ACS Industrial Services Blog

Knowledge is Power: Cold Soldering Connections are a Hot Mess!

loose solder connectionWhat are cold soldering connections and why should you care? You should care because a cold solder connection is bad soldering! And bad soldering often results in a bad connection. Bad or loose connections will often cause your industrial electronic equipment to fail – a hot mess! Who needs that?!

So, what exactly is a cold solder joint? Just what you might think – making a soldered connection without adequate heat. This means that the solder will not flow to fill in all the spaces which may make a mechanical bond but does not make a proper connection to the necessary wire.

Repair Solutions From the Plant Floor: Allen Bradley Servo Drive Blows Up!

servo drive repairs





KABOOM! Rarely a good sound on the plant floor! What happened to this Allen Bradley Powerflex servo drive p/n 20AD065A0AYNANC0 to give our food industry plant customer a headache – literally!?

Excessive current is the typical cause for damage like this to fuses in a drive. In this particular case, the bridge rectifier module was shorted resulting in extreme current and damage to the fuses and capacitor.

Yow! Simultaneous violently exploding fuses and a capacitor! All kinds of bad news here at first glance – this drive needed replacement of the diode module, IGBT, capacitors and optocoupler.

PLC Repairs and Troubleshooting Tips

plc repairsIs your PLC behaving erratically? Suddenly just “lose” its program? Or maybe it faulted and now the red light is on and you can’t get your error codes to clear?  Does this mean you will be spending your maintenance budget on unplanned PLC repairs?

The short answer is:  maybe. These are actually common PLC problems.  We hear these frustrating stories nearly every day from our customers’ manufacturing plants and shops of all sizes.

In a perfect world you would perform monthly or bi-monthly maintenance checks on your PLCs.  But even if you manage to do this, many of the common PLC problems are not caused by lack of maintenance. Machine age and environmental conditions are often at the heart of the problem.

How to Prevent Electrostatic Discharge From Damaging Your Electronics

A direct lightning strike WILL damage your equipment, no doubt about it!  But what about those tiny, almost unnoticeable surges of static referred to as electrostatic discharge (ESD)?  Those little surges are trouble makers too! Here’s how to prevent electrostatic discharge from damaging your electronics

There are two types of damage that occur from ESD:  The first is Catastrophic Damage which happens immediately and makes your equipment inoperable.  If this happens the damage is typically at a semiconductor junction or solder joint.   The good news about catastrophic damage is at least you know right away you have a problem.

Protect Your Drive Repair Investment!

infranor repairsREAL LIFE SOLUTIONS IN THE PLANT: Practice safe drive repairs! If you spent part of your already tight budget on drive repairs, or even for an expensive NEW drive, protect your investment! You can do this by troubleshooting your equipment that the drive came out of.  When troubleshooting, look for problems that may have caused the damage in the first place.

This situation is not rare and is frequently the cause of repeat problems. And the cause of repeat repair expenses! The pictured Infranor drive repair p/n SMT-BD1/1A-220/12-W-T-BS has damage in the brake circuit including a blown FET and some damaged traces.

Top 4 Reasons for VFD Failure and How to Prevent Them


drive repairsAre you getting over voltage faults from your VFD? Erratic operation? Hearing strange noises? VFD failure? Chances are you may need to change your use and maintenance routines for your VFD and probably other equipment too.  As a rule, VFDs are reliable as hell. But like most things, they have their critical needs, and sadly, their breaking points.

A variable frequency drive (VFD) controls the speed, torque, and direction of an AC motor. This sounds pretty basic, but the electronic guts of the operation are actually complicated and need consistent maintenance by qualified operators.

Can Your Water Damaged Circuit Boards Be Repaired?

water damaged circuit boardThe sad but simple answer to this question is some water damaged circuit boards can be repaired some of the time.  Once exposed to water, damage to your electronics begins within seconds – and the longer the exposure the worse the damage. Technically, it’s not really the water itself that is the real problem – but more on that later.

There are several variables you need to consider about whether your water damaged circuit board is repairable or not: Cost of circuit board replacement, Time exposed, Type of exposure, Delay- How long the damaged board sat before being repaired should all be considered.

6 Simple Tips for Encoder Repair and Troubleshooting

Encoder tips to diagnose problems… BEFORE sending out for encoder repair service.

repair for encodersIf motion control is important to your production, then your encoder is one of the keys to your success.  Encoders are exposed to shock, contaminants/oil, excess vibration, moisture, and high temperatures that regularly put their toughness to the test.

There’s a lot of encoders out there in industry, doing their job 24/7. These little workhorses include:  incremental aka quadrature encoders which uses a transparent disk with section equally spaced to determine movement; absolute encoders which use a photodetector and LED light source and a disk with concentric circle patterns; linear repairs for linear encodersencoders which  use a transducer or reading-head linked to a scale; magnetic rotary encoders which use hall effect sensors; and commutation encoders which are similar to incremental encoders but have commutation tracks along the outer edge of the disk.

Replace or Repair Damaged Industrial Electronics – The Hard Facts

Replace or Repair? How to make that decision and save time and money in your plant.Your production line went down due to electronic equipment failure and now you have to decide fast – replace or repair? Every minute down is killing your bottom line. When to hold and when to fold can be a gut decision (and often is) but there are some hard facts to be considered when making this critical decision.

The Hard Facts – To Replace or Repair Damaged Electronics:

How to Eliminate Unplanned Downtime In Your Plant

Prevent unplanned downtime in your plantAre you suffering from an expensive case of downtime – the unplanned kind? Unplanned downtime in manufacturing is a budget-killer like no other.  Some estimates put the average cost at $7,900 per MINUTE and its rising! It’s frustrating to watch production come to a stop and deliveries go unmet.  Finger-pointing is a waste of time, so let’s get to it.

If you want to identify and prevent machine failures resulting in downtime you need to be willing to look in all directions including, possibly, at yourself. Why? Because industrial catastrophes are rarely caused by a single person or event.   According to the NTSB, typically between 12-14 events have to coincide before a failure actually occurs.