The (Hidden) Costs of Bandsaw Ownership

Bandsaws are no light investment. In this article, we unveil all the hidden costs of bandsaw ownership that go beyond the upfront cost. From construction quality to maintenance costs and even the cost of an injury, we explore how understanding the lifetime cost can save you money and enhance bandsaw productivity in the long run. 

The upfront cost of a bandsaw and LLC

 Bandsaws come in various sizes, capacities, and configurations, directly influencing their price. Entry-level bandsaws designed for light-duty tasks can be relatively affordable, starting from a few thousand dollars. Heavy-duty industrial bandsaws with advanced features can cost considerably more. Factors like cutting capacity, motor power, cutting speed, build quality, and additional features such as variable speed controls and safety features. 

Meat cutting

Understanding Lowest Lifecycle Cost (LLC)

Purchasing a bandsaw is a significant investment, and the initial price tag is only one part of the equation. What’s important to consider is LLC, as this takes into account all costs associated with bandsaw ownership over its entire lifespan. While a cheaper bandsaw might seem like a cost-effective choice initially, it could end up being more expensive in the long run due to higher maintenance and repair costs.


Construction of Bandsaws

 The construction of a bandsaw plays a crucial role in its performance, durability, and long-term maintenance requirements. A well-constructed bandsaw is more likely to withstand heavy use, deliver consistent cutting results, and require fewer repairs, ultimately contributing to a lower overall cost of ownership.


Mechanical Brake vs. Servo Motor

Bandsaws can be equipped with different braking systems to stop the blade. Some models use servo motors which means the bandsaw motor is slammed with current to stop the blade. This means every activation damages the most expensive component of the bandsaw. We have heard some meat packing companies spending between $30-$35k a year per bandsaw to keep them running. In the supermarket butchery space, this may be between $15-$20k due to fewer running hours. 


On the other hand, you have mechanical brakes, which are simpler and generally more cost-effective. This is the type of braking system used in Guardian Bandsaws. During a safety activation, the system instantly releases stored energy from a spring to clamp the blade, all within milliseconds. This mechanism minimizes damage to the bandsaw and protects the blade. Our braking components can last at least 10,000 activations.


Maintenance and servicing costs of bandsaws

Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent issues arising from wear, misalignment, and other factors affecting a bandsaw’s performance. Proper maintenance includes blade inspection and replacement, lubrication of moving parts, tension adjustment, and alignment checks. 

Performing maintenance on a bandsaw requires time, effort, and often specialized tools. This can be a significant cost for businesses, especially those with large-scale operations that have multiple bandsaws to maintain. Skilled technicians may be required to handle more complex maintenance tasks, which can add to the labor costs. 

Some bandsaw brands require a ‘forced maintenance’ service or subscription model to mitigate the risk of neglecting maintenance. Instead of allowing your own technicians to fix parts on the bandsaw, they require their technicians to service these parts. Aside from this additional cost, there is also the cost of downtime while you wait for one of their service technicians to be available in your location. We have heard for some bandsaws, these maintenance visits are required at around 2000 run hours, with some sites spending around 15-20k USD per year, per bandsaw.

We understand that there is no time for guessing during production, so our team is available for remote support. As each bandsaw is connected to the Guardian management portal, our technicians can remotely diagnose issues. For regular maintenance, detailed SOPs are available. Guardian’s service team is also available for onsite commissioning, training, and annual servicing.


Cost of a bandsaw injury

Operating a bandsaw, like any industrial machinery, involves inherent risks and potential hazards. These risks can lead to serious injuries for operators and workers. The cost of injury goes beyond the immediate medical expenses and can have significant financial implications for businesses. 

Workers’ compensation claims or personal injury lawsuits may arise, leading to legal fees and court expenses. 

When a worker is injured, there is likely to be a disruption in productivity. Depending on the severity of the injury and the worker’s role, the absence or reduced capacity to work can lead to delays and decreased efficiency. Lost productivity can have financial repercussions, especially for businesses that operate on tight schedules and deadlines.

Bandsaw Features | Guardian Bandsaw

In conclusion, investing in a bandsaw requires careful consideration of the costs beyond the upfront price. Guardian stands out by offering safe, well-constructed bandsaws, with remote support, optimal productivity and reduced maintenance expenses. To enhance your bandsaw productivity and save financial outlay in the long run, contact Guardian Bandsaw. Your investment in quality and safety will pay off significantly.

Interested in Guardian Bandsaw but want to know more about the expected lifecycle and changeover costs? We have real-life examples to showcase why our safety bandsaws make the most financial sense.

"We have increased our safety to a fail-safe level with no drop in productivity"

Todd Grave – Blue Sky Meats

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