Posted tagged ‘repairs’

Having the RIGHT Spare Parts are Vital to Your Total Maintenance Program

June 17, 2015

Spare Parts Vital for Maintenance“I need that part tomorrow morning. Can you ship it UPS RED?”

We hear that request often at Innovative-IDM, and we are happy to oblige when a maintenance manager needs a part quickly. But we sometimes ask: “Why not go ahead and purchase TWO of them. One for now, and one for the NEXT time the machine breaks?”

Ah yes, spare parts. Walk into any maintenance store room and you’ll likely see they have something in common: plenty of spare parts. But are they the RIGHT spare parts? The ones that cause you the most trouble?

Having the right spare parts in your store room helps you establish an effective Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program. A Total Productive Maintenance program means you need to invest ahead of time in your maintenance program, not just troubleshoot after things go wrong.

When your machine is down, you’re losing money. Worse yet, if the broken machine is a “bottleneck machine”(all production flows through it), then you’ve got a total productivity SNAFU on your hands. It’s a worst-case scenario.

Before your equipment breaks down, invest in spare parts for your store room. Spare industrial repair parts may seem like misplaced resources as they sit and gather dust. But having them on hand when failure strikes is priceless.

When planning your parts store room, consider stocking parts not readily available within 24 hours. Consider parts that have caused you problems in the past. Check your equipment’s operating manual for a recommended spare parts list. Keeping equipment repair histories on hand will help you decide what parts are commonly used for repairs. For instance, if your industrial controls system cooling fans go out frequently, it makes sense to keep a ready supply fan repair parts available.

Talk to your repair colleagues, too. They know the equipment and should play a vital role in developing a spare parts strategy. Listen to their needs and ask them to help identify your current strategy’s shortcomings. If your team lacks repair equipment or training, all the spare parts in the world will be worth nothing. Make sure your staff has everything they need for the job, including offsite training when needed.

Spare parts are an overlooked facet of many TPM programs. Preventative maintenance helps ensure your equipment lasts. But inevitably, friction, heat and other factors will cause failure. Minimize your downtime with an effective and well-planned spare parts program that will leave you with one less thing to worry about. — Robert Dominguez

Who Let the Smoke Out?

August 15, 2012

It’s not always this easy for our electronics repairs technicians.

Magic Smoke in an AC Drive from Innovative-IDM on Vimeo.

3 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Electronic Repair Service

July 26, 2012

Repairs: The Problem that Keeps You Awake

You have a malfunctioning AC Drive, Circuit Board, DC Drive, Servo, Controller, PLC or other industrial electronics part. Where do you send it for service? How do you determine which repair service depot is the best fit for your situation.

Your choices are varied. You can send it to the OEM of the part, but many times the part is obsolete or the repair just too expensive – after all, OEMs are in the business of selling new parts, not necessarily fixing old ones. If the part still is under warranty from the OEM, this could be your best bet, however.

Should you use your current repairs vendor? Or should you examine some new avenues for repair service? Most maintenance pros recommend that you have several quality vendors available to you for repair houses. That way, if Vendor A is backed up on turnaround time, you can have a backup plan and use Vendor B.  If Vendor B doesn’t work on certain parts, then Vendor C does….and so on.

If you doing some searching for additional help with electronic repairs, here are three important questions to ask prospective repair companies.

3 Questions to Ask

Before you send in your electronics for repair, ask the service provider these three questions:

Do you offer a NO CHARGE EVALUATION?

Careful. Many services offer to “waive” the evaluation fee after you approve the repair, or to “subtract” the evaluation fee after you approve the repair. Fact is, paying for repairs evaluations is not necessary in today’s environment. You should be able to find a service that provides you with an evaluation whether or not you decide to eventually repair the item or not. Some services even offer online repair price lookup tools so you can ballpark a repair BEFORE you even send it in for evaluation.

Be wary of terms like “Evaluation Fee,” “Bench Fee,” and other terms that may indicate that you have to pay to find out what’s wrong with your part.  Ask these questions up front. Don’t pay for evaluations. Look for a repair service that will quote you a price, then offer YOU the decision what to do from there: Approve the quote, return the part unrepaired, or simply dispose of the part. The less hassle for you, the better.

Does your repair warranty COVER THE COMPLETE PART? 

Repair warranty periods are a key factor in choosing a repair service. Make sure you are getting at least a one-year warranty on the repair and also make sure the warranty covers the ENTIRE PART and not just the repaired area of the part. Some electronic repair companies will only cover the repairs they made, and you can negotiate a better deal than that for sure.

After all, remember that repairs are just another term for “troubleshooting” and even the best repair services can, on rare occasions, miss on a bench diagnosis. The good repair houses, however, will minimize the chance of this happening by performing additional testing on ALL AREAS of the part after the repair is made. That means they will check for loose wires, weakened components, testing under load and will generally inspect and clean the part to ensure it’s in true working order before it ships back to you.

What is the turnaround time for my repair?

Always the crucial question: How long will it take to repair my part? Again, ask this BEFORE you send in the part. Most electronic repair companies have published turnaround times. Some even offer Expedited and/or RUSH services for emergency situations. These rush turnarounds will cost extra, but it may be worth moving to the head of the line no matter what the cost if you are in an emergency situation.

The company you want is the repair depot that will under-promise and over-deliver. That is, they publish a 7-10 day turnaround and you get your part back in five business days. That rocks, but you’ll have to take a leap of faith and try a service before you’ll have a good feel for their delivery habits. First impressions mean a lot, so hold the company to their turnaround promise. Remember, too, that when you are asked to approve a quote for repair, you’re doing yourself a big favor on turnaround time if you approve that quote as soon as you make the decision.

No Evaluation Fee, Warranty the Entire Part, Good Turnaround Options

Asking these 3 questions can help your evaluate how a repair service facility will perform for your needs. It doesn’t take much time to ask these questions in advance, and it will save you a lot of time and headaches later down the line. Repairs already keep you awake at night: Choose a repair service that makes repair submissions easy (preferably an online tool), does not charge for evaluations, has a warranty on the repair AND the entire part, and offers turnaround times that fit your needs.

If you need to cut through the red tape on these issues quickly, call Innovative-IDM’s Electronic Repair services at 800.237.3278 or go to www.innovativeidm.com/repairs.