Finding a Footprint – Sourcing Obsolete & Unidentifiable Components
It’s the eleventh hour and pressure is on! We have a plant down that has a crucial drive in need of repair and this unit hasn’t been available in 20 years! To top it off one of the components we need to replace is unidentifiable. In fact, the part number and any identifying marks had long been worn off of it. I am distraught because all that stands in the way of this critical drive being repaired is one tiny component. This was a situation that I remember well in the beginning of my career at Global. My job then was in our parts department and one of my primary duties was to keep us stocked in obsolete components. I worked very closely with the technicians and my team was very savvy in sourcing components and finding replacements by matching the specifications and footprints. We were absolutely determined to locate this part.
I started off by doing research in our system on where we have sourced components from this particular drive in the past. I made call after call, one right after the other. All the while, our customer is calling checking the progress. Every lead fell short. I searched deep into the internet. Finally, pages and pages later, I located an article from one of the original engineers of the drive. The article was an informative article that detailed information on the efficiency and capability of the drive and most importantly it had a name! I was so thankful to have a lead, I quickly located the owner of the article. The young man who answered the phone ended up being the engineer’s grandson! I couldn’t believe my luck! I explained to him the situation and how badly I needed help identifying the component. He was very helpful and compassionate to the situation that we were up against. He explained to me that he believed he could easily get his hands on the specification sheet and asked to call me back. I was elated at the prospect of getting this information! I had time to explain my progress to the customer and in less than an hour, he called back! He was able to send me all the specs and the footprint of the component! This was exactly what I needed to cross this very obsolete component. I was able to find a replacement component, that wouldn’t even need modification. In fact, we had it in stock!
Sourcing parts and finding solutions for our customers is our passion and the reason for our business! We support obsolete equipment when other companies will not even attempt it! We all have stories like this one! Giving 110% to our customers, builds lifetime relationships! Like most companies, we know the value of a lifetime customer. It’s the extraordinary experience customers remember!
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