by: Andrea Mustine, IQS Editor
Our frail human bodies are not invincible, which is why our generation is lucky to be living in an age when medicine is advanced and continuing to advance further every day. The hub of these medical marvels, where we go when we are sick or hurt, is a hospital. There trained doctors are able to diagnose and fix the wrongs in our bodies, or at least try to do so. We go to hospitals because they are prepared to do what the average man cannot, and we trust in their abilities. A hospital is not, however, able to fix all broken or sick things. For example, a dog with a broken leg is not taken to a human hospital but a veterinary hospital, because that is where the people trained to know his anatomy well enough to help him reside. Although most people would not consider the fixing of machines to be nearly as important as fixing humans or animals, for industrial companies, getting broken or old machines fixed or rebuilt is vital. A malfunctioning hydraulic press or an old etching machine cannot be taken to a hospital for people. Instead they need to be taken where the employees know how to fix them. Those that work in hospitals for machines are commonly known as machinery rebuilders.
Most machinery rebuilders are able to handle an incredibly wide variety of machines and mechanisms, and are also able to get the job done according to the timeline required by the customer. Some machinery rebuilders could be looked at as emergency rooms because they understand that the time their customers’ equipment is out of commission is costly, much in the same way that time is of the essence in the treatment of a sick or injured patient. Many of the services offered by machinery rebuilders are analogous to services offered in hospitals.
Remanufacturing is one of the most basic and well-known machinery rebuilder services. In essence, remanufacturing involves dissembling a machine so that all the individual pieces can be checked, cleaned and when necessary replaced before the machine is put back together in better working order (but still in the same fashion as that of the original manufacturer). This service could be related to the surgical wing of a hospital, where the disease in a person is targeted, they are opened up and the part is removed or altered so that the person can go on living their normal life. Another common practice in machinery rebuilding facilities is retrofitting. It is much like how cardiothoracic surgeons insert pacemakers into people’s hearts when the heart has gotten too tired to work well on its own, sort of like a heart upgrade. Retrofitting installs newer parts into older machinery, giving it greater speed, more precision or other mechanical aspects that improve machine’s capabilities.
A final major service offered by machinery rebuilders is equipment repair, which basically means that a customer will bring in a machine with a single component that needs to be fixed or replaced to return the machine to its prior efficiency. This is much like an orthopedic surgeon fixing a bone without messing with any other part of the body, and not improving that bone but simply returning it to its former state. And similar to the way that hospitals have specific wings for specific types of problems, some machine repair companies will focus on fixing certain types of machine issues. For example, an automotive job shop focuses on fixing vehicle issues, while other machinery rebuilders may specialize in gearbox repair. Regardless of their specialties, it is clear that machinery rebuilding companies are where all industrial facilities with machine problems need to go to get their equipment in tip-top shape once again.