Find Parts Quicker: Part 2

Find Parts Quicker: Part 2

by PROS January 22, 2023

Find Parts Quicker: Part 2

Written by Barry Victor, Founder of PROS Parts

This month we will take a deeper dive into navigating the PROS Parts website. As stated in a previous blog, the first step involves diagnosing the problem with the equipment. Often it will require the skills of an experienced mechanic to determine if a part has failed and which one needs replacement. Other times it might be obvious if, for example, a part is physically broken into pieces or worn beyond its useful service life.  In either case, the next step is to determine what the part number is that can help you acquire the replacement.

Step One:

Define the problem with the machine and identify what replacement parts are needed. An obvious reminder is to not fix it if it is not broken, and don’t play parts roulette.

Step Two:

Determine a unique identifying part number for the part you need.  I say “a” rather than “the” because often there are multiple numbers that will lead you to the same part.  On our web site, we refer to Manufacturer Brand part numbers otherwise known as “OEM Part Numbers” and alternately the Component Brand part numbers.  More on this later but initially I will discuss finding the Manufacturer Brand (OEM) part number.

The PROS Parts website has several tools to help with this task.  If you have a parts manual that came with the machine, this would be a good time to consult it.  It usually will have what are called “explosion diagrams” with unique identifiers for each part and a chart that cross references the identifier with an OEM part number as shown below.

If the parts manual that was supplied is not in your extensive library of machine documentation, the PROS Parts website library of over 10,000 parts manuals might be a useful tool.  Shown below is the home page with the link to the parts manual library circled in red.  Click this link to access the library search page.

You will be directed to a page that looks like the page below with a box for entering your model number.  It should be noted that many model numbers as shown on the machine nameplate can have quite a few “extra” characters after the main model number.  When entering your model number in the box below, it is helpful to enter the characters slowly and watch the filtered results appear.  Stop entering characters when you see the model number that matches what you have entered. If you enter too many characters of the model number you may see no manuals that match.

As an example, a Unimac washer might have a model number UW80PVQV60001. If you enter that complete model number you will see no parts manuals in the results.  If you start by entering only “UW” you will be presented with 228 different parts manual listings.  Adding the third character “UW8” will narrow the results to 9 entries.  As you continue to add characters, the list will refine.  In this case, if you enter “UW80P” you will see only two results.

These two results reference two different parts manuals.  This often happens when the manufacturer changes the parts used on the machine as it begins production of later serial numbers.  Download or view both parts manuals and try to determine from the views which machine represents your machine.  You may very likely see that both manuals reference the same OEM part number for the item you are looking for.  Do not be concerned if you open the manual and see that it covers more than the model you entered.  The page views will clearly identify the models the view covers.

If you are having trouble determining which manual will match your machine, do not hesitate to reach out to our staff with your model & serial number and we will provide you with the parts manual that matches your machine.

If you are looking for an easier way to determine what the part number is, it might be possible to do it with part numbers that are written on the part or label on the part.  An example of this is shown below on a drain valve label used on a Unimac washer.  You can see a field titled “Cust. P/N” followed by the OEM part number SP526460.   I mentioned earlier the term, “Component Part Number.”  The label below also identifies the component brand which is Depend-O-Drain and the component part number which is listed as 33138622.  This sort of component brand part number can also be used in our home page search to find specific parts.

Of course PROS Parts is here for you – through our website or at 1-800-359-0628.

About Barry Victor

Barry founded PROS Parts in the spring of 1988. Before starting PROS, Barry worked in the sales and engineering departments of Vic Manufacturing, one of the largest manufacturers of dry cleaning equipment in the U.S. At Vic, Barry launched a parts sales division that supported dry cleaning equipment imported from Italy and Germany. In its early years, PROS manufactured dry cleaning machinery and then evolved into an industrial and commercial laundry equipment and dry cleaning operations parts supplier. Barry lives in Eden Prairie, MN with his wife. He has two sons, a step son, a step daughter and his dog, Sora. 

Barry can be reached at 763-231-7379 or barryv@prosparts.com.

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