And They Said It Couldn’t Be Fixed!

A recent discussion with a client revealed that they had a control board that was deemed unfixable. Just by saying this, our client threw the gauntlet down and the challenge was on!

The control board runs a large processing machine that was currently sitting idle. The machine is the size of a family-sized car and worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. As the board was a few years old, the replacement needed to be imported from overseas and would cost an astronomical amount. To add salt to the wound, overseas had no stock on hand and quoted a delay of at least three months.

When we received the board, the tag on it said “Damaged beyond repair” and there was a big black area on the circuit board that looked like someone had used it for an ash tray. We asked our client to describe what happened just before the fault and it was mentioned that an operator noticed a flash of light coming out of the control cabinet, followed by a lot of smoke. We all know this is never a good sign.

Being a multi-layered circuit board and having all the labels and markings blown off in the damaged area, it was impossible to identify which components had fried, or which components had departed at high speed. Many of the PCB tracks were also blown away with little sign of where they were prior.

After tracing out the circuit and a lot of theorizing, we understood what probably happened and what parts are most likely missing. Using our state-of-the-art simulation and testing equipment, we realized what was most probably missing from the circuitry, and the specification they needed to meet the operating conditions. We then set about finding the appropriate replacement parts.

Much to the surprise and happiness of our client, we did manage to repair the circuit board back to brand new status. It did take us quite a bit of time and head scratching, but after our QA testing, we proved the circuit was working as good as new. As our invoice was less than half the quoted new replacement and we provide a full 2-year warranty, our client was extremely happy. When they plugged the board back into their machine and completed the setup and configuration phase, the machine started to run just as well as it did over the past 20 years.

We love a challenge, try and send us something ‘unfixable’. Check out our Repair & Refurbishment Services!