Service & Maintenance Policy
iPulse Systems sells biometric devices
with a one year, carry-in warranty that covers manufacturing faults at a
hardware level, and guarantees that the software will work as advertised. A
full copy of this warranty is available on our website, and should have been
included on your product CD.
However, in order to maintain your
biometric device, there are a number of processes that should be followed to
ensure that you get the best value from your investment. In order to explain
this, we have compiled this document to help you understand how our products
work, and what you are responsible for in order to maintain the devices, and
ensure their longevity.
Understanding the Software
iPulse software is made up of three
key components that drive the devices, and these are:
System (OS): This is
the underlying operating system that drives the hardware of the device.
Firmware: This is
the actual business logic that makes sure the readers are able to do what they
are supposed to, and allows them to interact with other programs and software
like the IQSuite
Firmware: This is
provided by Secugen Corporation themselves, and drives the sensor operation and
fingerprint algorithm that is embedded in these devices.
iPulse takes responsibility for
investing in continual upgrades to the underlying Operating System (which we
change very seldom) and the iPulse reader firmware. These changes are made for
the following reasons:
1) Bugs: The iPulse firmware is stable and does not often require an
update for anything other than a minor bug, normally caused by new releases of
features. Updates for these reasons are normally denoted by a small point
increase if it’s a little bug, ie, 6.2.33 to 6.2.34 or a medium point increase
if it’s a larger one, ie 6.2.33 to 6.2.4. Such
updates are only suggested if the specific listed bug manifests on a particular
2) Performance: We are constantly seeking ways to improve the
performance of our readers, from a speed, reliability and longevity point of
view. Typical focus areas include better auditing features, more mature backup
features and easier field upgrade options (such as the X.3 OS upgrade).
These are normally part of major upgrade, ie, 6.2.33 to 6.3.0, or in some
cases, part of an underlying OS upgrade, ie, 1.2 to 1.3.
3) Features: This is the most common reason for firmware updates. It
is because of the new ranges of software packages, and the features that we
add, that updates and new features are often required on the hardware. Again,
if these are smaller features required for specific functions, these are
normally covered in a minor point increase, such as e, 6.2.33 to 6.2.34 or as
part of a major firmware upgrade, ieie 6.2.33 to 6.3.0. Such firmware updates
are normally accompanied by new versions of the IQSuite product range, that allow users to exploit these
new features, and should therefore only be done in conjunction with a software
4) Hardware Changes: Due the nature of our business, there are
sometimes unavoidable hardware component changes that need to be made.
Typically, this is due to a change in key components, such as a screen type or
other major component. In these cases, it is normally the operating system that
has to change, as the device requires new drivers to manage these new
components. This almost always will result in a major OS upgrade, ie, from 1.0
In the unlikely event that a major
bug is discovered in the firmware, we notify our channel immediately, giving
them access to the tools to update readers in the field, and iPulse always ships
readers with the latest firmware. This is a given. However, the liability for
such an update is limited to our requirement to provide a fix within a
reasonable amount of time, and we are not in any way responsible for making
sure that readers in the field are updated. In the event of a major bug,
readers may be brought into iPulse for a free firmware upgrade if required.
With regards to the Secugen sensor firmware, changes are out of our
control, however, we are satisfied that when we ship a reader, the firmware is
stable and will operate perfectly for the lifetime of the product. Any benefits
to be gained from updating this firmware are not required, and therefore,
upgrades are only suggested rather than enforced.
Understanding the Hardware
The iPulse biometric devices are made up of a few key components, most
of which should last the average lifetime of the product. However, like all
such devices, there are a few components that are more susceptible to damage or
which can degrade in a less dependable manner.
The key two components to worry about in terms of most iPulse devices
are the following:
fingerprint sensor: This is
an optical device, which relies on the brightness of the light reflected to
operate at efficiency. Like any light-based device, it has an MTBF (Mean Time
Before Failure), which on these units, is roughly three to five years. However,
as this is an AVERAGE, some devices may start to offer less quality earlier
casing, and in particular, the keyboard: As the physical outer shell of the device, the
casing, and the keyboard in particular, take a lot of abuse during the life
time of a product, especially where the keyboard is used for time &
attendance, or pin code entries.
Aside from these two components, any
exposure to electricity spikes, or lightning, will obviously cause major
failure to the device, and this is the most common cause of devices failing in
The iPulse policy document has been
designed to allow for the management of the known issues that occur over the
lifetime of these products, and therefore addresses the two key components as
part of this document.
Maintenance Policy Explained
The key to understand this policy document is understanding what iPulse
is NOT responsible for, and therefore, what should be done by end customers,
preferably through their iPulse Authorised Dealer channel, to maintain the
quality of their products:
- iPulse Systems is NOT responsible for upgrading readers
firmware, operating systems or Secugen firmware on readers already sold. Nor
are we responsible for ensuring that readers at a client site are on the same
versions of the various elements of the software.
- The end customer, along with their
partner is responsible for the service, maintenance and upgrade of their
products if they wish to enjoy longevity of the product.
In general, iPulse biometric readers last longer than most competitive
products. Life expectancy is 60-72 months. Post this 60-month period, iPulse
will recommend that readers are uneconomical to repair. However, customers need
to understand that if they wish to enjoy the latest functions, features and
services offered by iPulse, that they need to continually perform PRE-EMPTIVE MAINTENANCE on these
This leads to the suggested maintenance plan iPulse
has put in place:
iPulse suggests that a reader be sent in
for a full software refresh every 18 months, and
for a full hardware check
(and possible casing/ keyboard replacement if required) every
36 months (i.e. every second maintenance
customers would rotate their readers, and make sure that every 18 months, all
readers are sent through for these quick service updates to iPulse Systems over
a period of time.
However, this is NOT the
responsibility of iPulse. This responsibility rests solely on the
shoulders of the customer, and the partner
who is supporting the site, if they are paid
to do this.
iPulse Systems therefore offers the following two pre-emptive
maintenance service options to customers who wish to follow this policy in
order to get the most out of their products from their customers. Please note
that all fees quoted are subject to change without notice, and that they
specifically EXCLUDE any fees or charges the supporting partner may charge in
order to remove, deliver, collect and re-install these readers.
18 Month Service – Software
Readers are brought in for a full test,
software refresh and CMOS battery change. Provided that the reader is between
16 and 20 months old, this all-inclusive fee will waive any other labour
charges for these readers, provided that the reader is in a working condition
when brought in, and that no other repairs are required.
36 Month Service – Full Refresh
Readers are brought in for a full test,
software refresh, new sensor, CMOS battery change, and are also given a new
casing & keyboard. Provided that the reader is between 32 and 40 months
old, this all-inclusive fee will waive any other labour or component charge for
these readers, provided that the reader is in a working condition when
brought in, and that no other repairs are required. iPulse offers a 3 month
warranty on components replaced.
The iPulse support team