Avoid Common Failures: 5 Steps for Safely Restarting Equipment


Published: May 12, 2020

As the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, businesses are restarting manufacturing equipment and starting to ramp back up to full capacity. This stresses the equipment, and as a result, some companies may experience electronic failures.

5 Steps for Safely Restarting Equipment

Although we are all eager to get back to work and to get production lines up and running, some precautions should be taken to avoid problems. Here are five steps to follow to mitigate startup problems and prevent the risks of equipment failing and shutting down your production lines.
  1. Check Connections and Fuses
    Are the cable connections solid, and is the cabling in good condition? Are fuses in good condition?

  2. Check for Condensation
    Inspect boards for visible moisture and dry them thoroughly before applying power.

  3. Bring the System Up in Stages
    When bringing systems back online, bring them up one at a time. Powering on multiple systems at once can cause unnecessary stress on power distribution systems, which can then cause under voltage and over voltage conditions that may damage other systems. Monitor each system as it comes online. That way, if a problem is detected, the affected system can be taken offline before causing a cascade of failures down the line.

    • Allow equipment to warm up and proceed to the enable stage. Watch for power surges or control processors getting “stuck” somewhere during the enable process.

    • Verify the motors and or sensors are responding correctly.

    • Verify hydraulic systems are responding to start up.

  4. Have Necessary Spares On Hand
    Having spares on hand is critical for being able to respond quickly to equipment failure. We anticipate a surge in demand for electronic repair as states start to reopen, and manufacturing comes back online. If you have spares that need repair, send them in now to get ahead of the crowd.

  5. Have A Repair Plan Identified
    Start by considering what your internal repair capabilities are and identify where gaps exist. Work with your electronics repair provider to ensure they understand what your potential needs could be. It’s also important to know whether your repair provider has the proper repair and testing capabilities so they are ready to respond immediately if your equipment fails.

Common Industrial Electronic Equipment Failures

There is a broad spectrum of failures that can occur with industrial electronic equipment. Some of the most common are:

  • Battery Failures. Prolonged shutdown leaves control processors without power. This means they must rely on small internal backup batteries to maintain your settings and configurations. When these batteries die, your operating parameters can become corrupted or erased completely. We have the expertise to identify and replace these batteries. In some cases, we have the ability to clone a good working unit so you can avoid the time and difficulty in reprogramming the settings from scratch.

  • Equipment Does Not Turn On. It is easy to take for granted that devices will turn on, but the power-on process is more complicated than it may seem. During a typical turn-on, hundreds of electronic components must perform their function in an orchestrated sequence of events. If one component fails, the entire circuit may not operate. Many industrial devices are powered 24/7/365, so these failed components are not exposed until a restart. What do you do when nothing happens when you flip on the power switch? We have years of experience diagnosing these types of power-on problems, replacing the failed components, and getting your equipment back online quickly.

  • Intermittent Issues. There are a variety of conditions that lead to intermittent problems. In our 50 plus years of repairing electronics, we have seen it all. Let us evaluate your equipment to help diagnose the problem.

  • Operator Interfaces Display Errors. Vertical or horizontal lines through the display, fuzzy text, or a dim backlight are some of the problems you may see on an operator interface display. These problems usually get worse over time, so address them as soon as the schedule permits. Replacement LCD screens are available, but due to worldwide supply chain issues, lead times have been up to 10 weeks if we do not have it in stock. Call us, and we can pre-order the one you need to minimize your downtime.

  • We're Ready When You Are!

    Throughout our 50+ years of experience, we are proud to have supported thousands of different companies and industries across the world. We have seen almost every type of electronic failure possible and will use that knowledge to continue to support you during this unprecedented time in history. Our highly skilled technicians and engineers are ready and able to help you. Call us today at 716-836-2100 or visit our website at controlrepair.com for more information.


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