Electrical Life Extension: Is it right for you?

by Greg Carter

Radwell International is based in Lumberton, N.J. The company stocks and distributes surplus overstock as well as factory direct controls such as programmable logic controllers (PLC’s) from the company’s 35,000 square-foot PLC Center warehouse. Radwell also performs industrial repairs. The market served here is known as MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations). MRO encompasses repairing any type of electrical or mechanical device or providing supplies that preserve or support a factory’s assets (a.k.a., asset recovery). These activities also involve preventive maintenance critical to manufacturers looking to avoid costly downtime. There are as many types of devices used in automation as there are malfunctions, requiring Radwell to place heavy emphasis on Quality Assurance.

Aging equipment in a factory includes: temperature controls; servo motors; dc motors; circuit breakers; power supplies and many other device types. Surplus overstock can be liquidated for re-distribution where the parts for industry are needed in another manufacturing setting where the parts are no longer supported by the manufacturer. Radwell stocks over 1 million Stock Keeping Units (SKU).

Industrial Repair customers can choose to have Radwell repair their item as an economical alternative to a factory-new replacement, especially when the cost of servicing the unit is below 45 percent of the new cost. Companies such as Square D, Danaher Corporation, Honeywell, ABB Ltd., Omron Heavy CraneAutomation, Siemens Automation, General Electric, Allen Bradley, Mitsubishi Electric and Eurotherm Controls are ubiquitous in plant automation settings. Radwell preserves these assets through repair or surplus overstock procurement. Founded in 1979 as Speck Industrial Controls, Radwell trains its staffs to be experts at sourcing parts worldwide and adds over 2,000 items to its warehouse every day. The parts may include items such as small diodes and fuses weighing ounces, or as large as AC motors or DC motors weighing hundreds of pounds.

Industrial repairs on printed circuit boards (PCB’s) and other controls are performed at the tech bench in the repair center. The repair center focuses on different areas including mechanical, electro-mechanical or electrical.  Industrial repair technicians specialize in repairing specific categories of equipment such as General Controls (timers, counters, and sensors), Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s), Drive and Motors.

Technicians are organized into three teams supported by Radwell’s Quality Assurance team which tests all units prior to shipping. The units include but are not limited to: acoustic sensors and microphones; automated test equipment (ATE); data and chart recorders; data acquisition; signal conditioning equipment; displays and panel meters and electrical testers. Additional items that can be found on test benches include: generators; machine controllers; motor drives; electrical meters; scopes, power supplies, and amplifiers.

Radwell International strives to stay in accordance with quality requirements set by standards organizations including: The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025 — specifications from the International Standards Organization (ISO). AS 9000 quality guidelines are published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). QS 9000 is a quality standard for suppliers of Daimler Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. QS 9000 is based on the 1994 edition of ISO 9001, but contains additional requirements that are particular to the automotive industry. ISO/TS 16949:2002 supersedes QS 9000 and includes the process approach from ISO 9001:2000. Industrial electronic repair services that perform work for the U.S. military meet military specifications (MIL-SPEC) or military standards (MIL-STD).

Greg Carter served as Radwell’s Director of Marketing for 10 years.

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