Which Parts Commonly Need Replacing During an Installation of a Varian Clinac iX Linear Accelerator?
Purchasing a refurbished Linear Accelerator (Linac) system is quite a bit different than purchasing a refurbished X-ray system, CT Scanner, or MRI system. Linacs can take up to six weeks to install or reassemble, and it’s often more practical, and less expensive, to do the refurbishment during the installation than it would be prior to the installation.
Although the term “refurbishment” is very general and can range anywhere from “a thorough cleaning and testing of the system to ensure it meets manufacturer specifications” to the complete replacement of major components, including magnetrons or klystrons, gun/target, waveguides; usually, if falls somewhere in between. Most of our clients don’t spend the extra money to do extensive refurbishments on linear accelerator systems, since this work is often done to the equipment through a typical service contract from a third party. Even cosmetic refurbishment, which was popular years ago, has been replaced with “fixing dents and scratches, with minor repainting.”
Below is a list of parts that we found are sometimes replaced for a Varian Clinac iX linear accelerator.
- OBI PCB (printed circuit board)
- Console computer
- Console power supply
- Hand Pendants
- Custom Coding Readers
- MLC controller
- CPI generator
While there is never a sure proof solution to a perfect installation, there are a few ways to mitigate the potential parts costs. Here are a few that we recommend:
- Inspect and review service history: Ensure that any machine you decide to purchase and install has been inspected and approved by the vendor, but also request to review the machine’s maintenance history.
- Refurbishment: There are various levels of refurbishment that can be included or purchased with a linear accelerator, most of which are done during the installation
- Ensure that some level of warranty is included with the machine purchase: We typically provide a Functional Warranty, which covers any parts and labor on the machine through physics acceptance, or you can purchase an Extended Warranty ranging from 1,3, 5 years or more.
- Purchase a complete second machine for parts support: It is much more cost effective to purchase a complete machine to be used for back-up parts than it would be to purchase each part needed individually. We recommend this for facilities with their own in-house engineers that can service equipment on their own, and who have the extra space to store parts.