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Guide to Planning for Just-in-Case Parts

  1. Even with digitized maintenance programs, taking an inventory of the food processing equipment in your plant is essential.

The inventory list will give you a clear understanding of the possible maintenance and parts needs throughout all processing equipment and provide scale and efficiency opportunities in your maintenance program.   

It is not uncommon for stainless processing equipment to still be in production for over 20 years, so assessing age-related wear and usage wear is important.

  1. Next, prioritize the equipment based on risk. In the event of a breakdown, which machines will likely cause significant production losses?

In Mepaco's product line, cookers, blenders, and mixers are often the critical part of the processing line that causes the highest losses during downtime repair. 

  1. Cross-reference long lead times parts and components against your critical processing equipment.

Agitators, motors, and cylinders have the longest lead times for parts replacement on Mepaco's Mixers ("How to Plan for Mixer Blender Parts"), Blenders and Cookers.

Delivery of agitator replacements is 3 – 6 months due to the availability of stainless material, and they are custom fabricated for the application. Make sure you have a spare to avoid unnecessary downtime.

Motor and gearbox availability is dependent on the manufacturer. Some motors and motor components are manufactured overseas, so it is recommended to have a spare in the event of an emergency.

Cylinders are also manufactured overseas and may require long replacement lead times. Plan spares accordingly.

  1. Review preventative maintenance recommendations. In addition to long lead items for Mepaco's cooking and blending equipment, recommended replacement parts include gaskets, safety switches, seals, bearings, and scraper assemblies. 

Preventative maintenance protocols will include checks of seals, and gaskets, lubrication schedules, and checking for worn scrapers on cookers.  

Mepaco recommends a complete spare set of scraper assemblies ("7 Upgrades that Increase Cooker Production") to prevent cooker downtime associated with worn scrapers. Note the hours of operation to manage scraper replacements.

  1. Schedule an efficiency audit or training - or both. High-volume automation brings a high degree of risk for machinery fatigue and puts pressure on maintenance programs to cover fast repairs and replacements. A service audit of crucial processing equipment with a training overview of equipment can provide best practice maintenance and troubleshooting tips and teach operators to understand every facet of the equipment, including the symptoms when it isn't running properly. 

Contact Josh Schladweiler, Field Services and Parts Manager, for more information at (920) 344-1465.

7 Parts to Consider for a Planned Shutdown

According to Deloitte Institute, production has significantly increased all manufacturing sectors in the United States and continues to grow at a rate of 4% in 2022. This uptick in the manufacturing economy coupled with labor shortages across the globe continue to make material sourcing and parts management unpredictable.

For planning purposes, parts that rely on overseas suppliers have longer lead times. Pipes, fittings, and electrical components are often produced overseas.  Agitators, cylinders, motors, gear motors and gearboxes are at risk for longer delays. 

Here's an infographic showing seven common parts in food processing equipment that should be in stock for the next planned shutdown. If a July shutdown is being planned, order parts now so you are fully stocked for a successful maintenance shutdown.


  1. Safety Switches:  Safety switches used to open and close a circuit as a disconnecting means for service entrance or to engage lock-out/tag-out procedures are at risk for damage by personnel. Foreign manufacturers supply safety switches, so it is important to keep an ample supply to prevent downtime.
  2. Bearings: Mepaco’s recommendation for bearings is one or two backups.  Check if the bearing is a common stock item; if it is not common, plan for longer lead times.


  1. Shaft Seals / Split Type:  As part of your maintenance program, plan for two to four extra seals in parts inventory, depending on usage.
  2. Gaskets:  Gaskets are usually sold in bulk by the foot; check your inventory to be sure you have enough footage for one or two replacements, depending on your application.


  1. Agitators:  Agitators are custom fabricated to your machine specification.  Delivery of agitator replacements are 3 – 6 months out due to the availability of stainless material.  Make sure you have a spare to avoid unnecessary downtime.
  2. Cylinders:  Cylinders are another component that relies on foreign supply.  Make sure you have backups that support your usage.


  1. Motors: Motor and gearbox availability is dependent on the manufacturer. Some motors and motor components are manufactured overseas, so it is recommended to have a spare in the event of an emergency.

We are working closely to leverage our relationships and buying power with vendors to manage sourcing needs.  We continue to partner with manufacturers who fulfill our quality and application specifications but have flexible sourcing solutions to meet our customers’ needs.

Mepaco is working on proactive solutions to help equipment owners better plan for replacement parts.  We are looking into more tech tip education, systematic reminders, maintenance technology, and service offerings to help customers stay ahead of parts replacements.

Click here to download PDF

Announcement: On-Line Manuals and Parts Information

Starting 2020 , Mepaco's manuals and parts information are now on-line. Since Mepaco's equipment is highly customized by application, we are developing manuals to include standard options. 

As projects near completion, customers will be invited to sign-in to create a folder and password.  Manual access is also available at or simply by clicking on MANUAL ACCESS at the top of every web page. Once signed up, customers will need to follow the email prompts to set up a password.  Manuals, parts lists, parts drawings, controls information and any other custom addendums will be available in the customer folder.

The Mepaco Manual Library:

  • Password access is given by company name (on your PO) and (ship to ) city with a password reset every six months
  • Maintenance and purchasing team members can also be granted password access
  • All your new equipment parts lists are available at any time in your secure customer/city folder
  • Access all Mepaco's product line manuals
  • Access to revised manuals when technology updates are available
  • Receive email notifications when new documents are added

For more information, download our flyer.


Holiday Shut-Down Parts Planning [Infographic]

[Infographic] 7 Parts to Consider for Holiday Shutdown.

Tis the season: Are you planning maintenance during the holiday shutdown? Do you have a spare parts budget to use before year end?  

The infographic is a quick guide for common Mepaco parts.  Some items have a longer lead time than others.  Some parts are must-have inventory items.  If you have any questions about parts or timing,  contact

Please have the model number and the serial number available for inquiries, and include the Apache/Mepaco part number on purchase orders.

Order parts now for your holiday shutdown!

How to Plan for Mixer Blender Parts [Infographic]

Mepaco Mixer Blenders are common equipment in food processing lines.  Are the replacement parts organized properly to get the most out of your maintenance program for optimum performance?

In the infographic, DARK RED signifies a part that will cause an emergency break down which will include lost product. TAN indicates parts that require a long lead time either because of custom fabrication or it may be a special order item. RED stands for preventative maintenance items that should be on hand for daily maintenance schedules.  Finally, GREY identifies parts that are recommended spares depending on the use of the equipment.

Mepaco's Mixer Blenders are engineered to specific application parameters. These industrial mixing solutions provide blend accuracy, sanitation efficiencies, and proven safety features, which is why Mepaco's Mixers offer a low total cost of ownership.

The Mixers are ruggedly engineered for long-life operation. Make sure you have replacement parts on hand. Currently, there is extended long lead times for agitators, motors, gear boxes, and gear motors.

We welcome inquiries about Mepaco equipment maintenance - click here for Field Services Flyer.

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