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Monday, April 09, 2012

Minor Surgery

On the jacquard loom, that is, not me!

I had been noticing that one of the LEDs on one of the jacquard modules came on when it shouldn't. There are two LEDs, one indicating power is on and the other that the module is receiving data from the control box. DH the engineer suspected that the connector mounted on the board where the data cable attaches was bad. He predicted that continued use would just make the problem worse - if it was a bad solder joint, the constant vibration would eventually cause it to fail altogether.

The last straw was when the board failed the startup communication tests. I jiggled the connector and tried again; the second time everything started up normally. But, the experience indicated that DH was right and eventually things would go permanently wrong on that module (probably during some critical deadline).

So after some consultation, Bob Kruger at AVL shipped us a new board. Just the circuit board, mind you, not the entire module. DH's job was to take the module apart, remove the old board, install the new board in its place, and put everything back together again.

The good news : the offending module was #1, whose outer face (the side from which the surgery would be performed) was easily accessible without any impact whatsoever on module spacing or a tensioned warp.

First, the protective cover (which prevents the user from inadvertently damaging the circuit board, and vice versa) came off:



This exposed the circuit board:



Next, the power cable and data cable had to be disconnected from the back of the circuit board and a row of cable connectors leading to the solenoids had to be disconnected from the top of the circuit board:



After removing the circuit board, the whole process ran in reverse, ending when the protective cover went back in place.



The entire operation took less than 30 minutes, and I was able to resume normal weaving right away - no significant down-time required! Thank heavens for in-house engineering support!

3 comments:

Laura said...

Wow - great that you could get it fixed without worrying about critical deadlines! :)
cheers,
Laura

Alicw said...

Are you ever lucky you have an in-house surgeon! Just sayin'.

neki desu said...

wow the visual trip to the innards is priceless thank you. i second alice and you could make extra cash bu renting him out :)