'Right to Repair' and Fixing Equipment in a Digital Age

Workers repairing machine

The issue of Right to Repair touches any device with embedded systems, with implications for the construction equipment sector.

August 30, 2021
Jeff Rubenstone - Engineering News-Record

When a piece of equipment breaks down on site, rental agreements, subcontractor contracts and other arrangements generally make it clear who gets to open the hood and start tinkering. But heavy equipment made in the last two decades increasingly relies on digital components for many basic functions. Embedded computer systems oversee electronically controlled hydraulics and regulate engine behavior and emissions-control systems. The tools to access these firmware and software systems are not always easy to come by, and in some cases repairs can’t be done without working directly with a manufacturer-approved dealer or technician. Some repairs may require a digital handshake to take effect.

Reprinted courtesy of Jeff Rubenstone, Engineering News-Record

Mr. Rubenstone may be contacted at rubenstonej@enr.com

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