What Happens When Your OEM Depreciates a Component?

Nothing lasts forever. When it comes to manufacturing equipment, reliance on original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components is common practice. But what happens when your OEM discontinues or depreciates a critical component for a machine you rely on regularly?

While you might have the inventory to keep your equipment running for the foreseeable future, maintaining access to critical components is vital to sustainable production. Let’s explore your options.

Understanding OEM depreciation

Manufacturers rely on OEMs to provide high-quality components specifically designed for their equipment. There are several reasons why OEMs might choose to discontinue or depreciate a component:

  • Technological advancements: As technology evolves, older components become obsolete, making it economically inviable for OEMs to produce them.
  • Cost reduction: OEMs often discontinue components to reduce production costs or streamline their product offerings.
  • Supply chain issues: Factors like material shortages or changes in supplier relationships can lead to component depreciation.

The implications of OEM part depreciations can be significant. When a critical component is no longer available, it can disrupt maintenance and repairs, causing protracted downtime, loss of production, and increased maintenance costs.

Strategies for finding critical components

When faced with the challenge of discontinued OEM components, companies can implement several strategies:

  • Aftermarket suppliers: Many aftermarket suppliers specialize in providing replacement components for discontinued OEM parts. They often offer compatible or reverse-engineered alternatives.
  • Third-party manufacturers: Some companies specialize in producing high-quality, generic industrial components to replace discontinued OEM parts. While these are generally made to spec, it can be an expensive option.
  • Salvage or used parts: In some cases, salvaged or used components are still in good condition and suitable for equipment. These are often sold as refurbished or restored components.

While these alternatives can be effective, it’s crucial to evaluate their reliability and quality before making a decision. What kind of performance guarantee do these options come with? Is there a warranty? Are they certified to meet or exceed OEM standards and specifications? Due diligence is called for to avoid compromising the functionality of equipment.

Building a maintenance and repair strategy

Many OEMs will provide notice when they discontinue a part, so manufacturers can plan for stock-outs. To mitigate the impact of OEM component depreciation, consider implementing a proactive maintenance and repair strategy:

  • Maintain an inventory of critical components to minimize downtime in case of a failure.
  • Continuously monitor the availability of OEM components and source spare parts.
  • Keep detailed records of components and their life cycles to anticipate potential issues.

Above all, consider multiple alternative options. Explore different aftermarket suppliers, salvage suppliers, or procurement specialists for discontinued stock. Being proactive is the best way to navigate an inevitable stock-out.

Maintaining OEM standards in your facility

Dealing with the depreciation of OEM components is a challenge. But with the right strategies and a proactive approach, you can minimize disruptions to keep maintenance and repairs on schedule. Remember to explore alternative sourcing options, evaluate the quality of replacement components, and stay informed about industry developments to ensure operations run smoothly.

If you’ve experienced OEM component depreciation challenges or have questions about finding critical parts for your equipment, you can always count on the professionals at Global Electronic Services. Contact us for all your industrial electronic, servo motor, AC and DC motor, hydraulic, and pneumatic needs — and don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook!
Call for Help