Q: I have several Elster Kromschröder products in my facility, and it is extremely difficult for me to try to order spares from Combustion 911, because every time I call, the reps ask me for more information. I’ve been asked for photographs of the product labels, but I don’t have any idea what the strings of letters and numbers mean. Is there an easy way for me to get this information ahead of time, to make this less of a headache for me?
A: Definitely. Many of our customers have Elster Kromschröder products listed in their procurement systems for spare parts purchasing, and often companies assign their own part numbers, and sometimes their own descriptions, to these items. In order to avoid the detective work sometimes necessary to determine which Elster Kromschröder item is the best replacement, we will often ask for the information from, or a photo of, the product label. Sometimes, this information can also be found in the bill of materials, on the system drawings.
Below, we’ve inserted a picture of an Elster Kromschröder product label. This particular label is from a BCU 370.
The product label contains many important details about the Elster Kromschröder product to which it is affixed. We are primarily concerned with two of these details: the Manufacturer’s Description (above: BCU370QI1FEU0D1B1-3), and the Manufacturer’s 8-Digit Part Number (above: 88601075). Knowing the Manufacturer’s Description allows us to unpack the options for this model, using the Type Code (more on this below). The Manufacturer’s 8-Digit Part Number should give us this information as well, and much more. In the event that the item has been discontinued or is no longer available, the 8-Digit Part Number allows us to contact the manufacturer and learn what their recommended replacement would be. Additionally, if this particular item is not currently in our data system, then having the 8-Digit Part Number allows us to receive pricing and availability information from the manufacturer.
Of course, other valuable details are present on the product label, and care should be taken to make sure it is not removed, and that it remains visible. If the product is installed in an environment that may cause the label to wear and become unreadable, it is a good idea to record the information and store it in a secure place.
The Type Code is a key, located in the product literature, which can be used to clarify the letters and numbers in the Manufacturer’s Description. It is important to note that the Type Code represents the options present in a given configuration, but that it does NOT represent, in many cases, a menu for configuring a new model. It is not uncommon for Combustion 911 to receive requests for configurations that customers have come up with by selecting options from the Type Code. Please be aware that, in some cases, these configurations may not be available from the manufacturer.
Above is the Type Code provided in the current version of the Technical Information for BCU 370. Using this information, we can build a description of BCU370QI1FEU0D1B1-3:
Burner control unit; Mains voltage 120 V AC, 50/60 Hz; Electronic ignition, single-pole; Fan control; Valve control; Ionization control (continuous or intermittent op.) or UV control (intermittent op. with UVS); DGmax monitoring; for PROFIBUS-DP; Three-point step control via PROFIBUS-DP
Unpacking the Type Code has proved helpful for many of our customers, as they sometimes don’t realize the full capability of the product they have. In some instances, this information opens possibilities that customers didn’t realize were available. In other cases, it allows customers to replace an old or faulty unit with one that is not identical, but which is suitable for their needs.
Combustion 911 and our sister companies, Thermal Products & Solutions and Olsträd Engineering, specialize in Elster Kromschröder equipment. In situations where the manufacturer’s literature is unclear, please contact us with all available details. We gladly provide technical assistance on the items we’ve sold, and offer competitive rates for technical assistance on other manufacturer’s products, or where the original vendor isn’t available or able to provide assistance. As always, thank you for visiting Combustion 911!