David Roberge

By: David Roberge on September 3rd, 2019

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Make The Most Of Your Old Packaging Equipment

Equipment | The Business of Packaging | Technical Service and Support | Investment

Companies who have been in business for decades often find themselves as the owners of outdated and borderline dysfunctional packaging equipment. These older machines are less efficient and often produce more problems than they do quality packaged products. When your machines begin to age, what should you do with them? Should you just replace them or consider refurbishing? What are the problems associated with old machinery and what can you do about them? In the article below we will discuss these topics at length.


Important Considerations Regarding Old Packaging Equipment


Many of us have packaging equipment that we use on a daily basis. Over the years, many of these machines have deteriorated and are now functioning at a less than optimum performance level. This often results in the following:

  •  Increased downtime

When packaging machinery get olds, it starts to deteriorate. Without a preventative maintenance program in place, you can be sure that downtime will become a weekly if not daily occurrence. It is not uncommon to want to ride a piece of machinery into the ground before upgrading. This may be related to financial constraints or a desire to ring every last drop of productivity from a machine.


The problem here is that while you attempt to get the value out of a old packaging machine, you may be losing money in various ways. Downtime is of course, the bane of productivity. When measuring your packaging lines KPIs, downtime is one of the most important dynamics to decrease or halt altogether.


When attempting to get every last bit of productivity from ancient equipment, you run the risk of extended periods of downtime which translates to lost dollars, employee productivity and time. When you start to notice regular downtime on your packaging line and you own very old machinery, it is time to consider refurbishment or an upgrade to new or used equipment.

  • Lost labor productivity

You might have the absolute best employees, the greatest, most talented and devoted machinery operators who go above and beyond for your business every day. But, if your amazing people are unable to run your equipment because it is constantly breaking down and resulting in hours or even days of downtime, you have lost the value of your packaging line and have rendered their skills useless.


Want to know for sure if you should repair or refurbish your current machinery or buy new? Check out our Refurb Assessment!

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You owe it not only to yourself and your business, but your employees who run the equipment to have access to quality functioning packaging machinery. An excellent team will not be productive if your machinery constantly fails. To reiterate, a preventative maintenance program should be an integral part of your packaging line success plan and in many cases, can at least give extended life to old machinery while providing your labor force with functioning machinery.


If you do not currently have a preventative maintenance plan in place, you should reach out to a trusted local packaging machinery vendor and ask for analysis of your packaging line and a quote on a preventative maintenance plan.

  • Missed shipments

When your packaging machinery has the occasional spell of downtime, it is not the end of the world. However, when your machines routinely break down (whether it be monthly, weekly or daily) you begin to run the risk of continually failed shipments.


This can result in angry customers, frustrated employees and a general sense of melancholy on your packaging line. Failure to deal with these issues may breed angst and negativity in both your employees and your customers. When these things start to happen, you can be sure to see the numbers of lost revenue begin to rise. Taking action as soon as you realize your outdated equipment is failing is of supreme importance.

  • Unsafe operation

There is perhaps no greater sin in business than putting your employees in harms way. "Safety first" is not only a universal mantra for the archetypal "great company" but also the most important dynamic of any organization. Refusing to refurbish or upgrade old equipment can in many cases, put your employees in dangerous situations.


If for no other reason than safety, making sure to refurbish, upgrade or at the very least repair old machinery is paramount to the health and happiness of your employees. There is NOTHING more important than safety and it should be a deciding factor in your decisions regarding outdated and potentially dangerous machinery.




Of course, you always have the option of purchasing new equipment. Many times however, there is a less expensive, easier and less disruptive option. Consider having your equipment rebuilt. An equipment refurbish done properly will give you the efficiencies of new equipment without requiring time, money and training that would be involved in such a purchase.


After giving all the bullet points above a solid consideration, it is advised that you reach out to a local trusted packaging machinery vendor and ask for an analysis of your packaging line. You should also request a report with recommendations on how to resolve any of the issues above whether that means refurbishing your current machinery or upgrading to new or used machinery. Finally, an on-going preventative maintenance program is well advised for any and all packaging lines of varying ages.

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About David Roberge

I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.