When it comes to equipment replacement, your ideal timeframe rarely aligns with reality. Chances are you won’t have the luxury of replacing your equipment by choice.
In some cases, replacement is compulsory. New regulations can dictate equipment replacements, regardless of how it fits into your production schedule.
This makes a proactive strategy the best method of replacing your old equipment. Being proactive with equipment replacement means planning a downtime. Planning a downtime requires you to determine the “slow season” of your product. For example, if you make chicken wings, the best time is after your “busy season” (the Super Bowl).
Remember to give yourself enough time to fully implement equipment changes. A good ballpark is 4-6 months prior to when changes are required. This provides enough lead time to get the equipment designed/manufactured, as well as to prepare your vendors for the switchover.