ROI (Return on investment) is a very good tool to use when you are considering buying new equipment to your production line. Making an ROI for a printing machine is complicated. However, calculating an ROI for a cleaning machine which is a supplement and not a necessity is even more complicated.

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What affects the ROI?

Well, a lot of things do. You encounter many things that affect your production every day and taking a step back and get an overview can be very helpful. Note down the little things that have become a natural part of a production, what are people saying?

“Other people (production managers, etc.) tell me jobs have become more complex, runs are shorter, and people are having to do more changeovers…” This might be something you hear on the floor, which means you should probably look at – “Number of changeovers per day” – How many do you have and how does it affect your busines?

“We wasted a lot of materials on that project!” Do you hear this? Then you should note - the cost of wasted substrate, ink, etc. – You need materials, but wasting materials is reducing your earnings in the long run.

“We have too much downtime and we are behind on the production schedule…” – Here it is obvious, but take notice every time you have - downtime from dirty anilox what is the price per minute production cost – everyone is aware you are having downtime, but are you noting how often it happens?

“We can’t find the right people and labour expenses are increasing…” – Finding reliable people who wants to clean manually can be difficult. Look at your – labour expense – how many times do you rehire people and can you somehow avoid rehiring for the same position?

These are just a few examples of things that are costing you time and money, which you need to take note of if you want to do a return-on-investment calculation of an automated anilox cleaner. A simple conversation can uncover a lot of issues regarding your production, scheduling and cost operation.

The things you cannot measure

While a lot of things are measurable other things are not. For example, when it comes to labour cost often people who clean and work with solvent and chemicals work extra hours. Working extra hours means that they are more exposed to health issues and in return often have more sick days and eventually leave their position.

Measuring health and safety issues are important. We know that solvents and chemicals are bad for humans, however it is not possible to directly measure and effect from them because the consequence is only possible to see in the long term run.

Bottlenecks are also an issue you experience them all the time, but never really take notice of it because you might not be right in the middle of the issues which might have happened elsewhere in the production.

There will always be something you cannot control and measure – you can come close, but every time you make a calculation like a return on investment there will be unknown factors.

What should you do?

To sum up making a return on investment on an automated anilox cleaner is not difficult. You just need to have few simple numbers ready – once you have that it is rather simple to see whether an automated anilox cleaning system can benefit your business.

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