Author Archives: sachin

  1. Replace vs Repair: Circuit Board Repair Services

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    Circuit Board Repair

    Found in almost all electronics, printed circuit boards (PCBs) provide the basic technology that enables mobile devices, computers, and other electronics to function. They are generally built with layers of copper and non-conductive insulation material and provide a compact way to keep components safely insulated while connected to a power source. 

    Circuit boards are becoming increasingly space-efficient and affordable, but it is vitally important to select the appropriate PCB for a given application to ensure that components remain safe and functional.

    Different Types of Circuit Boards

    Circuit boards come in a variety of designs, each appropriate for specific use cases. Some of the main designs include:

    • Single-sided. Best used in simple electronics, single-sided circuit boards have just one layer of base material coated in a layer of conductive metal. All of the circuits are located on one side.
    • Double-sided. One of the most commonly used types of PCB, double-sided circuit boards features circuits and conductive layers on both sides. 
    • Multilayer. Multilayer circuit boards are thicker than double- or single-sided boards. Their many layers provide extra power supply to the circuits and reduce electromagnetic interference.
    • Rigid. Frequently made out of materials like fiberglass, rigid circuit boards are inflexible and often found inside computer towers.
    • Flex. Flex circuit boards are made from flexible plastic, enabling them to fit into a wider variety of forms, including complex machinery such as satellites. These boards can twist without disrupting the circuits.
    • Rigid-flex. Rigid-flex circuit boards consist of a flex board joined to a rigid board. They can be customized to fit the needs of their intended application.

    Known Circuit Board Issues

    Due to their ubiquity, circuit board failures can cause huge problems. PCB failure often leads the entire electrical device to shut down. Circuit boards can encounter a number of common problems, such as:

    • They can be physically damaged if the device containing them is dropped or roughly handled.
    • Faulty components are also common—older boards are more likely to encounter component failures, as are boards that have been frequently overheated.
    • Environmental factors often lead to boards expanding and contracting, as well as corroding due to excessive moisture exposure.  

    Circuit boards may encounter additional issues if not properly designed. For example, if there is not enough clearance between the copper and the edge of the circuit board, the copper may be exposed during trimming. This can lead to corrosion, shortening the lifespan of the board. Finding the right experts to repair circuit boards is vital to ensuring their longevity.

    Can a Circuit Board Be Repaired?

    While there are a wide variety of issues that circuit boards may encounter, it is often possible to fully repair the circuit board rather than simply replacing it. For over 40 years, our experts at Schneider Electric have been setting the standard for repairing industrial electronics. We offer a wide array of services, including scheduled maintenance programs, integrated manufacturing support services, and repairs and upgrades of our automation products. 

    If a circuit board has become obsolete, we will design and fabricate replacement components that may otherwise be difficult to find. This option is often more affordable than replacing the entire board. 

    Throughout everything we do, we are committed to providing innovative solutions and exceptional customer service that our customers can rely on.

    Contact us today to request more information about our circuit board repair capabilities.

  2. Your Guide to Servo Motors

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    All About Servo Motors

    Servo motors are self-contained electrical components often employed in closed-loop mechanical systems. Depending on the application, they help system operators maintain control over the speed and/or position of other systems parts.

    Due to their critical function, servo motors require careful maintenance and repair to ensure they remain in optimal working order. At Schneider Electric, we provide a comprehensive range of servo motor repair, replacement, and remanufacturing services to help our customers sustain productivity levels and avoid costly downtime.

    What Are Servo Motors?

    Servo motors consist of a regular motor component integrated with a potentiometer and control circuit. When positioned in a mechanical system, they receive electrical signals—either analog or digital—that dictate how much they should move the attached components (usually shafts).

    These components often find use in the industrial and commercial sectors in applications that require high-precision, high-accuracy control. Equipped with precise sensing and self-correcting capabilities, they are suitable for use in highly complex automation applications, such as assembly or material handling operations. Some of the most common industrial applications include:

    • Airplanes
    • Elevators
    • Food and beverage processing lines
    • In-line manufacturing systems
    • Robots

    How Do Servo Motors Work?

    The key components of a standard servo motor are as follows:

    • The motor
    • The potentiometer
    • The control circuit

    In mechanical systems, the motor attaches to the desired system component, allowing it to change speed and position when prompted by the system operator or pre-programmed automation software. As the motor rotates the component, the potentiometer experiences a change in its resistance. This change is communicated to the control circuit, which determines how the motor should proceed in regard to speed and direction. 

    Servo motors also use a signal wire to create proportional control. This signal wire can read if the equipment is near the desired position or not. Depending on the equipment’s location relative to its goal, it can initiate the following reactions:

    Speeding up the equipment’s movement to reach the desired position faster

    Slowing the equipment down as it nears the desired position

    Disconnecting the power once the equipment is in the right place

    Types of Servo Motors

    Servo motors can be classified based on three factors:

    1. DC vs. AC. The speed of a servo motor depends on whether it features a DC or AC design. In DC servo motors, the speed relies solely on the supply voltage, while in AC servo motors, the speed is dependent on the number of magnetic poles and the voltage frequency. Due to their tolerance for higher currents, AC motors often find use in industrial applications, such as high-precision, high-repetition robotics, and manufacturing operations. DC servo motors are better suited for smaller, lower current applications,
    2. Type of commutation. These motors can have a brushed or brushless design. Brushed motors are typically available at a lower price point and have simpler operating requirements, while brushless motors offer greater reliability and efficiency and lower noise levels. DC motors can be brushed or brushless, while AC motors are generally brushless.
    3. Synchronous or asynchronous rotation of the rotor and field. This distinction generally applies only to AC motors. In synchronous motors, the rotor and magnetic field of the stator rotate at the same speed. In asynchronous motors, the rotor rotates slower than the magnetic field of the stator.

    Servo Motor Repair Services at Schneider Electric

    Servo motors have a variety of industrial and commercial applications. Their ability to handle complex tasks necessitates complex internal systems that need careful repair and maintenance. For customers that need assistance troubleshooting or repairing their servo motor systems, the team at Schneider Electric is here to help.

    With over 40 years of industrial electronic repair experience, we have the knowledge and skills to repair, replace, and/or remanufacture a wide range of servo motors from many popular brands.

    Contact our team today to discuss your servo motor problems and start working towards a solution. 

  3. Distributed Control Systems

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    Distributed Control Systems

    A distributed control system (DCS) acts as the central brain of an industrial facility. It is a central computer that autonomously coordinates the many subsystems (such as sensors and controllers) located around a plant in real-time. DCS are particularly important for controlling complex processes or for large continuous manufacturing plants where top-down control and coordination is vital for efficiency.  

    How Does a Distributed Control System Work?

    Throughout any plant, subsystems such as sensors or data collection devices communicate with the distributed control system through the plant’s high-speed communication network. The DCS reads and interprets production trends to make an automated decision and send instructions to individual controllers—programmable logic controllers (PLCs)—throughout the plant.

    Advantages of Distributed Control Systems

    Distributed control systems are particularly necessary in very large manufacturing operations where thousands of control loops need to be monitored in real-time. Human engineers cannot manually monitor these many individual systems, which is why an automated central system is required. The DCS enables applications such as production scheduling, preventative maintenance scheduling, and information exchange.

    A DCS facilitates the geographical distribution of subsystems throughout your plant. Used correctly, a DCS can greatly monitor or improve operational features such as:

    •       Efficiency
    •       Risk of subsystem failure (and isolate a failed subsystem for maintenance)
    •       Reporting
    •       Safety
    •       Security

    While the main benefit of a DCS is automation, human operators can make changes, input manual overrides, or manually react to alarms or other signals as they see fit. Most DCS include dashboard displays that show trends, production values, alarms, and other information in a way that is easily readable by human operators.   

    What is the Difference Between a DCS and a PLC?

    The main difference between a PLC and a DCS is scale. A PLC is designed to control one or a small handful of production processes. Once programmed, a PLC will perform actions in response to various inputs to regulate industrial production. PLCs are ruggedized to facilitate operation in harsh industrial conditions, such as extreme temperatures or vibrations.

    While PLCs are becoming increasingly sophisticated, they cannot run an entire plant. Instead, a distributed control system is used as the central brain that monitors, supervises and sends instructions to potentially thousands of PLCs at once. The term “orchestration” is frequently used in relation to a DCS—in the spirit of this description, the DCS acts as the conductor, while PLCs are the musicians.

    Schneider Electric Distributed Control System Repair Services

    Although one of the benefits of a distributed control system is the prevention of subsystem failure through monitoring and predictive maintenance, DCS systems require regular maintenance and repair to operate at optimal levels. Repairing a DCS is much more cost-effective than replacing components or the entire system.

    Most DCS-related failures occur in 

    •       Input/output (I/O) modules
    •       Power supplies

    Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services leverages more than 40 years of experience in this area to quickly repair your DCS and restore your plant to operate as efficiently as possible.  

    Our comprehensive service covers DCS from common legacy brands such as Westinghouse Distributed Processing Family (WDPF) and Bailey Net90. Our repairs will extend the operating life of your DCS equipment by 

    •       Replacing components identified as defective by visual inspections and static tests.
    •       Replacing components identified as unreliable because of age or condition.

    Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services performs preliminary testing followed by a dynamic test to confirm all existing problems are identified and addressed. We’re so confident in our ability to identify and fix all DCS issues that our repair work features a one-year warranty for the entire system, not just the components we repaired or replaced.

    Setting the Standard in Electronics Repair

    Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services leads the industry in the repair of complex electronic systems. We strive to be nothing less than exceptional in everything we do, from our repairs and solutions to our customer service. 

    Contact us to discuss the maintenance and repair needs for your distributed control system.

  4. Industrial Electronics Repair Service

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    Industrial Electronics Repair Service

    Schneider Electric offers a complete industrial electronics repair service designed to keep costs down for manufacturers. With a large team of highly trained technicians and engineers with over 40 years of automation and controls repair experience, we offer a one-year warranty that covers the complete item you send us for repair—not just the parts we replace.

    Using state-of-the-art technology to carry out testing, we determine which components are at high risk of failure and replace them. Our team performs both static and dynamic tests to assure reliability.  

    Our industrial electronics repair service:

    • Typically costs half (or less) as much as replacing equipment
    • Keeps obsolete products reliably in service for longer
    • Removes the need for training staff to use new equipment or software
    • Avoids the need to re-engineer processes
    • Can conduct testing and certification
    • Helps avoid downtime through scheduled maintenance

    AC Drive/DC Drive Repair

    Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services can handle repairs on all AC drives, DC drives, and motor controls. We handle drive repairs on equipment from all major manufacturers and load test AC drives rated from a fraction of one horsepower up to hundreds of horsepower.

    We offer: 

    • Visual inspection to identify obvious issues, followed by static and dynamic testing
    • Quality repair jobs in a timely and cost-effective manner
    • Repair of products including inverters, AC drives, DC drives, Vector drives, soft starts, drive boards, motor controls, and drive subassemblies
    •  Capability to locate parts and repair equipment commonly believed to be obsolete
    • Serviceable or non-serviceable equipment certifications

    PLC Repair

    Programmable logic controls (PLC) are industrial computer control systems that monitor inputs and output (I/O) modules and make decisions. As the functional nervous system behind many of the applications in your facility, PLCs must always function at optimal levels to ensure consistent process efficiency.

    Our expertly trained technicians:

    • Perform repairs supported by engineers who design and test equipment using programs that fully exercise the functionality and onboard memory of each PLC or I/O module
    • Replace all component parts discovered to be defective during testing
    • Replace any components likely to be unreliable due to partage or as suggested by our expansive historical repair database
    • Use dedicated test equipment designed to fully examine the full capabilities input-output modules to ensure the functionality

    Distributed Control System (DCS) Repair

    A Distributed Control System (DCS) is a computerized control system for a plant with a large number of control loops. Autonomous controllers are geographically distributed throughout the system, connected by a high-speed communication network and controlled through a central operator supervisory control.

    At Schneider Electric Industrial Repair Services we understand that most DCS failures occur due to: 

    • Input/output (I/O) module failure
    • Power supply modules failure

    Our DCS repair service offering includes: 

      • Fixing a broad range of legacy DCS equipment from well-known brands
      • Identify and replace defective components, ultimately extending the service life of the equipment
      • Repairing components that are likely to be unreliable based on our historical database and the age of the part
      • Performing a dynamic test to ensure we have addressed all the possible problems typically found in a DCS

    Industrial Electronic Repair Services at Schneider Electric Repair

    Repairing industrial electronics instead of replacing them with new ones is often the smartest and most cost-effective decision. Our repair services offer reliability, cost, and time savings across AC/DC drive repair, PLC repair, and DCS repair. 

    Contact us for more information about our comprehensive range of repair services for all brands of industrial automation products.