OEM vs Aftermarket wear parts and ground engagement tools (G.E.T)

Aftermarket wear parts and ground engaging tool suppliers can save you 15 to 30 percent off the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) cost, and potentially increase service life.

Because OEMs are huge corporations dealing with everything from $25 million machines to a bucket tooth, they may not have the same focus on wear parts as an aftermarket supplier, according to Cutting Edges Manager of Mining Solutions, Luke Jackson.

“They are spread across multiple product categories and service offerings, and wear parts are often a lower priority. While the OEM might have three to five different tooth options, our product range is often more extensive,” Luke said.

Customised products is another area where Cutting Edges stands out.

“Sites often require a part to be thinner or thicker than OEM standard or have a different shape. Because we have our own Australian engineering department, research and development team and manufacturing facilities, we are able to develop these customer-specific products.”

Which last longer? Aftermarket or OEM?

Like anything, some aftermarket suppliers are better than others, with Luke saying there are a few out there who are producing rubbish and should be avoided.

Speaking of Cutting Edges, Luke said that with their focus on quality and service life, their products are competitive with OEMs.

“Our research has shown that some OEM wear parts do last rather well, but it is not worth paying that extra 15 to 30 per cent. Also, plenty of our products do perform better than the OEM’s.”

What about warranty?

Many of the large machinery manufacturers like Cat or Komatsu have excellent warranties, Luke said, adding that he has never seen any issues with OEMs honouring that warranty if Cutting Edge’s parts were used.

“We also warrant our products, so if they break prematurely they will be tested and evaluated, and if defective will be replaced at no cost,” he said, adding that it is very rare to see this because Cutting Edges have strong processes in place to match the appropriate wear part to the application.

Cutting Edges Site Audit

Evaluate long term supply chains

Evaluating long-term parts supply security is crucial to helping ensure you choose the right wear parts.

Cutting Edges regularly sees cases where large mining companies have installed OEM bucket teeth adaptors from large suppliers but cannot easily source matching bucket teeth to fit those adaptors, or those bucket teeth are prohibitively expensive.

The issue arises because there may be a patent on the adaptor and any bucket teeth that fit the adaptor must be produced by that supplier or custom built.

In a global market where demand for Ground Engaging Tools (G.E.T) is increasing, Australia’s remote mining sites and their relatively low consumption of G.E.T compared to sites in countries like Indonesia can mean bucket teeth are hard to access or expensive. COVID-19 has exacerbated this supply issue.

As a result, Cutting Edges are seeing large and small sites running out of bucket teeth and having machines sitting idle because they cannot find wear parts to fit their adaptors.

Helping you choose the right parts:

The most common cause of wear parts failure is that they are not the appropriate part for the terrain they are operating in, or the machine is being operated incorrectly, according to Luke.

To assist, Cutting Edges offer complimentary Site Audits to build a framework for maintenance, production and warehouse staff to track wear part usage and opportunities.

“So often I see OEM products being used and people tell me ‘that’s what we have always done’, so it’s never been evaluated. No one had ever looked to see if there is a better way,” Luke said.

“Our Site Audit and inspection service is designed to help our customers save even more on their wear parts and ground engaging tools.”

“At Cutting Edges, we work to understand your business and provide tailored, individual solutions to deliver the right part in the right place at the right time.”

For a discussion with a Cutting Edges specialist to find out how much you could save, get in touch with us today.

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