No matter the industry, all business boils down to economics. When your business is doing well, you have the opportunity to make investments in your company or your line of production. When you’re in this phase of decision-making, it’s just common sense to explore an array of options and request multiple quotes.
At NoroGard, we get quote requests all the time, but it’s very rare for anyone to ask for the total cost, or the life cycle cost, of seed treatment equipment. I certainly understand that you need pricing to consider the investment ahead of you. But you must keep the whole picture in mind when evaluating the return of your investment.
To determine the life cycle cost of your, you need to know the average life span of the equipment. The average life span of a NoroGard seed treater is about 20 years, something that is rare in today’s marketplace. Your supplier should always be able to provide references if you ask for previous customers who’ve had the equipment for long and can tell you about their experience.
The annual costs of service and spare parts can greatly differ depending on the supplier and the quality of the seed treater. First of all, it’s of utmost importance that you can access spare parts at anytime in the future. Since NoroGard seed treaters have a long average life span, we still keep spare parts for models of NoroGard/KenoGard seed treaters that we stopped manufacturing more than 20 years ago. Of course technology has taken us far since then, and it would be wise for the customer to upgrade their equipment. But we keep supplying parts just as a service.
You might also check if the wearing parts are made of stainless steel and designed to be easily exchanged, if needed.
Other aspects we look at, to keep maintenance costs low, is the design of our pumps. We know that all pumps for transportation or dosing seed treatment liquids work under really tough conditions, and our pump design takes this into consideration. Furthermore, to ensure our quality standards are met, we manufacture all pumps in-house. The only regular maintenance required on a NoroGard pump, apart from ordinary cleaning, is changing a rubber seal once a year — about a $10 cost.
Because we don’t use a peristaltic pump, there’s virtually no wear on the hoses, which minimizes the maintenance and breakdown costs, if one were to occur.
The life cycle cost is also affected by the consumption of electricity, another factor that differs a great deal. This is a cost you can easily calculate; all you have to do is ask for the electrical information.
To save our operators time and money, NoroGard delivers all seed treaters with GSM modems in the PLC at no extra charge. This allows distant support by NoroGard technicians to download new software or to review your system if needed.
I believe the low life cycle cost is something customers can’t put a price tag on, and it plays a significant role in quality control when we look to improve design and develop a new range of equipment. Next time you’re requesting quotes for seed treatment equipment, be sure you’re looking at total cost over the product’s entire life cycle.