If you’re reading this blog, we’re willing to guess you’re either a food and beverage or personal hygiene manufacturer. The solutions you work with might range from ultra-high temperature systems to sanitary pumps and valves to evaporation equipment. Sound familiar?
Your plant production schedules are strict with limited room for flexibility because you and fellow producers feed and nourish the world daily. Sample creations like personal hygiene products, chocolate treats, orange juice and plant-based products keep our world turning and fulfilled. When not monitoring production schedules, the impact of money can be felt throughout operations and at times, leaving limited budget for maintenance upgrades. So, it comes as no surprise that producers of all types look to save a few bucks by leveraging will-fit or piracy parts instead of using genuine OEM parts, better known as, parts directly designed by the original manufacturer of the equipment.
As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), we’re aware of the market of these parts and your motivations to purchase them. But are they worth the savings?
With time, all parts will wear down. It is inevitable they will need maintenance and upgrades. When the time comes to replace the original genuine OE parts that come with your product, producers must decide: will they replace the part with another premium, genuine OEM part or a will-fit, non-OEM part? Will-fits, as their name implies, are parts (rotors, bearings, bolts) often made by third-party suppliers that replicate the size, material quality and functionality of original parts. They tend to be cheaper, similar in design and work in the system design. Sounds simple enough.
But, for how long?
On a recent service call for a nationally known U.S. company, an APV heat exchanger team member visited a customer's plant to help service blades that were falling off the exchanger and into the product stream. For the sake of this blog article, we’ll call this team member Jake.
Upon further evaluation, Jake found that the blades in question were made much more inexpensively, using will-fit parts to cut costs. Specifically, the blades were made of 409 stainless steel, whereas the OEM blade called for 410 stainless steel. Given 409’s softer metal rating, premature wear was allowing worn blade material to contaminate the product stream. Mistakes like these may threaten federal compliance.
Aside from Jake’s experience, updating food and beverage systems using OEM genuine parts is good for business. Try thinking through these questions when making the best decision for your plant:
After weighing the odds, we found it’s best to not gamble on will-fit or pirate parts. There’s just too much at stake, and no one looks forward to buffering in downtime as the result of a defective part.
Trust the originals, learn more here.
Bruce Hanke is the Aftermarket and Commercial Excellence Manager for all Nutrition & Health aftermarket parts, services and sales, helping customers extend and optimize the lifecycle of their plants.EMAIL ME