The chain of events is easy to predict. In municipalities ranging from diverse economic powerhouses to quaint rural villages, centrifugal pumps are relied on to provide cities with a wide range of services—always behind the scenes, but in the forefront of city planners’ and managers’ budgets. With pumps in service constantly, their life cycle counts down to the inevitable need to repair components or replace the pump entirely.
But when the inevitable strikes, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Municipalities all over North America are being challenged to do more with smaller budgets. Balancing the competing realities of engineering and economics is no easy task, and it’s made more difficult by the often limited resources and choices managers have to work with. However, more and more, municipalities are turning to a new solution that provides quality components within their maintenance budgets. The solution is not necessarily new either, but a new mind-set is helping budget-conscious pump users make better use of their resources.
For years OEMs have charged top dollar for replacement parts, largely because end-users perceive a lack of options when selecting new parts. In addition to charging a premium, OEMs’ long lead times have stretched municipalities to the breaking point—literally. Many municipalities (big ones!) have been told to open up their bid specs to accept bids from “the OEM or Equal.” With the search expanding, between the OEM and an aftermarket parts solution specialist, who gives you the most bang for your buck?
Unfortunately, many end-users still feel compelled to pay a premium through OEMs because of “penny wise but pound foolish” experiences with pirated parts. Establishing reliability and trust with an aftermarket parts supplier is key to navigating this new marketplace. In the world of replacement pump parts, there are pirates, replicators, OEMs and…
These companies are few and far between. Aftermarket parts solution specialists, or APSS, are highly knowledgeable about centrifugal pumps, their design, their manufacturer, their application in the field, and their repair and maintenance. In addition, these companies are able to offer superior reverse engineering capabilities as well as design modifications/upgrades which improve the functionality (and/or performance) of an OEM’s pump. APSS manufacture parts that meet and often exceed the OEM standards for quality and reliability. Working with an APSS will also save you time and money as they usually price considerably lower than the original manufacturer, while delivering sooner.
Several conditions can make working with an APSS the right option for your facility. If your facility maintenance managers have more than one brand of pump to look after, then it might save time and money to work with one APSS instead of multiple OEMs—each of whom could require a premium expense in your budget versus an APSS, who offers one-stop shopping and bulk savings.
If you’ve ever wondered about casting alternative materials to make parts last longer, then an APSS would be the place to start. When choosing an alternative material, one must consider both chemical compatibility and wear resistance. An APSS can help navigate the options and can offer cast parts in a variety of materials like: cast iron, bronze, stainless steel, and in a variety of grades to best suit your application. Typically these companies work with local foundries (not China), and can cast parts in a variety of materials quickly and easily, resulting in parts that are delivered faster and less expensive than the OEM.
A good APSS will have the ability to manufacture individual replacement parts, assemblies, and drop-in replacement pumps to fit or retrofit a multitude of common water or sewage pump brands.  As the alternate to the OEM, the aftermarket parts solution specialists’ credibility is inextricably with the quality of the product they produce.  Look for an APSS who will guarantee everything they make will meet or exceed the OEM standards for fit, form, and function. ■
Wendy Jamison is the sales and marketing manager for Abba Parts. For more information regarding APSS, visit
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