The use of non-original items is wide-spread in some industries – this is particularly true in automotive, but also affects other manufacturers such as those that produce ink for home printers and many other companies that make equipment which relies on consumable items.
As an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for more than 50 years, Filtermist International has vast experience of manufacturers producing and marketing spare parts and consumables which are billed as ‘Filtermist compatible’. As a consumer, there may be perceived benefits of buying non-OEM parts – the most obvious of these being the up-front cost. Non-OEM parts are often cheaper than their genuine equivalents, but are customers actually benefiting from cheaper alternatives? We spoke to Alison Green, Brand Business Support Manager, at Filtermist to find out more:
“We recognise that many of our customers use oil mist extraction because they are required to by law, not necessarily because they want to. Investing in a new machine tool is exciting and can result in tangible improvements to productivity, capability etc, whereas fitting effective extraction does not have the same measurable benefits. This means that when it comes to buying replacement spares and consumables, some customers will just want the cheapest option available.
“On the surface, non-OEM parts can look very much like the genuine article, but if you dig a bit deeper it can quickly become clear that the two parts have noticeable differences. For example, we recently tested a Filtermist approved Afterfilter against an alternative ‘Filtermist compatible’ Afterfilter. The filter media in the ‘compatible’ filter was a lower grade, so therefore less efficient, and the seal was made up of multiple layers rather than a solid construction meaning over time the seal could fail.”
Filtermist’s CEO James Stansfield who has worked in the company since 1998 elaborates, “Whilst the Afterfilters look like a relatively simple item, we actually spent many years developing the best media possible. We tested numerous types of material, which on paper looked to offer the efficiency we wanted, but some of them simply could not cope with the sub-micron oil and coolant they were required to capture, and quickly became saturated or ‘blinded’ and in certain cases started to disintegrate.”
As well as lower efficiency, using non-OEM consumables can also result in higher whole of life costs as copycat parts may not last as long as OEM parts.
“It is important that customers recognise the difference between the options available so they can make an informed decision,” continues Alison. “Customers taking a more considered view will normally be able to achieve higher filtration efficiencies and lower whole of life costs if they invest in genuine parts whenever possible.”
Please contact your local distributor to order genuine Filtermist spares.