Stocking spare refrigeration parts

If downtime means a loss of production for your company, consider keeping an inventory of spare parts for your refrigeration system. While purchasing spare parts may seem like a large expense upon initial purchase, their costs are small compared to the cost of downtime.

The Implications of Refrigeration System Downtime

Facilities that do not keep a spare parts inventory often learn the consequences the hard way. A loss of a key component of hardware can result in complete downtime, sometimes for up to several days, when waiting on shipping. This downtime directly impacts production costs.

Benefits of Having Refrigeration System Spare Parts

  1. Expense: Avoid loss of production and the cost of expediting an emergency part by having replacement parts readily available.
  2. Efficiency: Mitigate downtime by having replacement parts available on hand. Get operations back online quickly without loss of wages and valuable time.
  3. Proper Repair: In an effort to avoid major shutdowns it is common for company employees to perform a “patch job” on the equipment. This usually results in further damage to the machinery or can cause it to malfunction in a way that impacts product quality.

Do I need Spare Parts if my Refrigeration System is New?

Regardless of whether your refrigeration system is new or old, we recommend that you keep a stock of spare parts on hand. While newly installed equipment should be perfectly functioning with quality parts, there is always the possibility for part failure.

On the other hand, if your refrigeration system equipment is older, replacement parts can become difficult to obtain. This can be especially true on short notice.

Tips for Refrigeration System Spare Parts

  • It is inevitable that equipment will fail, so calculate your risk.
  • Work with your Operations Department to ensure that your budget includes funds for spare parts.
  • Identify which machines will have a compounding impact on production and the equipment that you can least afford to have out of production. This will help you prioritize which equipment you need spare parts for.
  • Utilize information from equipment vendors to determine which parts are harder to get, and how long they can take to be delivered. This will help you determine the priority of spare parts.

How to Calculate Downtime Risk

  1. Determine how much one hour of downtime will cost your company. Using this information and factoring in lead times will allow you to determine the cost of an unexpected shut-down. Keep in mind that even if the equipment vendor has the part in stock, getting it to the site will cost the plant a minimum of 24 hours of unscheduled downtime.

Example: $10,000 (hourly cost of downtime) x 36 hours (time to get the part, have it installed and tested, and have production restarted) = $360,000.00

  1. Research the costs involved in purchasing and storing replacement parts.
  2. Compare your downtime cost with the cost of purchasing and storing replacement parts.

Based on this analysis, you can make an informed decision about your downtime risk.

Recommended Spare Parts for Your Refrigeration System

Creating a well-organized, well stocked spare parts inventory will ensure less downtime. A recommended spare parts list should include critical components that typically have long lead times as well as consumable parts.

Critical Components

  • Motors
  • Custom Engineered Components

Consumable Parts

  • Filters
  • Belts
  • Bearings
  • Switches
  • Thermal Couples
  • Actuators
  • Solenoids

Berg Chilling Systems can provide you with a recommended critical and consumable list of spare parts specific to your system upon an annual inspection. Keep these spare part recommendations on hand by downloading our ‘Recommended Spare Parts for Your Refrigeration System’ infographic:

Recommended spare parts list

Avoid Downtime with Regular Maintenance

Costly repairs and downtime can be avoided by performing regular maintenance on your refrigeration system. Schedule your maintenance tasks based on whether the task needs to be performed routinely or annually.

Contact Berg Chilling Systems for any of your refrigeration system needs or questions about recommended spare parts.