ABB Power Services

Our aim is to increase systems reliability and extend the life of their equipment with concomitant gains for our customers’ competitiveness. We support our customers with high-quality services in preventive and corrective maintenance to improve risk mitigation and improved safety. ABB's service portfolio allows utilities and industrials to maximizing the return on all assets by ensuring a high reliability, reducing life cycle costs and ensuring optimized performance while lowering environmental impact.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Top seven advantages for using OEM replacement parts versus buying from a third-party vendor

A case for buying from industry experts

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between ABB’s OEM parts and parts supplied by a third-party vendor?  ABB capitalizes on over 100 years of experience to ensure a precise form, fit, and function on all our replacement parts.  While we could provide you with an infinite number of examples of problems caused by using “knock-off parts”, we will instead concentrate on the value ABB provides as a quality parts supplier. 

Non-OEM nozzle on left, ABB nozzle on right

Service after the sale
We have a staff of over sixty marketing, engineering, project management, production, and field service engineers to respond to customer needs.  We also supply a 12 month warranty with our parts.  We cannot provide technical support, diagnostic assistance, or troubleshooting for parts from another vendor.  Nor can we be held liable for their performance in our equipment.

We have the design and material specifications for your parts
ABB HV Service has a library of over 1 million design records in print and microfilm!  In addition, we maintain all engineering directives to ensure your parts are made from the correct material and manufactured to the correct specifications.

In-house expertise
Third-party vendors selling non-OEM, or knock-off, parts are often selling from a catalog, guessing at what customers need by searching a web directory.  ABB HV Service, for instance, has staff with expertise in every lineage we sell.   We have staff specifically dedicated to Westinghouse, ITE, BBC, ASEA, ABB, ITE, dead tank breakers, live tank breakers, oil circuit breakers, and gas insulated switchgear.

With our expertise, we have ability to evaluate a customer’s installed base and develop a strategic or critical parts program for them.  It takes years of hands-on experience to know what parts are needed because those needs are almost always specific to each breaker.  One customer may be looking to lower inventory costs with a strategic parts program, while another may often experience severe weather or sudden power spikes and need to stock critical components.

Our parts are breaker specific
We supply parts specific to the equipment’s serial number.  Every kit ABB builds is individually tailored to the shop order and original specifications for precise fit and application.  There’s no guessing if it will fit, leak, or how long it will last when you buy from ABB.  As outage schedules get shorter, the last thing maintenance crews should need to make provisions for is modifying parts to fit equipment in the field.  When components become obsolete we have the in-house capability develop retrofit kits.  Many times, equipment operates with better than original performance after a retrofit as the latest electrical and mechanical components are integrated seamlessly with the original technology.

ABB operates service centers
Strategically placed remanufacturing facilities enables ABB to rebuild components such as mechanisms, bushings, interrupters, and complete pole units for 60 to 70% of the cost of purchasing new equipment with a much shorter lead-time.  Exchange programs are also utilized with the service centers to expedite the turn-around time of replacements components.  In addition to being remanufacturing facilities, ABB’s service centers also stock our inventory, have full testing capabilities, are training hubs, and provide logistical support.  Pure parts warehouses can only supply parts at full cost.

ABB shortens the cycle time
We the largest stock of legacy inventory in the high voltage industry, we are able to deliver in-stock items in one day to select locations.  Ready-To-Go components (rebuilt mechanisms, interrupters, poles, bushings) arrive fully assembled, tested, and ready to install.  This is especially important when replacing/uprating/rebuilding mission critical power equipment.  Exchange programs also short lead-times dramatically with a round-robin effect.  As components are removed from equipment being serviced, those components are sent back to a service center for repair work/uprating/rebuilding and returned to the site as the crew is ready to begin working in the next set of equipment.  To further expedite an exchange program, parts from stock can be used to replace components in the process.  ABB has also utilized capacity from sister units to expedite our exchange program.

ABB retains its knowledge base
Many of ABB’s employees enjoy a long career with the company.  It’s a tradition of promoting from within.  While competitors struggle with a revolving door of competency, ABB has proudly retained employees, maintaining our vital database of industry and customer knowledge.

Don’t learn the difference between OEM and knock-off parts the hard way
Consider this scenario; you’ve performed a circuit breaker life extension with non-OEM parts.  During an inspection you discover critical, internal components are broke and laying on the bottom of the interrupting chamber. Click here to read what ABB’s customer encountered and how High Voltage Service helped them resolve the problem before it escalated. 

Whether it’s scheduled maintenance or emergency situations, OEM parts are ultimately the most economical choice, and effectively protect the operational reliability of your fleet.  To learn more about ABB’s OEM parts visit

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