Bole CEO: Putting off maintenance is short-sighted

Oct. 2, 2020

Austria-born Alfred Rak has seen a lot of the world while selling injection molding machines. One thing still surprises him about U.S. companies — too many of them are cutting corners when it comes to maintenance.

For some, it’s an issue of not having enough personnel or enough expertise; for others, it’s simply a matter of trimming small, immediate expenses at the risk of incurring larger, catastrophic costs later.

Many times, it stems from companies buying and selling plants, flipping them so quickly they don’t take the time or money to protect their own assets.

“Preventive maintenance is not something that is necessary to keep the machine running for the next two months when you want to sell the company in five months,” said Rak, the president and CEO of Bole Machinery.

Sooner or later, though, the plant bears the costs of neglect. Ignoring maintenance is just wasteful.

“There is something substantially wrong with their business model,” Rak told Plastics Machinery Magazine during an interview for an upcoming story on maintenance.

To help plants over the last few months, as the world has confronted the twin economic and health crises related to COVID-19, Bole has dispatched its maintenance experts to plants throughout the country, to check in on customers and their machines. As of mid-September, they had visited sites operating more than 80 percent of the Bole machines in the U.S.

The courtesy inspections are one way to derive some benefit from the last few months, and maintain the value of machines in the field.

“Most of them have reduced workloads, and it’s a good time to run the maintenance,” Rak said.

For Rak’s maintenance tips and comprehensive stories on making your machinery last, check out PMM’s November issue and


Bole Machinery Inc., Stow, Ohio, 330-983-4700,

About the Author

Karen Hanna | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Karen Hanna covers injection molding, molds and tooling, processors, workforce and other topics, and writes features including In Other Words and Problem Solved for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. She has more than 15 years of experience in daily and magazine journalism.