An investigation into a massive fire at an Indian gas plant has found that the fire was caused by a replacement part bought from a third-party supplier, instead of a genuine part from the original equipment manufacturer. The fire closed the plant, interrupting gas supplies, while emergency services spent four and a half hours extinguishing the fire; luckily there were no casualties.

The incident shows the potentially devastating consequences of buying replacement parts from non-original equipment manufacturers, or non-OEMs. While these parts can be less expensive than original parts, buying them can be a false economy and a safety hazard.

Original equipment manufacturers have access to original drawings, process specifications and equipment to produce parts with the same level of safety and performance as the originals. Non-OEMs do not have access to these documents, nor to other vital information, including tolerance ranges, specialised material treatments used, and cannot replicate valve trim without the original sizing tools used to design it.

On top of that, fitting non-genuine parts also risks invalidating warranties on equipment, and many providers will not service equipment that includes non-OEM parts.

“We strongly encourage our customers to buy OEM parts for the most efficient and safe plant operation” says Ajitkumar Sreekumar Vice President, Sales and Business Development. “Our genuine parts are made from the original drawings and process specifications, so clients can be confident that they will meet the same high standards for safety, productivity and performance as the original parts that have worked in the original equipment. Even the most simplest non-OEM parts like soft goods can wreak havoc to the process and the plant as we see in this example”.

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