The repair workshop at RDT has now been re-named the Engineering Dept. in order to reflect an ongoing program of improvement to the service provided to customers.
Previously the repair workshop was just that, a department that repaired faulty equipment in house, if possible, and where faults were more obscure, send the equipment out to specialist sub-contractors which significantly increased turnaround time. Another problem was that ageing technology, particularly the batteries needed updating in order to take advantage of the newer technology, to improve reliability.
A decision was made to begin a program of improvement and expand the activities of the department. The department is now manned 5 days a week, Monday to Friday 9AM to 5PM by Qualified Electrical/Electronic Engineers. Besides the equipment repair facility we are involved with a number of in-house developments with the intention of improving reliability. An example here is the re-design of the Regulator fitted to our batteries. The regulator is now old technology and shows a number of recurring faults. Batteries are now fitted with our new more reliable regulator modules. Battery case ruggedness has been improved by introducing underside rails instead of rubber feet.
Virtually all LED boards are now repaired in-house aided by the use of state-of-the-art surface mount re-work equipment. Previously many panels had to be returned to the manufacturer for repair. Another area of improvement has been the development of diagnostic equipment that makes it possible to repair most faults in house, dramatically improving equipment turnaround and reducing the repair cost to the customer.
All equipment returned to the workshop undergoes a complete overall irrespective of the fault reported, this is done within the cost of the reported fault repair. Common reported faults, particularly batteries not lasting more than two or three races and the customer may ask for replacement cells. This fault may not necessarily be due to faulty cells. When faulty cells are suspect a full charge/discharge condition test is undertaken ensuring that only cells that are in poor condition are replaced. In many cases this can save the customer a high repair charge. Printers are often returned with intermittent faults which are notoriously difficult to pinpoint. Newly developed in-house test software allows us to run endurance tests significantly improving the chances of making a successful repair.
Kevin McAllister BSc(Hons) CEng MIET
Head of Engineering