The A-plane collimator (part # 4535-670-62391) is one of the pricier components to replace on your Philips Brilliance 40-slice or 64-slice CT scanner and, unfortunately, the odds are rather high that a replacement will be necessary at some point during the lifespan of your system.
On the bright side, however, there are a few things that (if you're aware of them in advance), can help you better manage the temporary setback of a collimator failure and get your Brilliance up and running quickly.
Here are three things you should know about your A-plane collimator before it fails, so you can turn around your replacement and repair ASAP:
Your Collimator Probably Can't Be Repaired in the Field
We don't want to be doomsayers but, a field repair on an A-plane is highly unlikely. Here's what a typical failure looks like:
The two poly leaves that actually collimate the X-ray beam are often the culprits. Through normal use, the material becomes brittle and breaks or crumbles. This results in artifacts that can make your images unusable. Unfortunately, the mechanics and electronics inside the collimator are extremely sensitive and even the smallest manipulations to the interior components can render the collimator incapable of being calibrated. In other words, repairs on an A-plane are very difficult and best handled by seasoned pros in a controlled shop environment.
Your Replacement Should Come with a Calibration Disk
When purchasing your replacement collimator, make sure the calibration file CD comes with it. The files on these CDs are specific to the individual collimator’s serial number. Unlike earlier versions of the A-plane, the one for your 40 or 64-slice CT often requires these files in order to provide exact calibration. Sometimes the files can be copied from the host computer, but your surest bet for calibration success will be to confirm that your parts provider is sending the calibration disk along with the replacement.
Replacement Prices Are Coming Down
Prices for used A-plane collimators have dropped recently. Three or four years ago, you might have paid anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000 (on exchange) for a replacement. Today, the average is in the $7,500 to $8,000 range. Prices will continue to fluctuate with availability but, for now, they're trending downward.
If your A-plane collimator's (part # 4535-670-62391) time has come, attempts to repair it on your own will probably just increase your overall downtime. Your quickest, most cost-effective solution will likely be to contact a third-party parts provider who can confirm that a replacement will ship with a calibration CD. You can browse Block Imaging's CT parts inventory with the button below.
You can also see more free resources about CT scanner parts and service in our blog library. Here are a few highlights for the Philips Brilliance series: