Buying Industrial Equipment: Things to Consider

Image of women working on an industrial machine. When upgrading manufacturing industrial equipment there's more to consider than the cost of the machines.
Industrial equipment is a big investment that will be with you for a long time.

Industrial equipment is expensive. It’s also big, designed to last, and often complex. When you add all those factors together you begin to realize just how much is at stake when it comes to upgrading your facility. It’s too easy to overlook some important aspects of the decision that can lead to regret for years to come.

The list below is designed to help you think about any upcoming purchases in a mindful way to reduce the chance of buyer’s remorse and increase the likelihood of a successful upgrade. It’s by no means a complete list, but it should help you get on your way.

Will the new industrial equipment fit?

While it’s always a good idea to make sure you have the physical space for any new equipment, there’s more to ensuring a good fit than measuring W x H x D. Consider other questions like

  • Are my current utilities sufficient to run this equipment?
  • Will I need to upgrade security?
  • What are the safety requirements to keep my staff protected?
  • Have I chosen the most efficient location for this equipment?
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Impact of IoT Retrofit on the Manufacturing Supply Chain

man wearing orange hard hat
Photo by Kateryna Babaieva on

According to Hubspot’s Annual Manufacturing Report, 80% of manufacturers feel smart technologies and a move toward Industry 4.0 adoption will benefit their supply chain by increasing visibility, accelerating innovation, and enabling staff to work more efficiently.  Over 90% of those polled feel the same technologies will lead to increased productivity. 

This begs the question: if smart technologies are essential to efficient manufacturing, why aren’t all factories smart?  

It’s not that simple.  

Upgrades come with significant costs and productivity ramifications.  It doesn’t make sense to pull out legacy equipment in good working order simply because it wasn’t built in the age of connectivity.  Many systems continue in good working order for decades; that’s why we use the term “industrial-strength” to define something that safeguards against failure.   

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PPE Manufacturers Busy in Q2

PPE manufacturers work to keep up with the demand for disposable face masks
PPE like Face masks remain in high demand.

Sourcing from PPE manufacturers for products related to the safety increased by almost 12,000%, according to recent data released by (1) This included items like respirators, face masks, nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizer. Demand is expected to remain elevated as manufacturing tries to keep up with demand caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Other areas of growth include in automation engineering services. This sector exceeded the anticipated growth of 6-9%. Actual sector growth was 16%. Robotic welding services also exceeded predictions, growing by 8%.

The benefits of automation have come to the fore in the wake of the pandemic and associated labor shortages, allowing manufacturers to optimize their plant efficiency and better utilize the human workforce available.

Thomas Index Q3 predictions include continued sustained sourcing activity for products related to PPE and other COVID-19 products. This includes plastic barriers, isopropyl alcohol, UV lamps, and cleaning products. Sourcing for farm equipment also increased as producers worked to keep up with food supply chain changes. Additionally, plastic injection molding services serving both the medical and food and beverage markets have increased.