The heat treatment process itself can be thought of as a machine. When one part of that machine breaks down, so does production, often with costly repercussions. In a worst-case scenario, critical loads may have to be scrapped. For some applications, this can run into an excess of £100K.
Emergencies are unavoidable but planned preventative maintenance (PPM) can prevent the vast majority of them from happening by revealing to operators which parts need replacing before they break and preventing machine failure before it occurs.
Whether planned or unplanned, efficient parts replacement depends on you having a spare parts supplier you can rely on. Read on to discover how VFE offers a superior service above and beyond our competitive pricing.
10 reasons to choose VFE for your spare parts and consumables
1. We are a trusted service provider
If you have previously worked with us in any capacity across our broad range of products and services, we’re confident you are aware of both our capabilities and the high standard of service we maintain.
“The advanced manufacturing industry needs to ensure quality in every process”, explains David Byrne, VFE’s CEO. “For much of the industry, that is synonymous with the product. But our commitment to helping our customers achieve perfect production hinges on more than the quality of parts produced. In order for us to deliver these promises, the integrity of our services is paramount.”
The quality of our parts and consumables is matched only by our commitment to service, ensuring our customers a professional experience, every time — even when they are simply purchasing spares.
2. You will reduce your down-time
If we are already contracted to visit your site and service your machines, it will improve the efficiency of your operations to source your spare parts through us, too.
Because they are servicing your equipment, our engineers will be able to identify exactly which parts, if any, need replacing there and then. We will be able to order the required parts from our wide range of spares and fit them quickly, with minimal disruption to your operations. This will reduce downtime, helping to keep your operations running smoothly.
3. We’re your single point of contact
Building on the benefit detailed above, choosing VFE as your parts supplier reduces the overall number of third-party contractors you are required to work with. Managing multiple suppliers can be time-consuming, admin-heavy and inefficient, both operationally and in terms of costs.
Choosing a supplier like VFE, who can single-handedly service all of your heat treatment requirements from parts ordering and PPM contracts to machine calibration, streamlines the entire process. The back-office side of your operations becomes much simpler.
4. When appropriate, we can also repair your equipment
Where other suppliers may automatically jump to replace a part, our engineers will inspect the damage/wear and tear to assess if it might be more cost-effective to repair it for you.
Occasionally some components used in the heat treatment process can actually be fixed, so rather than replacing the part (or whole unit) unnecessarily, we offer you the option to repair damaged parts, there and then if possible, saving you time and money.
Our engineers are amongst the most highly trained and experienced in Europe, so you know your operations are in safe hands.
5. Benefit from our competitive pricing
When it comes to choosing the right supplier for your operations, cost shouldn’t be everything, but we recognise that it’s important to get the most competitive prices and maximise your budgets.
This is why we guarantee to match, if not beat, your current supplier on the price of any spares*. Simply provide us with supporting documentation and as a minimum, we will match those prices, because affordability should be the last thing on your mind when a machine breaks or operations halt.
*Assumes Identical Specification
Related read: 3 Ways to Reduce Heat Treatment Costs in 2021
6. We will tailor our delivery services to suit your needs
In the event of an emergency, every second of downtime will cost you. Whether or not you choose us, it is absolutely vital that your parts supplier recognises the importance of rapid delivery options to suit your circumstances, whatever the hour.
At VFE, we offer timed and emergency delivery services, including monthly scheduled, next day untimed, or timed emergency pre-10:30 AM delivery. In extreme cases, we will endeavour to deliver to you the same day to help keep your operations running.
“I’m confident our customers would say that [we’re there for them]”, explains Louise Hall, VFE’s Head of Field Service, “tailoring our service to meet their requirements during these difficult times.”
7. Expedited lead-times
We can reverse engineer most component spares, so no matter what your equipment’s make or who the manufacturer, we will be able to supply and deliver the spare parts you need. And with expedited manufacturing lead-times, you won’t have to wait long before your machines are running at maximum efficiency once more.
8. Unlock spares discounts
In addition to our price-match policy, we offer spares discounts both at source and tied to your service contract term with significant reductions. Our high customer retention rates — approximately 80% over the last 20 years — ensure that many of our customers are receiving substantial discounts annually on all their spares, driving down the costs of their operations and freeing up spend for other site upgrades/enhancements to optimise the manufacturing process.
Spares discounts are also available on the agreement of recommended spares lists.
9. Receive volume rebates
To further reduce your costs and maximise the value you get from us and our spares, we offer annual rebates based on pre-agreed actual annual spends for both spares and service contracts. Large/multi-site operations in particular benefit significantly from this competitive offer, helping them to maximise their budgets and improve the cost-effectiveness of their operations at scale.
10. Enjoy peace of mind with our Essential Maintenance Kits
We will design an Essential Maintenance Kit (EMK) specific to your piece of equipment. This ‘first-aid’ kit for your heat treatment equipment means you always have the parts you need to hand in the event of an emergency, materially reducing your downtime by keeping your machines operating and production running.
We will also automatically replenish this kit, in the event of usage of said spare parts, so you never find yourself short.
More than just a spares supplier
VFE has been servicing and supplying the heat treatment and composite manufacturing sectors throughout the UK and Ireland with spare parts and consumables for 36 years.
With a wide stock range of vacuum furnace, autoclave, oven and electron beam welder spares, VFE can cater for the whole heat treatment operation. On top of being able to reverse engineer component spares, we can also source any enquiry from our globally recognised partners, so you never have to worry about being able to source the part you need.
Even the highest quality equipment gets tired after repeated use. This is especially true of heat treatment machines and other production equipment subject to constant cycles. Operators go to great lengths to maximise uptime, but it is just as important to have a PPM schedule in place to keep on top of the subsequent wear and tear their machines undergo.
For sites looking to improve efficiencies, cut the hassle and, yes, reduce the costs of their spares, we encourage you to get in touch and discuss your requirements today. We’ll handle the rest, so you can get on with more important things, confident that the parts you need are only ever an order away.