Sourcing Obsolete Machinery Electronic Parts

In Australia, most industrial machinery uses electronic controllers such as computers, motor drives, input/output racks, etc that are vital to the overall operation. If any one of these components fails, the machine will simply stop resulting in lost dollars in both production time and company revenue. When this happens, all eyes are focussed on the maintenance staff to repair as quickly as possible.

In Australia, due to the age of most production machinery, direct replacement spares for the electronics are usually not easily available. If you’re lucky and the part is not discontinued, your choice is usually either purchase a local superseded version which will not fit unless you modify the machinery and then require re-configuration, or import the part from overseas which can mean many days to many months. Sometimes the part from overseas will plug straight in and all is working again, in our line of business, we know most of the time it is not that simple.

This is usually when we at Rom-Control receive a phone call from a stressed Maintenance Manager wanting to know can we either fix the part that is broken, or modify the replacement part they have just bought from overseas? In 97% of the time, our answer is yes.

So what is our secret? From many years in the repair and refurbishment industry, we can tell you that sourcing obsolete machinery control system parts such as PLC’s, Variable Speed Drivers, specific I/O bords, power cannot be left to chance. We need to source discrete electronics such as IGBT’s, transistors, and even assembled electronic boards dependant on the refurbishment we are doing.

We are well aware that plugging in an electronic device from an unknown source can cause serious issues and possibly create an unsafe situation for workers. You need to know the supplier is reliable and trustworthy. We find this can only come from a reputable recommendation or an associate of the parts’ manufacturer. As we have a worldwide partnership with many of these type of parts supply companies, we feel confident who we can or can’t trust.

It is also desirable to have a long history of dealing with the potential supplier to know what his specialty is and their quality procedure. Finding something on eBay or purchasing from an unsolicited website originating in a country with low trust is risky and from what we have seen, more often ends in pain.

It is because of these issues that our clients trust us with their repairs. Minimizing risk and knowing there is a 2-year warranty with a local supplier in Australia means a reliable plug and play solution. Refurbishment also minimizes maintenance expenditure as it is significantly cheaper than a replacement from many aspects as discussed earlier.

If you are in a situation where you are responsible for high-value machinery, feel free to contact us to discuss the sourcing of electronic control equipment parts. We are happy to assist where we can or even discuss refurbishment of a non-working part. In nearly all the situations we see, it is cheaper and least risky to repair what you have than to replace it with something that has no traceable history.

Call us at Rom-Control on 1300 766 287 or email