[amayausers.com] Re: Machine down, Tech guessing!

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Please excuse my long  winded response. 

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brian Kirk; I am the technician that 
has been thrown under the bus in this tirade. I am a technician with 14 years 
of full time technical experience. I am not a part time tech. All I do is fix 
machines and provide technical advice and training to people in the embroidery 
business.  I have never posted in this forum but after hearing about this 
slanderous post, I feel that I must reply, in fact I just now created an 
account so I could do so.
 
Let?s start by getting a few facts straight. I was not involved in diagnosing 
this problem before my visit. My understanding is that Dave contacted Melco and 
discussed the problems with a phone tech. That discussion resulted in a 
diagnosis of two possible failed components. The Z motor and/or the CPU. Either 
part could generate the problem that this machine was experiencing. I believe 
the cost to replace both parts were discussed. I don?t know the details of this 
conversation but Melco typically recommends replacement of both the motor and 
the CPU at the same time. If it was under warranty that is most likely what 
would have been done. For whatever reason, it was decided that the Z motor 
would be replaced first and by itself. At this point Dave purchased a new Z 
motor. 

I was then contacted by Melco with a request to replace the Z motor in Dave?s 
machine. When I arrived at Dave?s shop my first steps were to troubleshoot and 
verify the diagnosis. After troubleshooting I came to a similar conclusion.  Z 
motor or CPU. There are very few ways to bench test a servo motor with a built 
in encoder. About the only thing you can test for is a short circuit. There 
were no shorts in this motor but that was expected as the symptom was a 
tracking error which is generally related to the encoder. There is no way to 
bench test an encoder in the field. Encoder failures are not common on these 
motors but are not unheard of. I advised Dave that I could find no problem with 
the motor but was unable to rule it out conclusively. If I had both parts on 
hand I would have tried the CPU first. But the motor was the only part on hand 
as Dave did not order a CPU. So we tried the motor with no success. Leaving  
the CPU as the most likely culprit. 

Lets clear up a few more things. ?guessing? It?s not guessing its 
troubleshooting and a process of elimination. Electronic problems are very 
difficult things to track down. There are many components that all have to work 
and communicate perfectly in order for the machine to function. There are 
usually no physical breaks and nothing you can see. It takes very sophisticated 
equipment to positively identify exactly where the problem is. It?s equipment 
that can?t be taken on a field service visit. As a field tech we do our best 
using our knowledge, skills and tools at hand to best determine what is wrong. 
It?s not always easy. No matter how good you are, you don?t always get it on 
the first try. If I have a broken part in my hand I can guarantee that 
replacing it will fix the problem. As far as electronics go, and with the 
limited resources available on a field service visit, I can?t and won?t give a 
guaranteed diagnosis. It would be irresponsible to do so. No matter how remote t
 he possibility, no matter how unlikely, it could still be something else.
 
?They said they train the techs to replace the cheapest things first and work 
up in price.?
 I don?t know where that came from. It?s not the way I was trained and I have 
never heard that phrase before. I try to narrow it down to the most likely 
cause and work from there. In this situation I felt it was 60/40 CPU/motor but 
all we had was the motor so trying the motor was a good call.

Dave, I did everything I could to help you. I cut my vacation short and lost a 
warm sunny Friday to come see you as you told me that you couldn?t wait till 
after the weekend. I gave you cost saving advice and showed you how to replace 
the board yourself to further save you money. I understand that you may be 
disgruntled with Melco but I don?t think that my level of service has wronged 
you in any way. Yet this post has tarnished my excellent reputation. 

All that being said. I am still willing to help you if I can, because that?s 
what I do? I fix machines.

Brian

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