While the title may be a bit dramatic, dust is one of the main contributors to many of the repairs sent in to our repair center. While we are here for all of your industrial electronics when they are on their last leg, we do want to make sure you get the most out of your equipment.
Whether we’ve just sent your device back, or not, it’s important to run a series of preventative maintenance routines to ensure that your tech is working at its best at all times.
We recommend popping open your device (when it’s unplugged!) on a monthly basis to check your cables, as well as do some preventative cleaning. A clear fan, or exhaust, will allow for better airflow which means your device is running cooler, thus running more efficiently for a much longer time.
As you can see in the video above, a device left on it’s own can eventually give out, costing you valuable time and a repair fee.
In today’s manufacturing landscape, more processes are automated. This saves time and human capital expense . . . until the automation breaks down. The design of integrated electronics means it’s more difficult for untrained personnel to fix them. In many cases, the cost and downtime involved in replacing or “retrofitting” systems are not allowable. This is where a quality repair facility with factory trained technicians can be your ally.
When researching industrial electronic repair facilities there are a few questions you want to ask.
Is the repair facility familiar with your industry?
Do they understand the environment and unique operating parameters of your equipment? If your equipment is offshore, do they understand how salt water corrosion can affect electrical components? These are questions you need to ask when choosing a facility to repair your expensive automation equipment. There are many facilities that claim to repair automation equipment but are geared more towards commercial electronics like televisions and computers and non-NEMA rated equipment. Make sure the repair facility you choose meets your standards and the standards of your equipment.
Are the techs trained to repair your item?
Next, make sure that facility has trained technicians. Becoming an electronics repair technician is not as easy as you think. It requires years of study, an understanding of current flow and circuit design and a lot of experience. Ask about the training in the facility you chose. Are they familiar with your industry? You are not paying them for what they know, but for what you don’t know.
What is the warranty rate?
Finally, what is the warranty rate of the facility and how many units per month do they repair? It is easy to have a 100% warranty rate if you only fix 1 item a month. And what kind of warranty do they offer? Is it 12 months, 18 months and what exactly does it cover. Some warranties state they only cover the exact components repaired while others do what is known as a full refurbishment and cover the entire device. Also, what kind of testing do they do on the device after the repair is complete? Do they load test the equipment they repair and do they simulate the environment the equipment is used in to test it? These are important questions to ask to ensure your equipment is repaired properly.
The bottom line in any repair situation is you want to save money and time. If it is a spare you want it to work when it is pulled for service. You want to know that attention to detail and quality where at the forefront of the repair experience. By asking these questions and by doing some research you can find a trustworthy and dependable partner to keep your operations running.
Once again, we bring you the wonderful Paul Weber to break down some quick information on heat sinks. These devices help draw heat away from the delicate innards of your industrial electronic and we think that’s pretty cool.
Here at IDM, we see all sorts of problems come in and out of our doors. We’ve seen fried drives, dust-clogged fans and even a few explosions here within the repair center, but there is one “problem” that we see more than others and it all boils down to cable trouble.
Most industrial electronics are wired with something significantly beefier than your typical USB connection. We’ve seen connections with up to 20 prongs, which can lead to more than a few false-flags. When even one of those 20 calipers go out, it can make entire functions of your equipment impossible. It can make a keypad unresponsive, or make a display go out entirely.
While these issues may sound like more of a nuisance than anything, they can lead to confusion between a worker and the device which can we’ve seen lead to aggression in usage. Mashing on the keypads, repeatedly and more intensely manipulating a touchscreen are common examples. This heightened usage can then lead to more severe problems.
Ultimately, we’d recommend that you check your cables whenever you go in for routine maintenance. If you’re going through and (hopefully) dusting your internals on a regular basis, this is an easy extra step to ensure that your time is saved, which makes you more money and keeps your industrial electronic in top shape.
Stop in with Edwin, from our Houston repair center, as he walks through a few simple processes to test industrial fuses.
Servo Drives can be a finicky thing. When one starts to act up it can be difficult to pinpoint where the problem may be coming from. It can be even more difficult to repair your Servo Drive, seeing as it requires its “Home Device” to operate.
We see many Servo Drives sent in for repair here at our Houston repair center and while we definitely know our way around these drives, many didn’t need to be sent in the first place. Small things can throw your drive out of whack, including some rudimentary things you can do yourself!
While some of these steps may seem a bit obvious, you’d be surprised how often they pop up. We understand the frustration of a malfunctioning device and the rush to get it fixed, but with these appraisal steps you may be able to save even more time.
We recommend you;
- Power your device off and on again. Yes, we know this is a big IT joke, but sometimes things can be dislodged, or simply stuck. Check your plugs and double check if the device can get going again.
- Check your cables. Look for any sort of wire-frays, dislodged cables or corroded materials. Sometimes a quick replacement can lead to a quick solution.
- Check your grounds and shields. Even if a cable appears to be in good condition, it may be going through a bit of interference due to improper grounding. Be sure to power off and unplug your device before investigating these.
If you go through these steps and still can’t get it running it may be time to send it in for repairs. Luckily IDM offers Servo Repair Services, which include a free diagnostic and quote before we go to work. If the price is right, we here at IDM are prepared to offer you the LEGENDARY customer experience we’re known for.
In the fast-moving tech world, equipment can become obsolete in the blink of an eye. As if keeping up with the times wasn’t difficult enough, it can be even harder to keep your industrial electronics at their best. Luckily, IDM has solutions for you.
Whether you’re looking for a manual, an “ancient part,” or a trusty technician; IDM has you covered. With over 40 years in the industrial electronics business, it’s easy to understand how IDM has accrued its massive backlog of industrial schematics and parts; industrial schematics and parts your equipment may need!
If your “obsolete” equipment is in need of repair, reach out to none-other than IDM for your diagnosis and hopefully a LEGENDARY solution to your industrial electronic repair needs.
Here at IDM, we believe in delivering a LEGENDARY customer experience. It’s built into our company and even into our practices. To ensure that we can give you that LEGENDARY experience, we ask that you take a few steps before shipping your repairs to our service center.
We recommend that you photograph your industrial electronics before shipping them safely to our facility. We ask that you photograph:
- The device’s nameplate.
- This allows us to identify your device quicker, meaning we can get a quote to you faster.
- The device’s environment and how it is configured.
- Whether we notice an environmental hazard, or a wiring nightmare, knowing the original state of your device can speed up our diagnosis of your repair.
These steps can shorten the turnaround time on your repair and as we all know; time is money. So, before you ship us your repairs, be sure to grab those photos too. It’s an easy step towards your LEGENDARY customer experience.
IDM is here for more than just repairing your broken equipment, we’re here to make sure your industrial electronics run at their best for as long as possible. So, whether you’ve just received your repairs back, or were considering sending them in the future, be sure to take the time to do some preventative maintenance.
Edwin can give you a few tips on how to ensure some extra longevity for your electronics in the video below:
We figured we’d give a visual for yesterday’s Touchscreen HMI info dump. Be sure to comment if you have any questions!