Is your kitchen equipment a lawsuit waiting to happen?

Jun 07, 2019

Are you aware of the full service history of your commercial kitchen equipment? Find out how something as simple as a routine service on your equipment could cost you thousands in litigation.

In the world of spare parts – whether it is for your deep fryer, car or any other piece of machinery – not all are created equal. Read on to find out why you should always use genuine OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) spare parts when replacing parts in any of your commercial kitchen equipment.

What does OEM parts mean?
As its name would suggest, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are designed specifically by a manufacturer for the manufacturer’s equipment. This name is common to not only commercial kitchen equipment parts, but for parts used in cars as well. So if your oven needs a new seal, using an OEM seal means you’re using the exact seal that the oven was manufactured with.

The hidden costs of using third party parts
If you need to replace a part in your commercial kitchen equipment, you will generally have two alternatives. One, you use the manufacturer’s part (the OEM part), or two, you use a third party part. Third party parts are designed by companies who aren’t the manufacturers of the equipment and are designed with respect to the original OEM part. Whilst some third party parts offer a near exact replica of the OEM part, there is no assurance that is is designed with the same quality as the original parts.

Whilst third party parts are often cheaper to purchase than OEM parts, using these parts can lead to crippling unplanned downtime and out-of-warranty equipment damage that incur costs far higher than buying the OEM part to start. This is because:

  • Third party parts do not undergo the same testing and quality procedures that their OEM counterparts do, meaning the longevity of these parts can not be guaranteed often leaving users of third party parts replacing the same part over and over again
  • OEM parts are manufactured for the exact unit specification with no negative impact to ancillary parts; whereas you have no idea if using a third party part could damage the unit leading to greater repair expenses
  • Using third party parts could be in void of your manufacturer warranty, meaning repairs that usually would be covered under your warranty could now cost you thousands (more on warranty below)

Product updates
One of the key reasons why you should always use OEM parts in your commercial kitchen equipment is that you could be missing out on the latest version of a particular spare part. Through the life of your kitchen equipment, manufacturers regularly make design changes or enhancements to the units and as a result may produce an updated iteration of a spare part.

The manufacturer will then send out details of the new spares to their OEM parts distributors to ensure any repairs are done so with the new and improved OEM parts, enhancing the performance and longevity of the commercial kitchen equipment and its parts.

Third party parts manufacturers do not receive these same notifications of product updates and as a result their parts will not be updated to the new OEM standards, meaning you could be missing out on upgrades to your unit functionality and longevity of the both the unit and its parts.

The importance of parts and warranty
Whilst some third party parts may come with a warranty, this warranty covers the part only and will not cover any damage caused to the unit components, leaving you with no alternatives but to pay for any costly repairs out of your own pocket. As you likely have guessed, utilising third party parts in most cases voids the manufacturer’s warranty on the unit too, so even if your unit requires repairs that have not been caused by using third party parts you will not be able to claim these repairs on your warranty. This means you could be facing costly repairs and service downtime for something you would have received for free had you not voided the warranty.

Safety and compliance
Many people who choose to repair their commercial kitchen equipment with third party parts are doing so with the full knowledge that this may void their manufacturer warranty. But what is lesser known is that by doing this, the commercial kitchen equipment may no longer be compliant to Australian standards (whether that be AGA standards or any other certification that is required by Australian law to use a product in your commercial kitchen). If you are caught out, you may have to replace the part to an OEM part or worst case remove the unit from your kitchen altogether!

When dealing with volatile equipment such as commercial kitchen equipment, compliance with Australian standards is more than just a piece of paper – its ensuring the safety of your staff and patrons. Faulty third party parts can compromise the unit and expose your staff and patrons to huge safety risks – both physical safety risks such as fires, to food safety risks. Say you replace your thermostat with a no OEM part, and that thermostat does not work correctly in the unit. This could lead to food being served under cooked or at unsafe temperatures, which if results in food poisoning will leave your business 100% liable. Therefore, using OEM parts increases the safety of your venue and helps protects you from any costly litigation.

Ongoing support
Finally, purchasing OEM parts means you are backed up by technical support that third party parts providers do not offer. Comcater’s spare parts site has its own live chat function, so you can get help at any time regarding what parts to purchase, installation advice or for assistance arranging a service technician to come repair the unit for you. OEM part providers also will have a full library of installation manuals and any other documentation pertaining to the part and the unit. 

Moreover, OEM parts providers regularly offer add on services such as maintenance plans, so you can schedule ongoing servicing of your commercial kitchen equipment and have new OEM parts fitted on site if need be (without having to pay for an additional call out fee for a technician).

For more information on spare parts, service or anything equipment related, get in touch with the Comcater team today! 

About

Comcater – behind every great menu

As one of the largest suppliers of the Australian Quick Service Restaurant and Fast Food markets, Comcater is proud to present a portfolio of brands dedicated to high volume output, speedy service, consistency and space saving kitchen designs.

Perfect the art of a crisp chip with our huge range of Frymaster fryers, or grill the best burgers in town with thanks to the affordable Trueheat range. Plus with a staff filled with Chefs and industry experts, you’re guaranteed to find the right solution for any QSR need.

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