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By: David Howard | G+
Electrical Contacts: OEM, Replacement, Surplus or Remanufactured
Most industrial and manufacturing equipment utilizes motor control. Electromagnetic motor controls provide reliable and safe operation in a variety of harsh conditions. However, electrical contacts, a major operational element, do break down and eventually need to be replaced.
OEM electrical contact kits
An obvious choice is to reorder the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) electrical contacts and contact kits. If the control is still within the warranty period, using OEM parts may be required. There’s little risk in using an OEM electrical contact kit even though it does demand a premium price.
Replacement electrical contact kits
Replacement contacts are reengineered and manufactured to replicate the OEM’s form, fit and function. They're similar to generic alternatives in the retail market - they are identical - except for the cost. Aftermarket electrical contact kits are identical to the OEM but are much more affordable. And of course, sometimes, replacement contacts are the only alternative if the manufacturer has discontinued the contactor series.
Surplus electrical contact kits
Surplus parts have a mixed reputation. The risk in choosing surplus contacts is you don’t know their source, age or true condition. Many surplus parts are acquired when businesses shutdown. Excess inventory is acquired and then resold. But there’s no way to tell if the surplus inventory sat on a shelf for years, was kept in ideal conditions or previously used? This introduces risk when using surplus contacts. When manufacturing reliability is paramount, risk is not a good option.
Remanufactured electrical contact kits
Another possible option is remanufactured contacts. These have been salvaged and “reconditioned”. New tips, springs, shunts, or other assembly parts are replaced and the item is sold as is. However, similar to surplus parts, the quality of the reconditioning can’t be guaranteed. Making the use of remanufactured parts can also be risky.
Your best electrical contact kit option
An OEM electrical contact kit, if still available, is the routine choice. But a replacement electrical contact kit that’s guaranteed to match the OEM performance and costs less is a good way to go. The ordinary choice may be to buy OEM contact kits, but the smart choice is to buy guaranteed replacement contacts from Repco for less.
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10/16/2016 6:58:56 AM
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