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PETER'S BLOG

Gardasoft Products and Engineering

July & August 2018

I often hear stories of our products still being in daily use many years after they were first installed and I'm very proud that Gardasoft products have proved so reliable in the field. Because of their high reliability we have decided to increase the warranty period on all our lighting and lens controllers from one year to five years.

July & August Newletter Topics

Peter Bhagat's Blog

Lighting controllers are high power devices and are manufactured in lower quantities than most electronics and so might be expected to have higher failure rates. The machine vision industry appears to work on a target of 1% warranty rate. So, we were very pleased when our warranty repair rate for controllers shipped in 2017 was 0.79%. This is a result of the hard work we have put into analysing the occasional failure we saw and making improvements. We have regular meetings where Production and Engineering analyse any production issues or repairs and look for the root cause to prevent it happening in future. From this process we have implemented a number of improvements.

For example, there was a component which sometimes failed so we added some protection to prevent that failure. We found that there was a trend in repairs being needed due to calibration errors so we made firmware and test rig changes to improve the way we calibrate controllers. We also invested in production equipment to increase the batch sizes, streamline our processes and reduce the chances of a production error. We have just appointed a Senior Quality Engineer who will be looking at all aspects of product reliability. I’m sure her work will lead to further improvements.

In addition to the 5-year warranty repair on all new lighting and lens controllers, at our discretion we will also provide the same warranty for controllers already purchased. Contact SOE@gardasoft.com if you have any questions or need an RMA number.

We are also looking at what we can do to make our controllers easier to use and how we can get better diagnostics from the controller. If you have any suggestions, I’d be very interested to hear them through Ask the Expert below.

We have released updated firmware (v053) for the RC120 controllers. The old version v035 has been stable for over two years, so we thought it was time to update to the latest features available in our controller codebase. There is no need to update controllers that are currently running v035.

The update has many improvements, including the addition of operation with the Triniti SDK, GigE Vision protocol, PP mode and TCP improvements.

There might appear to be a lot of versions and the numbers go up in large jumps. This is because we have a standard controller software codebase which is used to generate firmware for many controllers. One codebase covers the RC, RT, HT, RTCC and CL controllers and some custom products as well. Each time one of these is released the version is increased. This means that features, improvements and fixes made for one controller are automatically applied to others when they are next released, which gives us very solid and reliable firmware.

Best Wishes

Peter Bhagat