Shaw Renewables the bioenergy specialists

Critical Spares Management


When you’re trying to keep your maintenance costs down, it may seem counterintuitive to purchase spare parts for boiler issues that haven’t even happened, however keeping a critical spares inventory reduces operational downtime and can save you money.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Most maintenance strategies are reactive, something goes wrong, you deal with errors when you arise. Whilst this works and you eventually get your boiler up and running again, taking a proactive approach by stocking critical spares can see a breakdown resolved in less time and with reduced costs.

Inventory, Not Stockpiling

You don’t have to have a massive catalogue of parts to effectively stock critical spares, ask your installer for a critical spares list to guide you in purchasing for your inventory.

At Shaw Renewables we keep critical spares lists for many biomass and biogas boiler makes and models. Our team can guide you through the lists, advising on the importance of the parts – Advisory, Essential and Critical.

With the help of our knowledgable engineers, clients can choose which parts best suit their stock based on price and level of importance for their operating needs.

4 common mistakes when purchasing critical spares:

A critical component is not necessarily a critical spare.

A trusted maintenance provider should be able to give you guidance on which plant room parts are most beneficial to stock.

Delivery time and stock levels aren’t considered.

When your system has a fault, a long wait for delivery or the news that a part isn’t in stock is hugely frustrating and system downtime is costly. Ask your maintenance provider which items are often out of stock, or have to be ordered in advance – these would be beneficial to keep in an inventory.

Not all parts have to be new.

Incorrectly ordered parts or recovered and restored parts can be used as interim solutions, much like a spare tyre, they’re not installed as a long term solution, but they keep your system going until a newly ordered part arrives and save you money.

If you’re having a part replaced, you could ask your engineer if it would be cost effective to repair the broken part and keep it as an inventory item.

Cheaper, generic parts won’t save you money

Whilst saving money at point of sale is appealing, stocking your critical spares inventory with unbranded parts is likely to be costly in the long run. Always ensure that your critical spares are genuine parts that were intended for use in your plant equipment. Even if you intend to swap them out for genuine parts, using them risks:

Voiding boiler insurance cover

Causing serious damage to your plant equipment

Voiding your manufacturer warranty