The True Cost of Third Party Repairs

We recently got a call from a prospective client who had a big problem. He had a Rexroth legacy motor — an Indramat motor in other words — oscillating at standstill so much that the controller was kicking out. He had sent his motor out to Bob’s BBQ and Servo Repair Shoppe for another problem, and when it came back he was faced with this rampant oscillation.

So, because they didn’t do the right thing the first time, now they have been down for a week, and tempers are snapping. We sent them a quote on their motor, and got a snappy email back asking if we guarantee that repairing the motor will fix the problem.

Guarantee someone else’s work?

We’re honest. We told him that we don’t know enough about the condition of their overall system to answer that. We asked for a picture of the units, because you can often see a lot just by looking.

The picture showed three components in the system. We could see that all three had been to third party repair shops… probably three different third party repair shops. So now we are in the situation of not knowing  which problem is the real problem:

  • the motor repair
  • the drive repair
  • the controller repair

Or maybe two or more components are having a synergistic orgy of repair stacking.  Or all of the above.

The third party snowball effect

So I tell the not so prospective client that just as replacing the square tires on his car won’t fix the warped rims, the bent axle or the out of true brake disks, repairing the motor properly won’t fix all of his past transgressions with the other components (although it might be a start). Being unhappy with that answer, they move on.

Our assumption is that they aren’t making any money with this machine anyway, as they have already been down a week and will undoubtedly be down several more (if they ever get back up).

Third party repairs don’t happen in a vacuum. If you have a third party repair one component, it can affect the whole system. Then you (or anyone else) will have no clue to what’s actually wrong until you get the components fixed properly. Our best answer for this client was to send the whole system in for EVAL, but they didn’t like that answer either.

We had another client who blew up a 16 drive string by putting in a third party repair drive which promptly shorted to ground and precipitated a system failure on a string of common bussed drives. They lasted long enough to pay their bills, but went out of business soon after, perhaps because of other penny wise and pound foolish decisions.

Cost is not the only consideration. Cost/value is the metric to use, and no matter how cheap the cost, if the value is 0, the final cost is INFINITE.

Do it right the first time. We’re specialists in Rexroth electric industrial motion control, legacy or current. Call us for immediate assistance.

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