Right to repair, local vs. global

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,853
That's a shame about RSLogix. Sounds like A-B/Rockwell really dropped the ball on that one as to compatibility. Been out of it for too long and many changes I'm sure since I was retired from PLC and DCS... And I have no desire to stay current on something I'll never see or use again LOL.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
24,265
and forget about monitoring the ladder to see which of the 50,000 inputs is holding the line up. Every single FB and DB in the PLC is individually protected.
Strange, Monitoring ability has always been the intention from its first conception, and the very reason that GM commissioned Dick Morley to come up with the solution for ease of shop floor diagnosis by maintenance personnel in 1968.
Morley formed a new company around the technology called MODICON PLC after Modular Digital Control.
A.B. quickly jumped on board when they saw the potential.
Max.
 

Picbuster

Joined Dec 2, 2013
1,027
How do/would local Right to Repair laws apply to international sales by default? Or maybe the question should be, who do/would the laws apply to? The buyer? The MFG? The broker?

Here's a pertinent real-world example:
Right now my employer purchases PLC-controlled production machinery made in Germany, and the OEM password-protects the PLC code to the tightest possible degree in an unabashed and self-admitted attempt to sustain a monopoly on repair of said equipment. If it breaks down, we have to wait on someone to fly from Germany to fix it. Now, if Right to Repair legislation was enacted in Texas, would that German OEM have to comply with TX law if we were to purchase more machinery from them? What about existing machinery? Could we compel them in a court of law to supply the password? Whose court, in what country? Would we be barred from importing said machinery if they refused to comply? How would that work?
The right to repair:
Everybody is allowed to repair objects they own.
However; the liability for the unit remains at the original producer.
Blocking mechanism is put in place to avoid claims caused by 'self' repairs.
The problem here is that:
The producer is always responsible maybe liable as well! (damage to material or body)
If any body is able to modify/repair then this person or persons are responsible and /or liable.
Not knowing whom is running into a huge court cases.

That's why they put protection in place.

Picbuster
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
@Picbuster
Product liability costs are already included in the price of anything one buys, whether it allows user repair or not.
There is no readily available evidence that making products only "manufacturer- repairable" decreases liability. In fact, one can easily envision that failure of manufacturers to update their products in that case may increase liability.
Unsafe modifications or repair by the user can be used as an affirmative defense by the manufacturer.

I do agree that juries seem to be on the side of contingency lawyers and users. That is unfortunate. While a little OT but regarding liability, I believe a solution to the US problem with abuse of our tort system is not by placing arbitrary limits, but by fundamental reforms that address the abuses. Placing arbitrary limits can have the effect of allowing businesses to put a firm number on the cost of failure, then decide that failure is less costly than fixing the problem.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,752
The right to repair:
Everybody is allowed to repair objects they own.
However; the liability for the unit remains at the original producer.
Blocking mechanism is put in place to avoid claims caused by 'self' repairs.
The problem here is that:
The producer is always responsible maybe liable as well! (damage to material or body)
If any body is able to modify/repair then this person or persons are responsible and /or liable.
Not knowing whom is running into a huge court cases.

That's why they put protection in place.

Picbuster
I don't buy that at all. So you're telling me that in any of the 20 states where Right to Repair is legislated, I can install a bicycle tire pump in place of the rack & pinion on my car and when I crash sue GM?
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,752
Strange, Monitoring ability has always been the intention from its first conception, and the very reason that GM commissioned Dick Morley to come up with the solution for ease of shop floor diagnosis by maintenance personnel in 1968.
Right? Seems things have gone off the rails since then. Password protection came along to provide local supervisors the ability to limit potentially catastrophic access to only those among their team competent to wield it. Some OEMs saw it as an opportunity to hold their equipment hostage from their customers and some PLC MFGs obliged with offerings of even more protection options, encryption, etc.

It's odd how sometimes we can invest so many resources into improving a situation and make leaps and bounds of progress, only to come past full circle and be worse off than where we started.

This ideas of encrypted and password protected PLC code that you can't monitor, it's (to me) analogous to providing a relay control cabinet with no electrical drawings. And taking the extra pre-delivery step of casting the entire panel in a solid block of plastic so that no person can ever light a multimeter probe upon a single one of its precious coils or contacts. Nobody can ever adjust or add a timer per their needs. Except them, the OEM, and for an outrageous fee.

Imagine having to fly a Volkswagen tech in from Germany to install an aftermarket radio in your car? It would be laughable if there were anything remotely trivial about it.
 

Picbuster

Joined Dec 2, 2013
1,027
I don't buy that at all. So you're telling me that in any of the 20 states where Right to Repair is legislated, I can install a bicycle tire pump in place of the rack & pinion on my car and when I crash sue GM?
Legal investigation will start after a serious crash. ( dead and damage)
First step is to make a technical failure report ( what part is responsible and is this mounted by a certified company)
In a huge crash the car producer will be involved ( questions like; are you aware of any repair if so what and by whom.)
If the car is new then the factory is the certified party and liable.
When we talk about an old car the garage is liable.
When a private person did the job he is responsible and liable.

In the last case the insurance company, if applicable, will investigate the technical qualities of the person involved.
When capable the could pay else not.

You are correct in your statement however; I indicate the steps taken by law and in your case the last case is yours.

Picbuster
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,853
It's called "Deep Pockets". They can't get much out of the pockets of the poor sod who modified the program after it was sold but the corporation that built it has money. Hence the manufacturer's attornies will insist on thorough testing of the programmed device and disallow any program modifications after the sale to forestall any liability. Gotta love lawyers... I still have a bad taste from all the "Due Diligence" US Corporations had to perform to forestall the Y2K meltdown that was a complete no-show. Especially because I was one of the people who had to survey and inventory every possible piece of equipment on our plant, obtain from each manufacturer of the device a Y2K Compliance Certification, and be on-site at midnight to immediately evaluate and respond to any failures which did not occur. Huge waste of time and effort by many people to satisfy lawyers drooling over the aspect of imminent litigation. An entire team of people including the Plant Manager, Purchasing Manager, the Electrical and the instrumentation Supervisors, and the Plant Maintenance EE had to be on-site and be prepared to act. And I alone as the Automation Systems Manager had to visit each plant operations areas control room (about a dozen of them) and asses it before the team could adjourn around 3 AM after reporting to the Home Office instead of being home celebrating with family and friends. The only problem that occurred was found the next morning when a Flue Gas Analyzer and Recorder failed to take a sample for emissions compliance EPA reporting because the programming code written by a Home Office engineer failed to take a sample because when it rolled over from 99 to 00 thought it didn't have to take another sample for 99 more years. To paraphrase Walt Kelly's Pogo "We have found the Error and it is us". Needless to say, the EPA and State were not amused.
 
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