"There is, I'm sure you'll agree, something fundamentally wrong with an initiative that allows component manufacturers and suppliers to self-certify their products and subsequently describe them as "matching quality" when the physical differences between them and the OE parts are so obvious, so gross, that they can be pointed out by my five year-old daughter."
With my own words ringing clearly in my ears, I decided that SUPLEX, in a similar way to some members of OESAA, should prepare a presentation case that clearly shows the differences between an Original Equipment (OE) coil-spring and an alternative (unbranded) aftermarket design promoted as a “matching quality” replacement.
I designed my presentation case to display three coil-springs; the OE design, the SUPLEX equivalent part and an aftermarket "matching quality" spring linked, through TecDoc, to the same OE part number. These three springs are clearly labelled and lie in the lower portion of the case. Where applicable, I include the OE spring seats because these often play an important part in coil-spring operation. In the case shown here, the aftermarket "matching quality" spring is supplied by the manufacturer with its own spring seats because the spring will not fit the OE design of spring seats. Matching quality indeed!
Springs and spring seats are a snug fit in the foam insert and different inserts allow me to display different types of spring. The case includes an OE taper wire, progressive rate Miniblock spring with the equivalent SUPLEX part and aftermarket “matching quality” spring in the foam insert, but there are occasions when I want to discuss the latest generation of curved, side-load springs which many aftermarket suppliers are either unable to manufacture or prefer not to manufacture. An iPad is recessed into the lid of the presentation case and this is loaded with material demonstrating the features of the OE design; how the SUPLEX part replicates these features exactly and how, you have already guessed, the aftermarket “matching quality” spring falls short in almost every discipline.
So, in addition to the somewhat dry and often bewildering technical information describing the design and manufacture of our parts and the obsessive attention to detail we exercise getting everything just right, I have included interesting video clips showing all three springs in operation, not just in laboratory conditions but on a moving vehicle, often with startling results. And not just for a five year-old.