The hardware and software for our mobile devices, PCs, and other consumer electronics are constantly updated—often automatically. However, many industrial automation end users operate specialized systems that can remain in service for years or decades without maintenance. When these systems fail, and local support is not available, the resulting unplanned downtime results in irretrievable lost revenue. This was the case for one of Avid’s clients. The client called us to request immediate support to resolve an issue created by a failed PC hosting a historian.
The source of trouble was a 20 year-old PC which had stopped working and was preventing process data storage and retrieval, and the start up of the process. Failure to fix the problem would result in a substantial loss of revenue.
Within hours of receiving the call from the client, an Avid consultant was on the way, travelling over 500 miles to the jobsite. The situation discovered by our team member was that the PC would not boot past the system BIOS. This indicated hardware problems with the motherboard, hard drive, IDE cable, or more. The challenges to solve the problem included:
- Sourcing vintage or compatible parts to aid in troubleshooting.
- Restoring the original software configurations, including licensing.
- Avoiding additional failures that could cause further setbacks.
- Delays due to issues with any of the above steps or unforeseen issues.
The Avid consultant could source some necessary parts from on-line stores. However, this option included a two week delay on delivery. Our team member got to work. They canvassed local PC repair shops and checked for onsite parts and spares. After some persistent legwork and parts replacements, including locating a working CD drive and a 3.5” floppy drive, the PC was finally operational.
The next steps required recovery of installation media, configuration files, and licensing requirements for the legacy OSIsoft PI historian and the Siemens APACS+ software. The software, however, was no longer supported by the manufacturer. After some discussion with Avid colleagues and other industry personnel, our team member was able to restore complete functionality and return the system to normal operation.
This situation played out in a matter of hours over a weekend with a successful outcome. This effort is not unusual – Avid steps up to solve our clients problems and deliver results. Similar scenarios happen to end users more often than any of us like to think. Tough problems costing your business? Contact Avid here to support today!