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Tablets & Capsules SDD
Tooling: Facts versus Fiction
Tablet press replacement parts
Q: What is the best source for tablet press replacement parts?
A: Technical team, Natoli Engineering, says:
Keeping a tablet press operating at peak performance with as little downtime as possible is a goal of every tablet manufacturer, and keeping maintenance costs reasonable is equally important.
Although sourcing parts for a tablet press through an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or authorized OEM dealer may sound appealing, you may pay a premium for OEM replacement parts. Prices vary significantly between OEM parts and non-OEM (or aftermarket) parts. A sound analysis when evaluating parts can help you decide which type to buy.
Consider the following factors when deciding whether to purchase OEM or non-OEM parts:
  1. Quality and price
  2. Customization and troubleshooting assistance
  3. Availability of OEM replacement parts
  4. Reliable and timely delivery of parts
  5. Support for all your tableting needs
Quality and price
The quality, functionality, and longevity of non-OEM parts often exceed those of OEM parts, and their cost is typically significantly lower than that of OEM parts. Also, non-OEM parts often exceed OEM specifications. These benefits provide enhanced value for the tablet manufacturer over OEM parts.
Many press manufacturers contract with third-party companies to produce their replacement parts, so not all OEM parts are created equal. Tablet press manufacturers often aren't aware of the actual geographic location of the part-manufacturing facilities of contracted third-parties, some of which make OEM parts in countries with questionable quality practices.
Non-OEM parts manufacturers know that maintaining a high level of quality and service is in their best interests. To ensure quality, they engineer superior replacement parts, source and audit high-quality materials, continuously test their parts, and offer customer support.
Customization and troubleshooting assistance
Aftermarket parts manufacturers are generally more willing to re-engineer OEM parts specifically for a customer's needs, including to resolve product-specific issues. By changing the design, non-OEMs can manufacture aftermarket parts that outperform OEM parts, making OEM parts often not the best choice. Manufacturers using customized aftermarket parts have witnessed substantially increased tablet press speeds and relative standard deviations as much as 50 percent smaller than with the original part designs.
Availability of OEM replacement parts
For older tablet presses, it rarely makes sense to pay a premium for OEM replacement parts when you can achieve equal or even enhanced performance using quality non-OEM replacement parts. In addition, press manufacturers typically discontinue parts for older equipment, and sourcing replacement parts for such presses can become difficult.
As press manufacturers discontinue certain press models, non-OEMs are sometimes your only resource for replacement parts. Often, non-OEMs have been manufacturing and selling replacement parts for decades, so they have experience producing quality parts, even for press models that are out of production. Without them, many older tablet presses would no longer be in operation.
Reliable and timely delivery of parts
When considering an aftermarket parts supplier, it's important to select a company that offers reliable distribution. Some non-OEM manufacturers offer same-day delivery. Know all your options before spending more money on OEM parts and then experiencing lengthy delivery times.
Support for all your tableting needs
When considering where to source your replacement parts, factor in the support and troubleshooting that each vendor offers. To ensure that you get the most from your non-OEM vendor:
  1. Obtain references from the vendor to ensure that it offers quality products and services;
  2. Determine if the vendor is reliable in providing customer support and solutions; and
  3. Confirm that the vendor offers warranties and returns.
Non-OEM parts
Tablet manufacturers can sometimes feel as if they are being held hostage by the OEM. To steer tablet manufacturers to use OEM parts, some tablet press manufacturers tell potential customers of difficulties that non-OEM replacement parts have caused. OEMs also may claim that they'll discontinue service and support if they find non-OEM parts on their tablet presses.
Don't be influenced by such scare tactics. Tablet manufacturers should have the freedom to select the most cost-effective replacement parts for their production equipment. Threats of presses being deemed unserviceable because manufacturers used non-OEM replacement parts are simply unfounded. Know the difference between warranty and non-warranty service for your press and don't let fear dictate how you spend your press-maintenance budget.

Natoli Engineering, St. Charles, MO manufactures tablet press replacement parts, tablet compression tooling, and tablet presses and offers the largest selection of tablet compression accessories in the industry.
December 31, 2018
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