Repair Solutions From the Plant Floor: A Cure for “MSKS” – Machine Shop Keyboard Syndrome

charmilles operator keyboard repairs Is your CNC operator keyboard having problems? Has your F2 key gone bad and refusing to do anything? If so, you could have a nasty case of “MSKS”! That’s short for Machine Shop Keyboard Syndrome! This is a common “infection” in machine shops everywhere.

The pictured dirty Charmilles keyboard p/n 200970625/ISS C is the perfect example of MSKS! These excellent but pricey keyboards are usually repairable and for FAR less than the cost of buying a new one – in this case THOUSANDS of dollars less.

The cause of MSKS is typically a combination of oil, dirt, humidity, heavy use and, sometimes, spills – the natural and usually unavoidable industrial environment. If you need a cure for “MSKS” in your shop, we can help! https://bit.ly/2slpYTz

Repair of quality industrial equipment like this Charmilles keyboard can be a great way to save money and time, as well as be environmentally responsible.

About the Author: ACS Industrial Services is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for drives of all types and most all manufacturers including servo drive repairs, AC/DC drives, VFD drives, servo motors, encoders, printed circuit board repairs, monitors and touchscreens, PLCs, test equipment, light curtains, and much more.  Our customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair concerns. Legacy equipment can be repaired! RUSH Service is available. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419.

Knowledge is Power: How to Identify Overheating Damage to Your Circuit Boards

printed circuit board repairsHeat, moisture and dirt are the mortal enemies of circuit boards! That means nearly ALL circuit boards eventually need repairs. Useful knowledge about preventive care and maintenance can extend the life of your circuit boards. It can also put off the need for repairs a little longer. This is especially important for those very expensive industrial circuit boards that can cost $30,0damaged circuit board00 each and sometimes more!

Signs of Overheating on Your Circuit Boards
  • Burnt, brown or blackened components
  • Burn marks on the board substrate
  • Delamination of the board
  • That well-known “burnt electrical smell”burned circuit board
  • Cracks in the solder joints (typically caused by repeated overheating and cooling)
  • Broken traces
  • Subtle differences in the shades of grey of a solder joint (this one is tricky for the untrained eye)burnt traces
Prevent Overheating in Your Equipment by:
  • Proper ventilation
  • Keeping fans clean and free of debris
  • Account for additional heat generated by auxiliary equipment
  • Avoid sunlight, direct or reflected, on your equipment
  • Keep your equipment in good repair – no loose connections, no dirt, good insulation; check it regularly
  • Do not operate your equipment above the recommended limits, electronically or physically
  • Avoid excess current

If you find signs of overheating on your circuit boards, chances are pretty good that your equipment has already stopped functioning properly, or at all. Unless you have inhouse electronic repair capabilities, your best course of action is to properly shut down your equipment and remove the unit for repairs. Check your warranty to see if the OEM will handle the repairs.

If the unit is out of warranty, repairs of this kind should be sent to a professional electronic repair service company. They should offer free evaluations and a good warranty on their repairs.  Getting a solid warranty for repairs on an old/legacy board is security!

About the Author: ACS is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for printed circuit board repairs, repairs to drives of all types and most all manufacturers including servo drive repairs, AC/DC drives, VFD drives, servo motors, encoders, monitors and touchscreens, PLCs, test equipment, light curtains, and much more. Our customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair concerns. Legacy equipment can be repaired! RUSH Service for your electronics is available. You can reach ACS by calling 800-605-6419.

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.

A good solder connection will look concave and shiny. A bad (cold) connection may be convex, bubbly, and/or pitted. The bond will be poor and cracks may develop in the joint over time.  Most of the time when we see cold solder connections, they are typically the result of a previous bad repair and not from the OEM.

Although they shouldn’t happen at all, cold solder joints can be repaired! Repaired cold solder connections can be done with a pre-heated soldering iron with sufficient power so that the when the joint is reheated the solder flows. Cold joints or connections often have too much solder. During reheating, the excess solder can be drawn off with the tip of the hot iron.

Next up in the Knowledge is Power Series is the other extreme:  The Overheated Solder Joint.

 

About the Author: ACS is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for drives of all types and most all manufacturers including servo drive repairs, AC/DC drives, VFD drives, servo motors, encoders, printed circuit board repairs, monitors and touchscreens, PLCs, test equipment, light curtains, and much more.  Our customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair concerns. Legacy equipment can be repaired! RUSH Service is available. You can reach ACS by calling 800-605-6419.

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

servo drive repairs

 

 

 

REPAIR SOLUTIONS FROM THE PLANT FLOOR:

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.

The good news is Allen Bradley servo drives are survivors! The disassembly, repair and cleaning, and reassembly was successful! This drive went right back into service in the plant. And, at a cost far less than the cost of a new unit and even about 40% less than a reconditioned unit.

Repair of quality industrial equipment like this Allen Bradley servo drive can be a great way to save money and time, as well as be environmentally responsible. If your servo drive needs repairs we can help.  #kaboom #survivor #fixit

About the Author: ACS Industrial Services is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for drives of all types and most all manufacturers including servo drive repairs, AC/DC drives, VFD drives, servo motors, encoders, printed circuit board repairs, monitors and touchscreens, PLCs, test equipment, light curtains, and much more.  Our customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair concerns. Legacy equipment can be repaired! RUSH Service is available. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419.

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.

Assuming you have ruled out obvious problems such as loose cable connections, here are a few other common PLC problems to look for:

  • Power fluctuations or surges
  • Ground wiring problem (look for loose or corroded connections)
  • Over heating
  • Blown power supplies
  • Blown I/O cards
  • Bad I/O channels
  • Bad cables/loose cable connection
  • Electro-magnetic interference (EMI) or Radio Frequency interference (RFI)
  • A biggie with a super simple fix:  One frequent PLC problem is absolutely a maintenance issue – bad batteries.  Yes, this really happens as it did to this Mitsubishi FX-64MR-UA1/UL (see photo) which is an obsolete PLC.  Obsolete or legacy PLCs can usually be repaired, but this may add some challenges to the repair process.   If you’ve been neglecting to replace your PLCs back-up battery (a very low cost item!), you are setting yourself up for some real problems.  If the red fault light indicates “battery status” you are in danger of losing your program right now.

If you do not have a current program on hand to reload after you’ve replaced the dead battery, then you may be in even more trouble.  (WARNING:  If the red battery light comes on DO NOT down the power! First, get the program backed up BEFORE you attempt to change the battery(s).) This is not a situation you want to find yourself in.  Ever.

In almost all of the above mentioned cases, you will need to remove the PLC unit and have it repaired.  If you need PLC repairs check first to see if your equipment is still under warranty.  If so, 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 PLC and electronic repair needs. They should offer free evaluations for your damaged PLCs and other equipment, and a free quote for repairs.  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 is an independent industrial electronic repair depot providing PLC repairs for all types and manufacturers as well as for power supplies, circuit boards, drives, servo motors, CNC equipment, encoders, monitors and touchscreens, test equipment, light curtains, and much more.  Rush Service is available and Two Year Warranties cover most repairs.  The customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your most challenging industrial electronic repair problems. You can reach the team by calling 800-605-6419.