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Spare Parts Management

31 October | Liam Brown

Spare Parts Management

Successfully managing your spare parts requirements is essential. After all, wear and tear of components is an inescapable reality, especially for moving engineered parts such as turbos and pumps. Parts inevitably require replacement at some point in time, simply because all components have a limited service-life and nothing lasts forever.

Global supply chain challenges in the semiconductor industry

However, it’s clear that managing your spare parts strategy has become increasingly complex in the semiconductor industry, not least because of the ongoing global supply chain problems that first emerged in the wake of the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic in late 2019. A series of media reports have been published on these supply chain difficulties in recent times, highlighting a serious and global problem with delays and shortages in a wide range of components and raw materials.

An interesting article published in the Nikkei Asia[1] ("The resilience myth: fatal flaws in the push to secure chip supply chains") not only outlined these supply chain problems but also warned that some of the challenges faced by the semiconductor industry are alarmingly difficult to fix in the short-term.

The importance of managing your spare parts requirements

In today’s challenging supply chain environment, managing your spare parts requirements often involves extended lead times, shortages, and increased prices. These harsh global supply chain conditions mean that strategies for managing your spare parts requirements become increasingly important. Many companies are responding by implementing spare parts strategies that enhance their resilience, often involving integrated logistics systems, increased agility (where possible), real-time planning, and constant evaluation of reliable data.

It’s important to remember that sudden and unforeseen component problems or failures can cause serious financial and reputational damage, not least if they occur during critical manufacturing processes. This is an emphatic reason to consider not just the risk of parts failure but also the consequences of parts failure.

Buying and storing vast stocks of spare parts to mitigate these risks involves major capital outlay, in an already capital-intensive sector, but also increases exposure to obsolescence risks, including financial losses due to write-offs. Successful strategies for managing spare parts requirements usually embrace comprehensive audits to identify key component part risks, constant evaluation of those risks, and effective mitigation plans, including a fully-optimized spare parts inventory.

Spare parts support from Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology

At Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology, we understand the importance of spare parts management. For example, our spares kits are designed to give customers the ability to choose the most appropriate level of service support. And we only offer genuine spare parts because we know that third party and counterfeit parts can compromise system and process performance.

Our spares stores are in multiple, strategic locations across the world. This allows us to consistently deliver the right parts, at the right time, to and from the right locations. Liam Brown, Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology’s Customer Service Operations Manager, with responsibility for our spare parts management strategy, believes that "this agility is vital to an effective spare parts strategy", adding that "implementing and managing an effective spare parts strategy can clearly reduce the risks of the financial and reputational costs of manufacturing disruptions".

To learn more about how Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology can help your spare parts strategy, please contact us.

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[1]  Nikkei Asia, The resilience myth: Fatal flaws in the push to secure chip supply chains. From China to the U.S. to Europe, semiconductor makers are being showered with subsidies, but to what effect?


Liam Brown

Liam Brown
Service Operations Manager

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