Archive for April 2009

Fighting Swine Flu the Innovative Way

April 30, 2009

boiling_waterSince the swine flu has been known to be transmitted on keyboards and computer mice, Innovative’s Director of IT Kenneth Skillet has announced he will be boiling his hands in water four to six times a day until the epidemic subsides.

Marketing Videos from Innovative

April 30, 2009

dsc_0006We do our fair share of product demo videos and this studio is where we do most of them.

We’ve done videos on Yaskawa F7 drives, Yaskawa Sgima 5 servos, WAGO distributed I/O units, Wittenstein actuators, and Parker CTC systems, as well as April Fool’s prank videos and others.

You can see all of our videos here.

Free Parker IPS Catalog Now Available

April 29, 2009

parker-cat-coverParker’s Electromechanical Automation Division has released a new catalog featuring its IPS brand of structural framing products and systems. The 232-page guide is free and covers extrusion profiles, fasteners, brackets, handles, doors, panels, hinges, linear applications and more.

To receive a free copy of the new Parker IPS catalog, please call Innovative Automation at 877.906.2100 or email You can see some of these products and how they have helped Innovative’s customers here.

The revised catalog features new products, technical updates and clarification of units of measure. Parker also removed or replaced obsolete products. “This new catalog is a more accurate representation of the current IPS product offering and capabilities,” says Dave Bugajski, IPS product marketing manager.

Printed on recycled paper, the IPS product catalog is part of Parker’s green initiative, which seeks to reduce waste and ensure a sustainable future for our planet. Other projects in this effort include special Parker products for applications in the energy industries, such as solar scribing, hybrid vehicles and the Vectrix electric scooter.

This catalog is complementary to the vast selection of motion control products that are presently being offered by the Parker Automation Group. From this core family of products, Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Division can design a wide variety of plug-and-play bundled solutions to meet customer needs, says Parker.

Vlad the Impaler Meets Innovative Automation

April 28, 2009

vladtepesKen, Gene and I just ended our day with a light-hearted, lively discussion about Vlad the Impaler and how in the 1400s he repelled the invading Turks with a display of impaled bodies. This, from the Vlad entry in Wikipedia:

It was reported that an invading Ottoman army turned back in fright when it encountered thousands of rotting corpses impaled on the banks of the Danube.[2]

Somehow, we got here by way of a conversation about selling Yaskawa MotionWAGO and the fact that Innovative’s Todd Mueller celebrating his 9-year anniversary at tomorrow. Happy anniversary, Todd! — pepper

Stick With Omron

April 27, 2009

If your plant is considering vision systems options, Omron vision products may be your most stable option.

Cognex Corporation, makers of industrial vision systems, last week announced that due to the dismal global business environment it has taken steps to cut expenses by an additional $15 million on an annualized basis.

These actions include cuts in certain executive salaries, the elimination of approximately 85 employees and contractors, the cancellation of most current open positions, additional mandatory shut-down days, a reduction in leased office space, a lower company contribution to the 401(k) plan, and decreases in discretionary spending.

Innovative Automation carries Omron, a stable and long-term player in the vision systems arena. Contact us at or visit for complete information on how we can help you set up your Omron vision system.

Saturday Pet Post

April 25, 2009

izzyAlways kind of quiet here on Satudays, which means it’s time for bloggers to rule the roost with another Saturday Pet Post.

When Innovative’s Britt Jensen wakes up, she has Izzy staring her in the face. Hmmmmm . . .

If you have a pet photo we can sneak up here on a lazy Saturday, send it to and we’ll get it done.

C’mon, you know you want to.

Yaskawa’s Vision of Motor Drive Technology, Present and Future

April 24, 2009

More than a century ago, the invention of the electric motor became one of the driving forces behind the industrial revolution.  Its widespread use for all kinds of mechanical motion has made life simple.

Fast forward to 2009. The advent of the inverter that facilitated speed and torque control of AC motors has propelled the use of electric motor to new realms that was inconceivable just a mere 30 years ago.  Advances in power semiconductors along with digital controls have enabled realization of motor drives that are robust and can control position and speed to a high degree of precision. Use of AC motor drives has also resulted in energy savings and improved system efficiency.

Read the whole white paper about the future of Yaskawa VFD Drives here at the Innovative Automation knowledge center.

Rough Shipping Causes Damaged Parts

April 23, 2009

wago-damage1From time to time, we receive parts damaged in transit. Todd Mueller, who runs our shipping and receiving areas, has to send photos to the shipper demonstrating the damage.

Here’s a package we received this morning. We wouldn’t pass this along to the customer, for sure. If you need Omron parts that are NOT damaged, contact us at or go to

TPM+ power: The newest product of the WITTENSTEIN TPM+ actuator series

April 21, 2009

wittenstein_cmykThis latest solution from WITTENSTEIN’s actuation family offers superior power density in an exceptionally compact package. The TPM+ power is available in a single-stage version – well suited for rack-and-pinion or other high speed applications – or as a two-stage actuator for rotary drive tasks. Various reduction ratios are offered to facilitate an actuator design characterized by optimal energy efficiency and dynamics. Helical toothing in the gearhead allows for smoother running at the output and the influence of meshing frequencies is minimized with the overall noise level at 6 dB lower than alternative technologies.

The permanent magnet synchronous motors developed by WITTENSTEIN offer remarkable power density mainly due to the high pole count and the optimum copper fill factor in the slots. At the same time, the high quality of the laminations in the stacks helps optimize the power balance by limiting losses due to eddy currents. As for the feedback systems, WITTENSTEIN relies on the robust technology of rugged resolvers and the precision of optical encoders using the EnDat and Hiperface protocols. A backlash-free permanent magnet brake is available as an option.

For complete information on Wittenstein and alpha gear products, email us at or visit for complete details. We would love to help you see how the TPM+ can solve your application challenge.

TPM+ power sizes






Max. acceleration torque  [Nm]






DC bus voltage [V DC]

320, 560

Overall length [mm]






Max. torsional stiffness [Nm/arcmin]






Tilting stiffness [Nm/arcmin]






Torsional backlash, std/reduced [arcmin]



Reduction ratio



4, 5, 7, 10


16, 20, 25, 28, 35, 40, 50, 70, 100

Degree of protection


Noise level [dB(A)]












History of WAGO German Style: Typewriters to I/O

April 20, 2009

If you love WAGO and you speak German (and even if you do not), you will like this timeline video of the History of WAGO. For more, go to or