Never Again

  1. howardm

    howardm Yorkshireman in exile

    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Aberdeen
    I have just been quoted £2400 to repair my Mini TIG 180.
    The first one died and was returned to Germany, came back still not working.
    Then I got a replacement which worked.
    Now out of Warranty, I have only used it as a stick welder 6 times, owing to personal circumstances.
    So this machine made a pop noise and died on Sunday.

    so be warned, price isn't a guarantee of quality, or reliability.


    Howard
     
  2. 123hotchef Member

    Messages:
    9,972
    Location:
    Kent
    oh man that is not good! what was wrong with it the times before? where do you keep the set?
     
  3. matt1978

    matt1978 www.lorch.eu

    Messages:
    3,791
    Location:
    UK, Cannock
    What’s a Mini Tig?

    Do you mean HandyTIG? Send me a PM with some details? Who has quoted you that to repair when you could buy a brand new one for less?

    I’ll look into it for you because something does not sound right here
     
    duncans, ukracer, garethp and 18 others like this.
  4. matt1978

    matt1978 www.lorch.eu

    Messages:
    3,791
    Location:
    UK, Cannock
    Obviously I was disappointed to see this post pop up as it did and also dismayed with the wording used. As promised I did some research into what had gone on. It took me a while because the original sale was around 8 years ago and I had to trawl through many old emails between various parties to get to the bottom of what had gone on...but here is an update.

    Howard contacted me around 8 years ago on this forum asking about where would be a good place to source a HandyTIG 180 ACDC. I advised via a PM to try Wasp's online shop as they had some offers running. A few days later, Howard told me that he had purchased a machine locally to him (which suprised me because at that time we didn't have any Lorch distributors in Aberdeen). It turned out that Howard had purchased a machine via a company (who was a non-Lorch distributor) which in turn who had purchased the machine via a Lorch distributor who was located elsewhere in Scotland.

    From the serial number I was able to find out that the machine was not actually a brand new one, but it was actually at that time a 2 year old ex-demo unit. As I wasn't there nor had any knowledge about this until after the event, I don't know if this was sold to Howard as brand new unit or if it was explained that it was ex-demo. In any case the original unit was collected by Howard but shortly after receiving the item, the machine was displaying an intermittent error code, but every time the machine was switched off/on again the error code was cleared and the error went away for a while.

    Based on this info (and the error code Howard reported), we didn't believe it to be a serious fault, more likely a defective or loose ribbon cable. I think its fair to say that Howard was not happy with the level of after sales care he received from the non-Lorch dealer which he purchased the machine off in trying to get this issue resolved, so he contacted me via PM. I offered to get the machine collected and returned to the actual Lorch distributor which did sell the machine to the non-Lorch distributor in order for them to investigate.

    Howard opted to take the machine to them as he was in the area anyway and left them with the machine. After testing they couldn't recreate the fault which Howard had experienced and informed me. Because I didn't want Howard to have any further problems, I instructed for the machine to be collected and returned to the Factory in Germany for further investigation. They inspected the machine and as we already assumed, exchanged the ribbon cable and the unit subsequently tested fine. The machine was then dispatched back to the company local to Howard in order for him to collect.

    Unfortunately when the machine arrived with Howard the front panel was not illuminating! When Howard told me this, I immediately agreed to exchange the machine for him as a good will gesture especially based on the issue he already had experienced. When the original machine was retuned to the Lorch distributor in Scotland they found that the problem with the front panel was actually that the connection to the front panel from the PCB had become loose. This possibly could of been caused in transit during the trip from Germany to Scotland or even perhaps by human error from the engineer who had put the machine back together in our German service department. In any case the connection was pushed home securely and the machine performed faultlessly but I had already organised a brand new replacement to be shipped to Howard which arrived within a couple of days. In the meantime the original unit was sold as a shop soiled machine and hasn't been heard of again.

    Fast forward 8 years or so and then I see this post! To be fair to Howard, I can understand his frustration but at the time of creating the post he had not received a copy of the Engineers report from the local company (an authorised Lorch service centre) which he had taken the machine for a repair estimate at that time he only knew the price he had been quoted. However you can see on the service report what the Engineer believes to of been the cause of the issue and to be honest it doesn't seem like the machine was at fault.

    I personally have not seen the machine so I cannot comment on how it looked internally when it was taken to the repair centre in Aberdeen, but Howard has sent me some pictures of the inside after he collected it back yesterday from the service centre and is after it had already been cleaned inside in order to test it.

    I am passionate about the brand and I don't like to think anyone who has invested in our Brand and products do not feel like they have received a high level of service, so I have arranged to get the machine collected (at our cost) and sent to our engineer to see how we can get the unit back up and running with as little cost to Howard as possible.

    I believe it is being collected tomorrow and once it is back with our Engineer I shall be in touch with Howard to discuss his options.
     
    • Engineers report.jpeg
    • inside Howards HandyTIG area which had been cleaned.jpg
    • Inside Howards HandyTIG.jpg
    • inside Howards HandyTIG1.jpg
  5. Ashley Burton

    Ashley Burton Member

    Messages:
    4,936
    Location:
    Northamptonhire
    @matt1978 I hope you get this resolved as it would be great to see a positive outcome!
     
    ukracer and matt1978 like this.
  6. tigdlo Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    UK
    Do these pictures show the machine after the saw dust had been cleaned out?

    Does Howard mind his full name being published?
     
  7. matt1978

    matt1978 www.lorch.eu

    Messages:
    3,791
    Location:
    UK, Cannock
    Yes, these were pictures from Yesterday
     
  8. Gazello Member

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Bavaria
    I take it with error
     
  9. willie.macleod

    willie.macleod Member

    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Western Isles, Scotland
    That doesn't look that dirty, would expect the conformal coating on the board and components to cope with worse than that.
     
  10. matt1978

    matt1978 www.lorch.eu

    Messages:
    3,791
    Location:
    UK, Cannock
    Willie I said I didn’t see the machine prior to it being cleaned out. The images are after it was cleaned I order to test and investigate. I don’t know if it was bad or not bad because I didn’t see it I am only going off what the engineers report said however I don’t think it was an issue of “dirt” the report stated that the dust had become damp. I would guess that it was damp residue in between the connections which could of been the issue.
     
    hunter27 and Nick DV like this.
  11. Gazello Member

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Bavaria
    Actually has the lorch an aifilter in the back and blows clean air out in the front + an air channel system
     
  12. matt1978

    matt1978 www.lorch.eu

    Messages:
    3,791
    Location:
    UK, Cannock
    There is a HEPA filter located at the rear of the machine in front of the fans which suck in the air. I am only guessing but it looks like the saw dust has been blown into the machine via the front Louvres.

    Maybe it was standing close to a woodworking area and directly facing a sanding machine? I don’t know :confused:

    I think the machine hadn’t been used for a long time because Howards personal circumstances had changed. Maybe the machine was stood in an area close to where sanding had been going on for a while and became full with saw dust. If it was in a outdoor garage or workshop maybe that dust because damp and when he did eventually come to use the machine he didn’t realise the insides would of needed blowing out.

    Ultimately it doesn’t matter now. What matters is getting Howard back up and running which I am sure we can do for him next week sometime.
     
    brightspark, skotl, duncans and 8 others like this.
  13. Gazello Member

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Bavaria
    I fixed alot of them , mosfetmodul is usually well protected , but the mosfetdriver usually *Language* up at the early models
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2020
  14. matt1978

    matt1978 www.lorch.eu

    Messages:
    3,791
    Location:
    UK, Cannock
    This is the Mapro PCB and some Diodes from what I can gather. I’ll know for sure when it arrives.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2020
  15. Malky Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Scotland
    Fair play to @matt1978 and Lorch, seems like you have stood by your products beyond what may be expected and your goodwill has been noted.
    Hope Howard gets sorted to his satisfaction, he may need to take advice on the type, setup or positioning of a welder in such an environment, or of course buy one of those cheap disposable chinesium boxes, for the cost of the repair he could buy a new one every year for more years than the repair of this one lasted and he may get lucky.

    As always of course there’s two sides!
     
  16. 8ob

    8ob Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    6,705
    Location:
    moscow on thames
    Fairplay @matt1978, cant see how you could possibly do any more than you have. Dust is a problem and we blow ours out on a regular basis, I think in the OP`s case it may be wise to box/wrap it up when its not being used.

    Bob
     
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  17. Nick DV

    Nick DV "You must unlearn what you have learned."

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
    Fair play to @matt1978 and a great example of brand loyalty and great customer service :thumbup:
    There are so many Y/T videos of people using welding machines in the same shed/garage/workshop where they regularly do woodworking and vice versa, and my first thoughts are that it will end in tears - either a dead welder or a fire :o and precisely why I've just extended my workshop to separate the welding and woodwork!
     
    julianthegypsy, zx9, ukracer and 2 others like this.
  18. steviec_lj

    steviec_lj Rust Welding Professional

    Messages:
    2,802
    Location:
    Barnetby, N.Lincs
    No, but price did get you a replacement machine sent out directly from the manufacturer all those years ago!

    Welder looks to have been quite dirty internally, if that’s what it looks like after being cleaned.

    Fair play to Lorch for even entertaining fixing it, most suppliers would tell you it’s beyond repair but we can give you discount on model XYZ if you wanted.
     
  19. Nick DV

    Nick DV "You must unlearn what you have learned."

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
    Absolutely Bob, and precisely why your kit carries on working day in and day out. Too many people are too lazy to carry out routine/preventative and maintenance :vsad:
     
    8ob likes this.
  20. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of some trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    3,145
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Matt, you go above and beyond, and that's partly why Lorch is such a good brand. All machines break down sometimes, regardless of colour. Sometimes there's a reason for it :)

    This summer, Matt offered to go above and beyond for me for my 1 year old HandyTig 200, which had a slight intermittent fault.

    I didn't need his help since Express Cutting & Welding, my dealer, was so helpful already, and they took it back ASAP, left me a loaner machine, and investigated the fault. It turned out that a large part of the fault was caused by my aftermarket water cooler flowswitch wiring, so it was my own problem, but Matt and Express both couldn't have been more helpful.

    I firmly believe in these days of electronics that regular servicing plays a big part towards reliability - eg cleaning sawdust out of a machine, it has no place next to a HF coil - HF tracking through any machine can destroy components fairly quickly!

    I have sympathy for you Howard though - having poor back-up from the original seller sucks :( That's why I personally don't mind too much paying a higher price from a dealer I trust.
     
    skotl, DAPPH, Brad93 and 5 others like this.
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