OEM stops production of spare parts

Customer

Food producer. The Dutch production site of this food production company produces enormous quantities of products for the food industry every year, which are sold worldwide. The production machinery runs 24/7 and consists of more than 30 machines.


Challenge

Two mechanical machines have been producing food products since 1956. They had been serviced several times, but due to the absolute mechanical quality, these machines still had one of the highest uptime (97%). New machines are often expensive to buy, and if the old machines still excel at producing a particular product, overhaul is usually a safe and cost-effective option. However, the OEM had stopped producing parts for these particular machines. Additionally, there was actually no longer a supply of spare parts on the second-hand market. Because some parts had suffered considerable wear and tear, the customer had to act swiftly.


Solution

Partly due to the high ROI and low downtime of the machine, overhauling the machine seemed the best option. However, a lot of data was missing. Therefore, we re-engineered. The material, hardness and function of each part were analyzed. After that, the parts were put on a drawing and it was examined for each part whether it needed to be newly manufactured or repaired.

It was impressive to see how these parts (gears, axles, differentials, etc.) were made so extremely precisely and interconnected in a time without computers. Due to the tight tolerances and mechanical relevance of each part, precision was paramount. One failing part in the machine could cause a possible unplanned downtime. This can have major consequences for: agreements with customers, dismantling the machine and possible collateral damage.

After extensive consultation between the customer's specialists and the engineering department of GBS, agreements were met regarding the tolerances and the parts were machined on the basis of the drawings made by GBS engineering. The whole thing was then assembled at the customer, after which the machine worked flawlessly again, hopefully for another 50 years.


Result

A cost saving of more than 70% compared to the investment that a new machine would entail. Drawings and extensive reporting to provide the machine with even more effective and efficient maintenance in the future.