5 Signs That You Need to Replace Your Old Press Brake with a New One
Recognizing when you need a new press brake is one of your shop manager’s most essential skills. If you get it wrong, you will end up spending too much, or you’ll lose customers and future opportunities.
Here are five of the most common signs that you need to replace your old press brake with a new one.
1) You Can't Keep Up with Demand
Take a look at your sales reports, current workload, and expected customer orders. Is your fabrication shop keeping up with demand? If you find yourself constantly behind on deliverables, buying a new press brake may be the most crucial business decision you will make today.
In this situation, don’t put off the decision too long. Remember, you cannot just buy a machine and get it up and running in a day. Expanding production requires financing, space planning, recruiting, and training new employees. The latest technology may include new tools, advanced CNC controls, accuracy, and fewer production issues. However, if your employees are not ready to learn something new, you’ll also need to bring in someone who has experience with your new machine, or is willing and able to learn quickly.
2) Your Press Brake Is No Longer Supported, and You Have Difficulty Finding Replacement Parts
Are you having trouble with your press brakes but cannot find support? Maybe you need to replace a part or need a new control, but your warranty has expired. So you reach out to your manufacturer’s rep for help, but they say there is nothing they can do because the product is no longer supported.
Or the manufacturer was bought out by another company that does support your press brake model, and they don’t make the parts you need anymore. Unfortunately, this situation is common, leaving machine shops to troubleshoot their own broken machines. If this is the case, it may be time to invest in a new press brake.
Don’t wait until the press brake breaks down to buy a replacement. Instead, plan in advance and you can sell your used press brake to someone just starting up, or as a resource for parts to someone in the same situation. You can then use the cash from the sale towards a new press brake.
3) Your Annual Maintenance and Repair Costs Are Greater than the Financing Costs of a New Press Brake
It’s time to get a new machine when the only positive thing you can say about your old one is that you own it and no longer have to pay off loan. If you add up all your press brake maintenance and repair costs, are you losing money and missing opportunities?
You’ve got to start calculating the high labor costs, extensive setup time, and low productivity against replacement costs. Business owners must consider all these factors when deciding to invest in a new press brake. As a result, these expenses can all weigh heavily on the side of replacing your press brake. In addition, you will want to take advantage of low-interest rates and get favorable financing for replacing long overdue machines.
4) Downtime Is Frequent and Costing Too Much Money
There are many reasons for downtime in fabrication, including lack of materials, labor, or a power outage. However, a good manager can usually resolve these issues within a day or two. At the same time, an unplanned decommissioning and replacement of a press brake can take weeks or months to resolve.
If you keep that old machine around for too long, it can break down and cause serious downtime. Downtime can be a nightmare for operation and production managers. It also has a dangerous ripple effect. If one section of your shop floor is down, it can have repercussions on others. As a result, delays, expensive repairs, and outsourcing production will make you wish you replaced that press brake sooner.
5) You Are Continuously Getting Complaints about Missed Deadlines and Part Quality
Your shop’s reputation is critical for your company’s future. When you consistently deliver low-quality parts or miss deadlines, customers will let you and the world know about the problem. As a result, you will see the costs as negative online reviews where prospects search for someone to hire for their next project.
Negative online reviews are hidden costs associated with delays and low-quality production. For example, the higher costs of doing business will quickly show up when you find the company needs to spend more on advertising to achieve the same level of sales. Or when you need to hire a marketing firm to help you with reputation management.
Time is Money - Calculate All the Costs and Look at the Big Picture
This time is money aphorism will come to mind each time your employees devote more of their time to correcting defects than they do anything else. Therefore, make sure to include overtime or rework hours when evaluating the costs of maintaining the old press brake. In doing so, you will recognize when it is time to replace outdated, obsolete equipment with new equipment before causing unnecessary harm to your business.
Keep in mind that there are many unexpected positive effects of buying a new press brake. First, the accuracy of your press brake can give you a competitive advantage when you are trying to close a deal that requires a low defect rate. In addition, better efficiency will reduce your customer rejects and rate of returns. Finally, your customers will love what you do for them because you deliver a superior, defect-free product.
Buying a New Press Brake Takes Research and Planning
When planning that new purchase, think about your future business goals. For example, what type of contracts would you like for your business? And which press brake will suit those goals? In addition, you will want to learn about new press brake technology and how it might fit into your plans.
Answer the following questions before you buy a press brake:
- What are your present and future needs for tonnage?
- How much precision is needed to accomplish your customers’ goals and your future needs?
- How much space do you have? Does the press brake need a pit or bed?
- Are used press brakes an option? What are the costs benefits of used vs. new press brakes?
- Is a retrofit an option? What are the costs benefits of retrofits vs. new press brakes?
- Will parts and support be available if you need to replace or fix something in the future?
- Should you get Mechanical, Pneumatic, Servo-Electric, or Hydraulic Press brakes?
- Where is the manufacturer located? Do they have a local team that you can call for support?
- What features are standard vs. optional?
- Are there custom attachments? Do tooling or clamping systems come with the machine?
- What kind of warranty should you expect and need?
- How much should you budget for training and support?
- Do you need a CNC system? (Computer numerical control)
- Does the press brake control system include offline programming capabilities and 3D simulation? Is it easy to use?
Get Help Answering These Questions from an Automec Press Brake Consultant
With over 50 year’s experience retrofitting press brakes, who can you trust more when it comes to purchasing a new brake? If a retrofit is more beneficial, we will make sure you don’t overlook the opportunity. Contact us, and we will help point you in the right direction. Our primary goal is establishing long-term business relationships, and we do so by offering honest advice you can trust.