Having system spares is widely regarded as best practise and can be viewed as an insurance policy. Holding spare modules onsite is inevitably more cost effective than the cumulative cost of failures, which includes repairs, unplanned labour, freight and lost production costs.
The well known “bath tub curve” model applies to all devices, including our IPC fixed grid irrigation controllers. Overtime, failure rates increase and a preventative maintenance or asset management strategy should be considered before failure rates increase or modules come to the end of their service life.
Especially important for IPCs are the internal batteries, which have an expected service life of 3 to 5 years. The batteries are replaceable and available as spares, With the recent introduction of the IPC battery charger, fully charged batteries can now be installed without relying on sunshine and the solar charging circuit.
So how many spare IPC modules should you hold?
There are numerous guidelines published online, but there is no definitive answer, as the implications of a sprinkler being out of action vary from system to system. The following recommendations will help ensure the system performance is maximised.
System Age Recommended Spares Holding
Upto 3 years Minimum of two IPC modules or 1% of the total IPC quanity
3-5 years Minimum of five IPC modules or 2% of the total IPC quanity
Over 5 years 3-5% of the total IPC quantity and a systematic maintenance plan
Spare Modules in IMS system
Spare IPCs can be preconfigured for your system and IMS is used to swap them out very quickly.
As the irrigation season finishes, a lot of maintenance tasks on farm can start. This is the ideal time to prepare the irrigation system spares for next season. Please get in touch with your irrigation service provider to ensure winter servicing includes your fixed grid system and that the spare IPCs are preconfigured and easily available.
Please make sure any modules that need repair or servicing are sent through to our skilled local service team.
If want further guidance or advice on your specific system, then please contact us.
Image credit: Bathtub_curve.jpg: Wyattsderivative work: McSush (talk) – Bathtub_curve.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7458336