Service Sphere asks: Is it genuine?

Service Sphere’s Maurizio Marcocci explains the importance of genuine spare parts and why close imitations are not always a cheap quick fix.

By Maurizio Marcocci, Director of Service Sphere.

There’s always a distinction between buying something genuine and something that’s not.

When you visit Europe and are approached to buy that “real” designer label handbag lying on a cloth on the side of the road under the Eiffel Tower, chances are it’s not. Perhaps it’s the upside down logo or ridiculously cheap price that gives it away, but if you’re not fussed by its quality and the length of time it will stay in one piece, then you’ve got yourself a bargain. The same theory applies to car brands, tech gadgets, jewellery, and even coffee machine spare parts.
At Service Sphere, we see customers coffee machines and grinders for regular servicing as part of their preventative maintenance schedule, where our technicians will often replace key components to prevent parts failing between services.
Each machine is different, but most brands follow the same replacement standards during a preventative maintenance check up:

These parts are easily accessible and will be replaced with a genuine spare part by an authorised technician. If you attempt to replace the part yourself or take the machine to someone who doesn’t understand the components that need changing, there’s always a risk that a “non-genuine part” will be fitted. While your service bill might look healthy, down the track your machine may not be, so it’s important to understand the impact of fitting your machine with a non-genuine spare part. Let’s break it down.

Genuine spare parts
Genuine parts have been used to build your coffee machine and are made, or selected, by the coffee machine manufacturer. They have been rigorously tested as an integral component of the machine to meet high quality, safety, and performance standards. This means they are the only parts approved and warranted by the coffee equipment manufacturer, guaranteeing performance and functionality at manufacturer specifications — use anything else and you take a big risk.

Labour is a significant part of the total cost of a preventative maintenance schedule. The cost of recurring labour, for replacing inferior parts, quickly consumes the maintenance budget. For the lowest cost of ownership, replacement parts must be top quality and meet manufacturer specifications and code requirements, established to achieve the longest possible service life.

Non-Genuine spare parts
Non-genuine parts might look like the real thing but they have not been made, selected, or approved by the manufacturer, meaning they have never been tested as an integral component of your coffee equipment. Non-genuine parts can’t necessarily perform the same quality. They won’t last as long, and sometimes won’t even fit the machine correctly. More importantly, they won’t have the safety attributes that come with a genuine part.

When looking to replace a safety device in the machine such as a safety valve, expansion value, or level probe, a genuine spare part is non-negotiable.

If your coffee machine has been repaired, or as part of general maintenance, it’s possible that non-genuine parts have been fitted without your knowledge. There are different types of non-genuine parts, and it’s important to know the difference so that you don’t get caught out.

Salvaged parts
These have been removed from a damaged coffee equipment and “cleaned up” for use in the repair of other machines. The risk with salvaged parts is that they may have been damaged in prior equipment or sustained wear and tear from previous use. All these factors could stop the part from working properly. There is also no guarantee that the part was originally genuine without knowing the full repair history of the coffee machine.

Aftermarket parts
These are produced by another company as an addition to existing equipment or an alternative to a genuine part. Aftermarket parts pose a risk because they were never tested by the manufacturer and can’t necessarily offer the quality and safety that comes with a genuine part.

So the moral of this story – always go for the genuine spare part.

At Service Sphere, we have thousands of genuine spare parts located one site – all categorised into brands and locations, which are stored in a data entry system. Our technical vans are also fitted with common brand parts for convenience and quick service.

We rely heavily on our manufacturers to ensure they can provide us with the top 100 moving spare parts for each model and order accordingly. We also generate reports on previous inventory movements and cross-reference it with similar models/brands via the use of manufacturer technical bulletins.

No part is impossible to replace. When group heads or boilers require replacing, usually the machine is beyond economical repair and customers will consider purchasing a new machine, but technically speaking, each part can be replaced.
So the next time your coffee machine is due for a service, ensure you set the appropriate measures in place to guarantee only genuine spare parts are being used on your coffee equipment –  and avoid the bargains, even if it does mean paying that bit more.

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