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Beware of “New Surplus”

March 29, 2019

At Qualitrol International we have noticed a dangerous trend in the replacement parts market.  Some providers are advertising aftermarket GE PLC parts as “New Surplus” but there is nothing new about it.

While parts may still be in the factory packaging, the “new surplus” has been sitting around gathering dust and was finally liquidated in a warehouse cleanout of surplus inventory or overstock or even scrapped equipment.  Here are some things to consider before buying “new surplus”

  • It may be 20 or 30 years old or more. It helps for you to know when that particular model or variation was made to evaluate its real age as it wasn’t manufactured yesterday. These parts can deteriorate over time in the factory box.
  • It will not have a valid manufacturer’s warranty - any warranty you get will be from the company that sells it to you if they are willing to do so. Generally assume you don’t have a warranty.
  • Capacitors start to leak, and other electronics lose their tolerances over time, the degree of deterioration is dependent upon the time and storage conditions (heat and humidity or lack of being prime culprits).
  • Batteries lose their charge and fail to hold programs in place. Old firmware can affect functionality and programming causing a shut-down.

Don’t Expose Your Plant to “New Surplus” Parts.

The easiest way to determine if your “new” parts are actually second-hand parts is to check the date code on the label. We show how to determine the age of your part in this article – How to Read a GE Date Code.

Be sure to use only factory-new parts from an Authorized GE AC Distributor, or Re-certified or Remanufactured parts from a company that is authorized by GE to provide repairs, uses original OEM components, upgrades all parts to the latest firmware and has a dedicated team of technical specialists and engineers to ensure each part works to original manufacturer specifications.

 Qualitrol International is a certified GE Distributor.


Many industries incorporated Genius into their factory floor when it first came out in 1985, and they still use Genius today. So the announcement by GE in 2017 which officially discontinued their Genius I/O blocks and Genius’ bus controllers has these businesses worried. Even though you will no longer be able to rely on GE for support of these components, nor will you be able to purchase them, you can rely on Qualitrol to stock parts and support your Genius System for years to come.

So whether you are ready to migrate to the newer PLC technology or stick with what you know, and have worked for your business for years, Qualitrol is here to help you make the best decision for moving forward with your automation needs. 

The End of a Legacy

GE is turning its attention towards the future to better serve their customers in their decision to no longer sell or support Genius. While Genius has remained extremely robust and enduring throughout the years, this line of products eventually had trouble keeping up with the latest technology. While cutting-edge technology for its time, Genius has since been outpaced by available newer technologies.

The Competitive Edge of Newer Technology

GE’s investment in the future includes technology that gives customers access to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Genius simply can’t compete with contemporary systems such as the PACSystems Rx3i from GE, which gives customers a competitive edge in automation. Through providing device integration onto a single platform to enhanced flexibility, limited wiring changes, and increased productivity, it’s hard to say no to everything GE is offering with its newest system. The RX3i also makes use of PROFINET to capitalize on Ethernet solutions. Although Ethernet works with many factory floors, PROFINET takes Ethernet capabilities to the next level with its robustness in addition to its efficiency. It’s no wonder that GE has chosen to invest in newer technology and retire Genius so they can continue to provide their customers with the best.

What Your Future Holds

Qualitrol will continue to support your systems while you transition, or if you decide to stay with Genius, take advantage of our risk assessment program. We can help you make the best decision for your factory, whether you’re just considering switching, are set on sticking with Genius, or want the newest system now. If you choose to continue with Genius, it’s important to understand your risks and have a support plan in place. Qualitrol can help you keep the right spares in stock and have a plan for migration in place when that day comes.

If you choose to migrate or just replace your genius components with active GE products, you can expect to:

  • Gain access to the IIoT
  • Make data-based decisions
  • Increase durability
  • Boost production experience

Regardless of what you decide, Qualitrol is here for you all the way. You can still rely on Qualitrol for parts and support if you decide to continue on with the legacy!

Contact us at 1-888-690-7388 to talk to our technicians and find out more about how we can help.


For the past 20 years, Qualitrol has been providing factory-quality repairs and new and remanufactured parts for the 90-30 line. We have sent our techs all over the world supporting existing 90-30 installations and have migrated hundreds of 90-30 systems to the latest Rx3i platform. So we’re experts at it!

To help you determine the best plan of attack for your business, Qualitrol has put two successful programs in place for you, the Risk Assessment Program and the PLC Migration Program. whether you plan to stick with the 90-30 for a while or if you’re ready to migrate to the Rx3i.

Steps for the Risk Assessment Program

  1. 1. A Qualitrol engineer will audit all of your current 90-30 PLC systems, listing all components used in each system.
  2. 2. A complete inventory of your spare 90-30 parts will be performed
  3. 3. With this information in-hand, our team of PLC engineers will analyze your situation and recommend the proper spare parts, programming software updates, and other special considerations that will allow your 90-30 systems to run for many years to come.

The PLC Migration Program

The final Assessment document is a useful tool for planning your PLC asset future. Second, Qualitrol has a complete, designed to facilitate a smooth upgrade to the latest PLC platform. For years, we have been migrating GE PLC systems to the latest platform. Learn about our 7-Step Migration process in our eBook entitled, 7 Steps to a Successful PLC Migration.

Qualitrol is in the business of supporting your PLC investments. Don’t let the end of the 90-30 line concern you – we are here to get you through it. Call one of our experts today at 800.784.9385 and let us help you make the right decision for your factory’s future.


The answer is no. It is tough on a company when a manufacturer discontinues a key component of your automation scheme. When GE stopped supporting the 90-70 PLC line in 2011, Qualitrol stepped in to maintain and stock all the parts needed to keep this line running for years and devised a cost saving migration plan for those that were ready for an upgrade to the newer PLC’s.  Because of the power of the 90-70, this PLC was more likely to be the core of more sophisticated, and critical, control schemes. The manufacturer does their homework and creates a migration plan that moves the 90-70 user to the latest PLC, or PAC, solution. Of course, that is not done for free – integration costs, new hardware costs, downtime, re-wiring of the I/O structure – all add up to a pretty major upgrade project. And just because the manufacturer says it’s time to upgrade, it doesn’t mean that it is in your budget this year, next year or ten years from now.

What Now?
Qualitrol is in the business of supporting your PLC investments. Don’t let the end of the 90-70 line concern you – we are here to get you through it. Realizing this burden on your business, Qualitrol has positioned itself to Extend the Life of your PLC system. Now is not the time to figure out how to fund a major PLC upgrade or conversion. And if the system is working properly, why the need to change it now – it could conceivably continue to work flawlessly for many years to come.
We have thousands of 90-70 parts in stock, tested through our unique quality process and ready to ship today. And we are committed to supporting this line for years to come. We are still fully supporting the Series Six that was introduced in 1980 – and are equipped to do so until the last Series Six is controlling an application.

We Have You Covered

Just think – a lot of the GE PLC systems installed in plants today have been in operation for 5, 10, 15 or more years. New maintenance guys just getting their hands on PLC technology were never formally trained on the GE PLCs. Not a good option when they are the front line of support when a critical process fails due to a Legacy PLC failure.  At Qualitrol we are committed to giving our customers the peace of mind in knowing their systems will always perform with:

  • Remanufactured parts (with a 2-year warranty)
  • In-house repairs (with 3-5 day turnaround)
  • Phone support (from a former GE hotline tech support specialist)
  • Field support throughout the country
  • Programming tools for the GE 90-70
  • So, we have you covered for years to come! Call one of our PLC experts and find out the best solution for your business, 800.784.9385
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