Even the best piece of engraving equipment has a limited lifespan. Wear and tear will eventually make most tools useless, and the eternal march of technology would render them obsolete over time even if that was not the case. Replacements can be expensive, so the average business wants to avoid them whenever possible, but there are still plenty of times when they are worth the price. The trick is learning to recognize the signs that a piece of gear is nearing the end of its life so that it can be replaced at the best possible moment.
Engraving is an ancient field, but that doesn’t mean that the tools have reached the limit of their advancement. New methods, such as laser engraving, have emerged in the past few decades, and they keep getting better. Engraving businesses should keep on eye on the news in their industry to find out when new devices become available. Immediate adoption can provide options that competitors lack, but waiting for the technology to mature can save money and lead to better equipment. Finding the right balance between patience and rapid adoption is a challenge, and businesses need to look at their operating conditions to do so.
Consumer demand can also be a valid reason to upgrade. If an engraver’s clients are consistently asking for a service that the engraver cannot provide with his current tools, then it’s definitely time to upgrade. Limited demand might not be enough to justify the expense of new tools, so it’s best to track the requests and find out when the potential profits exceed the costs of the improvement.
Replacing Damaged Equipment
The simplest sign that it is time to upgrade a piece of equipment is damage. Anything that prevents the tool from functioning is enough to warrant an immediate replacement, but cracks and other minor damage can also justify it. In this case, compare the cost of simply replacing the equipment to the cost of purchasing the latest upgrade. The upgrade might not be worthwhile if it is extremely expensive compared to buying an older tool, but that situation is rare. It is normally buy something new, since it will prevent the need for a second replacement when the upgrade becomes absolutely necessary.
Every engraving business should carefully track their output. There are a number of things that could cause a decrease, but problems with the equipment are one of the most Commons. Upgrading to newer gear can increase the rate of production. If old equipment was causing the problem, the increase will be significant. If something else caused the problem, the increase from the new tools can compensate until that problem can be resolved.