How Repairs, Rebuilds, & Retrofits Can Give New Life to Old Equipment

three men looking at a tablet and clipboard in front of a fan

In this post, Mike Piazza, Fan Rebuild Manager for ProcessBarron, explains how repairs, rebuilds, and retrofits can be cost-effective in extending the life of industrial fans. 


In the Repair/Rebuild department, we handle repairs and “like design” replacements for fan rotors and housings. We quote fan equipment repair and replacement projects. We can also send an engineer or draftsman out to the plant to measure a fan when we need to replicate a fan rotor manufactured by another OEM. 

Clients often come to us when their fan is underperforming or damaged from wear, corrosion, etc. They want the best solution to renew their equipment that fits their operations and their budget. We do our homework to help our client understand their options and determine if the fan can be repaired, retrofitted, modified, or rebuilt. 

Need help now? Contact our 24/7 emergency repair services team here.

Differences Between Repairs, Rebuilds, and Retrofits

First, we look at the fan to see if it’s repairable. If the industrial fan rotor is still mostly intact but needs some work done to make it structurally fit again, we are probably looking at a repair job. So, we identify the best repair or replacement options and share them with the customer. 

Rebuilding fan motors, rotating assemblies, and other pieces of equipment is also a big part of our business. A rebuild involves building a rotor or housing from raw materials to the original design specifications. We consider a project a rebuild if we use another fan as a template or guide for the end product and we are not changing or guaranteeing fan performance. 

Retrofits are mechanical upgrades that typically utilize better materials or add another layer of protection to improve the life of the equipment. This frequently includes upgrading a component in an existing fan to achieve reliability and longer operating life.  

We look at two things to evaluate the best solution for the customer. 

  • The fan’s condition 
  • The fan’s specifications relative to the job it needs to perform in

These criteria help us offer recommendations that align with our client’s needs and budget. 

Our Inspect, Advise, Quote (IAQ) Program

Our Inspect, Advise, Quote (IAQ) Program combines our industry knowledge, experience, and technical expertise to deliver superior results with quick repair and delivery.

Our clients send their equipment and fan components to our facility. We clean them and conduct a shop inspection on the equipment. In the case of rotating assemblies, we’ll set the rotor up and check the shaft Total Indicated Runout (TIR) to make sure the shaft isn’t bent and meets our standards for straightness. We ultrasonically test the shaft to ensure there are no cracks or imperfections. We also visually inspect for excessive wear and use that information to develop a plan for the repair or replacement process and a quote. 

Providing a Long-Term Solution

We look at the entire process to determine why our customer’s equipment is wearing as it has. It may be caused by an equipment failure upstream from the fan, such as a dust collector or baghouse that is letting excessive particulates pass through. We also consider different materials and coatings that may hold up better. By finding the source of the issue, we can provide a better and more long-lasting solution. 

Contact us here to request our IAQ service!

Better Solutions, Faster

Most of the time, we can bring the equipment in, clean it, set it up, and test it all within a day. Finalizing a quote can sometimes take a little longer when we must seek outside pricing for any components or alloys that we currently don’t have in stock. 

Our ability to bring the equipment into our shop, perform an inspection, identify the best solution, and turn equipment around quickly gives us an advantage.

Our flexibility and agility to turn equipment around quickly in an emergency is the thing that sets us apart. There is no magic formula. We are just fortunate to have the expert team, facilities, equipment, and materials on-site to move fast and do jobs our competitors can’t do. These assets help us turn bad situations around for our customers. Even if someone invested in matching our facilities and material resources, they’d never be able to match our team and our experience. That’s why we respond so well.  When every minute counts, our customers can count on us! 

Give New Life to Your Equipment

Contact our experts to learn more about whether your industrial fan needs a repair, rebuild, or retrofit! 

Or read more on our blog to see how new equipment might pay for itself through efficiency improvements.