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RENAISSANCE REPAIR AND SUPPLY

RENAISSANCE REPAIR AND SUPPLY

Len Anderson and Stephen Onions

Renaissance Repair and Supply is an Ottawa based company specializing in engineering, repair, service and testing of legacy electronic assemblies used in telecommunications and defence applications.

“DND has lots of standardized electronics that they intend to keep in service for a long, long time, often well beyond the original design requirement” says Len Anderson, Chief Executive Officer. “Circuit card assemblies (CCAs) are often 15 years old or more and are still being sent back to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) needing service. And that’s where we come in.”

Now, even if systems are commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), OEMs must guarantee that their solutions — including the embedded electronics — will be serviceable and supportable in the field 20 or 30 years into the future.

Consequently, a lot of older gear still in use is now out of warranty and no longer supported by the OEM for many reasons, cost, loss of original design teams, intellectual property constraints for example.

This is a big challenge for DND lifecycle material managers (LCMMs). Electronic CCAs are everywhere and are vital elements of many naval, ground and aerospace “mission critical” systems. If an out of warranty CCA breaks and a repair solution is no longer available, LCMMs face challenges meeting operational availability targets, and even worse the possibility of replacing an entire system, all because of a single failed component.

“Clients come to us with an electronic circuit card,” Anderson explains. “They often have no idea what it does but they know it’s failing and they look to Renaissance for a cost-effective solution.”

Renaissance then develops a custom solution in-house, using hardware and software to analyze the intended function of the failed CCA. It can then either identify an existing “Fit, Form and Function” (FFF) replacement, or propose a new solution using current technology.

It can also create a forward-looking test engineering solution to ensure continued serviceability years into the future. System configurations are preserved and equipment lifecycles are affordably extended well past the original service life date.

SUPPORTING THE OEM WITH REVERSE AND FORWARD ENGINEERING SERVICES

“Replacing elements of a fielded military system due to DMSMS (Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages) restrictions is a costly, time consuming and highly disruptive process,” says Stephen Onions, Program Manager. “We have worked hard to develop some very specialized engineering skills that keep clients from needing to do this.”

Renaissance’s knowledge was developed in the telecommunications industry where technology changed very quickly in the early 2000s. Renaissance made its mark servicing electronics that telecommunication OEMs were no longer able or willing to take care of. This experience has left them with world leading expertise in reverse engineering.

The telecommunications lifecycle of the early 2000s is now repeating itself in militaries throughout the world. It is a pattern that the engineers at Renaissance have seen before. Renaissance presently supports several defence Prime Contractors who deliver CCAs that are deemed “obsolete” by the OEMs to the Kanata factory for sub-contracted repairs and upgrade where required.

Renaissance also finds itself assisting telecom OEMs with inventory management. Warehouses may be teeming with older electronics of uncertain quality. Renaissance brings in pallets of CCAs and performs a kind of triage on them — categorizing them as good, in need of repair or for salvage and disposal. Warehouse space requirements, and corresponding costs, are thus reduced.

GUARANTEEING LONG TERM SERVICABLIITY

As new government contracts now require OEMs to guarantee long-term supportability and availability tied in to Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contracting, this has opened a new area of growth for Renaissance. OEMs focus on what they do well — designing solutions. They sub-contract Renaissance for what it does well — designing diagnostic software, test engineering and selecting component parts for long-term serviceability.

“We’ve seen it all,” Anderson says. “When it comes to electronics, we know what fails and why, and we are good at forward engineering components or a new solution.”

“I am a proud Inuit Canadian,” Anderson says. “Seeing a need in the telecommunications and defence industries and then building this company literally from nothing is something of which I am very proud.”

Now Renaissance is growing to meet increasing demand for its services. Their Kanata facility now houses over 50 employees, mostly engineers and technicians, and more are urgently needed as committed 2017 contracts will lead to a 40 per cent annual increase in revenue!

Renaissance has already expanded with a satellite location in Ogdensburg, New York opening the door to bidding and execution of U.S, defence contracts, and there is a signed letter of intent to acquire a startup operation close to the aerospace hub in Dallas, Texas. So, with all this going on we think Renaissance Repair and Supply is certainly an SME to watch in the year ahead.

By Dave Scharf – CDR’s Ottawa Correspondent

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