Under Retrofit (English for retrofit, retrofit, retrofitting ) the modernization or expansion of existing (mostly older and no longer produced ) Plant and equipment is understood.


  • Life extension
  • Increasing the production volume
  • Improving product quality
  • Higher efficiency of the system, for example, by saving energy
  • Regulatory compliance (eg, emission reduction, safety at work )
  • Ensuring the supply of spare parts

For existing plant, a retrofit may be more meaningful than a replacement by new construction. By the replacement of obsolete components and adding new, modern technological advancements existing systems can be brought back up to date. The advantage for the operator is the modernization of the investment and the related increase in productivity at a much lower cost in relation to the acquisition of a corresponding system. The stable ground substance of the machine is maintained and in large machines the high replacement investments for the Foundation production omitted.


  • Replacement of modules for which no spare parts are available
  • Retrofitting of automation technology, such as programmable logic controllers
  • Adjustments for the integration of the machine / unit in production, such as cultivation of conveying elements
  • Replacement of materials by wear-resistant materials such as stainless steel
  • Use of frequency converters in electric drives to increase efficiency, such as saving energy

Benefits of retrofits

  • Lower capital cost than installing a new machine / system
  • No new foundation costs
  • Aged stable machine bed can be taken
  • Fewer personnel training expenditure since machine is mostly known
  • No new, and so lengthy, approval process


Some of retrofit is offered by the machine manufacturer as part of the after sales service, but also partly by specialized service companies and used machinery dealer.

While the advantage of the service companies is to have more flexibility in the machine manufacturers a longer experience with the particular machine and a better knowledge of the original factory state can be assumed.


Cargo ships are operated with heavy fuel oil. Since about 2000 the price rose to a multiple. In the summer of 2008, the freight and charter rates reached a peak; then they fell sharply. Since then practicing many cargo ships Slow steaming to conserve fuel. The machines of the Most ships run at slow speed in a sub-optimal operating range. It may be worth, as part of a retrofit install a smaller engine ( less displacement, less power) to retrofit a cylinder shut-off, etc. (especially if the ship still has a relatively long operating time in front of him ). Also with electrical bulbs is called Retrofit, when luminaires with sockets for conventional bulbs to be replaced by proper replacement bulbs with energy-saving technology.