Caveat emp­tor: let the buyer be­ware!


Many com­pressed air users will reach a cross roads when it comes to re­plac­ing the con­sum­ables in their com­pressed air sys­tem. That being, do they choose the orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­turer’s gen­uine spare parts or do they try and save a few dol­lars and buy non-gen­uine – or ‘spurious’ – spare parts? In mak­ing this de­ci­sion, there are how­ever a num­ber of fac­tors that should be con­sid­ered…

From re­plac­ing the air fil­ter and oil fil­ter right down to the choice of lu­bri­cant, there are a num­ber of con­sum­ables that need to be pe­ri­od­i­cally changed within an air com­pres­sor. The life­time of the com­pres­sor, its over­all per­for­mance and re­li­a­bil­ity as well as its main­te­nance re­quire­ments will all be im­pacted by whether the user opts to re­place these con­sum­ables with gen­uine or non- gen­uine parts.

The com­pat­i­bil­ity of spurious spare parts with an air com­pres­sor is one fac­tor that will have a large bear­ing on its re­sul­tant per­for­mance and main­te­nance re­quire­ments. Only gen­uine OEM spare parts will have been rig­or­ously tested by the OEM with the com­pressed air equip­ment. The dura­bil­ity, per­for­mance, ef­fi­ciency, safety or even the com­pat­i­bil­ity of spurious parts will not have been tested with the com­pressed air equip­ment. There is no way of know­ing how spurious spare parts will there­fore in­ter­act and how they may af­fect the per­for­mance of the com­pressed air equip­ment. It is there­fore pos­si­ble that they may com­pro­mise the ef­fi­ciency, re­li­a­bil­ity and safety of the por­ta­ble com­pres­sor as well as the air qual­ity re­quired.

It is also worth bear­ing in mind that only the OEM’s gen­uine spare parts have been de­signed to meet the de­mands of the ap­pli­ca­ble op­er­at­ing con­di­tions, qual­ity tested to en­sure the best pos­si­ble per­for­mance and, de­signed to as­sure the life cy­cle is com­men­su­rate with the main­te­nance in­ter­vals.

In ad­di­tion, it is highly likely that opt­ing for non- gen­uine parts which are not rec­om­mended by the OEM will void the man­u­fac­turer’s war­ranty. This could be­come costly if a fault oc­curs within the air com­pres­sor that would or­di­nar­ily have been cov­ered un­der the war­ranty.

With­out a doubt re­li­a­bil­ity, ef­fi­ciency and dura­bil­ity would all have been key cri­te­rion in choos­ing to in­vest in a high- qual­ity air com­pres­sor. It stands to rea­son then, that main­tain­ing the in­tegrity of the com­pressed air sys­tem is there­fore crit­i­cal to en­sure that the sys­tem continues to op­er­ate at its peak per­for­mance. And, un­doubt­edly the de­ci­sion of whether to opt for gen­uine or spurious spare parts will have a large bear­ing on this.

In the end the de­ci­sion may be as sim­ple as ask­ing one­self; is some po­ten­tial short term fi­nan­cial gain worth the long-term pain that us­ing spurious spare parts may cause? As they say, caveat emp­tor – or, let the buyer be­ware!

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