Maintaining and upgrading
Keeping electronic equipment and systems in operational order may become increasingly difficult as years go by, because:
- Consumables necessary for normal operations may become unavailable (for instance: a given battery type).
- Some modifications may become desirable or necessary (for instance because a better technology is now available or mandatory) but are not offered by the original manufacturer.
- The original manufacturers may be unwilling to provide maintenance at a reasonable cost, or unable to help. Even worse, they may have stopped this activity or stopped trading altogether.
- The equipment's mean time between failures may have decreased with aging.
However, maintaining or upgrading equipment is often the best option for expensive equipment or system, especially when newer equipment would have to undergo a long qualification procedure, or when re-training operators with new equipment is not desired or feasible. This is often the case with specialised industrial equipment, and avionics or military systems. There are essentially three maintenance options:
- Continue corrective maintenance operations.
- Undertake preventive maintenance starting with a complete overhaul, followed (optionally) by scheduled maintenance and/or calibration.
- Undertake an upgrade in order to obtain new characteristics (the upgrade is often intended to exceed initial performance, achieve a low maintenance time and obtain the lowest possible cost of ownership).
Excem has a long experience of such activity and offers all three options. We emphasize that few companies offer our range of upgrade options. We have developed highly specialized and effective expertise and appropriate design and work procedures in this field. Our services may for instance include :
- replacing faulty parts or subassemblies with appropriate substitutes for original parts when these are no longer manufactured and the known stocks of spare parts become scarce,
- re-designing printed circuit boards (or a front panel) with modern parts,
- adding new functions and features to the equipment or improving performance,
- achieving compliance with new standards or requirements.
We have gained experience in doing such work on radio transmitters, radars, measurement apparatus, ancillary equipment (power supply units, test benches, calibration systems and the like), whatever their age, country of origin, and the amount and accuracy of technical documentation available.
This is why we have an expertise in the art of maintaining and upgrading electronic systems.
Upgrading is often carried out to improve the following characteristics:
- Modification of the power-feed characteristics and requirements of portable equipment (replacement of mercury batteries no longer manufactured, implementation of batteries or rechargeable batteries with better performance).
- Redesign of front panels, including the implementation of better displays, better connectors, etc.
- Introduction of new remote control capabilities.
- Replacement of older internal oscillators by more stable sources, including synthesizers.
- Replacement of existing power-supplies by better ones (lighter, with a better efficiency... our know-how and test capabilities extend to an output voltage of 10 kV and up to an output power of 20 kW).