Dispelling the Myth about Obsolete Spare Parts

When is a spare part obsolete?  There are a few myths surrounding obsolete spare parts:

Myth #1: A part that has not been used in X amount of years.

The X of amount of years is defined by an accounting procedure or a mandate to reduce the inventory value.

Let’s dispel this myth with an example- an agitator transmission has been in the storeroom for 10 years but production still uses the agitator.  This is not an obsolete part.

Myth #2- An obsolete part is one that is in complete deterioration and cannot execute its function.

This not an obsolete part but rather a damaged part.

IDCON defines an Obsolete Spare Part(s) as:

  1. No longer used on any equipment in the plant
  2. Used on non-critical/operate to breakdown (OTB) equipment

Obsolete parts should never be mistaken with very slow or non-moving parts.  Best practice for these parts are to review the inventory levels; re-order point in addition to taking into consideration the vendor lead time.

Want to learn more about what to stock or not stock, how to get the most from your master data? 

Join us for our next Materials and Spare Parts Management course. 

Need help implementing better practices for your storeroom or need assistance with criticality?


At IDCON, we understand the pressure you face trying to build a reliable plant.
We provide side-by-side reliability and maintenance consulting and training designed to keep your equipment running.

For over 45 years, we’ve partnered with 100s of manufacturing plants around the world to eliminate the costs and the pressure caused by unreliable equipment. And we’d love to do the same for you.

Contact us today to see how we can help you keep your plant running.

Related Articles

Spare Parts Kit Age

Kitting and staging parts sounds good but… It is a good idea to check the aging of these staged kits on a regular basis. It is common to see parts

Read More »

Spare Parts Management Indicators

There is a saying: “What you can’t measure, you can’t improve”. The saying are not necessarily always true, but it is interesting, because I think a derivative of the saying

Read More »
Picture of Torbjörn Idhammar

Torbjörn Idhammar

President & CEO, IDCON Inc. Reliability and Maintenance Consultant

Want weekly Reliability & Maintenance Tips?

Weekly Tip Signup Form

Best practices. Common sense. Pratical tips.
All designed to help you and your team keep your plant running

IDCON © 2020 All rights reserved

Free Download & Video

8 Steps to Successfully Implement Preventive Maintenance

Reduce your costs with an effective PM program