• Craig Drabyk

The Importance of Keeping Critical Spare Parts


One of the best ways to minimize downtime due to parts failure is to keep critical spare parts on hand. This can be done with a nominal investment that will save substantial time and money in the long run.


When a critical MEP part fails, time is of the essence. The bad part must be identified, located, and ordered from either the manufacturer or a dependable representative, and about 75% of the time the part is not in stock and must be ordered. Lead time is commonly anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks. Sometimes a specialty part must be manufactured, which usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks or more. Or, the part is no longer produced and new version must be purchased and modified. All this comes at a high price; besides the cost of extended downtime, expedited shipping can cost a pretty penny – sometimes hundreds of dollars – and it isn’t uncommon to receive the wrong part, requiring you to start the process all over again.


Fortunately, there is an easy, relatively low-cost solution: critical MEP parts and instruments should be purchased and kept on-hand in case of failure. Knowledgeable contractors like Omni can assess systems and equipment to determine which parts and instruments should be stocked as backup, and how many, depending on their criticality, availability and likelihood of failure. Critical parts that should be kept as “attic stock” can include pressure, temperature, level and flow transmitters, critical starters, elements and sensors, actuators and positioners, etc. The large majority of crucial parts and instruments that can shut down production when they fail can be purchased for just a few thousand dollars, and this supply will pay for itself many times over in saved shipping costs alone.


Case in point: a client that had four positioners for actuators go bad at their facility happened to have exactly four positioners in their attic stock, as prescribed and ordered by Omni. Eight more were immediately reordered. Another time, a temperature transmitter and a starter kept in stock were instrumental in saving a client’s commissioning schedule by three weeks.


To find out how Omni can help you set up a supply of critical spare parts, please contact us at 908-412-7130.

About Omni

Omni Instrumentation Services, Inc. is a premier instrumentation and electrical contractor, providing superior total care solutions since 1986. Services include instrument installation, tubing installation, instrument calibration, control loop testing, startup and commissioning, power and lighting, process control wiring, BMS wiring, telecommunications and data wiring, fire alarm wiring, security wiring, process network wiring, and control panel fabrication. Omni Instrumentation Services, Inc. is certified in Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet and ASI-Bus installation.

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