Your business’s plastic injection molding machine is something you rely on every day to turn a profit. It’s one of your most valuable investments, ensuring you can serve your clients and stay productive. When your molding machine is efficient at what it does, all is well. But like all pieces of equipment, the moment may come when it’s time to make a change, like when it’s time to start using a new injection mold.
This could have you feeling like you’re at a crossroads. Do you repair your existing molding machine or buy a new molding machine? There are pros and cons to both. Read on to get the information you need to answer the question of whether you should buy a new molding machine or repair your old one.
Advantages of New Molding Machine
First, you should consider the advantages that a new molding machine could bring. Here are some of the reasons why it could be a good idea to get a new molding machine for your business:
- Longer machine life: When you get a new machine, you’ll be able to enjoy its features and capabilities for years to come. If your current machine is already near the end of its product lifespan, repairs may only slightly extend its period of use. A brand new machine will ideally give you years of use before needing repairs or replacements.
- Fewer repairs: You could end up repairing an older machine over and over again. A new machine puts you in a good position to have fewer repairs, which means more money in your pocket over time.
- Predictable expense: Because newer machines require minimal repairs, you can easily fit machine maintenance into your monthly budget.
- Increased productivity: Newer machines are significantly more efficient than older ones, increasing throughput and profitability. Additionally, newer machines have advanced technology that can reduce the risk of defective products, so you won’t waste time and money fixing errors later.
- Tax benefits: You can write off the money you spend on a new injection molding machine for your business on your taxes. Since getting a new machine is often a larger expense than doing a repair, you’ll be able to write off more money on your taxes. Additionally, because buying a new machine is an obvious, necessary business purchase, proving the purchase’s status as a qualifying deduction should be easy.
- Energy savings: New generation machines are typically more energy-efficient than older models, meaning they consume significantly less energy during operation. Purchasing a new machine reduces heat load on your factory floor and energy peak load drain on the grid, resulting in decreased maintenance and operational costs over the machine’s useful life.
- Increased safety: You and your employee’s safety is of paramount importance. Malfunctioning machines can be a danger to operators. A new machine could give everyone their best chance at doing their work safely thanks to its fresh components and modern safety features.
- New features: Along with safety features, new machines may include other advancements that help your business run more efficiently and work more productively. For example, production line monitoring features can help you monitor factors like cycle time, output speed and material use, which can significantly boost productivity.
Disadvantages of New Molding Machine
You must consider both sides of every option to make the best choice for your situation. Here are the potential disadvantages of getting a new molding machine:
- Higher initial cost: Buying a new machine is almost always more expensive than performing a repair or upgrade. It’s important that you understand the initial financial impact of buying a new machine. Depending on your budget, a new machine could be out of the question.
- Rigging and shipping expenses: The shipping and setup costs for new machines add up fast. Consider whether your budget can take more than just the upfront cost of a new machine.
- Installation downtime: It could take a while to install the new injection molding machine. As you know, time is money in every business, and you may be unable to afford the downtime needed for a proper install. However, since you know when this downtime will happen, you can plan around it to minimize losses.
- Operations learning curve: A new machine could mean new operating practices. Your employees may need some time and training to feel comfortable operating the new machine, which can lead to a period of decreased efficiency.
- Space limitations: You may have built your workspace around your old injection molding machine. When you get a new one, you may have to do some rearranging or renovating to accommodate it.
Advantages of Repairing Molding Machine
Now that you know the pros and cons of buying a new molding machine, it’s time to compare them to the pros and cons of repairing your existing one. Here are some of the advantages of repairing your current injection molding machine:
- Lower initial cost: Since repairs usually cost less upfront than a full-blown replacement, the idea of repairing your existing machine may sound like an attractive option. If you’re dealing with a tighter budget and need to extend the usability of your current machine, repairing may be the best option for you.
- Less downtime: Staying productive is essential if you want to keep your clients happy and turn a profit. Plus, your employees need to work to make a living. Repairing your existing injection molding machine gives you the opportunity to make necessary short-term changes quickly, so you can keep up with your current quota.
- Reduced learning curve: Your employees and operators may appreciate your decision to repair your existing injection molding machine. While the day may yet come for you to replace it, you can get a bit more time with your current machine. This may keep your employees comfortable and confident when completing their related job duties.
Disadvantages of Repairing Molding Machines
Despite the advantages of repairing your molding machine, there are also some disadvantages you should consider. These include the following:
- Delayed replacement: Sometimes, a repair is like putting on a bandage without treating the root cause of the injury. A complete replacement may be inevitable. Repairing your current injection molding machine will only serve as a temporary solution.
- Possibility of intermittent downtime: The last thing you want is to repair your current machine only to have it malfunction or break in the near future. If you’re trying to keep an old machine functioning, you could face periods of downtime as you keep trying to repair it.
- Unexpected downtime: Older machines are more likely to break down without warning than newer machines, and costs add up while you’re waiting for repairs. That said, taking preventative maintenance seriously and preparing for unplanned downtime can reduce your losses.
- Sinking costs: Depending on the machine’s size, the cost of repairs can be close to the cost of a new machine. You might also discover additional problems during repairs, leading to more downtime and higher costs.
- Safety risks: Your old injection molding machine has seen a lot of use. That means it could have issues that have yet to reveal themselves, which could put your employees at risk when operating it.
- Lower efficiency: Periodic downtime will lead to lower efficiency, but so will repairing your current machine when a newer model has better specs. The latest technology could make a new machine produce far more efficiently than your current model, even with repairs and upgrades.
Contact AIC for New Equipment or Repair
Whether you choose to repair your existing molding machine or buy new, AIC Equipment and Controls is ready to help. We specialize in the molding machine products and services your business needs to stay safe, efficient and productive. We offer various machines in vertical and horizontal orientations, so you’re sure to find one that works for your operations.
We invite you to contact us for more information. Our professionals are ready to answer your questions and help you take the next step for your business.