Industrial Electronics Basics: What Makes a Great Electronic Repair Technician?

Industrial Electronics Basics: What Makes a Great Electronic Repair Technician?

What Makes a Great Electronic Repair Technician?

Sometimes, keeping your business up and running is a matter of having the right technician to ensure your repair process is seamless and efficient. A repair technician will have a particular set of tasks, such as troubleshooting, repairing, testing, and maintaining equipment to keep it from breaking down. However, to excel in electronics repair, a repair tech’s skills must surpass their ability to perform these responsibilities. They must also have qualities that support their technical knowledge.

So, what makes a great electronic repair technician? There is more than meets the eye when it comes to finding one. Below are some of the factors to consider:

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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.

Avoid E-Waste: Repair, Replace, Reuse, Donate, or Recycle Your Electronic Equipment?

reuse electronics50 million tons! That’s right – that’s how much e-waste is expected to be generated in 2020, ALONE! What is e-waste, exactly? Discarded electronic equipment– anything discarded that has/had a battery or plug.

Is most of this e-waste industrial? Consumer? It’s both, of course. Both consumers and businesses are regularly faced with the dilemma – is it more cost effective to repair electronics? Or to replace? And if you choose to replace, what then do you do with the damaged item you no longer need? All good questions!

The Bad & The Ugly:

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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
  • 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, 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

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, 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