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Serial numbers and labelling when sharing device components


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Good Morning Wonderful People

I've got an interesting question to put to you all for advice.

To set the scene, we produce a device that is made up of several parts a central control box connected to a series of hardwired interlocks, a laptop containing the software and the active treatment unit. The Control box is what "owns" the system serial number. Each piece, the control box, active treatment unit and laptop all have the same serial number which is physically labeled and detected by the software and must all match up for the system to operate. All of the parts can be replaced and maintain a serial number apart from the Control box.

It is being proposed that an operator may wish to have two separate treatment locations set up each with their own laptop, central control box, and interlocks but share the active treatment unit. The treatment unit would be moved to the site that requires it.

The minor issue is, each of these locations' control box's would have their own serial number and that serial number would be applied to the active treatment unit when connected to it. Under normal circumstances, the active treatment unit is also physically labelled with its corresponding serial number, however, where it could be used as two different serial numbers, this proves problematic.

Has anyone encountered a similar situation or can provide suggestions? Thanks.


Staff member
Super Moderator
What's the rationale for hard-wiring the serial numbers together? If, say, you had to replace a laptop, what would your current procedure do?

Is there a risk of non-matching (by serial number) components (probably mostly between the control box and active treatment unit); i.e., is the system built and 'calibrated' where only those specific components must work together to perform to spec?

If you can mix-and-match, it would seemingly be feasible for the software to have look-up tables that allow for such sharing.
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