How to Decode Your Industrial Electronic Repair Report

Capacitors for industrial electronic repairDid you ever request an industrial electronic repair report only to have no idea what it actually means?  Many purchasers of electronic repairs are very knowledgeable about electronics, but more than a few are not. Fear not! Knowledge is power and for those folks who don’t have a strong knowledge of electronic repair, we created an “electronics cheat sheet” of parts and terms frequently seen on repair reports for industrial electronic equipment.  Never be in the dark again!

  • Capacitors – device for storing a charge of electricity; frequently seen in power supplies, drives, and on many circuit boards; capacitors can cause a painful and possibly lethal electrical shock if touched even if disconnected for weeks.
  • Diodes – semiconductor device that allows current to flow in only one direction; often used in power supplies and circuit boards (diode array is a grouping of diodes that may or may not be connected and each allows the flow of electricity in one direction and prevents it in the opposite direction)
  • EEPROM – (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) used in many electronics to store small amounts of data that must be saved even when the power source is removed such as calibration tables or device configurations and programs
  • Cathode – short for Cathode Ray Tube (also CRT)is a big heavy gas discharge light source that makes its light output from a phosphor coating inside the glass envelope; used inside of older monitors including touchscreen monitors
  • LCD –“ liquid crystal display” monitor screen that shows/displays a video signal
  • Solder/solder traces – solder is made of metal alloys and used to join together metal surfaces to each other. The solder traces are the silvery lines of metal connecting electronic components. Older solder is lead based while newer solder is lead-free
  • Switches – just like a light switch, these are small devices that turn a circuit on or off in all electronic devices
  • Resistors – a passive component that regulates (resists) the flow of electrical current which controls the current to other component(s) in a circuit
  • Output/Input – the place where the power leaves or enters a piece of equipment or a system; for example, many non-working power supplies come in with problem description of “no output”
  • Leakage Current – means electrical current is going where it shouldn’t; frequently happens when insulation is old or damaged. Test for this with a clamp meter
  • Load (or Line) Regulation – the ability of the unit to maintain a constant voltage or current level on the output channel even if there are changes in the supply’s load; usually a term for power supplies. AVC – Automatic Voltage Compensation is one type of regulation.
  • Load tested/tested under load – tested by putting a demand on the device and measuring its response under expected normal and peak load conditions but not tested in its normal work area/equipment it came out of
  • Statically tested – Testing of individual components and circuit sections to verify that the unit works but not tested in normal work conditions
  • Dynamically tested – tested by subjecting the unit to simulated work conditions that could include vibration, shock, bumps, temperature and humidity variations, etc. to make sure the unit works in most expected conditions
  • QC Passed – Quality control has inspected and approved all of the work from repairs to cleaning to reassembly

Industrial Electronic RepairsThis list is just a small selection of commonly used terms. If you receive a repair report and don’t fully understand it, you should not hesitate to call your repair center for more explanation.  Any customer- oriented repair center should be more than happy to explain their terminology and work completed. If you are searching for a repair center for your damaged industrial electronics, check first to see if your equipment is still under warranty and 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 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 repair services for printed circuit board repairs of all types and manufacturers, drives, servo motors, CNC equipment, encoders, monitors and touchscreens, PLCs, test equipment, light curtains, and much more. The customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair concerns. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419 or going to www.acsindustrial.com.