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As good as new - a rebuilt magnetic separator in the Eriez workshop.
As good as new - a rebuilt magnetic separator in the Eriez workshop.

Rebuilding plant - or buying new equipment?

Is your magnetic separation or vibratory equipment ready for an upgrade or replacement? Follow these guidelines from Eric Taylor to determine whether it is better to rebuild or to buy new for your aggregates operation.

With the pressures of a challenging economy and the current price tags for new equipment, more and more aggregates companies are deciding to rebuild rather than buy new. Here are some guidelines to consider as you determine which way to go, especially as it pertains to magnetic separation, vibratory feeders, metal detection, suspended electromagnets and magnetic drum separators. However, these basic guidelines can also be applied to all equipment used in your aggregates operation.

Product performance, service life

You can find out from the manufacturer what the predictable effective life may be for a certain type of equipment. Based upon this forecast, you can schedule the appropriate inspection to help you decide whether repair or replacement is needed.

Optimum operating efficiency and product longevity depend greatly on the individual piece of equipment and its working environment. Routine tests can determine when it is time to upgrade or replace components or purchase a new model.

Qualified plant personnel or an outside party at a pre-determined price can perform annual maintenance checks.

The goal is to limit costly downtime and make sure equipment is operating at peak performance. Once an inspection is completed, the service centre will be better able to determine the next course of action, whether this means replacing one component or remanufacturing the equipment to original specifications. In some cases, a total replacement is needed, but that is only after consideration is given to several scenarios to get that equipment back online.

‘Buy new’ vs the rebuild price

When all is said and done, the price tag for new equipment may be beyond your budgetary constraints.

The Eriez Five-Star Service Centre provides economic guidelines for these products when it comes to rebuilding compared to buying new (see Table 1).

Table 1. Prices of rebuilding compared to buying new.
Table 1. Prices of rebuilding compared to buying new.

When considering new over old (or vice versa), aggregate operators should think about what new features are desirable, including energy savings, new technology and software.

As time goes on, manufacturers develop product enhancements that may be sought by your management team.

Sometimes these innovations can be added during the rebuild process. Other times, these improvements can only be enjoyed if a new product is purchased.

One example of an innovation relates to suspended electromagnets (SE). Eriez has incorporated an external oil expansion tank on its SE models, which helps prevent coil burnout on oil-cooled electromagnets, and the company offers a five-year warranty on the internal coil assembly. This can also be added to existing designs.

When it comes to magnetic drum separators and scrap drums, you will find the magnetic power of new magnetic drum separators may be incorporated into your old model. Scrap drums have certainly come a long way. Check the service centre regarding options.

With vibratory feeders, newer designed products come equipped with energy saving components that should be explored before you rebuild or buy new. Ask for these when you place your rebuild order.

Today’s metal detectors come with software and even smartphone technology that you may wish to consider. By talking to the rebuild facility, you can investigate whether you need to go new or can upgrade your current unit.

Delivery lead times

A magnetic separator during the rebuild process.
A magnetic separator during the rebuild process.

When do you need your product?

Typically, it takes one to four weeks to rebuild most products. You can expedite delivery sometimes at a premium price.

You will need to compare the delivery lead time of new versus rebuild.

When you have stopped production or face safety issues that compromise your working environment, you will need to find the best answer in terms of a firm delivery date.

Aggregates operations entail numerous pieces of equipment working together in a seamless operation to bring the finished product to market.

Metal detectors, magnetic separators, vibratory feeders, screens and conveyors all play an integral role in many functions.

A close-up of wear and tear on the drive system of a tried and trusted magnetic separator.
A close-up of wear and tear on the drive system of a tried and trusted magnetic separator.

Aggregate companies use this equipment independently or in a comprehensive flow system to help increase product purity, preserve downstream equipment and improve productivity.

Since process equipment represents a significant capital investment, plant operators should perform routine inspections to detect any malfunctioning or underperforming equipment.

This procedure helps spot trouble areas, minimises downtime and prevents potential harm to plant personnel and downstream equipment.

Warranty, reputation

There are several ways to determine which rebuild facility to trust with your upgrade project. You can ask for references from past and present customers, or ask your peers who have used the facility.

You can also visit the rebuild facility and see first-hand the set-up and how equipment is repaired and upgraded.

Warranty is also important. Be sure you understand the extent of the warranty before you commit to buying new or rebuilding.

Eriez is recognised as an authority in separation technologies, specialising in magnetic lift and separation, metal detection, fluid filtration, flotation, materials feeding, screening, conveying and controlling equipment.

Eriez manufactures and markets these products through 12 facilities on six continents.

An Eriez magnetic separator before and after its makeover.
An Eriez magnetic separator before and after its makeover.

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor is the manager of the Eriez Five-Star Service Centre, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA

Thursday, 18 October, 2018 05:33am
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