Get the most out of your legacy equipment with form-fit-function equivalents

We were once contacted by an international customer. The company had a customised helicopter cursor control device that played a vital part in its systems. It also had a problem – after many years the manufacturer was struggling to supply suitably robust replacements for repairs in the field. We proposed a solution – a form-fit-function equivalent that would serve as a drop-in replacement. We followed up with three prototypes at less than four-week intervals as the design evolved; indeed it went far beyond being ‘just’ a drop-in replacement.

This example highlights a growing trend in the industry. It is quite common for suppliers to stop making replacements for or supporting legacy equipment in the field. Completely changing the entire hand controller seems like a logistical nightmare, so users suffer under the burden of unsatisfactory supply chains.

Drop-in replacements can be the answer in this scenario; a form-fit-function equivalent can be with you faster than you think.

Here’s another example. One US customer relied on an on-deck naval single-axis winch controller with a central detent / break. The original manufacturer declined to continue making and supporting the product, so the customer asked us to design and manufacture a form-fit-function equivalent. Within 14 weeks the customer had product to install. We have since supplied more than 60 of these custom joysticks, now in two subtly different configurations that simplify installation on the various vessels.

Interested in a quick drop-in replacement? Contact us online or via telephone +44 118 981 7311 (UK) or +1 248 982 3266 (US).

Back to Blogs