Term retrofit refers to the modernization of machines and equipment. It includes the terms conversion, renovation, and retrofitting. In intralogistics, retrofit is used to fully exploit the potential of older facilities. Modernizations or reorganizations are in many cases an economical alternative to a new acquisition.

Obsolete components, for which the supply of spare parts is decreasing and can no longer be guaranteed in the long term, are replaced by new components. Wear-resistant materials, such as stainless steel, can be used to replace materials. Existing facilities are brought up to the latest state of the art through the use of technological advances and do not have to be shut down completely. In this regard, retrofitting the automation technology is recommended.

Goals of a modernization

The product quality as well as the production volume are supposed to be increased by retrofitting. An increased machine efficiency should be achieved and the supply of spare parts should be ensured. Thus, it is not always necessary to completely rebuild the infrastructure in intralogistics. Rather, it should be checked whether adjustments to individual subsections, an adapted IT or extensions of facility components are sufficient to achieve one’s own goals.

Advantages of a retrofit

There are several advantages to using an existing facility with which employees are familiar with.
The costs arising from the exchange of components are often not as high as the costs of a new building. Costs are quickly recouped through reduced service costs and increased throughput. There are also no costs for building a new foundation. Since employees are experienced in handling the facility, they only have to get used to mechanical changes during modernization, such as integrating functional enhancements into existing systems or using new spare parts.

For more information on increasing throughput, please see throughput and delivery time reduction.

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