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When the Equipment or Device Does Not Work Properly

Four points to try

In a situation when you are busy with your work every day, if an error message is issued from a test instrument or equipment you are using or it does not work properly, it is very easy to feel rushed or frustrated. In that situation, how do you solve the problem?
In particular, since our main products, power supply and other test instruments, are industrial products, you may not get answers even if you Google how to use them.

We provide the support dial in Japan and contact form services at our web site. Therefore, when we receive your inquires by phone or via the Internet, our engineers will help you to solve the problem. However, as a result of an analysis of such inquiries, we found that there were many cases that remained unsolved, even though a solution could be found readily by checking the situation step by step.

So here we introduce some steps for you to try when the equipment does not work properly, from the viewpoint of support engineers.

Does the failure persist even when the load cable is disconnected from the main unit and the equipment is operated with no load?

This is a very common situation.
This is an example of a case when a failure persists even when a customer says, "no load is connected to the equipment" in answer to our question, "Is the phenomenon unchanged even without a load?" For example, when you have a phenomenon that "the equipment stops with an overcurrent alarm", a switching circuit, etc. may be connected to the upstream of our product in the system, which causes the problem. In that case, disconnect the output and control cables from the power supply and load device to check if the equipment works alone. This clarifies the location of the cause: within the equipment itself or at an upstream device.

Which device has issued the error message?

There are cases where an error message is issued from the control unit for a production facility that has our equipment incorporated. In this case, we cannot investigate the problem even if you contact us.
In such cases, please notify us of the contents displayed on the panel of our product, not the controller for the production facility, as this will help solve the problem more quickly.

Did you try to reset to the factory settings?

When you cannot solve the problem no matter what you try, a predecessor may have set up protection functions that caused the phenomenon, or external noises, etc. may be causing an unexpected malfunction of our product.
In this case, please refer to the User's Manual to reset the equipment to factory settings, which may solve the problem.
Resetting also resets the communication settings and the setup memory to the factory settings. Therefore, if you control our product from an embedded system or PC (which uses the memory), you must make the settings again. We recommend that you consult with the equipment administrator before resetting.

Though the constant-current power supply is used, turning the current tab does not increase current. Is this a failure?

Voltage is required to apply current. For example, to apply 10A with a resistance of 1Ω, 10V is required. However, when the power supply can only output 10V or less, even a power supply device with a large maximum current cannot apply a current of 10A or higher, in principle. In addition, when the voltage setting value is 10V, the voltage will not increase to over 10V, which also makes it impossible to apply current of 10A or higher.
Those cases can be solved by using Ohm's law, which you learned at school, after you slow down and think. However, when there is not much time on site, etc., people often jump to the wrong conclusion that the "current does not flow even by turning the current tab. This is a failure!"

In any case, most problems can be solved if you slow down before addressing them.
The more rushed you feel, the more the solutions slip away.
In particular, using our products requires a certain level of knowledge about electricity, unlike home electric appliances. Therefore, we ask those who will be involved in engineering work to take the time to operate the products and familiarize themselves with their characteristics. You might think it is a detour, but it is ultimately a shortcut to getting the job done. As an engineer who knows the past, it is my sincere hope that you understand that.

TEXT BY
Yoshiaki Yajima
Yoshiaki Yajima, Senior Expert, SE Section, Solution Business Promotion Department

[Area of expertise]
Overall of low-frequency EMC standards
Harmonic/flicker measurement technologies
Analog circuit design (high-accuracy measurement)
Application software development (C#, VB.net, Excel VBA)

[Major achievements in product development]
Harmonic/flicker analyzer KHA series
Precision DC source KDS6-0.2TR, standard signal generator KSG4310

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