Time to Re-Group


Blog post by SimGHOSTS board member Nick Brauer

Time to Re-Group

Congratulations to those who work at an educational facility; the spring semester is over! Manikins, task trainers and medical equipment have all been used and abused for the past several months. Often times we are too busy to clean adequately or repair. As a direct result, work-arounds are inadvertently created in order to keep simulations moving forward. During this time of year it is important to perform preventative maintenance on manikins, task trainers and medical devices.

What exactly is preventative maintenance (PM) and why is it important? PM is maintenance performed on a regularly scheduled time interval to curtail the likelihood of an equipment failure. In general, this process occurs when the resource is operating within normal limits. While there is often a cost associated while performing a PM, whether it be in personnel time &/or parts, the outcome is more often than not, going to save time and money. Once a failure occurs, simulations will cease and broken equipment will cost substantially more to repair.

How often and when should PM be performed? Everyone’s schedule will vary but, it will depend if it’s based on time or usage or a combination of both. Personally, I use a combination as this allows me to, at a minimum, verify functionality on a yearly basis. For example, you may check the oil in your vehicle monthly and change it every 5000 miles. As a kid my grandfather always said “…change it at 3000 miles or 3 months.”

There are a lot of wires, hoses, connectors….. What should the PM include? Start with the owner’s manual. Take a certification class. Familiarize yourself with the equipment, electronics, pneumatics and basic tools. Various vendors offer certification classes whereby you’ll learn proper PM standards. If you are afforded the opportunity - it is highly recommended. However, if that isn’t an option then look for the following and replace/repair:


1. Holes or crimps in air/water tubing

2. Crimped electrical wires

3. Loose or unplugged electrical connections

4. Loose bolts/screws

5. Worn or missing buttons

6. Look for oil/water outside normal areas

7. Smell for overheating electrical components

8. Verify hardware and software functionality if applicable

9. Clean interior and exterior components per manufacturer recommendations.


1. Do NOT Remove hardware or electrical components unless authorized or certified as this may void your warranty

2. Do NOT touch circuit boards without proper grounding protection as it will likely render it useless.

3. Do NOT eat or drink near work area especially if device is open.



Check out the SimGHOSTS document library for numerous maintenance forms. 

Also, don’t forget to register for a SimGHOSTS event as they are approaching.