The Benefits of Lab Equipment Repair Services

When you own and operate a lab, the performance of  your equipment is vital. Not only does it need to be correctly calibrated and functioning, it also needs to be reliable. You can’t have precious equipment breakdown or malfunction at the wrong time – or any time.

That’s why it’s so important to have a reliable lab equipment repair service at your disposal. In addition to recalibrating and fixing any problems, these services can also lengthen the lifetime of your equipment. You won’t have to find the money in your budget to pay for new lab equipment when what you own is in highly maintained condition.

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Can Your Water Damaged Circuit Boards Be Repaired?

Circuit boards are not designed to operate in humid conditions – but what happens when your circuit board is exposed to moisture? Is it possible to repair it? The 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.

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What I/O Cards Are And How They Work

The term I/O means “input” and “output”. An I/O card facilitates communication with the computer by sending and receiving data. I/O is one of the three main components of computers. Basically, for every input, there’s an output. You pull up a document on your computer and use the keyboard to print it. The keyboard is the input and the printer is the output. This is a simple explanation of I/O, but it’s a good start to help explain what I/O cards are and how they work.

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circuit board

5 Facts You May Not Know About Circuit Boards

Circuit boards have been in existence for more than a century, and as technology has progressed, they have played a major role in virtually every industry. But what are they and what job do they perform?

A circuit board’s main function is to connect all of the electronic components in a device – computer, appliance, etc. – into a compact space. In addition a circuit board insulates all of these components when they are connected to a power source.

While they are commonplace, there are many facts about circuit boards that the general public doesn’t know about.

There are several different types of circuit boards.

Printed circuit boards, also known as PCBs, come in several different varieties. The most common is the Single-Layer PCB which has a basic design and is used for everyday devices like printers and calculators. Double Layer PCBs have a layer of conducting material and are used in industrial conductors, phones and amplifiers. A Multi-Layer PCB is smaller than others and is insulated to avoid damage, you’ll find these in complex equipment like satellite systems and medical equipment.

They Are Comprised of Several Different Elements

A PCB is more than a sheet of plastic, it also has an energy source and a conductor, which carries the energy, this is known as a track or trace. The electrical load piece takes in the energy and controls the performance of the circuit in terms of voltage and current. Finally, the controller switch controls the flow of power in the circuit.

Most Circuit Boards are Green

The solder mask, also known as the solder resist, is the material used to protect a PCB’s conductive layer. It’s made of a thin layer of polymer ink and is screen printed onto the board. The general color is green, but you can also find some in red or blue – and white for LED display purposes. The American military was also partial to this color when they first started using them.

Those Aren’t Wires…

Although at first glance a PCB seems to contain a vast array of wires, they’re actually copper traces – they’re small and flat and take up less space, but their main benefit is that electrons can move very quickly along the copper. It’s also easier to connect the small components on a circuit board with these traces.

PCBs are Tough

They may look flimsy or brittle, but PCBs can take a beating and still work. Of course, there are limits to their durability and performance, and when this happens they can be sent in for repair. ACS can repair your industrial circuit board in as little as 7-15 days and we guarantee our repairs for up to two years.

ACS Are Circuit Board Experts!

ACS can repair virtually any type of circuit board, which means you can save money and costly downtime. The personnel who will take care of your repair are experienced professionals who are backed with our rock solid two-year warranty.

We service all types of boards and most brands at competitive prices, and we’re comfortable working with most OEM boards, including:

You can visit our circuit board repair page or call 800-605-6419.

What is RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance)

Portrait of two factory workers pointing away while working with piping and machines in modern workshop, copy space

To ensure machines’ longevity, optimum efficiency, and safety of employees, any company that manages physical assets needs an efficient preventative maintenance program. One such program is reliability-centered maintenance, commonly referred to as RCM. 

RCM was first implemented in the aviation sector. However, many other industries worldwide adopted and continue to adopt RCM in their assets integrity management program. It is foundationally analytical, meaning companies can replicate it successfully in any field.

What Is Reliability Centered Maintenance?

RCM is a maintenance program that helps to identify potential failures in a machine, the consequences of those failures, how asset managers can prevent them, and what to do when failure is inevitable.

Reliability-centered maintenance was first documented by F.S. Nowlan and H.F. Heap in a report published by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1978. In the report, Nowlan and Heap defined RCM as “a scheduled-maintenance program designed to realize the inherent reliability capabilities of the equipment.”

Constituents of a Reliability Centered Maintenance Program

Over the years, since its first implementation, many other parties have come up with maintenance systems called RCM despite being different from the traditional RCM. This necessitated a standard that gave birth to the technical specification SAE-JA1011

This technical standard does not explicitly describe a singular process. Instead, it outlines the minimum criteria a maintenance process must meet to qualify as reliability-centered maintenance.

It asks seven questions that create a roadmap to identification, prevention, and response to a machine’s functional failures. Below is a discussion of the seven questions.

1. What is the asset supposed to do, and what are its associated performance standards?

This question helps to identify the equipment’s intended functions. When answering this question, it is best to provide specific metrics in describing an equipment’s functions. For example, ‘To provide 300 gallons of water per minute”.

2. In what ways can the equipment fail to perform its intended functions?

The second part helps to describe the ways that the equipment might fail to perform the intended functions. For example, “Provides less than 300 gallons of water per minute”.

3. What are the potential causes of failure?

Function failures can arise from various factors, including equipment fatigue, human error, design flaw, and less than ideal operating conditions.

4. What are the effects of each failure?

This question answers how each potential failure may affect the quality, rate, and cost of production.

5. How does each function failure matter?

This question extrapolates the broader risks that could arise if a piece of equipment fails. Steps 4 and 5 help to validate the required maintenance practices. 

6. What systematic processes should be applied to reduce the probability of failure?

By highlighting the consequences of each failure in steps 4 and 5, asset managers can prioritize the order in which they need to mitigate each failure. Selecting a maintenance task over another should be based on each failure’s magnitude of consequences, occurrence probability, and mitigation costs.

7. What should be done if failure is inevitable?

This question addresses what should be done if you cannot find a suitable prevention task for any failure identified in the earlier steps. 

If that kind of failure occurs at the end of the equipment’s life cycle, it’s best to plan and schedule a replacement of the entire equipment. However, if it happens early in the life cycle, teams should redesign or modify the parts causing the failure.

Contact ACS Industrial Services. We are Here to Help!

After years of frustration from a lack of reliable electronic repair services, we started ACS Industrial Services to solve industrial repair problems quickly, cost-effectively, and with friendly service.

Call us today at 800-605-6419 or use the contact form on our website to speak to a team member.

Encoder Repair and Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting your Servo Motor Repair

Encoder Repair and Troubleshooting

Servo motors are an essential part of most production units. A servo motor is an electronic actuator that facilitates efficient and precise control of a machine’s linear or angular position, velocity, and acceleration. The voltage dictates the torque and speed that a servo motor produces supplied to it.

To troubleshoot your servo motor, you must understand its construction and essential parts. A servo motor consists of a motor coupled to a position feedback sensor and a controller.

Servo motors find functions in various industries. Some of the most common servo motor uses include:

  • Robotics
  • Automated manufacturing
  • Operating and controlling conveyor belts
  • Autofocus systems in cameras
  • Controlling printers
  • Automatic doors

Troubleshooting Your Servo Motor Repair

Like with other other electronic components, you can expect to run into issues with your servo motor after a while. Below are some of the most common issues with servo motors and how to deal with them:

Servo Motor Producing Abnormal Noises

As a motor’s rotor rotates, it produces a humming sound which is expected in normal operating conditions. However, when that sound gets loud and obnoxious, it indicates something is wrong.

The most common reasons your servo motor might produce abnormal noises are either incorrect wiring or a fault in the circuitry.

If this happens, you should run tests to ensure that it is adequately grounded and powered correctly.

What to Check if Your Servo Motor Isn’t Working

If the servo motor isn’t working, it can be worrisome to your team. However, there are three areas you should check before sending your motor in for repairs:

  1. Output from the drive
  2. Continuity of the cable
  3. The servo motor itself

Checking these will let you know if there is sufficient voltage present or if there’s another issue afoot. 

Overheating Servo Motor

It is not uncommon for servo motors to overheat after long hours of operation. If that happens, it is best to turn off the machine and let it cool down for a while before resuming operations. 

That said, servo motors also overheat for other reasons such as:

  • High ambient temperatures
  • Poor ventilation
  • Old or worn-out parts

Suppose its overheating is not consistent with extended operating hours. In that case, you should mitigate the above factors by ensuring that your plant is climate controlled and that all critical components are well serviced.

Reduced Torque

Torque is the amount of force required to rotate a system. Here is what to do if your servo motor fails to deliver enough torque:

  • Check its amplifier rating
  • Check its workload limits
  • Check for voltage drops 
  • Inspect and test for bad capacitors
  • Check for improper connections

Contact a Professional for Your Servo Motor Repair

Troubleshooting and repairing servo motors requires a sound understanding of electromechanically controlled motors and actuators. Otherwise, it can turn into a complex and dangerous feat. Also, some repair procedures, such as those involving feedback and alignment, require expensive and sophisticated equipment, which you can only find in professional repair shops. 

At ACS Electronic Repairs, we are proficient in troubleshooting and repairing servo motors from manufacturers such as Allen Bradley, Indramet, and Fanuc.

Contact us today for your servo motor troubleshooting and repair needs. With our Rush Repair service, you can have your servo motor back in your hands in 7-15 days. You may also call us directly at 800-605-6419.