The MaxBotix RMA Process Guide

Key Takeaways

  • MaxBotix Inc., uses a systematic evaluation process to determine the functionality of each sensor.
  • Soldering to the sensor’s pins may affect the sensor replacement policy.
  • If a sensor is found functional, MaxBotix Inc., support will continue to help resolve the issue you are facing.

When providing support, our technical support team may determine that further testing at our facility is the best way to help resolve the issue that you are facing. At this point, they will start the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) process. This article will explain what you can expect as your ultrasonic sensor travels through our RMA process.

Starting the RMA Process

1) When technical support is not sufficient to solve an issue, we often initialize the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) process. This process helps to ensure safe handling and tracking of your sensor all the way through our facility. To start this process, you will receive an e-mail requesting information like the one below. Once the requested information is received, the RMA number is issued.

I am in the process of opening an RMA for the sensors that are in question regarding operation. Please verify or complete the information fields below so I can issue you an RMA #, with instructions on mailing the sensor back to the MaxBotix facility. Your RMA # will not be issued until this information is completed. Customer Name: Company Name: Email address: Phone: Description of sensor(s) failure: ________________________ Part Number: ____________ and Quantity: ____________ Is this time sensitive? _______ Project Deadline: _______ Return shipping address: Name: Street: City: State/Province: Zip: Country: Please note that after the MaxBotix inspection and evaluation of the sensors, if the returned sensor(s) are determined to be fully functional or damaged by the customer, we cannot refund the full purchase price for sensors that have been soldered too. If the sensor(s) have not been soldered to or are determined to not be operating according to specification by no fault of the customer, we can refund your full purchase price. Additionally, we will not handle any customs fees on RMAs that are sent to us. We will refuse the package if we are asked to pay any customs fees. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Please note the last section of the e-mail.

This section of the email describes the requirements of the sensor’s condition to be eligible for a warrantied replacement. If you applied solder to the sensor, it may not qualify for a full warranty unless the cause of the defect is tied to MaxBotix.

2) After the information is received, we will issue you an RMA number along with instructions on shipping the ultrasonic sensor back to our facility for testing. You will receive an email like the one below:
Thank you for supplying me with the necessary information so I could proceed with your RMA. Please use RMA### when contacting us regarding your return. Understand that your RMA could remain in our facility for up to three weeks depending on the level of testing required to verify the source of the issue. If your units are being returned for store credit, please include this information in your documentation. Please return all RMA units to the address below: MaxBotix Inc. ATTN: RMA### 13860 Shawkia Dr Brainerd MN 56401 USA Once your return has been received we will notify you by e-mail and continue processing your RMA. Upon completion of RMA testing, we will email you if your sensor passed or failed internal testing. Please note that if you would like expedited shipping you will be responsible to pay the additional shipping cost. We ship all sensors from our facility as standard UPS Ground which takes 3-5 business days to reach you. If you would like the sensor to be shipped quickly, please let us know and we will start the process to have your sensors shipped quicker using your shipping account number or by using your preferred payment method. Additionally, we will not handle any customs fees on RMAs that are sent to us. We will refuse the package if we are asked to pay any customs fees.

3) Once your sensor arrives at our facility, the receiving department brings the package to our technical support staff where it is checked in, counted, and inspected.

4) Next, technical support places the sensors in an RMA box that is labeled with the RMA number, customer name, sensor type, and quantity. This is done to ensure proper and accurate movement throughout the various departments that the RMA will travel. 5) The RMA box is then assigned to our Assembly Floor Supervisor where the RMA is hand counted again and sent to the assembly floor for testing.

Testing the Ultrasonic Sensor

Once your RMA is on the assembly floor, the sensor is thoroughly inspected and tested by our staff to verify sensor operation. Below is a list of how a sensor is inspected and the tests that are performed.

  1. The condition of the through hole pins is checked.
  2. The standard performance of the part is tested.
  3. The various outputs are tested.
  4. The sensor current draw is read at the pinout with a multimeter.
  5. Short to long range detection is verified according to the sensor specification.
  6. The sensor is also inspected for the specific cause of return stated by the customer.
Ultrasonic Sensor Selection Guide

If any of these tests fail, the sensor is then elevated to engineering for further inspection. Engineering will perform additional testing and make recommendations including whether to return the sensor to the customer or replace it with a new sensor. If engineering testing is required, this process may take up to 2-3 weeks.

Final Steps

Now that all testing is completed, the RMA is returned to technical support. The technical support staff will look over the testing results and then email the customer notifying them of the results of the testing. The RMA is then brought to the Sales Supervisor for final approval of refunds or sensor replacement.

What if the sensor Passes the RMA test

Often, a sensor will pass our RMA process and testing. We realize that the sensor is only one part of a typical complex system. So whether your sensor has passed or failed our in house testing, the technical support staff at Maxbotix Inc., will continue to help however we can to get your sensor working in the system. We have simply ruled out sensor non-specification performance as a cause of failure.

The sensor is often like the thermostat of a house when the heating or cooling system in the house is not working, it shows the temperature but it doesn’t cause the issue. The sensor is much the same, it may detect other issues in a system which cause one to believe the sensor is the cause of the issue; however, it is something else that the sensor is simply detecting and reporting. Our team is here to help support and resolve the issue that you are facing. If higher end engineering support is needed, this may incur additional fees. Contact our technical support team if you need any additional help or have any questions about the RMA process. We are here to help you succeed.
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