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Sure you kept it within spec | Cypress Semiconductor

Sure you kept it within spec

Are we ready for warranty monitoring?  Seems electronics are finally getting powerful, integrated, and cheap enough that some of my industrial customers are becoming serious about adding it to their systems.  The idea has been around since I first started working, but usually gets dropped when the cost and schedule crunch hits.  But this time it might actually happen.

 

Let’s review the concept.  You have a system that is spec’ed to run within certain boundary conditions so that downtime is minimized and there is a reasonable tradeoff between machine throughput and uptime.  But, chances are that a clever and aggressive operator can push his environmental conditions (operating temp, fluid temp, gas pressure, etc.) and figure a combination that generates more throughput from the machine, albeit for a shorter uptime.  And, much like Scottie giving Capt. Kirk the warp 5 he demands one too many times, the machine goes down, within the warranty window, and expensive maintenance has to be called out to hyperspace.

 

The fix? A small service processor, data from a few key sensors, and an nvSRAM that can create a datalogging solution for just a few dollars.  If the system gets pushed outside a key warranty spec, the out-of-spec measurements are captured and timestamped.

 

The sales pitch to customers in not, however, “We are monitoring our system for out-of-spec operation so that you can’t stick us with the repair costs.”  No, the marketing spin tells of a new feature that “allows the operator to keep the system running optimally to minimize downtime and maximize total output.  Data is collected and fed back to our design team so that improved performance to the real world operating conditions can be addressed.”

 

Word from my customers is that the impact to the bottom line on the field services side may make this one worth a look finally.

 

Until next trip. Grant

 

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