Are Aged Electrolytic Capacitors Quietly Damaging Your Drive?
Electrolytic Capacitors Slowly Losing Life?
It may come as a surprise that your capacitors are slowly losing life regardless of whether or not their drives are actively being utilized. “Use them or lose them” is definitely not the operable rule in this case. Rather, capacitors naturally wear with age, just like batteries in a flashlight that’s idly sitting on a basement shelf. In time they leak a corrosive liquid onto their boards that will ultimately destroy circuitry and components alike.
The two photos above illustrate quite clearly the damage that can be caused by aged and leaky electrolytic capacitors. The one on the right is a healthy and reliable board. The board on the left shows the tell tale markings of a blown, burst and leaking capacitor.
All servo and stepper drives are at risk of experiencing capacitor failure that can cause irreversible PC board damage. To help our customers avoid these problems, Motor Systems inspects and replaces electrolytic capacitors as part of our standard repair service (depending on the age of the unit and signs of failure). We even offer capacitor replacement at a reduced repair cost on any drive shipped to us that is found to have no other problems except signs of a capacitor leak. The reduced price is intended to encourage customers to deal immediately with an issue that will otherwise lead to severe system problems and resulting repair costs in the future. Given that age plays a role in this problem, we also extend the reduced cost to any capacitor older than 7 years.
It’s important to know that there’s no reason for you to short circuit over an un-repairable circuit board. If a failed capacitor has damaged your circuit board beyond use, it can easily be replaced with a new board from our extensive in-house stock. Let us help bring your drives back to original factory specs, while getting you up and running as quickly as possible.