A flexographic printer uses more than 40 pumps, all equipped with high-performance diaphragms to transfer ink and solvents. Typically, the diaphragms are changed as part of preventive maintenance every six months.
During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the customer thought it would be a good idea to have an alternative supplier of parts. A charitable company offered to provide these parts.
The customer purchased and installed third-party parts on their flexo pumps. The result was disastrous. Instead of the usual six-month run time, they were only getting three to four hours of use.
The maintenance planner was called in to solve the issue, but he had not been informed of the cost-driven change pushed by purchasing.
Assuming the parts were sourced properly, the local Yamada distributor was asked for help. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the third-party parts were counterfeit. The customer had unknowingly purchased substandard parts that were not designed or tested to the same standards as the original parts.
We promptly removed the counterfeit parts and replaced them with genuine parts. After this change, the flexo pumps were able to function properly and operate for the expected six-month run time.
This incident highlights the importance of using genuine parts from reputable suppliers to ensure the proper function and safety of machinery. Counterfeit parts not only compromise the performance of the equipment but also pose a potential safety risk to the operators.