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Functional PLC Repair from Qualitrol

November 6, 2009
I was explaining to a customer recently the difference between Qualitrol's repair warranty and the warranty of most other repair houses.  I told the customer that when Qualitrol repairs a PLC module, we functionally test all aspects of the module by installing it in a PLC rack with other modules, uploading a program in the CPU that is designed by our engineers to fully test the functionality of the system and the repaired module in particular, and letting it 'burn in' for 8 hours.  If there is another problem with the module besides the one that it was sent in for, we typically find it during this testing process, and fix it before we send the part back. As a result, when we guarantee our repair for one year, we are actually guaranteeing the operation of the entire module, not just the circuit or failure for which the customer sent the part in.  If we fix the output circuit and then 3 months later the interface to the backplane goes bad, we fix it under the original one-year warranty. In explaining this to our customer, I used the term "board level repair" to illustrate the fact that we guarantee the entire board, not just the repaired section of the board.  One of our repair technicians overheard me using this term and later set me straight on use of this term. In most repair circles, the term "board level repair" refers to the act of swapping out suspiciously bad boards from a system and replacing them with new boards until the system functions again.  In fact this is not repairing the board, but simply removing the bad board all together. This, of course, is on the complete opposite end of the repair services spectrum from the repair service Qualitrol offers.  I guess we should call our process "Functional Repair" or "Edge-to-Edge Repair" because it is fully comprehensive. (Learn more about our Quality Repair Process) When I asked another of our long-time (over 10 years) customers why her company uses Qualitrol for repairs sent in by their customers, she said, "because you're easy to deal with and we never have had any problems."
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