The axle can be bent a bit many times it’s just a little and or cones have a bit of wear sometimes so before I remove any puch wheel I mark end of axle with scratch awl line straight down then orientate the axle in same spot when I put wheel back on
because if slightly bent which usually happens the first time you hit a bump axle can bend and cones could have a bit of wear on one side too so if you put it any other way it could bind so rotate the axle where smooth binds the less so when you put it on doesn’t bind and install it in that particular way.
It also helps keeps the brakes working the same also because the brake shoes wear to actual orientation they are not free floating so if you but on wheel any old away (like most shops do) the brake shoe wear will be different and the shoes may only catch on one side causing loss of brake power,
On wheels that were never mounted on my bike I rotate the axle a little bit each time to see where it binds the less and mark it with line straight down
Of course if you can’t do any of this the way I do (it it’s mostly a feel thing) and or you have worn or incorrect parts then you could do the sealed bearing swap with bearings, shims 12mm axle and nuts then drill out brake plate but I have no problems with puch cone loose ball bearing wheels of any kind because I follow this method and I have them on kitted bikes and they last for years with maintenance.
I have changed cups, cones and ball bearings when they were available on snowflake wheels but good luck finding all those nos parts