Why You Should Repair Industrial Electronics vs Buy New
One of the neat things about industrial electronics is that they were made for the long haul. The vast majority of them were designed to to be relatively maintenance free, able to handle situations that would cripple consumer electronics, and do their job for a long time. This usually means that if something breaks it is just a matter of replacing that particular part; the rest of the machine should be fine. This robustness has created an interesting debate among a number of older companies: Should they buy new electronics that are not quite as robust or continue to fix their old electronics? Usually, of course, the solution is to just fix the older electronics. There are still debates on both sides.
The Basic Issue
While it can be hard to fix electronics, it is usually cheaper to find replacement parts than to buy new electronics. However, it has always been difficult to find those parts and it only becomes harder to find those parts. Unless a company stockpiles those parts and has a small division created just for that purpose, eventually the parts will run out, especially for older machines. Suffice to say that some people like to sift through the ashes of burnt out companies explicitly for the parts. However, as supplies die out due to the age of the machines in question companies are going to have to start buying new machines.
The obvious solution is to learn how to fix electronics. While most electronics are hard to repair, there are a number of different ways that they can be fixed without relying on spare parts. It is advised that the person take a few classes in electronic repair, but nonetheless anyone can pull up a few videos online to get the basics. This does mean that the person needs to master a few other skills, such as soldering, but in general learning the basics of the craft is easy enough; it is just a matter of practice in order to master a skill that could save you a lot in expensive parts or having to buy a new machine.
There are some other alternatives to buying new that may be of use. Buying used machines is definitely an option, especially for those who only need the machine for what it does rather than specific performance parameters. For example, if you need a machine that punches patterns into cardboard and speed is not an option then it may be well worth it to invest in an older used machine. On the other hand someone who needs a laptop may need to look at machines that are only a few years out of date at best. The bottom line is that the hierarchy of cost is repairs, parts, used, new; bearing that in mind may help save money in the long run.