Consulting – OEM vs NON-OEM – SPARE PARTS


courtesy by BURCKHARDT


When considering the application of OEM and non-OEM spare parts in reciprocating compressors to improve reliability, maintainability, availability, safety, and mitigate critical failures and environmental risks in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries, there are certain limits in engineering and design that need to be taken into account. These limits include:

  1. Compatibility and Fit: One of the key considerations when using non-OEM spare parts is ensuring compatibility and fit with the specific reciprocating compressor model and design. Non-OEM parts may not have been designed and engineered specifically for a particular compressor, which can lead to challenges in proper installation, alignment, and performance. It is essential to thoroughly evaluate the compatibility of non-OEM parts and assess any potential risks associated with fit and functionality.

  2. Performance and Efficiency: OEM spare parts are typically designed to meet the original equipment manufacturer’s specifications and performance requirements. Non-OEM parts may not provide the same level of performance, efficiency, and reliability as OEM parts. It is important to carefully evaluate the performance characteristics of non-OEM parts to ensure they meet the required standards and are capable of delivering the expected performance and efficiency levels.

  3. Quality and Reliability: OEM spare parts are manufactured and tested according to stringent quality control processes to ensure reliability and longevity. Non-OEM parts may vary in terms of quality and reliability, depending on the manufacturer. It is crucial to assess the quality control procedures and track record of non-OEM suppliers to mitigate the risks associated with potential quality issues and premature failures.

  4. Warranty and Support: OEM spare parts often come with warranties and comprehensive technical support from the original equipment manufacturer. In contrast, non-OEM parts may have limited or no warranty coverage, and technical support may be less readily available. This can pose challenges in terms of resolving issues, obtaining replacements, and addressing any potential failures.

  5. Safety and Compliance: Reciprocating compressors operate under high pressures and temperatures, making safety a paramount concern. OEM spare parts are designed and tested to meet industry safety standards and regulatory requirements. Non-OEM parts may not always meet the same safety standards or have undergone the same level of testing. It is crucial to ensure that non-OEM parts adhere to applicable safety regulations and undergo proper testing and certification to mitigate safety risks.

  6. Documentation and Traceability: OEM spare parts typically come with detailed documentation, including part numbers, specifications, and manufacturing records, facilitating traceability and maintenance management. Non-OEM parts may not always provide the same level of documentation and traceability, which can impact maintenance planning, troubleshooting, and the ability to ensure proper part replacements.

To address these limits, it is recommended to consider the following

  1. Comprehensive Evaluation: Conduct a thorough evaluation of both OEM and non-OEM spare parts to assess their compatibility, performance, quality, and safety characteristics. Compare the specifications, certifications, and track record of different suppliers to make an informed decision.

  2. Performance Testing: Perform performance testing on both OEM and non-OEM spare parts to ensure they meet the required standards and can effectively perform under operating conditions. This testing can include durability testing, efficiency evaluations, and stress analysis.

  3. Quality Assurance: Establish rigorous quality assurance processes for both OEM and non-OEM spare parts. This includes conducting inspections, audits, and quality control checks on incoming spare parts to verify their adherence to industry standards and specifications.

  4. Supplier Selection: Choose reliable suppliers for both OEM and non-OEM spare parts. Consider their reputation, experience, technical expertise, and commitment to quality. Evaluate their ability to provide timely delivery, support, and documentation.

  5. Documentation and Traceability: Maintain comprehensive documentation and traceability for all spare parts, regardless of whether they are OEM or non-OEM. This includes recording part numbers, specifications, purchase and installation dates, maintenance history, and any performance issues encountered.

  6. Maintenance Planning: Develop a proactive maintenance plan that considers the specific requirements of both OEM and non-OEM spare parts. This includes establishing appropriate inspection intervals, lubrication schedules, and replacement cycles. Regularly monitor the performance and condition of spare parts to identify any signs of wear, degradation, or potential failures.

  7. Training and Knowledge Transfer: Ensure that maintenance personnel are adequately trained on the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting procedures for both OEM and non-OEM spare parts. This will help them effectively address any issues and ensure proper handling of spare parts.

  8. Collaboration with Suppliers: Foster a collaborative relationship with suppliers, both OEM and non-OEM, to facilitate effective communication, technical support, and timely resolution of any issues that may arise. Regularly communicate feedback and share experiences to improve future spare parts selection and performance.

  9. Continuous Improvement: Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance and reliability of both OEM and non-OEM spare parts. Identify areas for improvement and implement corrective actions to enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of spare parts management.

courtesy by ARIEL


  1. WHY to Consider OEM vs. Non-OEM:

    • Reliability: OEM parts are designed specifically for the equipment, ensuring compatibility and optimal performance. Non-OEM parts may vary in quality, affecting reliability.
    • Maintainability: OEM parts typically come with documentation, support, and warranties, simplifying maintenance activities. Non-OEM parts may lack adequate documentation and support, making maintenance more challenging.
    • Availability: OEM parts are readily available from the original manufacturer’s distribution network. Non-OEM parts may have limited availability, longer lead times, or be dependent on specific suppliers.
    • Safety: OEM parts undergo rigorous testing and comply with industry standards, ensuring safety. Non-OEM parts may have variations in quality and safety standards.
    • Critical Failures: OEM parts are designed to meet specific performance requirements and reduce the risk of critical failures. Non-OEM parts may have variances in performance, potentially impacting critical systems.
    • Environmental Risks: OEM parts are designed with environmental considerations in mind, meeting industry regulations. Non-OEM parts may have different environmental standards and could pose risks if not compliant.
  2. WHEN to Consider OEM vs. Non-OEM:

    • OEM Parts: Consider OEM parts when high reliability, strict compliance, warranty, and availability are critical, such as in critical operations, safety-sensitive areas, or where specific regulatory requirements exist.
    • Non-OEM Parts: Non-OEM parts can be considered in non-critical applications, when cost-effectiveness is a priority, or when OEM parts are not readily available.
  3. WHERE to Apply OEM vs. Non-OEM:

    • Existing Plants: Evaluate the current equipment, maintenance practices, and performance requirements to determine the suitability of OEM vs. non-OEM parts. Assess the impact on reliability, maintainability, and safety before making a decision.
    • New Projects: Consider OEM parts during the design and specification phase to ensure optimal performance and compliance with project requirements. Non-OEM parts may be considered when project constraints or cost considerations warrant their use.
  4. WHAT to Consider in OEM vs. Non-OEM Parts:

    • Compatibility: Ensure that the spare parts are compatible with the specific make, model, and design of the reciprocating compressors.
    • Quality and Certification: Assess the quality control practices and certifications of both OEM and non-OEM suppliers to verify compliance with industry standards.
    • Performance: Evaluate the performance characteristics of the spare parts, including efficiency, durability, and operating parameters, to ensure they meet the required specifications.
    • Documentation and Support: Assess the availability and adequacy of documentation, technical support, and warranty coverage for both OEM and non-OEM parts.
  5. WHICH Parts to Choose:

    • Critical Components: Consider using OEM parts for critical components that directly impact the safety, reliability, or efficiency of the reciprocating compressors.
    • Non-Critical Components: Non-OEM parts may be suitable for non-critical components or ancillary systems where the risk of failure is lower, and cost considerations are more significant.
  6. HOW to Apply OEM vs. Non-OEM Parts:

  1. Assess Equipment Requirements: Understand the specific requirements of the reciprocating compressors in terms of performance, operating conditions, and criticality. Identify the components that significantly impact reliability, safety, and environmental compliance.

  2. Evaluate OEM Options: Contact the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the reciprocating compressors and explore the availability, pricing, and specifications of OEM spare parts. Engage in discussions regarding warranty coverage, technical support, and compliance with industry standards.

  3. Conduct Market Research: Explore the market for non-OEM spare parts from reputable suppliers. Evaluate their product offerings, quality control practices, certifications, and compatibility with the reciprocating compressors. Seek recommendations from industry experts or consult with engineering firms specializing in reciprocating compressors.

  4. Perform a Comparative Analysis: Compare the OEM and non-OEM spare parts based on factors such as cost, quality, availability, lead time, performance, and compatibility. Consider the long-term benefits, including reliability, maintainability, safety, and environmental compliance.

  5. Risk Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to evaluate the potential impact of using non-OEM spare parts. Consider factors such as the criticality of the component, safety risks, regulatory compliance, and the supplier’s reputation and track record. Mitigate identified risks through appropriate measures.

  6. Establish Quality Control Procedures: Develop stringent quality control procedures for both OEM and non-OEM spare parts. Ensure that the parts meet the required specifications, undergo proper inspection and testing, and comply with relevant industry standards. Implement procedures for tracking and documenting part usage and performance.

  7. Maintenance Planning: Integrate the use of OEM and non-OEM spare parts into the maintenance planning process. Develop a comprehensive maintenance strategy that includes preventive maintenance, routine inspections, and periodic component replacements using appropriate spare parts.

  8. Training and Expertise: Provide training and support to maintenance personnel to ensure proper handling, installation, and maintenance of both OEM and non-OEM spare parts. Equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify counterfeit parts and ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.

  9. Continuous Improvement: Regularly monitor the performance of the reciprocating compressors and evaluate the effectiveness of the selected spare parts. Collect data on reliability, maintainability, availability, safety incidents, and environmental performance. Use this information to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions regarding the use of OEM and non-OEM spare parts.

  10. Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that the selected spare parts, whether OEM or non-OEM, comply with relevant industry standards, safety regulations, and environmental requirements. Stay updated on changes in regulations and adapt the spare parts selection process accordingly.

courtesy by BORSIG


To effectively apply the concept of OEM and non-OEM spare parts in reciprocating compressors and improve reliability, maintainability, availability, safety, and mitigate critical failures and environmental risks in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries, the following procedures, actions, studies, mitigation measures, and recommendations can be implemented:

  1. Procedures: a. Develop a spare parts management plan: Establish a comprehensive plan that outlines the procedures for identifying, sourcing, procuring, and managing spare parts for reciprocating compressors. b. Implement a thorough inspection and testing process: Define procedures for inspecting and testing both OEM and non-OEM spare parts to ensure they meet the required specifications and quality standards. c. Establish a maintenance schedule: Develop a maintenance schedule that includes regular inspections, preventive maintenance, and replacement of critical components using appropriate spare parts.

  2. Actions: a. Identify critical components: Identify the critical components in the reciprocating compressors that have a significant impact on reliability, maintainability, and safety. b. Conduct market research: Research the availability, pricing, and quality of both OEM and non-OEM spare parts in the market. c. Engage with suppliers: Establish relationships with reputable suppliers, both OEM and non-OEM, who can provide reliable spare parts for the reciprocating compressors. d. Establish a spare parts inventory: Maintain an inventory of critical spare parts to ensure their availability when needed.

  3. Studies: a. Comparative analysis: Conduct a comparative analysis between OEM and non-OEM spare parts based on factors such as cost, quality, lead time, and availability. b. Reliability studies: Perform reliability studies to evaluate the performance and failure rates of different spare parts options. c. Environmental impact assessment: Assess the environmental impact of using different spare parts options, considering factors such as material composition, disposal methods, and compliance with environmental regulations.

  4. Mitigation: a. Risk assessment: Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential risks associated with using non-OEM spare parts and develop mitigation strategies to minimize those risks. b. Quality control measures: Implement stringent quality control measures for both OEM and non-OEM spare parts to ensure they meet the required specifications and performance standards. c. Counterfeit part prevention: Implement measures to prevent the use of counterfeit spare parts, such as strict supplier evaluation, authentication methods, and regular inspections.

  5. Recommendations: a. Prioritize OEM spare parts: Give priority to OEM spare parts, especially for critical components, as they are specifically designed and tested for compatibility and performance in the reciprocating compressors. b. Source from reputable non-OEM suppliers: If non-OEM spare parts are considered, source them from reputable suppliers with a proven track record of providing high-quality parts. c. Consider warranty and technical support: Evaluate the warranty coverage and availability of technical support offered by both OEM and non-OEM suppliers. d. Maintain documentation and traceability: Maintain detailed documentation and traceability of all spare parts used, including their origin, specifications, and performance records.

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