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Understanding the Risks of 3rd Party Equipment Repair Services

The Tektronix and Keithley test and measurement equipment that you’ve invested in – oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, function generators, and other sensitive equipment – is designed to perform at the highest standards. The measurements and performance outcomes that this equipment provides needs to be reliable, accurate, and consistent. As such, when it comes to repair services you need to consider the risks associated with third-party repair providers.

Traditionally, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Tektronix will provide a more compatible and comprehensive repair service – genuine Tektronix parts are used, factory-certified calibration is included, and warranties are honored. Tektronix also verifies and installs any applicable reliability modification and provides software/firmware updates to keep your instrument performing as designed. Our Tektronix service locations are operated under strict quality management systems and are audited and certified by industry recognized organizations. Choosing Tektronix as your service provider will give you the peace of mind that your equipment is being serviced by top quality technicians at certified service locations.

There are, in fact, some risks associated with using third-party repair services that need to be considered against any potential cost savings a non-OEM vendor might offer.

  1. Service Environment and Facility Risk

    ESD (electrostatic discharge) protection in a third-party environment cannot be guaranteed, resulting in a substantial risk of instrument damage. Without the use of OEM defined equipment, tools, and software, quality outcomes are difficult to guarantee and instrument damage could be irreversible.

  2. Spare Parts Risk

    Using used or non-OEM parts for repair can have a detrimental effect on quality outcomes. Unreliable repair quality can cause problems to reoccur in a shorter timeframe, causing business downtime and adding cost to your repair. Non-OEM spare part usage can also result in future warranty issues.

  3. Inspection, Repair, and Assembling Risk

    Failure detection and maintenance are not as comprehensive with third-party repair providers which can cause potential risks to go undetected. Non-standardized processes result in repair quality that is hard to guarantee and can cause irreversible damage to important core components.

  4. Data Calibration and Data Risk

    With an OEM, firmware updates and data calibration are included and in accordance with the original factory standards. Third-party repair providers will be unable to provide firmware updates or OEM-quality calibration with adjustments. In addition, customer data security cannot be guaranteed, and sensitive customer data could be lost or exposed.

The following photos show actual Tektronix equipment damage from third-party repair services:

Here, the cable was broken, and the cable fixing band was also missing:

broken cable

Here, the power module was repaired by a third-party repair provider and damaged:

broken power module

Here, we found that the collection board had unqualified maintenance traces, leading to serious failure:

collection board

Here, the burned welding mark on the power supply board caused irreparable damage:

burned power supply board


Tektronix delivers on-demand repair services for all oscilloscopes and other Tektronix and Keithley instruments. Genuine Tektronix parts are always used, and a factory certified calibration is included. There are also repair service plans available to choose from that cover your equipment from failures and design flaws. Some options extend your warranty coverage and cover accidental damage to help avoid costly repairs. Protect your investment with OEM equipment repair services.

Need on-demand repair services for your instrument? Request a quote here.