Jackson, MI (Vocus) July 8, 2008
A custom washer can be a valuable investment for a company, but sometimes the budget is not available for a new machine and alternatives must be found. Due to recent economic struggles, more companies are turning to these alternative options for their part washing requirements.
Fortunately, alternative options do not need to be inferior options. Midbrook, Inc., of Jackson, Mich., has two alternatives to their custom machines that can fill the needs of manufacturers. The performance of a custom machine can be closely matched by rebuilding an old machine. In other cases, all it takes is a comprehensive cleaning and maintenance tune-up to restore a washer to brand new performance quality.
Rebuilding a washer is a viable option in several different situations. In a previous re-building job by Midbrook, a client who supplied automotive transmission components came to the company with a problem: they were beginning production on a new part, similar to their old part in size and weight but with a different configuration.
The company had invested in a custom washer for their previous part production, but the custom washer could not meet the cleanliness specifications with the new configuration. The client did not have the budget to purchase a brand new custom machine, but they needed a new washer that could get their part cleaned.
Midbrook stepped in and analyzed their old washer. A team of Midbrook employees looked over the design of the washer and the new part configuration to craft a wash process that could successfully clean the parts.
After researching the machine and the part, Midbrook developed a plan to re-build the washer. By changing the fixtures on the conveyor so that they held the new part in a proper orientation, re-directing the spray manifold configuration to send fluid at the critical areas of the new part, and replacing the blow off air manifolds with cones and air knives custom designed for the new part, the Midbrook design team re-configured the washer to provide optimum results.
The old washer now cleaned the new part as if it had been custom designed for the process, and at only 25% of the cost of a new washer.
Midbrook Sales Manager Jamie Crowley has worked on multiple re-build projects. He has repeatedly observed that the capital saved by using a re-built machine can be put to good use.
“Money saved by a re-build allows the customer to make upgrades they may not have been able to afford on a new machine”, Crowley said. “In this case, we replaced the old steam heating system, used to heat the washing fluid, with a new electric heating system.”
A steam heating system requires frequent and difficult to perform maintenance, while the electric system is more efficient and less maintenance intensive.
“Upgrading the heating system made their washer easier to handle and also saved money in the future by reducing the cost to operate the machine,” Crowley said.
In a sluggish economy, re-building a washer helps companies upgrade performance without negatively impacting their bottom line. Re-build jobs have undergone a noticeable increase in the past several years at Midbrook.
“We’ve seen a 300% increase in the number of re-building jobs during the past several years here,” Crowley said. “More companies are turning to this option because it allows them to utilize the high performance of a nearly new washer and not spend the money it would normally take to get such quality.”
Economic benefits for the company bottom line and quality improvements on the production line make re-building an old washer a winning proposition for many businesses. Midbrook expects to see more re-building opportunities in the future.
“We are always prepared to help with a re-building job,” Crowley said.
“Midbrook knows it’s a tough climate for business right now, and that’s why we will come to a plant and give them a quote for modifying or rebuilding any brand of washer.”