Archive for September 2008

Industry Headlines Delivered to Your Email Box

September 30, 2008

You might want to bookmark as a daily checkpoint for headlines about discontinued product, obsolescence reports, price changes and other production automation news from Yaskawa, Parker, Omron, Wago, ABB, Wittenstein and other automation industry leaders. Headlines have been rolling since June now.

If you want, we can send you a brief, text-only email as soon as headlines are posted. Go here for the free headline alert sign up.

Ongoing Training with Yaskawa

September 29, 2008

Jeff Moyer of Yaskawa Motion was here Friday to provide hands-on training to our sales and tech staff on Sigma V servo and other things Yaskawa.

Our staff has regular training sessions with our core vendors to stay abreast of all of the current applications and features.

All of this immediately following a meeting with a chicken.

It’s Official: Wheels Off at Club Innovative

September 26, 2008

The wheels officially flew off the vehicle at our morning meeting on Friday.

After assembling at our normal 8:30 a.m. time, we were told we could not enter Club Innovative but instead were huddled in an adjoining room. We were advised to charge screaming into the room, a la some sort of cell extraction at SuperMax.

Britt and Mark led the way (right). What we found upon entry was a flapping chicken clucking and crowing, “How does everyone feel today?!!” It was sales pro Jeffery Miller’s turn to lead the meeting — all IA members lead at least once a month — and Miller had taken ridiculous and turned it to absurd.

Why were these men and women chanting with a chicken? What can a chicken know about company sales goals and values. Where did this chicken costume come from? Who would be asked to demonstrate the Chicken Dance? And how would this all end?

With a high-five, of course. What a way to start a Friday, and one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen in a workplace — legendary.


Where Did Emoticons Come From?

September 25, 2008

We all use the combination of characters to express some sort of emotion. Ever wonder where they came from? The 26th anniversary of the invention of the emoticon was Sept. 19. It was “invented” in 1982 on a faculty bulletin board (now called forums) at Carnegie Mellon University. Here is a link to the person that most attribute to creating the Internet craze. Wikipedia also has a large description on the whole history of “Smiley” outside of the Internet. Who ever knew such a simple thing would be such a phenomenon! 🙂

I Want This, I Need This . . .

September 24, 2008

Todd Mueller, IA veteran, still has not had his name engraved on our Legendary Customer Service cup. The trophy is awarded each month to the employee team that earns the most customer service points for the month.

Not that Todd hasn’t pulled off some Legendary acts of his own — hey, he’s the manager of our Customer Service Department. He spends all day atop Mount Legendary.

He’s just been on teams that haven’t quite broken through to win since the Cup was incepted in April 2008. Like Ernie Banks, Mueller’s a Hall of Fame player with no titles to his credit. September, however, could be the breakthrough month. He’s on my team; how can I help him get there?

Oh, did I mention that the Cup winners get half a day off from work as an additional reward? — ph

Broken Cinder Bricks and New Calendars

September 23, 2008

There are two very important things to consider about this photo.

One, we have some new gimme min-calendars ready for you come December. Ask your sales or customer service person for these handy calendars, perfect for affixing to toolboxes, cabinet doors, workbench pegboards, garage refrigerators, etc.

Two, the placid-looking individual pecking away on his laptop in the background is actually Ken Skillett, the agrressive animal who broke with his bare hand the cinder brick on his desk. That happened at a recent company meeting at Innovative. Other people in the office also smashed boards and bricks, and bent rebar with their necks. So, be careful who you’re messing with.

Reason #16 to Work at Innovative Automation: Public Humiliation

September 22, 2008

Not exactly sure what this means but this is hanging on our office wall and has been for a couple of weeks. Thoughts?

What Happens in Dallas, Stays in Dallas . . . Or Does It?

September 19, 2008

Pancho and Jesus, Omron’s wacky thrill-seekers, try to short-circuit an Omron industrial power supply among other shennanigans in this three-minute vid.

Both were at IA HQ recently for an Omron PLC training class. This is the alternate version of Cool Gadgets: Omron S8VS Industrial Power Supply. If you would like to put on a starched shirt and necktie, check out the “official version”.

Hey Michael, Say ‘Cheese’ . . .

September 19, 2008

One of the best control panel builders in the business, Michael Mueller’s day job is customer service rep/bbq chef/heavy metal dj/automation consultant. At night, when he needs to build panels in the shop, he is all business . . . until you pull out a camera. Legendary stuff.

Innovative Automation builds new and retrofits old control panels of any size — small boxes and ones so big they need their own air conditioning system. What can we build for you?

Houston – Why Help? – It’s simply the right thing to do

September 18, 2008

Friends, Family and Fellow Americans,

Can everyone really help after a hurricane?  I think yes.  

Innovative is pledging 5 percent of all Houston store orders to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund. That means your order from Innovative-Houston from now until the end of 2008 will aid the Gulf Coast recovery effort. 

Other than some roof leaks, our Houston office survived.  Others in the area aren’t as fortunate.  In fact, two of our Houston employees, Stephen and Jack, still are with relatives a week after Ike; their Friendswood homes without power or water. 

Innovative will make a minimum $5,000 donation to Red Cross regardless. Redirecting 5 percent of our customer orders to charity may not be a huge amount, but by God we can all be proud that we did something

Why?  Because we can.  Innovative isn’t a big company, but America is made strong by us little guys!

Our prayers and support go out to all those who find themselves rebuilding. 

I realize charity is a personal choice, and there are several legitimate, charitable organizations besides the Red Cross helping victims. Please consider the option presented below as just one of many ways you can quickly help.


Gene Gray, President,