How to Extend the Life of Your Circuit Boards and Avoid Circuit Board Repairs

burnt circuit board needs repairsAs you probably know by now, printed circuit boards don’t last forever.  Not even the expensive ones inside your industrial equipment.   But did you know that you can extend the life of your circuit boards? And, potentially put off the need for circuit board repairs a little longer?

The number one reason printed circuit boards need repair is aging components.  There’s not much you can do about that.  But, what about the second biggest reason they end up needing repair? That is damage caused by dirt, heat, moisture, and neglect/accidents.  Now THAT is something you  CAN control.

Here’s 5 key tips to save money with good circuit board maintenance:

  1.  Clean house. – Clean the dust that accumulates on the PCB boards every 3-6 months. You can also use special cleaning fluid designed for electronics. After all the dust and dirt is cleaned, use a blower to dry the boards before reinstalling them or using the equipment.  Keep your work environment as clean and moisture-free as is possible to delay the need for circuit board repairs.
  2. Be Proactive – Why wait until your line goes down to troubleshoot…that’s just expensive down time with a side dish of aggravation. Regularly check your PCB components to look for obvious trace damage (usually caused by overheating). Look for burn marks, solder blobs, broken traces, and check the electrolytic capacitors for bulging or leakage.  Anyone can do this as these are all obvious problems, visible to the naked eye, and require no test equipment.
  3. Check connectors for signs of corrosion which is common, especially with edge connectors. They can be gently cleaned with an eraser and soft, lint-free/static-free cloth.  Corrosion is a sign of excess moisture so to avoid future damage, find out where the moisture is coming from and eliminate it if possible.
  4. Treat equipment as the manufacturer requires – For example, if you are using a device coated with thermal grease, you should check to see if the thermal grease is dried.   If it has become overly dry, gently wipe it out and then coat with new thermal grease to aid with heat dissipation – especially important since we know that too much heat will result in damage
  5. Protect your PCBs with Good Storage and Handling Techniques
  • Store your electronic equipment in Moisture Vapor Barrier Bags (MVBs). Thicker is better so buy the best you can afford. Vacuum and heat seal the bags to remove as much air as possible.
  • Use desiccant bags to absorb moisture and include a moisture/humidity card which can detect any moisture.   This will let you know if the storage bag has been compromised.
  • Keep your spare circuit boards at a consistent and cool temperature – between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If you have many circuit boards or other electronics stored, invest in the best moisture-free environment you can afford. Best choice is a Dry Atmosphere Cabinet to maintain a very low humidity (>5% Relative Humidity). By using this type of cabinet you can forego the MVBs.
  • Locate your electronics storeroom away from dirt, temperature extremes, and moisture, as well as excess vibration. It is best if you have a dedicated and secure Storeroom with strict access records on what parts come and go.

If your industrial circuit board has lasted a solid 10 years before failure – congratulations! You’re doing something right! But if the time has come for circuit board repairs and you find yourself searching for a repair center for your damaged electronics, check first to see if your equipment is still under warranty.  If it is still under warranty contact the OEM about repairs.

If it is out of warranty, contact an independent industrial electronic repair center to find out if they are a good fit for your company and your particular repair needs. They should offer free evaluations for your damaged equipment and, if needed, a free quote for repairs (no bench fees!).  They should also provide repair reports if requested and a good warranty of at least one year that covers both parts and labor.

 

About the Author: ACS Industrial Services is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repairs for all types of industrial electronic equipment and most all manufacturers including circuit board repairs, logic board repairs, industrial power supply repairs, drives, servo motors, CNC equipment, encoders, monitor and touchscreen repairs, test equipment, light curtains, and much more. Rush Service is available and a comprehensive 2-Year Warranty covers most repairs.  The knowledgeable and helpful customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your toughest industrial electronic repair problems. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419.

Tips: Why Did Your Ingersoll Rand Controller 22173579 Stop Controlling and What to Do

Did your Ingersoll Rand Controller 22173579 stop controlling? Quit on the job? This is frustrating! We get it – it’s a time consuming, costly annoyance to deal with a damaged or malfunctioning controller.

Good news! These Ingersoll Rand controllers are pretty well made and usually repairable! This is often true even for LEGACY units that are well past their warranty expiration date.

What might be wrong with YOUR Ingersoll Rand Controller?:

There are some commonly seen failures for these units. These are usually related to aging components. Problem description reports include getting ERROR Codes 51 and 71. The CAN communication IC (CAN is a specific communication standard) is a high failure rate in these units.  This is due to their susceptibility to noise and spikes. The voltage to frequency IC is also a common failure.

The electrolytic capacitors, as always, have a ‘lifetime’ and will need to be replaced eventually. There is a backup battery (a repair tech is needed for this as it is not customer replaceable) that may eventually fail as well. Output transistors also are occasionally bad in these controllers and can be replaced.

Here are a few recent examples of Ingersoll Rand Controller repairs.  Key failures and major component replacements are shown (all repairs also included cleaning and testing and/or repair of all other components):

  • Ingersoll Rand Controller OEM – 22173579

Problem reported: stopped “working”. Repairs included: Replacing bad capacitors, interface IC, opamp IC . This unit was repaired for about 75% less than the cost of replacement!

 

  • Ingersoll Rand Wedge Controller Comm. No. 22173579

Problem reported: Machine runs 20 seconds and shuts off prematurely and will not speed up. Sometimes won’t crank. Repairs included: Replacing bad capacitors and ICs

  • Ingersoll Rand Controller 22173579

Problem reported: Has a fault code 71 “CAN bus”. Repairs Included: leaky capacitors replaced and damage from leak cleaned/repaired, CAN IC replaced.

  • Ingersoll Rand Wedge Controller 22173579

Problem reported: Error code: 51. Cannot communicate with engine to start. Repairs included: COMM IC AND Serial Logic IC replaced.

We believe knowledge is power. If you are searching for a repair center for your damaged Ingersoll Rand Controller or other industrial electronics, check first to see if your equipment is still under warranty. If it is still under warranty contact the OEM about repairs. If it is out of warranty, contact an independent industrial electronic repair center to find out if they are a good fit for your company and your particular repair needs. They should offer free evaluations for your damaged equipment and, if needed, a free quote for repairs (no bench fees!). They should also provide repair reports if requested and a good warranty of at least one year (more would be better!) that covers both parts AND labor.

 

About the Author: ACS Industrial Services is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repairs for all types of industrial electronic equipment and most all manufacturers including Ingersoll Rand repairs, repairs for touchscreens, controller repairs,  circuit board repairs, power supplies, VFD AC & DC drive repairs, servo motors, CNC equipment, encoders, monitors, test equipment, light curtains, and much more.  RUSH SERVICE is available and a comprehensive 2-Year Warranty covers most repairs.  The super-helpful customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your toughest  industrial electronic repair problems. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419. Or check out ACS’s incredible new easy-to-search Repair Catalog!

Why Get Industrial Electronics Repaired

Get Electronic RepairsWatching the television series “Revolution” the other night got me thinking about electronics (as if I’m ever NOT thinking about electronics!) and the way things have changed dramatically in just a few short years.  Awhile back, many of our customers were throwing away many damaged industrial electronics – somehow it just seemed easier.  How things have changed!

Even knowing that warp speed innovation can render our electronics obsolete faster than we can write the check for them, these days we are all thinking twice before dumping broken electronic equipment.  Why repair industrial electronics?

No more throwaway mentality.  These are all important reasons to consider your options when you’ve got broken or damaged electronic equipment.

Most industrial electronics ARE repairable and these days, by choosing a top notch electronics repair house you can get your equipment repaired quickly and for far less than the cost of new.  Of course, sometimes, buying new is unavoidable.  Here are a few basic things to consider when making your repair/replace decision:

  • What is the cost of the unit?
  • Is it under warranty?
  • How badly is it damaged?
  • What kind of turnaround time is needed?
  • What is the cost of repairs?

More often than not, repair is the most cost effective and responsible option.   This is a new era of manufacturing and we hear it from our customers every single day – their budgets aren’t deep and natural resources are not endless  – repair just makes sense!

Winning Solution For “Jerry-Rigged” Circuit Boards

Unique Solutions for Unrepairable Circuit Boards

Three New Circuit Boards Made From One Original

Sometimes we receive some pretty mysterious repair jobs on the old loading dock.  Recently we received three printed circuit boards that were so, so, well, so “jerry-rigged” that we were wondering how they ever worked in the first place what with the point to point hand wiring, jumpers, and patches all over them.  (Truth is, sometimes I miss the old days working on that loading dock…every day it is full of surprises!)

These “jerry-rigged” circuit board repairs were going to take a lot of man-hours and the cost was going to be pretty high.  The solution we offered this customer was to build them some brand new boards in-house at ACS rather than repair the scary boards – and for lower cost than it would have been to repair them!  Sometimes, the solution to the problem is staring you in the face and you just have to go with it.

There were actually four PCB’s needing repair in this shipment, three as described and one more than had been professionally manufactured.   Ultimately, copying the professional board to make the three new ones provided this customer with a more reliable solution, as well as having the added benefit of being able to reproduce them on-demand in the future from the files that were created.  This was a winning solution in every way.

ACS Industrial Services is here for you.  We want to make sure you always get the best solution that meets your needs in the time you need it.

Simplified On-line Repair Form Makes Getting Electronic Repairs Easy

Have you tried our new, simplified on-line repair form yet?  It’s been live for a few weeks and WOW is all we can say!  Wish we’d done it sooner.

The process is working great and our customer surveys are producing comments like this:

  • “Easy as pie. Nothing more needed.”
  • “I really do not see how you could have made it any more easier.”
  • “CANNOT IMPROVE ON PERFECTION .”
  • “This form was super-easy to understand and complete. My suggestion is “Don’t do anything to improve; it works perfectly as is.””

We boiled everything down to the basics to make it a whole lot faster and easier on you.  We’ve all gotten stuck in annoying on-line forms and it’s just really irritating.

If your equipment is down and needs repair we know you are ALREADY irritated. We wanted to reduce the irritation factor and keep the process simple and straightforward– that is, getting your electronics repaired and back to you as fast as possible for the best price possible.

Need repairs?  Give our new on-line repair form a try by clicking here.  Need more information about our industrial electronic repair services?  Click this link:  ACS Industrial Services.