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  • Board-level repairs for machines...

    Friend of mine across town has a nice old Windsor injection molding press. He uses it to mold a product he developed, some sort of contraption for hunters.

    Trying to find parts for this machine is proving to be a headache. I have found an identical machine in a crate in a university lab across the country for $100,000 but they want to sell the whole machine not just part it out. It's been sitting there since 1988 unopened uninstalled and unoperated. Bastards.

    Anyway. The fault lies in one or more of the circuit boards. More or less the Windsor-specific control logic talks to these boards which are hydraulic control boards, heat controller boards and the like. Aside from the fancy Windsor brain it seems to me these boards could possibly be repaired...


    ...but by who? Are there any little shops or companies out there that take one or two control boards, troubleshoot to the component level and attempt to repair? If so who do ya'll recommend?
    This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
    Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
    Plastic Operators Dot Com

  • #2
    I used to do that for a living, or attempt to, with varying degrees of success. Even when I was successful, the effort was costly for the customer. Schematic diagrams help, indeed are nearly essential, but are not a guarantee of success when the board gets beyond a certain degree of complexity, particularly where programmable devices are involved.

    Best I can recommend is find sombody who has worked on the particular brand before. They should have learned what to look for and know the shortcuts.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Liger Zero
      Friend of mine across town has a nice old Windsor injection molding press. He uses it to mold a product he developed, some sort of contraption for hunters.

      Trying to find parts for this machine is proving to be a headache. I have found an identical machine in a crate in a university lab across the country for $100,000 but they want to sell the whole machine not just part it out. It's been sitting there since 1988 unopened uninstalled and unoperated. Bastards.

      Anyway. The fault lies in one or more of the circuit boards. More or less the Windsor-specific control logic talks to these boards which are hydraulic control boards, heat controller boards and the like. Aside from the fancy Windsor brain it seems to me these boards could possibly be repaired...


      ...but by who? Are there any little shops or companies out there that take one or two control boards, troubleshoot to the component level and attempt to repair? If so who do ya'll recommend?
      The general answer is "No".

      Most machine electronics are company-specific with no schematics available.

      The best you can do is find board replacements...with the accompanying sticker shock.

      FWIW...electronics obselence is the reason why most modern machines are sold cheap..like your friend's.

      There is no free lunch.

      TMT

      Comment


      • #4
        It can be done.
        I have a 21-year old Hurco VMC. It's equipped with Fanuc servo drives.
        I got it cheap because of a problem with the Y-axis servo drive. It would fault out immediately on power up.
        I have a degree in electrical engineering, 20-odd years of experience, and a rather completely equipped electronics facility.
        I was able to reverse engineer the servo drive control board, it's 11"x18" and four layers, with traces on the internal layers. After developing the schematic, I could devise tests to figure out what was wrong. I found two faulty components (a Fanuc isolation amplifier and a generic op amp) and replaced them. Now, the drive works great.
        Why did I do this? I could get a new drive from Fanuc for $5000, or have mine "professionally" repaired for $4000, or buy a used drive for $2600. I ended up spending something like 80 hours troubleshooting the drive, and a total of $60 on components. For my 80 hour investment, I have enough info should the drive dare to act up again I can fix it. Was my work cost effective? Not for an industrial application where downtime is measured in thousands of $$$ per hour; for my application where the company is, well, slow at the moment it was cost effective.
        Could you find someone to reverse engineer your system and fix it? Probably, but the 80 hour time is not unreasonable for a complex system, and the work would probably cost anywhere from $60 to $150 per hour.
        If the boards in question are relatively simple, and it is possible to determine which ones are faulty, the process might be easier.
        If you'd like some more help feel free to send me a PM, and I'll see what I can do.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Too_Many_Tools

          FWIW...electronics obselence is the reason why most modern machines are sold cheap..like your friend's.
          Indeed. The machine I have uses fairly standard Fanuc boards and packages. That's why I chose it over some other really nice pieces of equipment. Plus Fanuc (while expensive) can repair most of what they sell/have sold. Service after the purchase was a consideration for me.

          His Windsor on the other hand, he got it second-hand years ago and aside from the occasional leak, blown fuse or heater-band replacement he's had no trouble with it. It runs three molds, on alternate weeks so he can make his product.

          I tried looking up Windsor-Klockner but their site is down, and the phone number in his operation manual is long disconnected... There are dedicated IMM repair services around but I figured I would try sourcing boards or board repairs for him first.
          This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
          Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
          Plastic Operators Dot Com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fasto
            It can be done.
            If you'd like some more help feel free to send me a PM, and I'll see what I can do.
            I will get the details tonight and fire off a PM. If not, then Monday.
            This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
            Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
            Plastic Operators Dot Com

            Comment


            • #7
              Found them online. They are Windsor and they are owned by an Indian company. Got contact information and everything.
              This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
              Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
              Plastic Operators Dot Com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Liger Zero
                Found them online. They are Windsor and they are owned by an Indian company. Got contact information and everything.
                I would be interested in what it ends up costing to fix your machine.

                TMT

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Too_Many_Tools
                  I would be interested in what it ends up costing to fix your machine.

                  TMT
                  Based on a brief phone call, it may not be a board-level problem at all instead it might be a solenoid issue i was instructed to verify several outputs from the clamp control manifold.

                  I will do this tomorrow, yes on a Saturday.

                  If we get signal (main screen on!) at the specified voltages then it is indeed a board level issue. Lady on the phone says they still support this particular controller, as this model of machine sells very well in developing countries.

                  It consists of valves, sliders, toggle switches and a small alpha-numeric input panel with a three line LED readout. I've run these before they are very very simple to setup and operate.

                  Cost for direct replacement boards start at $4,500 for the smaller of the two boards, this is known as the CLAMP OUTPUT SEQUENCE DRIVER board and the other board is MANIFOLD INPUT BOARD NO CORE (front) board. That one is $4,200 for a replacement.


                  If it comes down to both boards being replaced they will cut us a deal, no specifics on that. I was told to check the voltages and call back Monday if they are within the specified ranges... that means its one board or the other.


                  Now if I could just get the plastic lumber guy out of his funk I could move forward on THAT project as well. He's in denial over the scope of the problems with his toy. Can't say I blame him, that was quite a wad he dropped on a dysfunctional machine.
                  This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
                  Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
                  Plastic Operators Dot Com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had to sort a Hupfield injection moulder some years ago, give up with the old ttl board complete with relay logic, ripped the lot out binned it and replaced with a mitsibushi plc it was fairly painless, later added a HCI panel to make programming easy, you could even add your own graphics by importing bitmaps to make it look swish, it came out so well i was even pleased myself, which is rare, plc $150, hci 200, job done, the temperature controll aspect with a plc looks terrifying but is really easy, plenty on mr plc
                    mark

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                    • #11
                      Just finished repairing my Hurco MHP 3K.

                      Originally equiped with a Dynapath 20 and upgraded to a Dynapath 50 in 1997. The hard part was the machine rebuilder used the Dynapath 20 MTB I/O board and made some alterations to run it with the Dynapath 50 controler. I had to marry together 2 sets of drawings and make notes along the way as to the condition (True/False) on all the permissives and then match those up to the I/O Words displayed on the screen

                      Paul at Dynapath was a great help. Glen - not so much

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                      • #12
                        Liger Zero, Have you delt with a company called "Electrical South"? They have been around for some time but they were purchased by a company called the Schnitter group. ( not sure of the spelling). These are the floks that own Square D. Well I have found the ability and service has increased ten fold. Kind of pricey but they quote the repair first and most machine specific boards I've sent out come back working. Not affiliated with them at all but they have impressed me in the past few years,

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by boslab
                          I had to sort a Hupfield injection moulder some years ago, give up with the old ttl board complete with relay logic, ripped the lot out binned it and replaced with a mitsibushi plc it was fairly painless, later added a HCI panel to make programming easy, you could even add your own graphics by importing bitmaps to make it look swish, it came out so well i was even pleased myself, which is rare, plc $150, hci 200, job done, the temperature controll aspect with a plc looks terrifying but is really easy, plenty on mr plc
                          mark

                          I've heard of this being done, they sell entire retrofit kits just for molding presses.

                          Never heard of a Hupfield injection molding machine though.
                          This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
                          Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
                          Plastic Operators Dot Com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If I were faced with this problem, I would first check the DC power supplies for both voltage and waveform (look for excess ripple). If that is OK, I would then replace all of the electrolytic capacitors on both boards. If the boards still failed, I would probably do relays next. The total cost of the components will be small compared to the replacement cost, and there is a good chance for success.

                            If you take nice photographs of the boards (both sides) and post them, we can make suggestions as to probable suspect components.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was just discussing this with someone! Apparently caps dry out and go bad or something.

                              Question is board type. I've worked on single layer boards. Multi-layer boards no. Anything I need to know prior to firing up my fine-tip iron?
                              This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
                              Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
                              Plastic Operators Dot Com

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