Repair Bulletin Detail

Turn Back the Clock on Aging Servo Drive Performance

Aging equipment is the biggest culprit behind the loss of legacy servo drive performance, much more so than a dirty or hot operating environment.
It is not unusual for Motor Systems to service 20 year-old servo drives that have arrived at our servo repair shop looking as clean as the day they were originally manufactured. Even a closer inspection of the drive’s interior gives no indication that ambient work conditions had any impact on its functionality.

The Effect of Age on A Servo Drive Battery

But the passage of time can often have a stealthy impact on your drive, especially with the servo drive battery.

All batteries lose functionality over prolonged use, but depending on the type of legacy servo drive you have, the problem could entail much more than a simple battery replacement.

Many of the digital servo drives produced by PacSci and Kollmorgen face a special problem when their batteries fail. In their case, the loss of a battery will cause the drive’s programming to be completely wiped clean. Unless that app can be appropriately replaced, the drive will not function even if a new battery is installed.

The challenge then is to find a replacement for programming that was expressly created with a very specific application in mind. And let’s not forget that this programming was created 20 years or more ago.

Even if the original OEM isn’t out of business, they may be reluctant to provide a new program. And when they do offer to sell the program, it’s not unheard of for them to charge astronomical prices for the replacement. Clearly the OEM’s primary interest is in transitioning a legacy user towards a new system.

How to Avoid Loss of Drive Function

When a legacy servo drive is sent to Motor Systems with an ailing battery, our first step is produce a usable backup copy of the program. The drive is then repaired, and if necessary, the battery gets replaced before the program is reloaded into the unit.

The best way to avoid the lost downtime and potential equipment replacement costs is to have regular preventative maintenance done on your legacy drive at least every 8 to 10 years.

By doing so, you can avoid the catastrophic event of having a dead battery completely wipe out the programming on your drive. Preventative servo drive maintenance will also help uncover accumulated debris and loose connections, along with the complications that can come from leaking capacitors or a malfunctioning fan.

Preventative maintenance is certainly a less complicated and cheaper repair, while significantly extending the drive’s life.

In no time you can have a legacy drive operating at the capacity of its younger self.

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