When Should I Retrofit My CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Displays?

When we talk about aging equipment and the need to maintenance, upgrade or otherwise prepare for eventual failure, the focus tends to be on parts of the machinery with a high rate of problems. These are naturally the moving mechanical parts, load bearing mechanisms and the like. What often gets overlooked are the devices that may have a good reliability curve, but are an outdated or altogether obsolete technology. One of the biggest examples we have seen over resent years is the CRT, or cathode ray tube display. A CRT is a type of older style display that predates the flat panel LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), LED (Light-Emitting Diode) or Plasma displays that are in wide use now. CRT Displays utilize beams or electrons projected on to phosphorescent screen the inside of a vacuum tube. This type of display is bulky, consumes more energy and is altogether less efficient than these newer technologies, but is still in use in many machines. Why are these old displays are still being used and why should they be upgraded?

Why are CRTs still being used today?

There are many reasons but primarily is a result of the difficulty in changing the display type. If the machine was built with a human machine interface that incorporated the display as a completely integrated whole, the display type may not be able to change in and out. The removal of the HMI in some cases like this would result in the whole machine having to be reprogrammed, rewired or redesigned in such a way that would not make financial sense. Because of this, engineers tend to take a wait and see approach or ignore the possible problem altogether. So, when the CRT finally does fail, and the line goes down waiting for a replacement, which due to the obsolescent nature of the technology can be very delayed.

What can be done to prevent CRT display failures?

Eventually, all electronics will fail at some point or another. Nothing lasts forever, especially if it is used every day. What you don’t want, is a failure in a device that is becoming hard and harder to get ahold of, or that fewer technicians have experience with. Therefore, it may be a smart idea to begin plan to upgrade your displays to a retrofit kit that uses a flat panel LCD or LED display. These displays are much easier to replace, have less issues with screen wear such as burn-in or ghost images and are much easier on your electric bill. Plan for downtime on the machine, or better yet, upgrade your spares if you have any, and switch them out when convenient. Upgrading away from some of the old stuff, while a bit painful in the short-term, will save you lots of stress, time and money in the long run.

If you are in need a reliable repair center that can perform any type of display repair, refurbishment or retrofit, be sure to visit us online at gesrepair.com or call us at 1-877-249-1701 to learn more about our services. We’re proud to offer Surplus, Complete Repair and Maintenance on all types of Industrial Electronics, Servo Motors, AC and DC Motors, Hydraulics and Pneumatics. Please subscribe to our YouTube page and Like Us on Facebook! Thank you!

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