The importance of maintaining production in any industrial setting involves keeping equipment running. When a part breaks down or needs replacement, going to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is usually the safest bet. OEM parts tend to come with a better service guarantee and will not void equipment warranties, a factor that can prove costly to manufacturers. Often an OEM may even provide maintenance at a discounted rate, or even free, for new purchases by manufacturers. It also makes sense for a technician authorized by the manufacturer and experienced with a specific machine to conduct any needed maintenance.
One argument against OEM components is the typically higher price. However, the added expense of OEM parts results more from the part manufacturers mitigating their risk, which allows them to provide better service if something goes wrong. The importance of having critical OEM spares – such as rotary airlock valve parts, spare hammermill parts, and lump breaker spare parts – available to prevent downtime during production cannot be overstated.
Reasons to Use OEM Spares
German service engineer Rolf Vossloecker says this about the differences between OEM and generic components:
“Parts from other suppliers are produced differently. While the original parts are designed according to the real machine blueprints and are therefore 100% compatible, copies may have the wrong dimensions or may not meet the material requirements. In addition, original spare parts are generally compatible with older models.”
For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep an inventory of OEM parts available for essential pieces of machinery to minimize downtime and keep vital equipment working. This prevents delays due to delivery time or in case replacement components are out of stock. Keeping these on hand prevents production delays, leading to increased productivity.
OEM Rotary Airlock Valve Parts
Rotary airlock valves (also referred to as rotary valves, rotary airlocks, or rotary feeders) help systems handle material in agricultural and industrial settings. While a relatively simple piece of equipment, it’s an integral part of many processing operations. Used for dust collector pressure systems, vacuum-style pneumatic systems, and other conveying production lines, rotary airlock valves perform necessary functions while minimizing or preventing air loss.
Sometimes these valves leak waste material, wearing down other rotary airlock valve parts and exasperating mechanical problems. Therefore, dealing with any maintenance issues within the rotary airlock must happen immediately. They ensure a system runs efficiently and, when rotary airlock valve parts fail, it can shut down whole production lines. Such downtime is costly.
Essential rotary airlock valve parts to keep readily available include:
- Airlock accessories
- Fully assembled endplates
- Spare parts kit
To keep from experiencing downtime, ordering and keeping the right parts on-hand can make the difference between downtime lasting days or weeks instead of hours. While replacement parts can be bought cheaply elsewhere, it’s always advisable to use OEM parts, as those not made by the manufacturer are often sized incorrectly. OEM rotary airlock valve components will be measured precisely for the equipment, ensuring a good fit.
OEM Hammermill Parts
Though they come in diverse shapes and sizes, depending upon the manufacturer or the exact function they serve, industrial hammermills all perform the same basic purpose. Hammermills process material by reducing particles: breaking down aggregate raw material with hammers that are mounted on a rotating shaft. Using repeated blows to reduce material, hammermills can grind, pulverize, shatter or shred just about any substance, from coffee beans to recycled steel.
Though typically robust, due to the machinery’s repeated impact and heavy usage, it’s a good idea to keep hammermill parts readily available. They’re generally central to operations and, because of this, it’s also a good idea to conduct preventative and scheduled maintenance to moderate the prospect of downtime and resulting in lost productivity. It’s important to keep specific hammermill parts in stock just in case.
Spare Parts for the G-Series Hammermill
- Hammer pack, always try to push a complete hammer pack, instead of just hammers (includes hammers, spacers, pins, collars)
- Screen Clamps
- Screen Protectors
- Complete Rotor
- Spare Screen Frame (screen cradle)
Keeping hammermill components in stock while running preventative maintenance will ensure minor downtime in production lines. Identifying any broken, worn, or otherwise damaged hammermill parts before they cause too much of a problem will also help keep production lines running. As with any other equipment, OEM components are built precisely and from quality material, so keeping OEM hammermill parts in inventory will assure production line machinery always operates optimally.
OEM Lump Breaker Spare Parts
Similar to hammer mills in that they also reduce material, lump breakers break down clustered particles rather than individual ones. Also known as crushers, these machines diminish lumps into uniform sizes while processing aggregates, animal feed, chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, and many other materials. This machinery provides a gentler sort of conditioning, working with coarse material while also generating little to no dust.
Lump breakers vary from slower machines that crush coarse or hardened material to those that work at higher speeds, which produce finer particulates. Some lump breakers are even capable of handling sticky or rubbery material. Generally, lump breakers reduce material for further processing, though production lines can simply use them to prepare material for easier conveying. They work by forcefully impacting material with a rotor, using alternating blades that intermesh or stationary breaker bars to condition the raw material into a state in which it is properly broken down.
Spare Parts for Lump Breaker (single shaft):
- Shaft seals
- Lantern rings (if present)
- Retaining rings (for bearings or seals only, not for linear bearings)
- Bearings (not linear bearings)
- Rotor bladed
- Complete rotor
- Fixed fingers
- This varies greatly depending on design/version
With many substances, humidity results in lumpy material. Moisture content in the material can lead to corrosion of lump breaker parts, and, along with regular impaction, Moisture content contributes to needing to keep spares readily available. As with other industrial equipment, OEM lump breaker parts tend to keep equipment running more reliably because they’re built specifically for the machinery.
Other Machines and Essential Spare Parts
- Spare belt(s), varies based on build
Discharge (idle) End:
- Bearing (typically hex, but not always)
- Neoprene washers (on most)
- Screen & Bearing Retainer Gasket (on most, not all)
- Hand Knobs (people lose these all the time)
- Baffle, neoprene (on most), quote “baffle assembly”
- End Door Gasket (round)
- Inspection Door Gasket (rectangular)
- Bearings, typically two, sometimes 1 ball bearing w/ 1 flange bearing, sometimes 2 flanged bearings, sometimes 2 ball bearings (this varies greatly based on model and generation)
- Seal accessories (example: custom Accro washer, retaining ring)
- Screens (quote 6, machine takes 2, good to have spares on hand)
- Screen Frame (especially if running multiple products, or changes screens often, or inspects screens often)
- Hammer pack (hammers, support pins, hammer pins, spacers, retaining washers, bolts for support pins, bolts for retaining washers)
- Screen dividers
- Liners or kicker plates (if present)
- Bearing Assembly
MAC Air Classifier
- Fan blades
- Rotor assembly
- Bearing assembly
- Rotor assembly
- Bearing assembly
- Screen frame assembly
CLM Classifier Mill
- Mill blades
- Ring segments
- Mill belts
- Mill bearings
- Fan blades
- Classifier belts (if present)
- Classifier bearings
- Mill rotor assembly
- Mill bearing assembly
- Screen frame assembly
- Classifier rotor assembly
- Classifier bearing assembly
Keeping OEM Spares on Hand
Prater Industries advises keeping spares available in an inventory for rotary airlock valves, hammer mills, lump breakers, and other industrial equipment to keep production machinery running and limit downtime. For legacy hammermill parts and other components, Prater can even provide OEM replacements in like-new condition to swap for any worn parts. Contact Prater’s experienced and knowledgeable staff about OEM parts we can provide you.