Author Topic: Rigol and production  (Read 14186 times)

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Offline DavidDLC

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Rigol and production
« on: May 22, 2015, 07:51:55 AM »
How good is the Rigol equipment for production ?

Does anybody have experience with them ?

The probable equipment we will get:
- Oscilloscopes.
- Signal generators.
- Power supplies.

I appreciate any help on the topic.

David.
 

Offline Matje

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2015, 08:32:20 AM »
How good is the Rigol equipment for production ?

Care to define what "for production" is actually supposed to mean? Meaning real measurable stuff, not some fluffycrap like "used in a production environment". ;-)
 

Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2015, 08:42:37 AM »
The equipment will be installed in production lines in China and Mexico.

David.
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2015, 08:42:56 AM »
For use 12 hour everyday? Rather not.
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Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2015, 08:48:35 AM »
For use 12 hour everyday? Rather not.

Thanks for your input.

Are you telling me that based on experience ?

I'm putting together a equipment proposal and I want to include Rigol which are low price and considerable quality. I will include other brands like Keysight, Tektronix, and more.

David.
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2015, 09:19:43 AM »
Rigol makes some great gear for entry level hobbyist. But it feels rather fragile. Like from personal experience DS2072A, like I noticed only after a month of light use my channel A vertical encoder is much more loose than the channel B encoder (because I use the A encoder more often).

Don't think Rigol oscilloscopes are made to take the abuse day in day out on a production line.

Can't speak to their other gear, I only have their scope.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 09:21:14 AM by Muxr »
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2015, 09:32:11 AM »
How good is the Rigol equipment for production ?

Does anybody have experience with them ?

The probable equipment we will get:
- Oscilloscopes.
- Signal generators.
- Power supplies.

I appreciate any help on the topic.

David.

How many scopes, sig gens, and power supplies are you considering?  One or two of each, a few, several, or a bunch?

How many hours per day will they be used?  How much tender loving care will this gear receive vs. how much "don't care/rough use/abuse" might it receive?

How often can you afford to have a piece of test equipment out of operation and for how long?

The more stringent the requirements the more you might need to consider where you will get service and how good/fast that service will be.  That might lean you toward Keysight, Tektronix, or maybe a few others of the majors - but even with the majors you might have to rely on shipping the equipment for repair depending on where you are and where the vendor provides service.  (Others here can tell you about each brand in terms of what you might expect for turnaround time once you send something out for service - this might be a key question for you to research.  If turnaround time is really important you might try contacting each vendor to see what the experience is like before the sale; it generally doesn't get a lot better after the sale.)

On the other hand, if you are going to need several or a bunch of each type of test equipment you could probably save some money with Rigol and just factor in a spare unit for each model.  Personally, I don't think Rigol is likely to fail all that much more often than the "majors", especially if your users treat the gear with care; if they don't care I'm not sure Rigol offers quite the same industrial durability of some of the "majors" - again you'll get plenty of opinions here.  Either way, having a spare unit might be good even if you buy from the majors if you can't afford to have the equipment down.

It might come down to "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM/AT&T/Fill in the Blank".  No doubt, sometimes people can get talked into a situation where "you can buy better but you can't pay more."  Kind of depends on what you need and value, and whether the strategy emphasizes playing to win, or not to lose.

Hard to say without knowing more about your requirements for functionality, performance, and service - but if you can say more about what is top of mind for you there are lots of people here who will weigh-in with their thoughts and advice.  (There are lots of users of Rigol, Agilent/Keysight, Tektronix, and other products in this forum - you've come to a good place to ask.)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 09:39:34 AM by Electro Fan »
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2015, 09:34:30 AM »
I have a few Rigol pieces and they are collecting dust  - replaced by old Tektronix scope and HP power supplies. They never broke, they just sucked in more ways I have time to write about. Everyday, they would remind me of the price I paid to save money.

For a production environment - it varies. If you only need the most basic features and the tolerances are wide - Rigol may be just fine. I would personally not even consider them. I have been in manufacturing for a while now and been burned almost every time I tried to 'save' money. As I used to accuse one of my early mentors of "spending a dollar to bend over and pick up a nickel". Saving money is an art form and I have found that the low-cost gear is generally the most expensive option. Lost time from a less than excellent instrument is far more expensive than the difference between Keysight and Rigol prices.

My real world experience is that getting the best tools for the job is the lowest cost solution. In my machine shop, we initially purchased mid-range tools. They could cut the materials and make parts. I eventually did some experiments with tools that cost 2x the price, but were able to cut 4x the speed and last much longer. It did not take long to punch that into a calculator.

Only you can decide since we have no real information about what your requirements are or expectations.
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Offline all_repair

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2015, 10:16:06 AM »
For use 12 hour everyday? Rather not.

Are you telling me that based on experience ?

I had overheating problem with Rigol arbitrary signal generator after extended use about10 years ago.  But 10 years is a very long time in our industry.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2015, 10:35:36 AM »
For use 12 hour everyday? Rather not.

Are you telling me that based on experience ?

I had overheating problem with Rigol arbitrary signal generator after extended use about10 years ago.  But 10 years is a very long time in our industry.

there are 3458's that are basically as old as I am that have been running 24/7 that work fine, even at factory temps.
there are also 34401s that have lasted basically as long.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 10:39:16 AM by Fsck »
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Offline XFDDesign

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2015, 11:48:07 AM »
On a production line, that usually means automation.

Automation, means software support, and Rigol products simply don't have it.

I own a DSA815 spec an, and for Amateur radio work, it does the job "well enough" for the price. However, as I'm increasing my use-cases, I too attempted to automate the instrument. While the fit and finish of the unit is quite good, the ultimate failing is in their software. Out of the box, the unit supports LXI -- supposedly. Mine doesn't work. Never has. Firmware updates didn't fix it either. I have to buy a GPIB adapter (which would be fine anyway) to get it to work with my GPIB network, but the programming manual is lacking. Most of the device's operation (and most of Rigol's line in general) is anchored to a clunky automation software environment for windows. This then boxes me into using their software, which is not a stable platform, and makes a mess of trying to form an automation line.

All of the failings with the products really come down to the back-end support, not the up-front part of the hardware.

The hobbyist doesn't need a complete SCPI command set, nor does the hobbyist need to build complex test automation apps. The hobbyist is not doing production of anything with a worth while amount of quantity. Rigol products are perfect for them.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2015, 02:15:46 PM »
No no, lets encourage OP to install this crap in China so they can taste their own medicine.  :popcorn:
 

Offline marshallh

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2015, 02:36:42 PM »
IMO, buy refurbished or new Tek/agilent. I don't have that level of confidence in Rigol for day in, day out usage. When it inevitably breaks and you wheel in the replacement Agilent, are you going to want to retrain the folks just for the new gear?
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Offline Gunb

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2015, 04:11:57 PM »
For use 12 hour everyday? Rather not.

 :palm:
 

Offline slurry

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2015, 04:36:33 PM »
If you put it inside a cooled cabinet and no one are touching it and you are just using pass/fail output, it may work for quite some time.
But really..no, if you are serious about reliability and maintaing a good production flow use known brands and sign a service agreement that suits your needs.

Oscilloscopes in a productionline is prone to break sooner or later, make sure you have at least one or preferrably two extra scopes to use when you have to send one in for repair and when all is working use for eduation.

I was once called to a customer where his production line measuring and weighing equipment suddenly died all too often,
after i talked to the engineers i correlated the incidents to dry weather so i told him to look over all the grounding of the belts, there was a few loose grounding straps that prevented static charges to build up that had cost them thousands of euros.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 04:40:36 PM by slurry »
 

Online tautech

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2015, 07:37:57 PM »
Only you can decide since we have no real information about what your requirements are or expectations.
+1
There is little reason why any of the better Chinese equipment wouldn't meet your needs, although you'd want to ensure you selected "mature" models.   ;)
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Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2015, 02:26:19 AM »
Only you can decide since we have no real information about what your requirements are or expectations.
+1
There is little reason why any of the better Chinese equipment wouldn't meet your needs, although you'd want to ensure you selected "mature" models.   ;)

Yes, my question was if somebody has experience with Rigol equipment on production lines.

I still don't know the factory conditions, I have not been there yet, later I will visit them.  I imagine a typical production line with not very good A.C. systems, temperature and humidity conditions ok, but you never know.

I'm putting together test solution cases, the equipment will be in a rack and it will be controlled by a computer, so there is no human interaction.

Based on what I've read, I may go to a better brand names.

David.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2015, 02:47:17 AM »
I have experience in Mexico, and my advice is whatever you're installing had better be damned robust or you will always be down.  The power grid is crap.  The electrical systems in the buildings are crap.  The buildings themselves are crap. (And that is new construction)  If you have AC at all, it is poor.  Lots of buildings only have swamp coolers. Everything will be working against you. 

Parts, service, spares?  You might as well have moved to Mars.  Everything has to be shipped in.  Everything gets trapped in customs. 

Then there's training.  If this is production line personnel, you're going to be doing a lot of it.  Employees are only hired on short term contracts.  They are all poorly paid, so it's common to have a lot of employees just not come back to work after a major holiday, such as Christmas.  (I don't blame them.)  So, whatever you pick had better be in Spanish, good Spanish. 

This isn't personal, racial, or nationalistic, it's just the way it is. It is a very challenging environment to maintain production. 
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2015, 02:59:27 AM »
Saving money is an art form and I have found that the low-cost gear is generally the most expensive option. Lost time from a less than excellent instrument is far more expensive than the difference between Keysight and Rigol prices.

 :-+ This exactly.
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Offline XFDDesign

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2015, 03:05:03 AM »
I have experience in Mexico, and my advice is whatever you're installing had better be damned robust or you will always be down.  The power grid is crap.  The electrical systems in the buildings are crap.  The buildings themselves are crap. (And that is new construction)  If you have AC at all, it is poor.  Lots of buildings only have swamp coolers. Everything will be working against you. 

Parts, service, spares?  You might as well have moved to Mars.  Everything has to be shipped in.  Everything gets trapped in customs. 

Then there's training.  If this is production line personnel, you're going to be doing a lot of it.  Employees are only hired on short term contracts.  They are all poorly paid, so it's common to have a lot of employees just not come back to work after a major holiday, such as Christmas.  (I don't blame them.)  So, whatever you pick had better be in Spanish, good Spanish. 

This isn't personal, racial, or nationalistic, it's just the way it is. It is a very challenging environment to maintain production.

And suddenly I'm wondering if you don't happen to work with or for, a certain "Spokane area" engineering firm which deals with power products and who has a factory in Mexico.  ;D
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2015, 03:12:07 AM »
I'd be surprised if there was much difference in reliability between Rigol and bigger names in the same class.
Rigol is pretty well built, and has the advantage of being cheap enough that you can carry spares.
It is hard to predict what will go wrong ( bear in mind that staff vandalism/sabotage is one of the possible failure modes), so having spare kit is probably the best way to cover all possibilities.
As regards wear and tear, maybe regard them as consumable items and replace after <x> years - you'l recover a reasonable part of the cost selling on as test gear is always sellable.
If your mains is bad, then condition it first - a cheap UPS would probably provide reasonable protection fairly cheaply.

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2015, 03:17:26 AM »
I'm putting together test solution cases, the equipment will be in a rack and it will be controlled by a computer, so there is no human interaction.
In which case you need something with reliable comms,networking etc. - probably more important than physical robustness.
This is an area where you would certainly expect major names to be better as the Chinese can't write decent software.
Even the cheapest big-name gear probably shares the same code base as their higher-end stuff, so probably a better choice.
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Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2015, 03:19:08 AM »
I have experience in Mexico, and my advice is whatever you're installing had better be damned robust or you will always be down.  The power grid is crap.  The electrical systems in the buildings are crap.  The buildings themselves are crap. (And that is new construction)  If you have AC at all, it is poor.  Lots of buildings only have swamp coolers. Everything will be working against you. 

Parts, service, spares?  You might as well have moved to Mars.  Everything has to be shipped in.  Everything gets trapped in customs. 

Then there's training.  If this is production line personnel, you're going to be doing a lot of it.  Employees are only hired on short term contracts.  They are all poorly paid, so it's common to have a lot of employees just not come back to work after a major holiday, such as Christmas.  (I don't blame them.)  So, whatever you pick had better be in Spanish, good Spanish. 

This isn't personal, racial, or nationalistic, it's just the way it is. It is a very challenging environment to maintain production.

Well I'm from Mexico and worked several years in manufacturing facilities of different types, there are good ones and bad ones.

David.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2015, 03:26:06 AM »
Well, a UPS needs an earth ground first off. Good luck with that in Mexico unless you bring in people from the north that know how to establish an earth ground in soil that doesn't conduct well.

Then there's lightning protection. That's quite the novelty in Mexico.

I'm not telling you that you MUST use Agilsight or suffer the consequences, I'm saying you have a shitload of homework to do before worrying about the nameplate on your equipment.

Oh, and do tell the guard with the shotgun muzzle on his toe outside Whataburger hello for me. If he doesn't have his big toe anymore, give him my condolences.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Rigol and production
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2015, 03:28:27 AM »
I have experience in Mexico, and my advice is whatever you're installing had better be damned robust or you will always be down.  The power grid is crap.  The electrical systems in the buildings are crap.  The buildings themselves are crap. (And that is new construction)  If you have AC at all, it is poor.  Lots of buildings only have swamp coolers. Everything will be working against you. 

Parts, service, spares?  You might as well have moved to Mars.  Everything has to be shipped in.  Everything gets trapped in customs. 

Then there's training.  If this is production line personnel, you're going to be doing a lot of it.  Employees are only hired on short term contracts.  They are all poorly paid, so it's common to have a lot of employees just not come back to work after a major holiday, such as Christmas.  (I don't blame them.)  So, whatever you pick had better be in Spanish, good Spanish. 

This isn't personal, racial, or nationalistic, it's just the way it is. It is a very challenging environment to maintain production.

Well I'm from Mexico and worked several years in manufacturing facilities of different types, there are good ones and bad ones.

David.

Yup. And if you're in one that was built by HP or a similar class company, you'll do fine. If you end up in a building constructed via the good old boys network, watch out.
 


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