Compared to the previous year, sales of combine harvesters have fallen. The market has contracted by significantly more than 10 percent – in particular as most new acquisitions are made in the first six months before the harvest season. The effect has been positive for manufacturers of spare and wearing parts. "Existing harvesters have to work for longer, so the stress on wearing parts is also greater. In many cases, the operating hours are not what farmers wish – with unplanned downtimes the result", says Alexander Maier, Managing Director of PW Parts. There is particular interest in enhanced spare parts produced and developed by third-party manufacturers such as PW Parts. "We are seeing sales figures for wearing parts such as sieves and straw walkers go up. Agricultural businesses are very keen on cost-effective repairs", says Maier. Engineers develop replacement parts, applying insights from day-to-day use of harvesters. They identify weak points that were not considered when the harvester was first designed. A few millimetres of thickness can mean a few hundred more operating hours – and therefore significant savings over the life of the harvester.Claas leads sales, followed by John Deere and New HollandThe German manufacturer Claas is ahead of pack for new sales, followed by John Deere and New Holland. "German agricultural machinery is very popular, including in the strong agricultural economies in Eastern and Southern Europe. The basic quality is high, but the costs for wearing parts are also high", says Alexander Maier. Farmers and repair workshops can save up to 50 percent of the costs by purchasing re-manufactured parts in original or better quality – the savings soon build up to €10,000 or more per machine per year that can be invested elsewhere. According to Alexander Maier, rapid availability is also decisive in addition to quality: "if a harvester is broken, the unplanned downtime costs a lot of money. We have the parts in storage for the online shop – items are shipped as soon as they are ordered."