Plant & Works Engineering

OEM parts for servicing

Published:  23 August, 2007

The answer to this month’s trouble shooting teaser is supplied by BOGE Compressors.



Why do Original Equipment Manufacturers insist on the use of OEM parts for servicing their compressors when copy parts can often be bought cheaper elsewhere?



The components used in routine maintenance are carefully selected as part of the design process.

When a manufacturer validates a compressors performance prior to market launch, the performance of such parts, play an important role in arriving at figures that are relied upon by prospective customers when purchasing and using the end product.

Every manufacturer provides a minimum 12-month guarantee with many now offering 5-years or more! It is therefore logical that they will insist on OEM parts being used in the maintenance process, as they are the only parts that will underwrite such warranty.

Purveyors of cheap copies or ‘spurious parts’ only look to make a quick ‘buck’. The consequences of using spurious parts manifests in leakages, increased oil carryover and preliminary failure increasing downtime and creating more cost. What is the price for losing production downtime or spoilage of the end product?

Even the choice of lubricant in an oil-injected compressor plays its part. Most manufacturers recommend their own product that has been refined and tested to suit their own separation system. Filling with a mineral oil of similar viscosity may not be enough! Amongst a number of features, additives that formulate the OEM’s lubricant may reduce the foam effect at load reversal minimising oil carryover. And, with synthetic lubricants choosing a “similar” product may have catastrophic consequences on seals and bearings causing premature failure.

Using spurious parts may provide short-term cost savings. It will undoubtedly generate significant profit for the service provider but, who carries the risk? Who pays the price for premature failure and lost production? It will not be the OEM because using non-genuine parts will invalidate almost any warranty.