Thanksgiving Foodbank Challenge

Posted November 24, 2015 by Vanessa Muse
Categories: Community Service, employees, Innovative-IDM

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We are excited to announce that Innovative-IDM employees donated 2,508 lbs. of food to our local area food banks for the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday season. This is the 4th year that Innovative has donated food and each year the contributions grow. The food banks that will benefit from this year’s donations are the North and South Texas Foodbanks, as well as the Baton Rouge and New Orleans Foodbanks. As a company, we encourage our employees to give back to our community and this holiday season we gave back one can at a time. Because of our Legendary staff that committed their time and energy to fight hunger, meals will be provided to hungry children, seniors, and families.

– Gina Arredondo

Aluminum Extrusion for Machine Frames vs. Welded Steel

Posted October 19, 2015 by Pepper Hastings
Categories: Uncategorized

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When designing a machine frame for today’s automation equipment, should you use welded steel or structural aluminum extrusion?

machine frame built with aluminumThere are several advantages to using aluminum extrusion when designing a machine frame:

  • Aluminum extrusion is a lightweight and high-strength material. It’s easy to cut and machine.
  • It does not require welding and does not require painting.
  • Aluminum extrusion is easy to assemble and disassemble which means that design changes are simplified and not as expensive.

Welded steel machine frames are made from less expensive steel, but the advantages tend to end there. Welded steel machine frames are a permanent assembly which requires much more effort to change or disassemble. They require special equipment (and specialized labor) to assemble, including a welder. Welded steel frames require paint and associated cleaning supplies. Steele is susceptible to rust anywhere that the paint is not covering. Over the long term life of the machine, welded steel frames require regular maintenance to prevent degradation.

All of those challenges go away when used structural aluminum. And designing your machine frame is as simple or as complicated as your imagination wants it to be. This is because assembly is so flexible and adaptive to change.

To assemble aluminum extrusion, insert a T-Nut and fastener into a T-Slot of the extrusion and tighten. It’s that simple. No welding or grinding is required. A few simple hand tools is all your need to tighten your design. When done, you have a durable, strong, lightweight structure that’s functional and attractive. The high-strength aluminum profiles have a clear anodize surface that is scratch and corrosion resistant. Your structure never needs painting and is maintenance free.

Most structural extrusions have a 2 degree taper that spring locks fasteners as they are tightened. Therefore, fasteners will not loosen, even under heavy vibration.

Aluminum extrusion machine frames need no welding, no painting (unless you want to), and don’t rust. They don’t require any special tools (or a welder) to assemble. Modifications are easy and attachments can be added and removed easily. Multiple automation manufacturer’s attachments can be utilized because of the standard sizes of T-slots.

Structural aluminum extrusion works well where changed might be needed, like the length of a table, desk or machine base.

Structural aluminum extrusion works well where changes might be needed, like the length of a table, desk or machine base. Accessories include handles, casters, feet and others.

Steel may cost less at the beginning of the project. But in the end, structural aluminum extrusion usually makes for lower overall cost per project. Consider structural aluminum as an alternative for shelving, work stations, carts and other projects where lightweight and design flexibility are needed. – Adam Ring

Critical Facts to Know About HMIs

Posted August 6, 2015 by Vanessa Muse
Categories: Innovative-IDM, Parker

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Click here for a great article from Parker’s Electromechanical Team on critical facts about HMIs.  Topics include three main measures of HMI performance and what makes for a smart HMI.


Parker Electromechanical HMIs


Ready to upgrade your HMI? Contact Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or email us at

Yaskawa’s Unified Control Packaging Demo

Posted August 4, 2015 by Vanessa Muse
Categories: Innovative-IDM, video, Yaskawa

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Check out this cool video about Yaskawa’s Unified Robot and Machine Control solution for packaging automation. One software package to control every major component in a linear and robotic motion system.

For more information about MotionWorks IEC to order your software, call Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or email us at

World’s First Spring Terminal for Conductor Cross-Sections up to 185 mm

Posted July 31, 2015 by Vanessa Muse
Categories: Innovative-IDM, New Product Release, Wago

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WAGO’s new Power Cage Clamp high-current terminal blocks make it possible to connect conductors with cross-sections up to 185 mm with spring pressure connection technology. They are vibration-proof and maintenance-free, without having to rely on preparation intensive bolts or clamping yoke connection technology. Not only does this save a lot of time during cabling, but the high contact forces ensure an optimal and gas-tight contact at all times.

WAGO high current terminal blocks

For more information or to order the new WAGO Power Cage Clamp high-current terminal blocks, contact Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or email us at

Team Slap Bracelets Unite! School Supply Drive.

Posted July 28, 2015 by britteray
Categories: Uncategorized

Are you too cool for school (supplies) or does school rule? Team Slap Bracelets united together for a fun lunch trip to buy  supplies for the Innovative-IDM School Supply Drive. We got rocks, paper and scissors for the donation box. We even got a little something for ourselves, a ruler, disguised as a slap bracelet, we rule(r)!

Join in the effort and let’s make a difference in someone’s life. Last day to donate, August 7.



How to Spec a Pneumatic Cylinder

Posted July 15, 2015 by Vanessa Muse
Categories: Innovative-IDM, SMC

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Specifying a pneumatic cylinder isn’t as hard as it might seem to be.  There are a lot of tidbits of information that goes into each and every cylinder, such as mounting.  Is it a clevis, a double clevis, is it a tie rod, is it an aluminum body, etc.  There are a lot of different variations and there are specials.  There are customized cylinders and many of our customers run into this all the time.  The OEM of the machine will specialize a cylinder, and it might be something as simple as a different type of metal in the rod.  It might be food grade oil in grease inside the cylinder.  So, often you are able to get a functional replacement without having to go through the pains of developing every single last piece of information that might be about that cylinder.  So, I’m going to give you a couple of quick ways to gather some information that you can hand over to your local IDM representative and we can go from there.

The cylinder: Is it double acting, meaning does it have two ports where air goes in one and out the other ?  Or is it single acting, meaning it’s going to have a spring in the back end which is actually going to push it back in.

Operating Environment: Is it harsh conditions – such as is this out in a concrete plant, inside in the AC, washed down, or is it around food? There are a lot of different changes in a cylinder that can happen based on that.

Operating Pressure: What are you regulating your pressure down to the cylinder through the valve, etc.  That gets right here to the cylinder.  This is also going to have an effect on how much force is required.  This is very important.  Let us know what type of operating pressure you’re using.

Force: How heavy is the object you are pushing?  How difficult is it?  How long does it take to actually reach the full stroke?  Etc.  All of that is very important to us.

Operating Speed: How quickly or often within a time period do you need to cycle through the cylinder?  All of this information is great and helps us give you a very quick quote and solution to your problem.

Tubing Size and Port Size

That’s it, that’s a cylinder.  If you would like more information on cylinders or other pneumatic equipment please go to  Remember Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.


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