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Monday, 02 June 2014
Jun02

Grey Repair threat

Industry warned of grey repair threat to hydraulic and electronic drives

Non-official or ‘grey’ repairs to hydraulic and electronic drives are threatening industrial productivity by increasing downtime and placing warranties at risk, according to one of the UK’s leading drives and controls manufacturers. 

The warning, from Bosch Rexroth, has been issued to production and maintenance managers who continue to use non-official repairers, also known as the grey market, to repair highly sophisticated equipment. “We estimate that nearly 65 per cent of electronic drive repairs in the UK are completed by non-official repairers,” said Richard Chamberlain, UK service manager at Bosch Rexroth. “The situation in hydraulics is even worse. We estimate that circa 80 percent of hydraulic repairs are completed by the grey market.”

Chamberlain added there is a misconception that hydraulic drives are easy to repair with no account taken of which components are used in the repair, or how this may affect any warranties. “It’s a big issue with hydraulics in particular, because it’s generally a simpler technology that many maintenance engineers believe can be just sent down the road to a grey repairer,” he said. “However, even the simplest repair completed in the grey market could increase the likelihood of a premature failure.”