We have many customers who say they can’t afford to upgrade/retrofit their machines, they do not have enough time to do it, Production is tight, or many other reasons. If your machine is fairly new, and replacement parts are available, this is fine.
However if you’re running a pre or early PC based CNC, DC brushed drives, or any other older equipment, then you may be in for some lengthy downtime.
Let’s take the early Burny 2.5/3/5 series of CNC controls for instance. In their day they were the best out there. They were good, rugged, and the fastest thing you could get. With a whopping 4 MHz processor, and 1⁄2 Megabyte of memory, they cut lots of parts. Over the 15 plus years they were manufactured, there were thousands of them put in service. All the major Cutting Machine manufacturers used them on one machine or other. (Even ESAB)! Lots more were retrofitted on machines with early Bendix and A-B CNC’s. (Those are the ones used to build the Pyramids and The Mayflower!)
So a bunch of you still run them on your machines. That is good, and you are getting your money’s worth from them. But what happens when they break down?
There are no longer any new parts for them. Some of the IC chips are no longer manufactured, and a few of the IC companies have gone out of business. CMC/Burny has been sold a few times, and no longer have parts, or sometimes even Service Techs who know the old stuff.
You can look on the internet/E-Bay for used systems/parts, and hope they work. Over the years Burny designed newer boards, and they are not compatible with the older systems. You need to make sure you are matching the board numbers when scouring for parts.
And when you get it running again, you still have the same old system. You have bought time and not reliability.
The Burny drives and early Burny 10 and 10LCD controls are the same. They stopped making parts available.
This is also true with early Centricut/Hypertherm Automation, ESAB, MG, Koike, Westinghouse/Creonics units.
The older Hypertherm, Innerlogic & Thermal Dynamics Plasma Systems and Torch Height Controls are also obsolete, and unsupported.
When they do down, they can have as devastating an effect on productivity as a CNC/Drive Unit.
When your machine goes down, parts stop flowing to the assembly line, or your customers. This can get expensive in labor with nothing to do or delivery/ production penalties.
Typically it takes 6-8 weeks to prepare and deliver a machine retrofit. Most of the parts have a 2-4 week lead time, and they have to be integrated into a system and our production schedule.
So think what it costs to have your machine down for 8 weeks. Don’t think of the retrofit cost, but lost production time. Depending on your special set of circumstances, it could cost more in money and lost customers than the retrofit would cost, if it was planned ahead of time.
We have lots of customers who have gotten quotes 2 to 3 times over a few years, and done nothing, said it was too expensive, or the system is working fine. Then the machine goes down, they expect that we can move heaven and earth to do a 4 week job overnight.
Depending on our schedule we, or our installers, can sometimes get on site in 3-4 weeks, but this costs lots of extra money in overnight parts shipping and disruption of production and installations.
We try to plan on 6-8 weeks for a system.
Buy a new machine! You can but most manufacturers are looking at least 16-20 weeks out on delivery with a few more weeks to install...
Give us a call and we can plan this for a more convenient time, when it does not double the cost.