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    Long-term availability of spare parts in mechanical engineering

This is why long-term availability of spare parts is so important in mechanical engineering

The big food and semi-luxury items producers require high efficiency of the solutions provided by machinery and plant manufacturers with regards to the production results and the durability of machines and/or plants.

Let us take the example of a juice producer: The task of a machine or plant is relatively simple in this case: to squeeze as much juice as possible out of the fruit for countless production hours. After all, the investment must be redeemed.

However, although the machines and plants are well designed nowadays, even the most sophisticated state-of-the-art product may wear out and fail.

When the plant stands still, speed becomes of the essence

Nothing else is more unpleasant for a food producer than a plant standstill. This can really cost much money – in the particular case of a French food producer up to € 60.000  per day.

Read the case study   |   plant shutdown

In such situations speed becomes of the essence to ideally keep the downtime costs as low as possible. The most important precondition: spare parts must be available, not only in the warehouse of the food and semi-luxury items producer but also at the machinery and plant manufacturer.

However, it is not feasible to keep every part and machine or plant component in stock. This would generate too many costs. Therefore, a simple specifically coated sealing or a small industrial valve may pose a big challenge.

Lengthy search for alternative products

In spite of increasing standardization, machines and plants are individually planned and built. Every component and/or building unit complement each other because the requirements related to machines and plants are very high.

In the event of a failure the machine and plant manufacturer needs to have access to the suitable replacement part which should be deliverable to the operator also after some years.

This works smoothly with new machines but poses a challenge particularly to older plants.

If no suitable alternative product can be found, custom-made parts must be ordered. After all, even an alternative spare part from the original components manufacturer does not always fit with regards to dimensions or weight.

This costs time and money – two essential resources which are more than scarce in the event of a plant failure.

Long-time availability of spare parts provides process and product safety

Machines and plants in the food and beverage industry are up and running for many years. Requirements with regards to quality and longevity are very high. Therefore, high-quality components are normally installed.

Should the plant fail or be worn out despite this, the time factor plays a decisive role.

In both cases the spare parts must be quickly available for many years because the plant downtime itself and the recourse to alternative components can be very expensive.

Components manufacturers whose spare parts are available for years or even decades, make a crucial contribution to more process and product safety, particularly for machines and plants with long product lifecycles.

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