Because Reedholm systems are so reliable and durable, working life extends well beyond the market life of competitive offerings. Several Reedholm customers keep 20 year old systems working at state-of-the art performance. All they have had to do is make a few hardware and software upgrades that cost a small fraction of what it would take to buy a new system.
From time to time, Reedholm releases new versions of applications software that are classified major or minor. Major ones have so much content or capability change that it is prudent for customers to qualify the new software in order to take advantage of the changes. Adding a new instrument almost always requires a major upgrade. Also, major updates include updating of the on-line system and application manuals. Availability of Reedholm support is tied to major upgrades because so much learning goes into them, and because problems that customers might have with previous versions are often addressed by an upgrade.
Minor upgrades are frequently done for a specific customer or application so the chance of unforeseen side effects are smaller, and there is not much impact on the ability to provide support. For instance, adding support of a new prober is often done with a minor upgrade. Documentation for minor updates may be done with supplemental notes instead of changing the on-line help files.
Support note SN-117 expands on upgrade issues.
Major and minor software updates are provided at no charge during the 12-month warranty period. After warranty, they are available for a nominal charge.
To improve throughput and/or to add computing capabilities, the computer controlling the test system can be replaced with the industrial computer that Reedholm now delivers with new systems. During this upgrade, interface cards are moved to the replacement controller and various software applications are loaded and their operation confirmed.
When a customer buys a computer from Reedholm, it is tested to ensure that it correctly controls the test system. Checkout tools are included on all releases of Reedholm distribution software in case the customer needs to perform checkout themselves.
For more information on test controller replacement or checkout, contact Reedholm support.