When it comes to electronic repairs, there are many routes and shortcuts that can be taken to get the unit back up and running. In some industries, this not be an issue, but when it comes to industrial electronics and manufacturing repairs, cutting corners will ultimately result in unsatisfactory outcomes for you and your company. Today, we are going to outline why improper repair could be a major issue for you and your business, how to identify when a repair has been done incorrectly, and what factors you should take into account when trusting a repair facility with your equipment.
Unfortunately, unreliable repair shops exist and lack industry knowledge and experience, this ineptitude results in your equipment being mishandled and repaired incorrectly. As mentioned above, there are many issues that can and do arise when these drives, motors, and other manufacturing components are repaired incorrectly.
- Shortcuts make matters worse
- DIY repairs could cause injuries
- Lengthy repair lead-times and/or downtime – is it worth it?
- Getting faulty repairs fixed could be more expensive
Many times, taking a simple shortcut is all is required to set off a domino effect of machine troubles. Simply put, shortcuts make matters worse. If luck is on your side, it is possible that the quick fix will solve the problem at hand. However, it is more likely that it will not only not fix the original issue, but will create several new issues that now need to be addressed. Cue the domino effect. Another issue that comes up is attempting to do the repair yourself. While the repair process may seem simple enough to handy-man your way through, If you are not completely familiar with the unit you are working on, severe injuries can happen. Safety, while repairing and troubleshooting your equipment, is incredibly important. It doesn’t just include using the proper equipment to repair and troubleshoot, it includes the person performing repairs also be wearing the proper safety gear. If you have not yet read our article on maintaining safety while troubleshooting, we highly recommend you do so. Check it out here.
If you have attempted the repair by yourself or you have sent it in for repair to an unreliable repair shop, you could be looking at lengthy downtimes for your business. The main question you should ask yourself is, can you afford it? If you are DIYing the unit, and something goes wrong, you would need to send it out for repair by someone else and therefore you are now waiting even longer to get your machine back up and running. Or if you chose the cheapest repair shop possible and it is not done correctly, do you have the time to wait for it to be sent to another facility?
The last issue we mention goes along with taking shortcuts. However, this time we are talking about money. When repairs are done improperly or cause a handful of new problems, the cost of repair can go up exponentially. A simple issue that could have been fixed by a reputable repair shop for a few hundred dollars could end up costing $1000 or more when all is said and done.
Next, let’s discuss red flags that could be indicators for faulty repair jobs. Maybe you sent your drive out for repair and it comes back and everything looks to be in order but how could you know for sure it was all done correctly? Below is a list of things that we consider to be red flags in shoddy repair work. Just reiterate, these are things we see every single day on units sent to us after being sent to another repair shop first.
- Sloppy Soldering
- Burn marks on PCBs
- Missing VIA pads on PCBs
- Mismatched Components
- Burned Plastic Connectors
- Cold Solder Joints
These items listed above are just some of the things that we see in bad repair work. Things like sloppy soldering work and cold solder joints are repair skill basics, meaning they should be simple to do. What is concerning is that if the basics are not done correctly, how confident do you think they were in resolving the more difficult issues. Burn marks on the PCB could be caused while attempting to desolder components and mismatched components refer to things like incorrectly sized electrolytic capacitors. All of the above could result in your machine to not be repaired or breaking down pretty quickly after getting it back.
Lastly, how do you choose the right repair facility? One that is reliable, experienced, and trustworthy enough to handle your expensive equipment. We have created a list of items to consider when choosing the best repair shop.
- Free Comprehensive Evaluations – Not only should the evaluation be detailed & accurate, but you should also steer clear if you are charged an evaluation or “bench fee” before knowing if the unit is repairable.
- Warranties on Parts and Labor – If a repair shop is reputable they should stand behind their labor and the units they sell. Typically, a 12-month warranty is provided on parts and labor to help maintain quality assurance.
- Reliable and Accurate Testing and Simulation – Full-product testing should be a standard in the repair process. It is pivotal to being able to ensure the performance of the repaired product when it arrives back in your facility. If testing is not done, this means that the component could break down right when starting up and you are left right back where you started.
- Competitive Pricing – Obviously, money is always a motivating factor when choosing a company to work with. However, if you feel that you are getting “the deal of a lifetime” on your repairs, it is a good idea to reevaluate your decision. This is especially true when you have received multiple repair quotes and everyone else’s price is around the same and significantly higher than the low-baller. Remember, you get what you pay for.
- Knowledgeable and Experienced – How can you tell if a company is knowledgeable and experienced in what they do? Typically, additional service offerings such as field service and free technical support is a good indicator that they have the expertise to provide you with exceptional & reliable service.
So there you have it, we have just outlined what bad repair work looks like, how it can affect your business, and how to decide on the right company to perform these repairs. As a bonus, check out the video below to see an actual unit that we received with some tell-tale signs of being repaired improperly beforehand.