Monthly Archives: May 2013

Are OEM Parts Better than Parts from Elsewhere?

A recent ad in 24×7 Magazine suggests that only Siemens sells real OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts.   This ad (at the end of this article) is very misleading, as it is intended to be.  Everybody sells original OEM parts.  No one but the OEM make parts for medical equipment.  There is a thriving alternate source for medical equipment components, circuit boards and other parts that break.  The reason that this market exists is because other companies besides the original OEM can repair and resell parts much more inexpensively than the OEM can.

Oh, and another thing – many OEMs would have you believe that the parts they sell are brand new, unlike the old, traded-in parts that other companies would sell you.  Well, not true.  Why do you think that everybody (including the OEMs) require a trade-in of the broken part when you buy a replacement part?  It is so they can repair and resell it, just like the third party independents do.

I know of a hospital system in Milwaukee that tracked out-of-the-box failures of newly received medical parts.  The OEMs parts failed at a higher rate than those parts received from alternate sources.

And let me tell you about the claim of savings of “up to 40%”.  “Up to” means that all parts are not included at the maximum discount.   Additionally, the 40% refers to 40% from the original price of the part – the suggested retail price.  Every biomed and clinical engineer in the US knows that 40% off of list is nothing.  Real OEM parts can be found from many sources at discounts far exceeding the 40% advertised in this ad.

The real message here is that advertisements are full of misleading information.  You have to read everything with a skepticism born of experience.    Have a wonderful day.    Pat

Siemens Ad


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Filed under Cost, Information, Parts Dirt, Service Dirt

Frank’s Hospital Workshop – Free manuals and education

‘ In some developing countries, up to 50% of the medical equipment is unusable at any given time. In some hospitals, up to 80% of their medical equipment is inoperative… ‘
(World Health Organization, WHO)

The last ten years I have worked as a biomedical technician, consultant and trainer in five diverse developing countries. All these countries were very different, but the problems in the hospital workshops were similar:

 no spare parts for repairs and maintenance
 no technical manuals
 poorly or no trained biomedical technicians
 no (financial) support by the responsible authorities
 no technical support from the manufacturers
 lack of awareness of the advantages of preventive maintenance

Appropriate training for hospital technicians and simple equipment for hospital workshops would improve the situation easily. But unfortunately most countries still have not recognized the importance of the repair and preventive maintenance of hospital equipment.

I hope that this website can be a little support to all biomedical technicians in developing countries.
Here you find:

 all the documents about biomedical technology I have collected
 all the user and service manuals I have
 all training courses that I have developed and have held

About this site is a private and noncommercial website which can be used for self-study. It is a collection of documents, experiences, best-practice procedures and teaching and learning materials about biomedical technology.

Acknowledgement and apologies
Thank you to all who actively support my website by providing documents and information. Special thanks to all the companies who allowed me to provide their equipment manuals. To those companies who do not want their documents to be made public I apologize and I will delete the material immediately upon request.

‘ On the average almost 80% of the medical equipment in government hospitals are not functioning and the number even reaches 98% in dispensaries in some regions. ‘

(Ministry of Health, Tanzania, 2008)

With greetings from Tanzania
Moshi, March 2013

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