Should you take your vacuum pump into the shop for repairs or request on-site service?
When your vacuum pump needs repairs, you typically have the option of taking it into the shop for repair or having a trained service professional come to you on-site for field service. Here, we explore the differences between field service (on the customer site) and depot service (customer returns the pump to the depot for service) and which one is better for you.
Field service is typically limited and mostly an option for minor repairs on TRIVAC, SOGEVAC, and some DRYVAC models. For some pumps, however, field service may not be an option at all.
If your pump is suited to field service, it will still have to be taken out of the application (possibly with an overhead crane or other equipment), have the oil drained, and have suitable facilities on-site to carry out the repairs.
Aside from repairs, another service that can be carried out on-site is a regular health check. This is a preventive maintenance measure in which field engineers inspect the health of your vacuum pumps regularly to catch any minor issues that could potentially become major problems down the line.
One of the most significant benefits of on-site field service is reducing downtime for essential equipment and avoiding lengthy disruptions to critical business operations. However, what service professionals can do on-site is limited compared to what can be achieved at the depot- and so whether or not field service is feasible for you will vary on a pump-by-pump basis.
Thankfully, there are still ways to reduce — and possibly eliminate — equipment downtime, even when you have to take your pump into the shop for repairs.
With depot repairs, service professionals have access to a well-equipped workstation and, therefore, greater leeway with what they can do with your pump. The workstation is fully set up for all stages of the process, including cleaning, decontamination, inspection, and tooling. The depot also can carefully monitor the repair process and catch unexpected issues with the equipment.
However, the primary concern with depot repairs seems to be the increased downtime of critical field equipment. However, that downtime can be significantly minimized even when you take your vacuum pump in for repairs. This is achieved by installing a backup pump on site before sending your main pump to the shop or asking your Leybold representative if they have a suitable pump in the Leybold Certified Exchange Pool.
It’s also helpful to note that not only is depot service more effective than on-site repairs, but it also typically costs less. Even after accounting for shipping and installing temporary replacement pumps, shop repairs are usually cheaper than on-site service contracts.
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Ultimately, the best option for you can only be determined on a pump-by-pump basis.
If your vacuum pump needs repairs, contact Leybold’s services group and figure out what your options are. You might find that field service is right for you, and Leybold will send qualified field service technicians your way. Otherwise, if you decide on depot service, you can come up with a service agreement, carry out a pump exchange to avoid downtime, and send your pump in for repairs.