Navigating the Challenges of Obsolete Equipment 

Mitsubishi E1012 Operator Panel
Mitsubishi E1012 Operator Panel

Obsolete repairs are machinery assets that are no longer produced by manufacturers. When this occurs, this means that acquiring replacement parts is challenging. Neutronic strives in repairing obsolete parts, we aim to find a solution to all manufacturing faults. 

Challenges of Obsolete Repairs: 

Repairing obsolete parts can be challenging and costly for businesses, due to the time and knowledge required to complete the repairs. 4 reasons why manufacturing companies find obsolescence a challenge:

1)    Shortage of replacement parts: sourcing the replacement components may be a challenge or impossible, this can limit the success of getting the part back up and running. 

2)    Technical Expertise: The knowledge of the engineers is important to think of alternative solutions, or to be familiar with the issue which has occurred. 

3)    Compatibility Issues: Testing equipment limits the accessibility to fix the damaged components and fully run test the obsolete repair. 

4)    Cost: Completing the repair may cost more, due to the cost of the components required to complete the repair. Suppliers will increase prices of parts as they know they are desirable for certain obsolete repairs. 

Longevity of Obsolete Equipment 

Familiarity within a workshop is important, once your employees are trained on software, it is efficient to keep this implemented for simplicity within the workplace. This helps to minimise the need to retrain your staff on new equipment. 

Repairing the faulty part is often a quicker solution to ordering a replacement. Lead times can fluctuate throughout the year and could be a limitation to replacing the faulty part, consideration of repairs is a suggested solution. 

The lifespan of machinery can be extended when repaired correctly. Identifying faults early can be resolved and can improve the efficiency of the machinery parts for future use. 

Why does Obsolescence occur? 

The main reasons as to why parts become obsolete is because of technological developments and compatibility issues within the industry, and the requirements to meet new needs. This is common within the industry as machinery is built for longevity, which can become challenging as parts will become obsolete before the end of the machinery lifespan. 

Obsolescence also may also occur due to Government regulations which must be followed, for example environmental or energy regulations. Manufacturers may also stop production of a part due to new models which provide better capabilities to their customers.  

How can you reduce unexpected breakdowns? 

Regular maintenance is a key management system to minimise the unexpected downtime of machinery assets. Maintaining bearings, oil levels and components to OEM specifications helps to prolong the lifespan of assets, which is important when parts become obsolete.  

Implementing a condition monitoring system onto your assets will help identify the first signs of faults. The system identifies anomalies and sends alerts to show when they need to be resolved, to improve the efficiency of the asset.  

How can Neutronic support you with Obsolete Repairs? 

Neutronic have extensive in-house testing equipment and experienced Engineers who can support customers with obsolete repairs. Familiarity is key to providing a quick solution to the problem. Once our engineers have identified the issue, we will consider the cost of replacement and repairing, to see which is the best option. If the part is beyond economical repair, Neutronic can support you with supplying a replacement. 

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Repair It, Rather Than Replace It…

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In the event of a breakdown, your first thought may be to replace the HMI, Power supply or machinery asset. This could be due to production pressures or an obsolete part. However, it may be more expensive to replace the existing one, than to repair it!

Motor Gearbox Repair

In most scenarios, repairing faulty parts is most likely the best financial option, until the cost exceeds the economic repair costs. Another benefit for companies is the repaired part can be easily reinstalled into situ, rather than installing a new part. Research conducted by the AEMT and EASA associations reveals that electric motors can be rewound multiple times. This process can maintain, or even improve, the motor’s electrical efficiency without needing to be replaced.

Repairing Obsolete Parts

As technology advances, there will be an increase in obsolete repairs due to capabilities and automation developments. A part becomes obsolete because it is no longer produced by manufacturers or has been discontinued.

At Neutronic, we understand the need to continue using obsolete parts. We support our customers with our in-house equipment and skills to complete obsolete repairs. Our testing facilities can run test obsolete parts to ensure they are operating at peak efficiency.

An obsolete part we regularly have sent to Neutronic is a Mitsubishi E1012 HMI, commonly used by Food and Beverage manufacturers. These are widely used in the industry, however, are no longer manufactured by Mitsubishi. Our engineers can repair and run test the obsolete E1012 HMI back to working order with our in-house facilities.

How can I reduce breakdowns?

Regular asset maintenance will help reduce unexpected breakdowns, ensuring the machinery meets OEM specifications to keep running at peak efficiency.

Implementing a Condition Monitoring system into your workshop will help you to monitor the equipment’s efficiency. Indications of concerning changes that could lead to breakdowns in the future will be outlined. Preventative maintenance allows you to schedule the repair, suiting your production schedule, minimising unexpected downtime.

Asset management helps to monitor the operation of your parts. Research recommends that Motors should be serviced every 6 months. Performing routine preventative and predictive tasks can extend a motor’s life and improve its efficiency.

Keeping a Spare on the shelf?

Storing spares helps you quickly get your production lines back up and running in the event of an unexpected breakdown.

Financial costs can be reduced by storing replacement equipment onsite. This will help reduce downtime. Exchange the faulty part for a working part to start production again. The failed part will then be sent in for repair.

Neutronic supplies major manufacturing brands such as WEG, SEW-Eurodrive and Control Techniques. We are an official distributor of WEG products, providing high-quality products to our customer base. Contact our team for advice on which product will best fit your machining needs.

Neutronic has the expertise to repair most obsolete repairs. If you have an obsolete part which you are looking to get repaired, contact us on 0845 180 0483.

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