Enhancing production with servo drive repairs


Bob Crosse, the owner of RJ Crosse Steel Frame Constructions – a steel wall frame and truss manufacturer based in Victoria – tells Manufacturers’ Monthly how he found the right partner to repair the servo drives in his CNC machines.

What do you do when a critical servo drive stops working and the original manufacturer only wants to sell you a brand new one, as your model is “no longer supported?”

That is the problem that faced Bob Crosse. Primarily manufacturing steel trusses and wall frames, he was experiencing an upsurge in demand. This was due to timber being in short supply across Australia and a surge in the house construction industry.

Based in rural Victoria, Crosse’s factory in Barnawartha has been operating for more than 15 years. To improve his production, a CNC router using Okuma servo drives was brought into action. The models were an older VAC3 type; he had two D6s and a single D11. However these servo drives were no longer working properly – and this was having an impact on production.

“I first tried a number of electricians,” Crosse said. “With no luck, I then sent it out to another mob and it came back even worse.”

His next steps were to Okuma in Japan.

“They were really not interested in repairing or having anything to do with these older models,” Crosse was told. “They essentially only wanted to sell me the new models and that was just not economical in any way.”

After an evening on the internet, Crosse found Darius Kowalewski at the DataFactory in Nunawading.

“After a brief phone call,” Crosse continued. “I was impressed with Darius’ knowledge and felt confident that he could help.”

Sure enough, Kowalewski provided a comprehensive quote and expected timeline. These were all met, including advice on how to improve the protection of Crosse’s CNC machines as these utilised standalone motor generators, not from the power grid.

“I can certainly recommend DataFactory,” Crosse said. “They helped us when it seemed no one else could.”

DataFactory provided Crosse with a quote, expected timeline and advice on how to improve the protection of his CNC machines.

DataFactory is a highly qualified electrical engineering workshop, capable of repairing and re-building the most complex servo drives and circuit boards. They are time conscious and deliver their services on a national level. With more than 30 years of experience in this highly technical area, Darius Kowalewski is a professional electrical engineer with degrees in Power Electronics and Digital Communication Protocols.

Kowalewski has extensive knowledge of servo drives and complex control systems, many of which have been manufactured some years ago. He is fully equipped to test and repair a wide range of electrical equipment, even the re-building of the most complex servo drive units.

Generally, a first phone call will help to establish the essence of the problem and the quality and reliability of their work is testimonial of their many long term clients. Kowalewski understands the cost and time issues and as in many cases, a machine’s down time must be reduced as quickly as possible. Often the replacement parts are far more expensive than a DataFactory repair.

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