The Real Cost of Non-Genuine Spare Parts
With some businesses still limiting their capital expenditure, maintaining the integrity of an existing compressed air system has never been so important. Here, we explore and discuss how the choice of consumables and spare parts can impact a compressed air system’s ongoing reliability and performance and what the real cost of genuine parts vs non-genuine spare parts can be.
No doubt, you did your homework, and there was due diligence when you invested in your existing compressed air system. You researched your options, gathered your quotes, and then selected and invested in your compressed air system after weighing the pros and cons. A big decision was made.
However, over time, a compressed air system will only be as good as the maintenance and attention it receives. Encompassing the latest technology and quality engineering, your system cannot be installed and forgotten about indefinitely. As a minimum, it requires periodic attention from a specialist, factory-trained engineer, and aside from following the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) service interval recommendations, your choice of spare parts and consumables is critical. It is critical to the ongoing compressed air availability and achieving the ongoing air quality level required for your application. It is also critical to the equipment’s reliability, efficiency and safety.
The Not-So Genuine Options
Using a KAESER rotary screw compressor as an example, there are a number of consumables that need to be periodically changed; from replacing the air filter and oil filter right down to the correct choice of compressor lubricant. Apparently, there are numerous options available when it comes to replacing these consumables. Just head to the internet, perform a simple search, and you will be presented with numerous websites offering to sell you spurious compressor parts and lubricants at seemingly low prices – with some even claiming they are 100% OEM compatible.
These consumables are not manufactured or recommended by the OEM. With regard to KAESER and most compressor OEMs, the only websites that you will find promoting genuine spare parts and consumables will be on their official website or one of their appointed Authorised Distributor websites.
What are the Concerns with using non-OEM Consumables and Spare Parts?
Taking our example of a rotary screw compressor. The lifetime of the compressor, its overall performance, reliability and safety, and maintenance requirements will all be impacted by whether you choose to replace the consumables with genuine or non-genuine parts. The compatibility of non-genuine consumables and spare parts with your compressor is one factor that will have a significant bearing on its resultant reliability and safety.
As they say, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, so here is just one KAESER example to illustrate what can happen to quality equipment due to using non-genuine consumables. The image shows a compressor block (airend) bearing that is blocked full of oil sludge.
Why? Infrequent oil changes and poor filtration are partly to blame; however, this has been caused by using non-genuine oil. This has allowed contamination into the compressor block, which has mixed with the lubricating oil. As a result, the oil has lost all its lubricating abilities, which has caused premature wear to the internal rotating components.
Only genuine OEM spare parts will have been rigorously tested by the OEM with the compressed air equipment. The durability, performance, efficiency, safety or even the compatibility of non-genuine parts will not have been tested with the compressed air equipment.
Therefore, there is no way of knowing how non-genuine spare parts will interact and how they may affect the ongoing integrity of the compressed air equipment. As a result, it is possible that they could compromise the efficiency, reliability and safety of the rotary screw compressor and the air quality required.
It is also worth bearing in mind that only the OEM’s genuine spare parts have been:
- Designed to meet the demands of the applicable operating conditions
- Quality tested to ensure the best possible performance
- Designed to assure the life cycle is commensurate with the maintenance intervals
You should also consider that selecting non-genuine parts – not recommended by the OEM – may void the manufacturer’s warranty. This could become costly if a fault occurs that would ordinarily have been covered under the warranty.
If reliability, efficiency and durability were key criteria for investing in the high-quality compressor and associated equipment you carefully selected, then why would you compromise on the performance and safety of the consumables and spare parts that go into it? Ultimately, your decision may be as simple as asking yourself; is some potential short-term financial gain worth the long-term risk and real cost of using non-genuine parts?
Protecting your Investment with Specialist Advice & Professional Support
It is, of course, possible to take the hassle out of selecting genuine manufacturer spare parts and consumables and organising service – or to be able to quite literally ‘set and forget’ your compressed air system – by selecting a comprehensive service package or preventative maintenance plan from Kerr Compressors.
Compressed air specialists in Scotland for over 40 years, Kerr provide expert assistance and advice for all makes and types of air compressor and compressed air equipment. Agreements can be tailored to each customer’s individual requirements and created by qualified, specialist Kerr compressed air engineers utilising genuine parts to maintain your system in the best possible way and at peak operating performance. In the long-term, this provides peace of mind, protects your investment in quality compressed air equipment and saves you both time and money while ensuring the availability of the compressed air supply.
Source & Credit:
Many thanks to our colleagues at KAESER – Australia for kindly allowing Kerr to repurpose and share this press release.