What Happens When Your OEM Goes Out of Business?
Manufacturers invest millions in their equipment throughout its lifespan. From original purchase to service and repair, the goal is to keep it producing at its highest level. But sometimes machines outlive the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). When OEMs disappear, manufacturers are left wondering where to go for equipment service and replacement parts? What’s a manufacturer to do when machines outlive their OEMs?
What happens to OEMs?
While some OEMs do go out of business, most end up absorbed by larger companies or folded into acquisitions. Your equipment OEM might be under new management or operating under a different name, but it’s frequently possible to purchase the OEM replacement parts from the new company. In fact, many companies offer parts and service programs for equipment they no longer produce.
The new company may even retain an acquired OEM’s brand and leverage it to introduce new products. In this case, manufacturers might be encouraged to retrofit or upgrade their equipment with new OEM specs.
The OEM landscape is constantly changing
Smaller OEMs disappear all the time. Examples of defunct brands:
- Pederson presses
- Staude packaging machines
- Cincinnati mills
Larger companies absorb OEMs for a variety of reasons, including product portfolio supplementation, regional expansion, and the need to enhance their technological capabilities. And parent companies offer OEMs the resources to expand beyond their current capabilities.
What to do when your OEM disappears
There are plenty of ways to find specific OEM replacement parts after the company is gone.
First, check if a larger company absorbed your former OEM provider. If so, it’s possible the larger company still sells the parts or provides the services you need. Other options include:
- Buying discontinued OEM equipment from specialty suppliers
- Using aftermarket solutions designed to mimic OEM parts
- Contracting with a third-party maintenance and repair partner
It can be stressful to find out an OEM your company relies on won’t be around anymore, but there are plenty of other options for managing the serviceable life of your manufacturing equipment.
Losing an OEM isn’t the end of the world
Losing an OEM can be disruptive, but it doesn’t need to be debilitating. Whether they’re part of a new company or truly defunct, manufacturers have options for continued maintenance and repair of their essential equipment.