Are Industrial Automation and Robotics the Same Thing?

automation repairsWell, yes and no! When we use “automation” and “robotics” in the same sentence, we are usually talking about industrial automation. That is – controlling the physical processes of manufacturing with non-human machinery.

That automated machinery is made up of numerous components including, but not limited to:
  • Teach Pendants
  • Light Curtains
  • Monitors/HMI’s
  • Servo Motors
  • Drives
  • Axis Boards
  • Operator Control Panels
  • Wrist Assemblies
  • Processors
  • Spot Welding
  • Amplifiers
  • Power Supplies
  • Weld Guns
  • End of Arm Tooling
  • Circuit Boards

These components together create both physical machines and control systems that automate previously human tasks in an industrial process. If this sounds futuristic, it’s not! It’s here now and here to stay.

The CNC machines we are all familiar with are common examples of automation in manufacturing. Robots, however, take things quite a bit further.

How are robots impacting us?

Let your imagination run wild and then double that! The automation robotics market is expanding at a fantastic rate as robots replace humans in industry in the U.S. and abroad. For example, construction robotics alone are expected to grow 450% in the next five years, and similarly medical robots. This is mind altering for many of us!

So what exactly IS the difference between automation and robotics?
  • Automation — Automation involves the use of computer software, machines and/or other technology to carry out a task which was previously done by a human. There are many types of automation. These range from the mechanical to the fully virtual. And from the simple to the very complex. A recent tour I took of a major international cosmetics company plant was a great example of both simple and highly complex automation.
  • Robotics — Robotics incorporates multiple disciplines to design, build, program and use robotic machines to complete human tasks, using both physical elements and  usually some type of artificial intelligence.

The two are typically interrelated, though not always. Robots are used to automate some physical tasks, such as in manufacturing.

Some good news!

These systems can be expensive but they can also save a lot of money in the long run. If you’ve invested a lot of money into your automation systems you will want them to last for a good, long time! The really good news is that this often-expensive equipment can be repaired when damaged.

Do you have questions or concerns about your robotics and automation equipment, or do you think it may need service? If it’s still under warranty, contact your OEM. If it is out of warranty, contact an independent industrial electronic repair center. They should offer free evaluations for your automation components and, if needed, a free quote for repairs. They should also provide repair reports and a good warranty that covers both parts and labor.

About the Author: ACS Industrial is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for automation equipment of most types and most all manufacturers including Fanuc repairs, Nachi repairs, Kawasaki automation repairs, ABB repairs, Yaskawa repairs, Sick repairs, Kuka repairs, Comau repairs, and Motoman repairs , as well as servo drive repairs, VFD drive repairs, teach pendant repairs, HMI and Operator Control repairs, 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

REAL LIFE STORIES: What to do When a Damaged Circuit Board Causes BIG Manufacturing Problems

Nedpar circuit boards OE 1001-1REAL LIFE STORIES: Even a tiny damaged circuit board can cause BIG problems! When you are producing aluminum and steel you need to be able to be able to shear! In the right place at the right time! What happens when you can’t? Downtime and a whole lot of frustration!

This is the frustration we heard from our steel and aluminum manufacturer customer:   “This board input signals are correct but the outputs are random and incorrect. This board controls a shear and the shear will not operate correctly.”

Random and incorrect shearing = big headache! The good news is this Nedpar circuit boards p/nOE 1001-1/  was perfectly repairable! It needed a lot of cleaning and a lot of new components including 11 capacitors, 6 optocouplers and 3 ICs. It was evaluated, quoted, repaired, tested and shipped back in just 5 business days getting our customer back up and running! Or should we say back up and shearing?

Frustration quickly became satisfaction! Here’s what our customer had to say:

Hi Larry, I wanted to thank you and your team for the expedited service fixing our circuit board. The board has been installed and we are back up and running. Thank you all again for the excellent service” – Greg.

This makes our day! Solving our customer’s electronic repair problems is what we live for! Do you need circuit board repairs too? Nedpar circuit board repairs? We can help!

If you want to know how you can get more out of your circuit boards and extend their life use this link to a previous post you will want to check out. 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 your industrial circuit boards or electronics are out of warranty and need repairs, 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 upon completion 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.

Can Your Legacy Pacific Scientific Servo Equipment be Repaired?

servo amp repairsIn a word: Yes! Legacy Pacific Scientific servo equipment CAN typically be repaired! There’s a ton of really good Pacific Scientific servo equipment still out there in manufacturing plants being used every single day. You might also be wondering what ever happened to this excellent brand. Don’t worry! The story of the Pac Sci brand isn’t mysterious or unusual.

The Pac Sci equipment brand was purchased by Kollmorgen several years ago and until 2011 kept the Pacific Scientific branding and developed a few new products under the Pac Sci name. But, when the Danaher Corporation divested itself from the Pacific Scientific Aerospace business (a separate business from the Kollmorgen business) it included the sale of the Pacific Scientific brand name and logo. This forced Kollmorgen to remove all the Pacific Scientific branding and replace it with Kollmorgen branding. Simple, just business as usual.Pacific scientific servo drive

The good news is that your legacy Pacific Scientific equipment is usually repairable. And, also usually well worth repairing. Here’s a handy chart with a few part numbers of Pacific Scientific equipment that we frequently see in our shop for repairs with reference pricing based on previous repairs. Your repair may be slightly different depending on the amount of damage or cause of failure.

 

Pacific Scientific SC323A001 Servo Drive $2,174
Pacific Scientific SC753A001-01 Servo Drive $2,710
Pacific Scientific SC902 Servo Drive $1,789
Pacific Scientific SC902-001-01 Servo Drive $2,174
Pacific Scientific SC903-001-01 Servo Amplifier $1,672
Pacific Scientific SC903-001-01 Servo Amplifier $1,488
Pacific Scientific SC905-001-01 Servo Drive $2,304
Pacific Scientific SC905-001-01 Servo Drive $2,048

servo drive circuit board repairsDo you have questions about your Pacific Scientific servo amplifier or drive? Do you think it may need service? If it is out of warranty, contact an independent industrial electronic repair center. They should offer free evaluations for your servo controller and, if needed, a free quote for repairs. They should also provide repair reports and a good warranty that covers both parts and labor.

If you want to find out more about identifying the problem with your Pacific Scientific, or any other servo drive, here’s a previous post with some helpful information.

About the Author: ACS Industrial is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for servo amplifiers and servo controllers of all types and most all manufacturers including Pacific Scientific and Kollmorgen repairs, as well as 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 usually be repaired! RUSH Service is available. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419

 

 

Real Life Stories: Sanyo Denki Drive Unit Down! Please Rush!

sanyo denki drive unit repairs“Please rush this as fast as possible! We are down!”

We get it! We don’t like downtime either! It’s costly! Time to jump into action! Let’s get this Sanyo Denki Drive CFZ0A100DR4601 with error codes back to working order.

So what was wrong with this old and very dirty sanyo denki repairsdrive unit?

Mostly just that – age and dirt, lots of build up! There’s no getting around that! Testing showed numerous components had failed.  To repair this drive would mean virtually rebuilding it. And that’s what our customer needed us to do!

We replaced many components including:
  • 10 capacitors on all control boards, bus-cap, and IGBT
  • installed a new fan
  • reworked the gate circuits
  • tested and repaired the breaking /regenerative circuits
  • tested and repaired the relay’s contacts
  • tested the entire unit
  • Did we mention it was really dirty? Lots of cleaning to get rid of all the build up!

sanyo denki CFZ0A100DR4601In just a few days this unit was back to work – practically brand new again! With a two year warranty! And best of all, our mid-west US customer reported success after installing their rebuilt Sanyo Denki drive! Their CNC shop was back to work machining both gray and ductile iron! Good stuff! We love our CNC machining customers!

Do you have questions or concerns about your servo drive, or you think it may need service? If it’s still under warranty, contact your OEM. If it is out of warranty, contact an independent industrial electronic repair center. They should offer free evaluations for your servo drive and, if needed, a free quote for repairs. They should also provide repair reports and a good warranty that covers both parts and labor. Need a little more information about identifying a problem with your servo drive? Go here for a previous post on the 7 Signs!

Is your Sanyo Denki drive giving you error codes? Not working? We can help! 

 

About the Author: ACS Industrial is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for servo drives and motors of all types and most all manufacturers as well as for AC/DC drives, VFD drives,  encoders, printed circuit board repairs, monitors and touchscreens, PLCs, test equipment, light curtains, and much more. Their helpful and knowledgeable 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

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.

6 Signs Your Industrial Logic Circuit Board Has Gone Bad

logic board repairsMaybe your production came to an abrupt halt, or you are getting all kinds of beeping and error codes from your industrial electronics.  Could your industrial logic circuit board be the culprit? These are potentially expensive problems to have when it means production is affected. You want to get answers fast!

Here are just 6 signs that your logic circuit board has gone bad and repairs or replacement could be needed:
  1. Error codes on operator’s screen – pretty good indicator that complete failure is about to occur
  2. Warning beeps – this is a head’s up; go check your manual for more information before a catastrophic failure occurs
  3. No power – too late! Your unit will likely not power up although the power supply may still work
  4. Corrupt data – won’t pass data correctly, errors will keep occurring
  5. Random rebooting – when your equipment seems to be “possessed by poltergeists” and reboots or runs rogue
  6. Smoke, fire, or that “burnt electronics smell” – pretty obvious

These are all possible signs of logic circuit board failure which means the “brains” of your equipment has lost its marbles.  Smoke and fire of course are a bit more alarming than the others but all can be responsible for costly equipment down time.

What should you do if you suspect your logic circuit board is bad?

This depends on your level of expertise with electronic equipment , your budget, and the value of your time.  It also depends on the amount of time you have to devote to DIY repairs.   The simplest solution?  You can pull the logic circuit board and put in your spare (you do have one ready to go, right?) and then ship the bad board out for professional circuit board repairs.

If you have some level of experience with electronics, have unplugged the unit first and then removed the board, you may consider doing the following:

  • Visually inspect the logic board for obvious signs of failure – burn marks, cracked capacitors, scratches or damage, solder problems
  • 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
  • Get the schematic drawing for the board to find the test points and voltages for normal circuit operation; use an oscilloscope and/or multimeter to test for measured matches to see if the board is operating normally

To save you time, money and frustration we recommend sending the suspect logic circuit board to an experienced professional industrial electronic repair company.  This is usually the most time and cost efficient way to get the board evaluated and repaired.  Having a working spare board handy is  important if you want to keep production going while the board is being repaired.

If you are searching for a repair center for your damaged logic circuit board 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 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, repairs for power supplies, drives, servo motors, CNC equipment, encoders, monitors and touchscreens, test equipment, light curtains, and much more.  Rush Service is available and a comprehensive 2-Year Warranty covers most repairs.  The customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair problems. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419 or going to www.acsindustrial.com.

Should I Get My Home Oven Circuit Board Repaired?

The short answer is no, probably not.

We get calls regularly from folks who are really frustrated with their oven circuit boards or other appliance boards.

Whether it’s damage from that time your aunt set the sweet potato casserole on fire, or maybe your very pricey oven clock finally decided it’s five o’clock ALL the time–we hear you. And we’re sorry you are in this frustrating predicament. Unfortunately, often these boards may be cheaper to replace than repair.

We would like to help, of course. But just like you wouldn’t take your bicycle to the dentist, we don’t recommend sending your bicycle or your electric banjo or your oven board to an industrial electronic repair service such as ACS.

That’s not to say that those little damaged circuit boards cannot cause a big crisis. A treadmill failure during a snow storm could cause a houseful of misery.

A lightning surge that disables an inverter may be the inconvenience that sets a whole new set of disasters in motion. We’ve heard about a few of those, too.

Much as we’d like to provide solutions for everyone, those issues are not in our wheelhouse, so to speak. We’re here for your industrial manufacturing electronic repairs and THAT’s how we can help.

Oven boards, spa boards and treadmill controls are all usually best handled as replacements rather than repair. If you searched all around for replacements and are still stuck, we recommend working with a local appliance repair shop or consulting fixyourboard.com. They cheerfully handle appliance board repairs and they offer a two-year warranty, just like we do here at ACS. 

So, after reading all of the above, if you have a part that you think ACS should evaluate, just give us a call to discuss it. We take your calls, live, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Eastern at (800)605-6419.

If you’d rather talk to a machine, call after hours or email any time service@acsindustrial.com.

Help for Water Damaged Industrial Electronic Equipment

Bosch circuit board with water damage

This corroded, water damaged circuit board was repairable!

Has it rained near you in the past 48 hours?  Probably.  Nearly every state in the U.S. has experienced heavy rains and flooding this spring.  With the floods came the resulting water damaged industrial electronic equipment.  Seems like there is always another storm right behind the last one with barely a chance to catch your breath and assess the damage.

Water and electronics are not friends. They are about as likely as Steelers and Ravens fans to make nice. If your best efforts to keep your industrial electronics dry have failed, do not despair.  Water damaged electronics, as well as overheated electronics (for you parched Californians) are often repairable.

If your facility has been hit by flooding and you think you might need industrial electronic equipment repairs, ACS can help.  There is NO COST for evaluating your equipment.  Our expert electronic repair team has experience with:

  • Printed circuit boards
  • Power supplies
  • Drives – Servo, AC, DC, VFD
  • Servo Motors
  • Encoders, Tachs, and Resolvers
  • PLCs & Process controllers
  • HMIs & Operator Controls
  • Monitors & Touchscreens
  • CNC Equipment
  • And much more – if it is electronic and comes out of an industrial plant, we can probably repair it.

Got questions?  Call or message our always-helpful customer service team if you think you might need power supply repairs, servo motor repairs, monitor repairs, servo drive repairs, circuit board repairs, or any other industrial electronic repairs.  We can help  you determine the reparability of your water-logged industrial electronics and get them back into service for you, quickly and efficiently.

You can reach us at 800-605-6419 or go directly to our website at www.acsindustrial.com  for more information or to request a free evaluation for your damaged industrial electronics.

We’ve got our boots, umbrellas, and in some cases KAYAKS at the ready so we can be in the shop to repair your equipment.  Here in Maryland by the end of the week it will become the wettest June on record, and that includes June 1972! (Hurricane Agnes for you youngsters).   Flooded roads, washed out bridges, home power outages and hail damage have not stopped us yet!  Carry on!

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 power supply repairs, 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 industrial electronic repair problems. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419 or going to www.acsindustrial.com.

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.

Amazing Charmilles CNC Board Repairs Get Machine Shop Up and Running

Expert Charmilles CNC Circuit Board Repairs

Charmilles CNC Circuit Board Before Repairs

Machine shops are usually pretty busy places, and sometimes, pretty dirty places.  All that grease and dirt have a sneaky way of getting in where you don’t want them.  Take a look at the before picture of this board out of a Charmilles Wire EDM.  Now that is one dirty board!  But that was only part of the problem.

The other problems were corrosion and damaged components.  Once again, the evil trifecta of dirt, grease and moisture have brought this machine to a stop with error messages and slowed production in this Midwest U.S. machine shop.

After a good scrubbing, lots of testing, repair and replacement of damaged components, this grungy board came out beautiful (see “after” photo).

Get Expert Repairs for Your Damaged Charmilles CNC Boards

Charmilles CNC Circuit Board After Repairs

And what did the customer have to say about it?“Put board in works great.  Been cutting all day with it, thank you”.      JamesThat says it all!