Downtime resulting from unexpected maintenance can be detrimental for oilseed processors. Unplanned maintenance is costlier than planned maintenance because it halts production while overhead continues to grow, and the financial consequences can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few days. The fact is your machine will eventually go down due to an unexpected failure. A foreign piece of metal will make it through a detector, a motor will fail, or a power outage will occur.

Anticipating and preparing for unplanned maintenance can mean the difference between a quick solution or a crisis that shuts down your machine for days or even weeks. One way to prepare for machine failure and prevent significant downtime is to have replacement parts on hand for equipment prone to wear and tear.


A press has two primary sections under constant wear: the barrel and the shaft. Continual contact with processing materials makes these parts susceptible to corrosion and unexpected failure. And when they do go down, the repair is time-intensive. These sections are composed of hundreds of small parts that must be removed, cleaned, and replaced according to strict specifications – like in the barrel cage with spacing measured to the thousandths of an inch – to ensure efficient pressing and a quality product.

Anderson experts recommend all clients have a spare barrel cage and worm shaft onsite so when a failure occurs, processors can resolve it with maximum efficiency.


Downtime associated with unexpected maintenance is expensive. Production stops, labor costs increase, and scheduling can be delayed and strain client relationships. The length of downtime, and therefore cost, varies based on several factors.

In a good situation, an unexpected rebuild could take a full day or two. That would rely on a facility having a maintenance team onsite, with excess labor available to shift immediately to this new priority. More likely, however, a machine won’t go down at an optimal time or when staff is available to complete the rebuild immediately or at all.

Some facilities, especially smaller ones, do not have the staffing model for handling unexpected maintenance and will need to shut down operations, remove the part, and ship it back to the manufacturer for repair. Depending on the facility’s location, the time and day of the shutdown, and the delivery speed, the resulting downtime may last a minimum of several days, or in some cases, weeks.

A tempting option for a processor is to perform a quick patch job on the machine. Though this may solve the immediate problem, the decision will ultimately be more expensive in the long-term. A substandard repair will affect your press’s efficiency, impact product quality, and may put worker safety at risk.

With spare parts onsite, processors can quickly remove the failed section, assuming the plant is set up for efficient maintenance, and replace it with the spare. A machine can be up and running in a matter of hours, allowing the time needed to complete the repair correctly or ship it rush-free back to the manufacturer. The initial investment in this spare part is recovered with the savings from just one unplanned maintenance.

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Quality spare parts are also an important consideration. A local machine shop may be able to offer a copy of a part at a low price, but like with anything, your savings will come at a cost.

A high-quality machine is manufactured to precise specifications to perform a particular function. Tolerances can be as exact as one-thousandths of an inch. A reliable machine is also built with high-quality steel that can stand up to constant wear for an extended period, reducing the frequency of future repairs.

When a replacement part is needed, some processors will opt to work with a low-cost, local machine shop versus sourcing the part from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). In many cases, these parts will not meet the specifications and tolerances required by the OEM or will be made from low-quality steel. OEM parts are critical for ensuring optimum performance and extending your equipment’s lifecycle.

Anderson’s Expertise

In the processing industry, where equipment is expected to run around the clock, we know that every minute of downtime impacts a processor’s bottom line. Anderson engineers work with every client to make expert recommendations on equipment selection and spare parts to limit costly downtime in your facility.

Anderson experts are available 24/7/365 to help with your repairs through the Return Material Authorization program. We will inspect, rebuild, and salvage as much as possible when repairing your part to provide you the highest quality product at a reasonable price.

To speak with an engineer about your equipment and spare parts, contact Anderson International today.