Re­man­u­fac­tur­ing – the smart choice

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - MAINTENANCE MATTERS -

In an in­creas­ingly ‘throw away’ so­ci­ety, re­man­u­fac­tur­ing is of­ten over­looked as the ‘next best’ op­tion to buy­ing new. Although, what if a re­man­u­fac­tured prod­uct was just as good if not bet­ter than new for a re­duced price while also de­liv­er­ing a mul­ti­tude of en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­ci­etal ben­e­fits?

Ac­cord­ing to Tarang Shah, op­er­a­tions man­ager, Cus­tomer Sup­port and Main­te­nance at Rock­well Au­toma­tion, “Re­man­u­fac­tur­ing is an op­tion that is well worth ex­plor­ing, es­pe­cially when it comes to in­vest­ments in in­dus­trial au­toma­tion. An im­por­tant dis­tinc­tion to be made is the dis­tinc­tion be­tween ‘re­pair’ and ‘re­man­u­fac­ture’- the end re­sult is that a re­man­u­fac­tured prod­uct is re­stored to ‘ like new’ or bet­ter with war­ranty on the en­tire unit, not just the part re­paired.”

Re­duc­tions in main­te­nance staff and spare parts in­ven­tory of­ten lead to longer down­time and lost rev­enue when au­toma­tion as­sets mal­func­tion or fail. Just fix­ing the prob­lem that caused the equip­ment mal­func­tion is not al­ways enough to guar­an­tee its proper op­er­a­tion.

To help cus­tomers im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity and re­duce down­time, Rock­well Au­toma­tion has in­vested in a pro­pri­etary re­man­u­fac­tur­ing and test­ing process to ex­tend equip­ment life. The re­man­u­fac­tur­ing process re­stores failed units to ‘ like new’ con­di­tion, ex­tend­ing the life of equip­ment and en­hanc­ing its per­for­mance.

“This is achieved by in­stalling all ap­pli­ca­ble soft­ware and hard­ware up­dates and en­hance­ments, re­place­ment of failed or aged com­po­nents, para­met­ric test­ing and clean­ing and cos­metic restora­tion,” said Shah.


The pace and de­mands of pro­duc­tion to­day are re­lent­less. Sys­tem out­ages cost on av­er­age be­tween 110,000 dol­lars to 150,000 dol­lars per hour and 20 bil­lion dol­lars to the process in­dus­tries per year. “Re­man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­vides an at­trac­tive value propo­si­tion to end- users want­ing to mit­i­gate risk as­so­ci­ated with down­time,” Shah ex­plained.

The state- of-the-art Rock­well Au­toma­tion Re­man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in Bayswa­ter, Vic­to­ria has all the lat­est test­ing tech­nolo­gies and tech­ni­cians with more than 84 years com­bined ex­pe­ri­ence. “At any one time, we have AUD2.5 mil­lion worth of stock across most prod­uct lines avail­able for ex­change to help minimise down­time,” said Shah.

Re­man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts use only gen­uine com­po­nents and also in­clude the lat­est soft­ware and firmware up­dates. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in the cur­rent in­dus­trial en­vi­ron­ment where rig­or­ous pro­duc­tion de­mands and the pace of change in­ten­sify the pres­sures on peo­ple and equip­ment. The higher the ca­pac­ity you’re work­ing at, the faster the costs of down­time rise so mit­i­gat­ing risks be­comes a key con­sid­er­a­tion.


The Rock­well Au­toma­tion seven step re­man­u­fac­tur­ing process en­sures com­pat­i­bil­ity and extends the life of equip­ment. The first step in the process is ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the unit cat­a­logue num­ber, se­ries and re­vi­sion data for the war­ranty.

Step two is the re­vi­sions and en­hance­ments process where the unit is cleaned and up­dated to cur­rent ap­pli­ca­ble hard­ware and copy­righted firmware re­vi­sions. It is re­placed or en­hanced with the lat­est pro­pri­etary re­lease and up­dated to orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­turer spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Each com­po­nent is then re­viewed and in­spected and any dam­aged or out­dated com­po­nents are re­built or re­placed us­ing the lat­est com­puter and fi­bre op­tic tech­nol­ogy.

Dy­namic func­tional test­ing is con­ducted to orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­turer’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions un­der var­i­ous loads and op­er­a­tion pa­ram­e­ters. The unit then un­der­goes en­vi­ron­men­tal test­ing us­ing fully com­put­er­ized sim­u­la­tion plat­forms to iden­tify any in­ter­mit­tent prob­lems not read­ily ap­par­ent, pre­vent­ing pre­ma­ture fail­ures. Fi­nal qual­ity in­spec­tion is con­ducted for com­plete com­pli­ance to Rock­well Au­toma­tion stan­dards and the prod­uct is then ready for se­cure ship­ping. Each re­man­u­fac­tured part re­ceives a 12- month war­ranty on the en­tire unit, not just the re­placed com­po­nents.


Man­u­fac­tur­ing plants are fac­ing the con­stant chal­lenge to re­duce op­er­at­ing costs as­so­ci­ated with managing spare parts while mit­i­gat­ing risks as­so­ci­ated with down­time. A Parts Man­age­ment Agreement (PMA) from Rock­well Au­toma­tion helps ad­dress this by pro­vid­ing

quick ac­cess to spare parts while re­duc­ing the in­ter­nal op­er­at­ing costs as­so­ci­ated with main­tain­ing an in­de­pen­dent spare parts in­ven­tory.

Through the PMA, Rock­well Au­toma­tion owns and man­ages the spare parts in­ven­tory for a fixed cost, pro­vid­ing an at­trac­tive al­ter­na­tive to pur­chas­ing spare parts. Any spare parts consumed are re­plen­ished within 48 hours and the cost is cov­ered as part of the fixed price agreement. It pro­vides the avail­abil­ity of parts that match the in­stall base 24 hours a day, seven days a week so when a part is re­quired, it is there ready to go.

“These agree­ments are backed by our re­man­u­fac­tur­ing and re­newal parts ser­vices to re­plen­ish any i nven­tory used. They also sup­port equip­ment with l i mited l i fe­cy­cle as spares can l eave with de­com­mis­sioned equip­ment and war­ranties on new parts are only i ni­ti­ated upon i nstal­la­tion, re­duc­ing ex­penses as­so­ci­ated with car­ry­ing i nven­tory,” Shah ex­plained.


In ad­di­tion to the busi­ness ben­e­fits of mit­i­gat­ing risk, re­man­u­fac­tur­ing also re­duces im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment; in fact, i t has been re­ferred to as the ‘ul­ti­mate form of re­cy­cling’ pro­vid­ing many ben­e­fits in­clud­ing re­duced raw ma­te­rial and en­ergy con­sump­tion and re­duced land­fill.

“To make re­man­u­fac­tur­ing an eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble op­tion, we have po­si­tioned ‘re­pair bins’ at some cus­tomer sites. Prod­ucts re­quir­ing re­pair are placed in the bin, col­lected by dis­trib­u­tors and brought to the cen­tre for re­man­u­fac­tur­ing,” said Shah.

As a com­pany, Rock­well Au­toma­tion sup­ports ef­forts to op­er­ate more ef­fi­cient and re­spon­si­ble businesses. From help­ing cus­tomers de­sign, op­er­ate and main­tain safe and se­cure op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ments; meet reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance re­quire­ments; re­duce waste and emis­sions; and to ul­ti­mately, pro­tect­ing their rep­u­ta­tions as sup­pli­ers of qual­ity prod­ucts and good stew­ards of the en­vi­ron­ment.


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