The True Cost of Cheap Parts

When Spending Less Can Cost More

Low-cost replacement parts might look like a bargain at first glance, but the total cost of ownership tells a different story. These parts often lead to increased downtime, frequent replacements, and potential production halts—costs that can far exceed the initial savings.

Here are some important points to keep in mind when shopping for parts. And we should know—we regularly purchase parts from competitors to ensure we stay ahead of the curve:

What Does “Refurbished” Mean?

Many companies claim their parts are “refurbished,” but what does that mean to them? For T.I.E., a refurbished part should look and perform like a new part straight from the OEM. It is clean, broken pieces have been replaced, and all internal components requiring repair have been restored. Most importantly, it passes a rigorous load test.

  • Comprehensive Testing: We have dozens of control-specific test beds to evaluate every refurbished part we sell. Many of our top-selling parts are tested to the manufacturer’s maximum rated load, ensuring you receive parts that meet all OEM specifications.

Here are a few examples of the issues we found in low-cost competitors’ parts that would never have passed our QC processes:

  • Broken and Unrepaired Pieces:
    Lower-priced parts often have defects, such as broken fan plugs. This defect can cause severe operational issues like Alarm 56, which signals unexpected stoppages.

    [Photo: Broken fan plug on a Fanuc drive]
  • Out of Tolerance Resistors:
    Non refurbished parts may contain out-of-tolerance resistors that compromise machine functionality, leading to frequent Alarm 3 errors. T.I.E. replaces all critical internal components, ensuring like-new functionality.

    [Photo: Burned and old resistors on the left compared to T.I.E. quality refurbished part on right]
  • Overheating Components (Browning Optos):
    Overheated components are common in lower-quality parts. These optos often degrade, triggering Alarm 12 on Fanuc controls. T.I.E. replaces these to restore optimum performance.

    [Photo: Browning optos on left compared to new ones on right]
  • Dirty and Damaged:
    External appearances matter. The comparison photo highlights the stark contrast between a poorly maintained part and a T.I.E. refurbished part. Clean, intact components are less likely to malfunction.

    [Photo: Comparison between a dusty, damaged part and a refurbished T.I.E. part]

Reputation and Warranty

Do you know the company you are purchasing from? Do they offer a warranty? If there is an issue, do you trust they will honor the warranty? Lastly – do they have the stock available to replace a bad part?

We have Delivered Uptime to our customers for more than 35 years. We offer a thorough in-service warranty that covers the rare instance where an issue slips past our testing process. And we have more than 150,000 parts in stock to quickly replace a problem part.

This particular part was purchased from a competitor we had never heard about prior to a year or two ago. Combined with an address that’s a small shop in a strip mall, we are not all that confident submitting a warranty claim would have honored.

Worst of all, this particular part was shipped with a “Void if Removed” sticker strategically placed over a vital plug. That may have been an honest mistake, but it also could have been a deliberate attempt to pre-emptively deny a warranty claim.

The Hidden Costs of Choosing Cheaper Parts

The initial cost savings of cheaper replacement parts often hide larger expenses:

  • Downtime Costs: More frequent replacements and operational failures with less expensive parts lead to lost productivity and revenue.
  • Increased Maintenance: Lower quality parts often need additional maintenance, quickly offsetting the initial costs savings.
  • Potential Damage: Cheaper parts can cause secondary damage to machines, further escalating costs.

T.I.E.’s rigorous refurbishment process reduces the total cost of ownership by ensuring long-term reliability.

Making the Right Choice

Maintenance supervisors should prioritize long-term value over short-term cost savings. Opting for quality refurbished parts from reputable suppliers like T.I.E. can prevent the frequent issues associated with cheaper alternatives. Evaluate factors such as the supplier’s credibility, quality of refurbishment, and warranty provisions when purchasing.

Contact Us Today

At T.I.E., we are dedicated to supporting your business not only through high-quality parts but also by ensuring any disruptions are swiftly addressed through our efficient warranty service. Explore T.I.E.’s range of high-quality refurbished industrial parts. Contact us today to see how we can help reduce your total cost of ownership and keep your operations running smoothly.

Get your Fanuc CNC machine back up and running.

TIE offers same day shipping on more than 100,000 Fanuc CNC parts in stock. We offer a 1 year in service warranty on all parts and repairs.

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