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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a designer for a small factory that builds custom machines (one at a time) and we supply spare parts for everything we have ever made since 1938, when the company started. I realize that custom machine building is MUCH different than assembly line production, but our stuff has evolved over the years and we have 9 long established model lines, for which all the drawings exist, all the documentation is still here. The major tractor manufacturers have all of their drawings, casting molds, etc, but some discontinue parts after 10 years or 20 years. So what is reasonable to expect?
 

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IMHO the 'price'lines should keep parts going for ten years. That's a reasonable lifetime for their product.

People who claim to produce 'Quality" products should expect them to last longer and should therefore provide support and parts longer. To me, CAT, DEERE, and SIMPLICITY talk a good game but if they aren't providing parts for 25 years they're a price line, not a quality line.
 

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Well if its parts for an MTD or Crapsman product I wold say one year is overkill. JD, and Ford and most others usually always have parts for things built eons ago, or some other manufactuer with foresight to know that thjose machines will be around for a long long time, so they picked up on spare parts when the manufactuer left off.
 

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I think its got to be related to the expected life of the machine.
We build refrigeration compressors, original design life was
40 years when Westinghouse designed them back in 1965.
We bought the manufacturing rights in 1990. There are still
a tremendous number of the first year production compressors
still in operation and I would expect they will stay in operation
for another 10-15 years. Subsequent revisions always take
interchangeability into account so parts used on 2004 production
are interchangeable with 1965 machines.

On the other hand, I have purchased things I don’t expect to last
more than 5 years. In that case, I wouldn’t be upset if I could not
get parts after that time.

The real problem comes when a small manufacturer makes a really
good product, sells relatively few of them and then goes out of business.
That’s when you wind up with something that will last a long time
but can’t get parts for it.
 

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I belive in the automotive/ag tractor lines, that 20 years is the standard rule of thumb. Having said that, aftermarket companies pick up on the popular parts for many machines, and parts are still availlable through the dealer for many 1940s and before IH Fords and JDs. Most of the other makes have gone belly up or been swallowed by their competors.:rolleyes:
 

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Same here. We too make custom machines/implements and spare parts for tractors. The lifetime of a part making depends on the material quality of toolings (molds, dies, patterns, etc.) Small manufacturers usually make custom designs with lower quality toolings materials to reduce their tooling cost. A stamping tooling may not stay in good shape after a year or two. So, their production of this part will continue for a year or two. Then, they have to renew their toolings for this part. But the tooling is an expensive work, as you know, and not many small MFGs will want to continue. However, relatively bigger manufacturers will make better quality toolings so that they can produce that part for 5-10 years. If there is still market for this product, they can renew their tooling again and again. I know of a manufacturer who is still producing some MH (Massey Harris) parts (MH 744 here.)
By the way, what parts of what tractors you are manufacturing?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello Nomad,
My employer is not in the tractor business, just a manufacturer of industrial dryers and sifters. I was just comparing his ability to make a spare part for anything they had ever built to other large companies and their failure sometimes to support their older equipment. Sorry for the confusion. I reread my original post and can understand why you thought I was making tractor parts.
 

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In contrast, consumer electronics (TV's etc), best case is 10 years but more common is 0 to 5 years. And don't be surprised if you have to wait 1 to 6 months and I have seen as long as 9 months to get transformers and circuit boards. :mad:

Mark
 

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I am in the auto parts feild, so guess I have some input.

Realy tough for them to keep making, and storing parts for TO long. Remember all these "all new" models we all want so we are diferent from our nabors? Well, thay are a WHOLE bunch of new parts needed. Add all that up over ten years and you have a LOT of parts. Plus add to that venders going out of busness, or moving on [most of the parts are made by outside venders] and it's tough. In the auto world, things start to run low about 10 years into production. Most of them put produce a good size suply before stopping production of the parts. Normaly the important, and common stuff is around for a long wile, but the more odd ball stuff, like trim, and inside peices, or the stuff that just never sold[c invertory stuff] dies fast, they just dont bother to make much. Just remember all the parts that are collecting dust on the shelf has to be paid by SOMEONE. If no one buys them, you just pay more for what you do buy.
 
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