Genuine Vs non-OEM parts and consumables – how do they differ?

Non-OEM items are prolific in some industries – this is particularly true in automotive, but also affects other manufacturers such as those that produce ink for personal computers and many other companies that make equipment which relies on consumable items.

As an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for more than 50 years, Filtermist has vast experience of manufacturers producing and marketing spare parts and consumables which are billed as ‘Filtermist compatible’. As a consumer, there may be perceived benefits of buying non-OEM parts – the most obvious of these being the up-front cost. Non-OEM parts are often cheaper than their genuine equivalents, but are customers actually benefiting from cheaper alternatives? We spoke to Clair Banks, UK Aftermarket Manager at Filtermist to find out more:

“In addition to Filtermist and Dustcheck filtration units which we manufacture here in the UK, our Service Engineers also provide routine and reactive maintenance for pretty much all makes and models of oil mist extraction and dust control LEV equipment.

“We recognise that many of our customers use LEV because they are required to by law, not necessarily because they want to. Investing in a new machine tool is exciting and can result in tangible improvements to productivity, capability etc, whereas fitting effective extraction does not have the same measurable benefits. This means that when it comes to buying replacement spares and consumables, some customers will just want the cheapest option available.

“On the surface, non-OEM parts can look very much like the genuine article, but if you dig a bit deeper it can quickly become clear that the two parts have noticeable differences. For example, we recently tested a Filtermist approved Afterfilter against an alternative ‘Filtermist compatible’ Afterfilter. The filter media in the ‘compatible’ filter was a lower grade, so therefore less efficient, and the seal was made up of multiple layers rather than a solid construction meaning over time the seal could fail.”

Josh Palmer from Filtermist's Engineering Department elaborates, “Whilst the Afterfilters look like a relatively simple item, we actually spent many years developing the best media possible. We tested numerous types of material, which on paper looked to offer the efficiency we wanted, but some of them simply could not cope with the sub-micron oil and coolant they were required to capture, and quickly became saturated or ‘blinded’ and in certain cases started to disintegrate.”

The same is true of Dustcheck filters – a high proportion of the efficiency of the units comes from the internal filter bags and cartridges which are specified as part of the design of each product. Filtermist only supplies genuine dust cartridges for Dustcheck filters meaning customers can be confident they are replacing like for like – this ensures the performance level specified at the time of installation and commissioning is maintained.

Many Dustcheck units use conical cartridges which offer a host of benefits in comparison with parallel alternatives. CLICK HERE to watch a short animation that explains more.

As well as lower efficiency, using non-OEM consumables can also result in higher whole of life costs as copycat parts may not last as long as OEM parts.

“It is important that customers recognise the difference between the options available so they can make an informed decision,” continues Clair. “There will always be some customers that just want the cheapest option possible in order to keep their extraction operational. And if they understand the pros and cons that’s fine – it might be that cashflow dictates they need a cheap solution now and the longer-term cost implications don’t matter. Customers taking a more considered view though will normally be able to achieve higher filtration efficiencies and lower whole of life costs if they invest in genuine parts whenever possible.”

Filtermist’s Aftermarket department supplies genuine approved consumables and parts for all of the brands manufactured by Filtermist in the UK (Filtermist, Dustcheck and Kerstar), as well as for many other makes and models of LEV equipment including filters from sister company Absolent AB and many well-known competitors. All quotes for other spares (valves spares, controllers, fans, wings etc) are based on original or approved replacement parts from the OEM.

Please contact Filtermist’s Aftermarket department to find out more by calling 01952 290500 and selecting option 1 or by emailing