which can contribute to inefficient maintenance practices.

Other reasons to invest in reliable metal scrap processing equipment include:

  • As reliability drops, maintenance costs rise
  • Reliable equipment provides a steady foundation for a high Overall Equipment
  • Effectiveness rate, which is a best practice for measuring manufacturing productivity
  • Supply chain issues cause parts delays

When partnering with metal scrap processing equipment suppliers to update legacy equipment or add new capabilities to your operation, inquire about the following maintenance considerations at the beginning of the acquisition process. This will help you gauge the reliability of the equipment:

  • What build quality and design characteristics will contribute to a low failure rate?
  • What common failure modes can you expect?
  • What is the life expectancy of the equipment?
  • Are standardized components used?
  • What components are outsourced and to whom?
  • What are the lifecycle costs of individual components?
  • What reputation does the manufacturer have for quality?

While reducing maintenance overall by increasing equipment reliability should be the primary objective, selecting metal scrap processing equipment that is easy to service in order to limit the downtime needed to perform maintenance is also important. Consider the following:

  • What design features have been engineered into the equipment to improve serviceability?
  • How many warranty requests does the supplier receive on average per year?

Leveraging automated metal scrap processing solutions with a high degree of reliability is a pathway to higher throughput, reduced downtime and lower maintenance costs. To learn more about what goes into equipment reliability, consult with an experienced metal scrap processing equipment manufacturer that has a reputation for sourcing high-quality components, using strong materials, and meeting high fabrication standards. Equipment built to deliver reliable service will not only help your company reduce workforce challenges, it will pay your business back through consistent operation for years to come.

For more information regarding PRAB, please visit prab.com or contact us.

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