Does Linac Downtime Increase with Age?
Should linear accelerators (LINACs) be replaced after a certain age? Does the age of a linac contribute to longer downtime? Gathering data from various sources and correspondence with linac engineers, we have uncovered some answers.
According to several highly experienced linac engineers who were surveyed across the globe, older linear accelerators, with due upkeep and maintenance, can function just as well as their newer models.
The survey results showed that older linac equipment (in excess of 12 years) did not have greater downtime than newer equipment, therefore no adverse effect on patient throughput.
Nonetheless, older linac equipment may require more service time during regularly scheduled preventative maintenance inspections, and more frequent part replacements as components wear over time.
All in all, having an older or refurbished linac, does not sentence your institution to longer downtimes. Many engineers have seen their ten-year-old linacs operate just as well as their brand-new ones, without an increase in downtime.
For further reading, see this related blog post: Should I Upgrade my Linear Accelerator System, or Just Replace it Altogether?