It's crucial for precision industrial equipment that components can withstand the conditions and meet the job demands. When it comes to types of machinery such as air classifying mills, lump crushers, and fine grinders, using parts made by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) helps ensure better performance over time. 

The Aberdeen Group – a business research firm – estimated that the market for spare parts and service after the sale amounts to 8% of the GDP in the United States, or approximately $1 trillion. This is money spent every year by both consumers and businesses to support assets that are already owned. While price is often the stated reason for utilizing non-OEM parts, this short-term outlook can sometimes lead to legal and safety issues regarding products. 

Why keep a spare parts inventory?


Why Buy OEM Parts?

Often the actual cost of repairing equipment involves costs greater than the price paid for replacement parts. When companies buy OEM spares for their air classifying mills, fine grinders, and other machinery for their production lines, they know they're getting the exact part that originally came with the equipment, or sometimes even one that's been redesigned to produce better performance. 

Heavy equipment often needs to run continuously, so reducing maintenance costs and boosting uptime is essential. While it's best to ensure that critical spare parts are on hand should a breakdown occur, that's not always possible. When critical machinery on a production line breaks down, the priority is bringing it back up. Sourcing OEM components is usually the smartest move, as the manufacturers of these parts are interested in ensuring their machines remain operational. Manufacturers of such industrial equipment have a vested interest in the quality of the components that go into their products. 

Though some assemble their end products from various component manufacturers, others custom-make their components. Regardless of how it is assembled, these parts must meet established specifications for the equipment. If they don't work as they should, their customers – who are also manufacturers – will look to their competitors. 

Below are five reasons why manufacturers should always use OEM parts in their hammermills, air classifying mills, fine grinders, and other assembly line equipment. 

Quality and Functionality

Though they may look and function similarly, generic spare parts don't always meet OEM components' same standards. Decreased quality can result from: 

  • Parts not being adequately tested or made to withstand certain conditions, as per equivalent OEM spares. 
  • Poor fits caused by such things as drill holes not being aligned or pitch threading that is off. 
  • Substandard welds, which can result in cracking and premature wear to machinery. 

Spare OEM parts are also made compatible with new equipment updates as manufacturers upgrade their equipment to improve the machinery's productivity. Manufacturers of generic components may not receive such updates on upgrades. This critical attribute gives OEM parts an important advantage, contributing to improving production and return on investment.


The value gleaned from anything is more than just its cost. When it comes to OEM parts, a portion of their value is directly related to their functionality, particularly to any modifications and upgrades to the equipment. Another factor linked to this involves customer support, as producers of the original equipment and OEM parts will inevitably have a greater knowledge base from which they can work. 

Yet this value goes beyond even these risks associated with non-OEM components. It impacts the performance of the entire system in which the machinery operates. It has a butterfly effect, which affects the machine in which the part is installed and the whole production line. 


Manufacturers can limit or even void warranties when customers use generic or modified spares to fix their rotary sifters, fine grinders, air classifying mills, and other machinery. The cost of replacement or repair should be weighed against any savings resulting from non-OEM parts. When looked at holistically, the risk will usually overshadow any benefits garnered. Should an OEM part be defective, that part is covered by its warranty, whereas this isn't guaranteed for generic components.


One key problem experienced when using generic parts is how they're made. Non-OEM components, when substituted, cannot be guaranteed like OEM parts are, as they have not been similarly tested. With parts from the original manufacturer, suppliers can estimate when these components should be replaced, thus allowing producers to maintain their equipment better. When a part is replaced with another OEM part, there's an expectation that it will work as expected and that performance won't suffer. 

Technical Support After-Sales

Perhaps one of the most important issues stemming from replacement parts involves service after-sales. Many companies – such as Caterpillar, General Electric, and others that produce industrial equipment – concentrate on this element of after-service sales, winning their customers' loyalty by providing them with top-notch customer support. 

Whether it involves training, technical advice, on-site service, or delivering specialized parts, these companies offer services after the sale that promote them as more reliable partners and ultimately lead to greater profitability. OEM parts suppliers can provide this much better than their generic counterparts and can even track your ordering history to align maintenance budgets. It's reassuring that the same engineers who built a piece of machinery like a fine grinder or air classifying mill are also the same people who made your spare part. 

OEM Parts for Prater's Air Classifying Mills, Fine Grinders & Other Equipment

Like other industrial equipment manufacturers, Prater Industries offers its customers a Preventative Maintenance Service program that seeks to improve the performance of their systems. This includes routine inspections and maintenance, which helps customers reduce costs and leads to less downtime.  

Critical spares should be an integral part of your operation. For parts critical to production and whose failure can result in catastrophic consequences, it's essential to have OEM spares on hand. In support of our commitment, Prater encourages customers to keep a spare parts inventory to: 

  • Keep essential equipment running to reduce downtime. 
  • Ensure they don't find necessary OEM components out of stock.
  • Limit lead time to prevent production delays. 

Prater encourages customers to consult with our experienced customer and technical support personnel to develop maintenance plans that encourage better planning for keeping their air classifying mills, fine grinders, and other industrial equipment in optimal condition.