At GEMCO, we design our machines to avoid obsolescence—in fact, for over 100 years, each and every GEMCO machine has and always will be engineered and manufactured with longevity and versatility in mind. Through our parts and service department, GEMCO actively maintains many machines that were sold decades ago and they are still 100% operational today. Instead of simply maintaining these units, older units can be improved to meet today’s improved safety and productivity standards with the right retrofits and upgrades, often with minimal modifications to the unit!

Let GEMCO share your machine retrofit options with you—at no obligation and FREE of charge.

Retrofits are an excellent choice for companies looking to minimize capital investments in new equipment, or who want to avoid replacing or completely rebuilding units. Our engineering department is constantly incorporating modern innovations into the durable and reliable GEMCO vessel and machine designs with an eye on both the past and the future, ensuring that no GEMCO unit is ever truly obsolete.

Of course, not every mixer or dryer is capable of being updated with retrofits and might require more extensive refurbishment to meet the demands of today’s regulations, standards, or production needs; however, it’s well worth any GEMCO customer’s time to at least explore retrofitting their GEMCO machine… and GEMCO will help you explore this option at no charge.

Here’s what you need to know about retrofits, refurbishments, and why an older GEMCO unit can be your best asset among today’s modern systems.

Retrofit vs. Refurbishment

A retrofit involves adding or substituting a new part, feature, or functionality to a piece of equipment that was previously unavailable on that unit. Examples could be adding an agitator to your vessel or installing the GEMCO telescopic lifting tray to GEMCO blenders and dryers. Some other examples include:

  • Adding encoder positioning and controls to any GEMCO Mixer or Dryer
  • Installing a Sampling Port in a GEMCO Mixer/Dryer
  • Adding internal sensors to a GEMCO Vacuum Dryer

Purchasing components and having them added as a retrofit to one of your current machines can cost far less money—and downtime—to get up-to-speed with current tools and technologies as compared to replacing with a brand new unit. Aside from retrofits and replacement, another option is refurbishment.

Refurbishment involves rebuilding or replenishing a unit with all new materials, restoring it to original, or better, working condition. Typically, this would entail replacing any major components such as motors or reducers that are beyond their usable life, along with replacing seals, filters, belts, and other standard wear items. This is a great option for units purchased second hand that need to be put back into full working condition. Refurbishing can be ideal for optimizing your equipment or to help it last longer (or repair significant damage).

Since refurbishment entails restoring the entire unit to original (or better) working order, it could cost less than purchasing a new unit, but may still carry a higher cost than retrofits. Refurbished units, which go through a rigorous certification process, can also be purchased directly from GEMCO.

GEMCO Parts & Service engineers help dozens of GEMCO machine owners optimize their operation every year.

Industries Seeking Greater Operational Efficiency and Safety

Laboratories who are required to frequently sample their powder as it moves through its processes can eliminate the challenge of accessing and retrieving a sample without having to enter the vessel. This is critical in industries involving pharmaceuticals, food production, or any operation that has to monitor the powder’s state as it processes within the vessel. A sample port retrofit could shave hours off the time it takes to sample, test, and process material—and you’ll save even more by avoiding the cost of a new machine.

For even greater efficiency, agitators make an excellent daily-use add-on. Retrofitting a GEMCO with an agitator allows for:

  • De-lumping packed material
  • Dispersing minute additives like colors or API’s
  • Uniform Particle sizing
  • Liquid addition or particle coating

Supplementing the tumble action of a GEMCO unit with an agitator not only makes the unit more versatile, but it’s also more cost effective than purchasing new equipment with an agitator.

For add-ons that provide enhanced safety features, Laser Protection Barriers are

a great example.

Laser protection barriers can:

  • Prevent an employee catastrophe
  • Reduce chance of operation time loss and accidents
  • Avoid losing a batch (incomplete and/or contamination)

For maximum, undefeatable, universal machine and employee safety, GEMCO offers two (2) real-time laser protection barrier options that are custom-calibrated to the vessel operation area and integrated into the machine technology controls. The scanners can be programmed to automatically turn off a machine, turn on alarms and lights, real-time alert operators and more. And, all GEMCO laser protection solutions are O.S.H.A., CE, and C.S.A. compliant.

  1. Light Curtain
    Often associated with explosion-proof operations, a Light Curtain creates a
    custom, pre-defined area surrounding an operation that invisibly protects the area from intrusion.
  2. Light Barrier

A Light Barrier is a laser-based invisible safety gate that protects a machine

operation area with pre-defined entry angles with laser lines.

Imagine upgrading your operational safety without having to blow your budget or

replan your floor layout. With retrofits, huge benefits can be gained through the smallest changes.


When it comes to retrofits and bringing an older GEMCO back to life, it can be so much easier than you think. Not only can most of the mentioned add-ons and retrofits be done with minimal modifications, but many older GEMCO machines were pre-engineered to accept these newer components. That built-in lifetime value and longevity has kept GEMCO units in operation across the world for more than a century.

GEMCO Parts & Service


1.800.OK-GEMCO (654.3626)

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    About Us

    GEMCO has always been a family owned business, with family values, and so we don’t like to brag about ourselves. We’ll let the fact that we have an installed base of thousands of powder blending and drying units in 37 countries around the world speak for itself. We’ve built our company’s culture around innovation.