circuit board

What is a Circuit Board?

circuit board

If you are new to the world of industrial electronics, you may be hearing the terms “circuit board” or “printed circuit board” come up quite often. Circuit boards are one of the most important inventions ever created. Keep reading to learn more about circuit boards and how they help industrial electronics function.

What is a Circuit Board?

Without getting too technical, a circuit board is a printed board that includes electrically conductive pathways that connects electronic components to one another. Circuit boards exist to connect all electronic components of a device in one compact space. Circuit boards also help protect the electronic components of a device by keeping them insulated. Circuit boards have many different layers, sometimes up to 30 or more, that provide power to a device. Circuit boards are the foundation of all electronic equipment. Everything electronic, from elevators to phones to printers, depends on circuit boards to function.

Why are Circuit Boards Helpful?

Prior to the invention of circuit boards, electronic machines were connected to one another through cables. Circuit boards have simplified the connection of electronic machines, which has helped make electronics smaller, less expensive, easier to produce, and more efficient.

The Many Types of Circuit Boards

You may not know that there are many kinds of printed circuit boards available for electronic devices. Here are several examples of circuit boards:

  • Single-Sided
  • Double-Sided
  • Multi-Layer
  • Rigid
  • Flex Circuits
  • Rigid-Flex
  • High-Frequency
  • Aluminum-backed

Circuit boards are highly complex pieces of technology. Circuit boards control the entire device and without them, your device will not work properly. Because circuit boards contain a multitude of complex electrical components, it’s important to hire a professional industrial electronics repair company to fix a damaged circuit board. Common issues that can damage a circuit board include: 

  • Physical damage: A device is dropped or water-damaged
  • Environmental elements: Corrosion or condensation is affecting the circuit board
  • Overheating: This is especially common in older devices
  • Design issues: When a manufacturer does not design a device properly

Who to Call for Circuit Board Repairs

In most cases, circuit boards can be repaired by an expert company. ACS Industrial has a team that can locate the problem, offer a quote, and then get to work. We’ve worked for more than two decades in the repair field, and we carry a large inventory to speed up the repair process. Let the specialists at ACS give you a free evaluation and repair quote.

  • The repair can often save as much as 80% of the cost of buying a new piece of equipment.
  • Most repairs are back in your hands in 7-15 days after approval.
  • Our Rush Repair Service ships in just 2-5 days after approval.
  • We Guarantee Our Repairs With A Full Two-Year Warranty.

For a Free Evaluation, use our RMA Form link or visit our website and click on the “Contact Us” button on the upper right hand. You can also reach out to us at 800-605-6419 and speak to someone on our customer support team.

production line downtime

5 Ways to Avoid Production Line Downtime

Downtime. It’s an 8-letter word that no one wants to hear.

Unfortunately, production lines can cease to work correctly, or show signs that a breakdown is in the near future.

With that comes the risk of losing valuable processing time that will result in unhappy customers and overworked, stressed employees and managers. Plus, it can lead to lost revenue, which is estimated at over $50 billion per year, according to Forbes.

It’s true that we all live in an imperfect world, and accidents and mistakes happen, but taking a proactive approach to any situation is the key to getting an operation up and running again. 

production line downtime

5 Steps to Take to Avoid Production Downtime

You can avoid downtime in an assembly line situation in a variety of ways.

Employee Training

Your personnel are professionals who take pride in their work, but training needs to be done on a regular basis. Encourage everyone to take the time to review operating manuals, and remind them that asking questions is never a bad idea.

When employees have a full understanding of a production line, they can identify problems faster. Remember that misuse of tools or improper modifications that are done in the interest of speeding up the process can do more harm than good.

Don’t Allow Parts Modification

Workers on a production line can have all of their best intentions at heart when they modify a part to keep things moving. However, any modification to an internal or external component can cause severe damage to the entire operation – and become a safety risk.

Remind your personnel that modifying a part can be dangerous. If they do find a component that’s malfunctioning, have a qualified technician perform a diagnosis, and then decide if the part needs to be repaired.

Audit Your Machinery

Codification and identification systems are included with the machinery you’ve purchased, so use them. When you monitor this data, you can quickly locate anomalies and performance issues that indicate problems with quantity, quality, and speed.

Whoever is doing this job should perform it on a regular basis, and share that information up and down the ladder. This approach ensures that everyone knows what’s going on, and having multiple people review the metrics can increase the probability of detecting possible problems.

Preventive Maintenance

Sure, your operation performs preventative maintenance on all of its equipment, but without a way to document when it’s done, and who is doing it, mistakes happen. Establish workflows that help operators, and enforce maintenance schedules. 

When the pace of work is picking up, forgetting to conduct this type of maintenance can happen in the best of environments. A schedule with the right personnel assigned to each task makes this action a part of everyday operations.

Communicate!

This is one of the simplest and easiest steps when it concerns production line downtime. Make sure that everyone on the line is comfortable with speaking to managers and sharing any observations or ideas that can improve the workflow and production.

It doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Quick meetings on a weekly or daily basis can help identify minor problems before they grow out of control.

ACS Can Help!

Even when you’re taking the right steps to reduce production line downtime, a part or component may need to be repaired. 

When it happens, get in touch with ACS, we’re one of the leaders in repairing electronics, and our team of experts can help.

  • Repair can often save as much as 80% of the cost of buying a new piece of equipment.
  • Most repairs are back in your hands in 7-15 days after approval.
  • Our Rush Repair Service ships in just 2-5 days after approval.
  • We Guarantee Our Repairs With A Full Two-Year Warranty.

For a Free Evaluation, use our RMA Form link or visit our website and click on the “Contact Us” button on the upper right hand. 

You can also reach out to us at 800-605-6419 and speak to someone on our customer support team.

Your Failure Analysis Program

If you’re an owner, operator, or manager in an industrial setting, it’s impossible to be everywhere at once. You have to rely on your personnel and team to make sure machinery and operating systems are being closely monitored – and updated.

Creating a Failure Analysis Process

However, it can be a challenge keeping up with everything. Sometimes it can be due to the lack of time in the course of a day or week. 

Regardless of where the problem lies, you can take steps to tighten up the process, and ensure that the chain of command and communication has been established correctly, and that everyone knows how it works, and how to move information from one party to another.

A failure analysis program can be a useful tool – and while it may sound complicated and complex, it doesn’t have to be. 

It can be easy to fall into the trap of overthinking a failure analysis program because you want it to be detailed and comprehensive, but if it becomes too complex, your program can cause more problems than it solves.

Start with these basic categories:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?

Answering these questions can help you begin to organize your process – and while it may seem too broad, you can obtain a clear picture of responsibilities, the personnel involved, and determine if the right skill sets are in place.

From this point you can begin to add more detail to the failure analysis process, and focus on more specific factors.

Common Types of Failures

The factors that contribute to component and equipment failure can range from overload to the operating environment. Missed maintenance checkups can be another culprit. 

For instance, internal drives and motors are the workhorses of a system, and experience a great deal of vibration, high temperatures, and components that have short life cycles. Lubricants can break down over time and allow for increased friction.

Decide how to counter these problems, and confirm how often maintenance protocols are being followed, and if they’re recorded and shared.

Methodology at Work

Establishing the process is the goal of this step. While each operation can vary depending upon what’s being manufactured, most of these steps can be applied to your situation.

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Background data collection
  3. Component inspection
  4. Confirm physical failure
  5. Determine human root causes

Each of these steps produces information that can be collected and reviewed, but in order to work they must be consistent and enforced. Don’t allow employees to customize these steps, but listen to their feedback and suggestions.

In cases where production is ramped up due to customer demand, internal systems can become overworked and prone to failure. There might be a need for adding additional parts to an assembly line so the workload is more evenly distributed.

Operator error and the “human factor” should be accounted for. You may have employees who aren’t qualified or are taking matters into their own hands. 

Be honest in your assessments and refer to concrete data: employee reviews, production output, and maintenance records are several examples.

Finally, write a course of action for how the problem will be properly fixed via increased maintenance, locating parts that may need to be fixed, or evaluating the need for replacing the equipment in question.

Failure analysis programs aren’t finished overnight, they require collecting information from multiple sources, analysis, and then agreeing on a final version that has buy-in from everyone involved – from front line personnel to upper level management.

Following your failure analysis program can help solve problems, save money, and contribute to a more successful operation. 

ACS Can Help

As your failure analysis program produces results, you may find that certain components or parts might need to be repaired instead of completely replaced.

When that happens, contact the experts at ACS, we offer a free evaluation and repair quote for a variety of electronic repair and services.

Repair can often save as much as 80% of the cost of buying a new piece of equipment.

  • Most repairs are back in your hands in 7-15 days after approval.
  • Our Rush Repair Service ships in just 2-5 days after approval.
  • We Guarantee Our Repairs With A Full Two-Year Warranty.
  • For a Free Evaluation, use our RMA Form link or Contact Us. You can also reach us at 800-605-6419 and speak to someone on our customer support team.

Variable Frequency Drive

Understanding the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)

When it concerns machinery and the parts that help make the entire system run, it’s important to know what role each one plays in order to troubleshoot problems that may arise.

One of the integral pieces of many processes is the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD). This controller drives AC induction motors by varying the motor input frequency, which controls the voltage, speed, and torque.

Variable Frequency Drive

While Variable Frequency Drive is the most common term used, it should be noted that these drives can also be referred to as an AC Drive, Variable Speed Drive, or Inverter. 

In addition to helping run the motor at full speed, reducing the output’s frequency will decrease the speed of the motor, thus providing control to the load. 

Why use a VFD?

A VFD saves energy and money, and can be programmed for a softer startup of the system, which reduces energy by cutting down the inrush current. A regulated motor that can run a pump under top speed uses less energy than one that runs at a constant speed for the same duration. 

This equipment also eliminates the need for mechanical components, such as a gearbox, to regulate speed. Having better control of a motor’s speed also increases the life of a coupling device.

Where a VFD Can Be Used

Conveyors, pumps and fans are typical applications for the VFD and AC motor because speed control, and not necessarily position, is important.

How a VFD Works

AC voltage is usually present at the input of the VFD. This AC voltage is converted to DC voltage with the use of a bridge rectifier, which filters the DC voltage via the use of electrolytic capacitors to provide stability.

The DC voltage is then converted back to AC voltage with the help of power devices, such as the IGBT power transistor. The frequency is controlled by turning the IGBT on and off at different intervals, which is called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). 

A speed reference can be a simple set point. More complex situations require a PLC or tachometer for speed reference.

VFD Troubleshooting

Like any piece of your system, VFDs can cease to function properly, or completely shut down.  Electronic components fail, as do mechanical components. It is a good idea to troubleshoot all of the components involved in the system before determining that the VFD is the cause. 

This includes verifying the Source Voltage to the VFD. Any interconnects between the components should be checked, in addition a loose connection could also be a problem.  

Remember to verify that the motor is not causing excessive load to the VFD and that nothing mechanical has worn out or is in a bind.  

Mechanical and motor problems can also lead to the early failure of the VFD.  Operating conditions, such as increased contaminants and moisture, can also affect your system.

ACS Can Help Repair your VFD!

If your VFD isn’t working like it once was, or has stopped altogether, let the experts at ACS give you a free evaluation and repair quote for your drive.

Repair can often save as much as 80% of the cost of buying a new piece of equipment.

  • Most repairs are back in your hands in 7-15 days after approval.
  • Our Rush Repair Service ships in just 2-5 days after approval.
  • We Guarantee Our Repairs With A Full Two-Year Warranty.
  • For a Free Evaluation, use our RMA Form link or visit our website and click on the “Contact Us” button on the upper right hand. You can also reach out to us at 800-605-6419 and speak to someone on our customer support team.