In any manufacturing company, the acquisition of a new piece of equipment meets a profitability objective: this is why it must be integrated into the global strategy, which is why it is useful to evaluate your short, medium and long term needs. To optimize the return on investment of your future manufacturing equipment, a few steps are essential before making the purchase. In this article, our Merkur experts suggest the steps to follow in order to avoid making a mistake when purchasing your next equipment.
Identification of Needs and Objectives
Before you even choose an equipment, the first step is to evaluate the potential gains. It is important to know if you are working on a project that justifies the acquisition of such equipment. To do this, you need to understand the objectives to be achieved with a strategy and a vision: thus, you will start by doing a cost-benefit analysis.
Assuming that more efficient equipment will give you better results, you will assess your ability to use the equipment optimally. Will using it with your current resources allow you to reach your growth and production objectives? Will this investment help you improve your quality performance or increase your productivity? You will then be able to determine the impact of your eventual purchase in order to avoid the pitfalls of a too quick equipment renewal, or, if necessary, to highlight the relevance of reinforcing your automation system to accelerate the pace of production. Maybe a simple upgrade of the current equipment is enough.
Is the equipment you want to buy specific or generic? Again, it all depends on the project. The investment level of your future purchase depends largely on a series of criteria that are specific to you but that must be taken into account as a whole. For example, geographical and environmental criteria should also be considered in order to favor a local supplier whenever possible. On the one hand, you will avoid certain supply chain issues and on the other hand, you will reduce your carbon footprint!
Evaluation of the New Equipment in the Production Line
Thanks to your good knowledge of the market, of the various projects and possibly with the accompaniment of one of our experts, you will evaluate the technical characteristics of the equipment and its capacity of integration in the production chain. As your objectives are measured in terms of performance but also in terms of risks, you will have to consider a global scenario and envisage solutions with different levels of ergonomics. How will your new equipment fit into your work environment in terms of space, use and performance: will there be adjustments to your production line? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself.
With a global vision of the company’s needs and long-term planning, a technology roadmap can be useful: the data used will help you see what is working well and what is not. This planning tool that matches your business objectives with short and long term technology solutions will allow you to identify investment opportunities and optimize certain processes through the acquisition of new equipment.
What will be the different solutions to implement: the simplest, the least expensive, the most visible, the ones that will give the best results, the fastest, with the best return on investment. The possible resistance to change will also have to be evaluated (ref. Pugh’s matrix, production management approach). By comparing all the solutions, you will minimize the risks and maximize your future investment.
The Purchase of the Equipment: its Gains and Benefits
After having analyzed your needs and determined the objectives to be reached with the acquisition of a new equipment, you will have thought about its use in its environment and in different situations. It is now time to make the purchase, but there is still one step to take: choosing the supplier.
A wide range of companies specialized in the supply of equipment is at your disposal. Choosing your supplier is part of the success of your project : the information flow is dense on the Internet and there are many opportunities to meet the right supplier during commercial events (shows, fairs, exhibitions…). In any case, it is wise to try the proposed equipment if possible!
Price is not the only criterion: after-sales service, the reputation of the supplier, and obtaining better warranties or an extended customer service program are also important. It is also crucial that your equipment meets safety standards.
With your various analyses, scenarios and choices established, it is now time to reap the results of your investment! With the right guidance throughout the process, here are some of the results you can expect :
- Cost savings: preventive maintenance of recycled equipment, better management of manpower that can be reallocated to more challenging tasks.
- Improved production flow with real-time quality control.
- Increased productivity.
- Safer work environment: reduction of risks associated with repetitive and non-ergonomic tasks.
- Involvement and performance of work teams.
- Positive environmental footprint by reducing waste and choosing a local supplier.
When purchasing new equipment, the goal is to optimize the return on investment. The main factor in increasing productivity is the ability to anticipate and prevent downtime and to optimize the efficiency and maintenance of the equipment in question. Our Merkur experts always work in a collaborative mode with customers: they evaluate a set of criteria and in the end often propose two or three bidders, which reassures the future buyer(s). Their privileged contacts with certain suppliers allow them to demonstrate the benefits of the equipment in question for the company, the increase in productivity, the cost savings, the importance of the new equipment and the possible adjustments to be made to the production line. Do not hesitate to contact our Merkur experts, they will be happy to assist you in your project.
MERKUR is a firm of experts in manufacturing performance and innovation and has been doing so for over 25 years. From strategy to execution, its sole objective is to make Quebec’s manufacturing companies more efficient by offering innovative solutions in product development, operational excellence, manufacturing engineering, automation and smart factory. Merkur is proud to contribute to innovation and productivity in Quebec!
KHROME PRODUIT TRANSPORT is a manufacturing integrator located in Drummondville specialized in the design and manufacturing of train car interiors and exteriors. Its strength comes from its great engineering capacity and its manufacturing agility. Among its customer portfolio, there are major manufacturers such as Alstom, Bombardier Transportation and Kawasaki Rail Car.
SYNKRO is a software developed by Merkur and designed specifically for high-performance manufacturers. It collects, classifies, and distributes the right data to the right people at the right time. SYNKRO gives you a real vision of your operations. SYNKRO is the software solution that finally connects your floor and your offices!