When your assembly line is down and it's time for choosing an industrial repairs and field service company, make sure the company can be reached 24/7.
It might take a couple of hours for a technician to arrive on the scene, but make sure the phone is answered 24/7. Here are some other tips on choosing an industrial repairs service.
- Cheapest rates are not always in your best interest. If you want an electrician, that’s one rate. If you want a technician who can program AC drives, troubleshoot PLC programs AND fix your electrical problems, that’s another rate.
- Does the field service company have access to parts 24/7? Are they supported by a warehouse? Do they have relationships directly with the machine component manufacturers? All of this can save time.
- Establish a relationship with several field service companies. If you have an emergency and your primary company is busy, now what? Invite several field service companies into your plant to familiarize them with your machines. It could save you a lot headaches later.
- Keep those industrial field service phone numbers where all of your staff can see them. Don’t waste time looking for contact information.
One of our customers recently let the smoke out of their obsolete, 600-amp DC drive. Of course, they needed a replacement tomorrow. Why do all emergencies seem to happen at 5 on Friday afternoon?
I called our headquarters in Dallas, and we manage to use our pull with Bardac Drives, since we also are an authorized distributor for Bardac. Yes, they have one in stock. And yes, they agree to drive the package to the UPS terminal to be shipped out same day. Pretty good for after 5 p.m. on Friday huh? Hats off to the people at Bardac. But, we’re not out of the woods yet.
After working well into the Satruday night helping the customer retrofit his brand new Bardac drive, it’s time to start it up. But we can’t. There is some kind of mechanical issue.
“Can you beback first thing in the morning?”
Sure I can.
Well, honestly I wasn’t exactly prepared to stay overnight on this job, which was three hours away from home. I cannot find a store open at midnight in Picayune, Miss., and the Holiday Inn front desk is out of complimentary toothbrushes.
I decide that today is not my day. I show up that next morning wearing the same clothes, (pretty nasty I know). But the customer was extremely grateful. The Friday afternoon breakdown could easily have been a week or more of downtime. But thanks to Bardac, the Holiday Inn and some dedication, it was only two days.I now keep a “go” bag in my truck at all times.
Joey Fairchild is a field service technician in IIDM's Baton Rouge location. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org