Non-Insta Pro Parts

Non Insta Pro Extruder Parts

I want to share a little experience I had recently with some knock off spare parts. Last month we got in an old Model 2500 extruder on a trade. There was a box of, what appeared to be, near new spare parts for the extruder.  Being we couldn’t sell these, I decided I would use them in the Research Department {being cheap is one of my many faults}.

The next time I had a test run I decided to use a couple of the “new” screws in the inlet chamber. After assembling the extruder, I gave it the customary run to make sure everything was tight and ready to go.

The extruder sounded like it was full of rocks and the inlet chamber started to get hot and smoke. I took the machine apart and found where a screw was rubbing on the inlet chamber. A closer inspection of the screws just about made my head spin. The center bore was way out of tolerance, and they appeared to be extremely unbalanced. Closer inspection revealed they weren’t Insta-Pro parts at all, but some cheap copy parts.

It was a relief to know that the problem was not coming from our parts, but made me wonder how much of the problems we deal with on the phone are a result of knock off parts. This problem is not new, nor is it confined to our domestic market. The old adage “you get what you pay for“ really applies here.

Last year Insta-Pro got involved with the Institute for Physical Research and Technology at Iowa State University. The IPRT provides manufacturers in the state of Iowa, assistance in evaluating their processes, to improve efficiency, and quality in their particular field. We made an effort to get our hands on knock off parts from several different suppliers, to compare against our parts for durability and overall quality. The IPRT did metallurgical testing for hardness and wear performance, and compared all the different parts. I won’t get into all the technical details, but Insta-Pro won every comparison by a fairly wide margin.

The question of tolerances weren’t even considered in this study, but it was evident that the other parts were all over the place.

Not only do the phony parts wear out faster but because of the sloppy tolerances, you can actually add undue wear to other parts. If some of the barrel parts are out of balance, they can have an adverse effect on the main bearings and added stress to the front plate bolts and seals. We understand the need to keep costs down, but testing and past experience has proven  that cheap non -Insta-Pro parts is not the way to do it.

So how much do you save by using cheap parts? Nothing. Insta-Pro parts are the way to go, see the study below.


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