How non-genuine spare parts can cost you more in the long run
It’s fair to say that whether you’re talking about a car, a computer or a compressor - sourcing non-genuine spare parts and consumables will always be cheaper than buying genuine OEM’s parts. With cost pressures rising, this may well present an attractive way to reduce costs. But, what are the potential implications of this decision? In this blog post we look at how using non-genuine spare parts and consumables in a compressed air system may be cheaper in the short term, but can cost you more in the long run.
Have you ever stopped to consider what impact your choice of spare parts and consumables have on the overall safety, reliability, efficiency and lifespan of your compressed air system? With cost pressures rising, opting for non-genuine spare parts and consumables in maintaining your compressed air system may seem appealing. Why? Because generally speaking they are cheaper to purchase. However, are they cheaper in the long run when you start to consider the detrimental impact they can have on your compressed air system?
Here are just two examples of what we have seen happen recently when non-genuine spare parts or consumables were used;
Example 1 - Filter elements
We were recently called to a customer site because the compressor was running at a higher temperature than normal. On investigation it turned out that they were using non-genuine filter elements and lubricants. After replacing them with genuine filter elements and lubricant, the compressor returned to running at a cooler temperature.
Left unchecked, an overheating compressor can lead to premature wear and tear and ultimately compressor failure. The result - unplanned downtime, unplanned maintenance time and expense - and ultimately a shorter equipment life cycle which leads to increased CapEx to replace the compressor. So, in the long run then which is the most cost effective option? The short-term (and often short-lived) cost savings of choosing a non-genuine spare part or paying the potential price for system failure in the near future?
Example 2 - Lubrication
This photo shows a compressor airend bearing that was blocked full of oil sludge. This was caused by poor filtration along with the use of non-genuine oil. Oil changes had also been infrequent. This allowed contamination into the compressor block which then mixed with the lubricating oil. The oil therefore lost all of its lubricating abilities which caused premature wear to the internal rotating components.
Lubrication may seem a minor consumable however this example demonstrates the catastrophic impact that choosing a non-genuine lubricant can have on a compressor.
It’s also worth mentioning that using non-genuine spare parts will nearly always go hand-in-hand with choosing personnel to maintain and service the compressor who are not approved and trained by the OEM. In many ways the choice of personnel will be just as important in maintaining the integrity of the compressed air system, as the choice of spare parts and consumables. As in this example - because the technician was not trained by the OEM, the oil changes had been too infrequent which contributed to the issues that arose.
Why are genuine spare parts so important?
The compatibility of spurious spare parts with a compressor is one factor that will have a large bearing on its resultant performance and maintenance requirements. Only genuine OEM spare parts will have been rigorously tested by the OEM with the compressed air equipment. And, only genuine spare parts and consumables have been designed to meet the demands of the applicable operating conditions, quality tested to ensure the best possible performance and, designed to assure the life cycle is commensurate with the maintenance intervals.
In addition, it is highly likely that opting for non-genuine parts which are not recommended by the OEM will void the manufacturer's warranty. This could become costly if a fault occurs within the compressor that would ordinarily have been covered under the warranty.
Opting for non-genuine spare parts will no doubt save you some money in the here and now. But, their lack of proven compatibility will undoubtedly end up costing you a large amount of money in the future if they lead to premature wear and tear and even system failure. We all know the expression ‘no pain, no gain’. Unfortunately in this case it would inevitably be ‘short term gain for long term pain’.
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Choose genuine spare parts
KAESER AIR SERVICE technician's vehicles are fully equipped with genuine Kaeser service and maintenance parts for an efficient service experience, ensuring that you can enjoy a reliable supply of compressed air on demand. For spare parts and service enquiries just phone 0800 447 820 or fill in the form below and we will get back to you.
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