Archive for February 2015

4 Reasons a Kitting Service Can Help You

February 25, 2015

Hi, I’m Adam Ring with Innovative-IDM and I wanted to talk to you a little bit about four reasons why customers are kitting these days. Primarily if you can order a kit, it is going to enable you to order one part number, from one vendor, that comes in one box and ultimately you will have one invoice to pay.

Now, let’s take a look at what might come inside of a kit. First of all, you will see there’s a quality control certificate that lists each item that is contained inside the box and you will also notice that it has two signatures. One from the person who pulled the kit, and another one who double checked it for accuracy.

Now imagine if you were to buy all these different components. They would probably come from different sources and obviously take multiple line items, on multiple orders, and then you would have to receive them in multiple boxes and then pay multiple bills. So all that can be condensed down to one part number, one order, from one source, with one bill to pay.

So, at the end of the day, wouldn’t it make sense to buy a kit from Innovative-IDM? After all, it is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

How To Pick an Industrial Motor

February 17, 2015

Hi, my name is Andy Lewis with Innovative-IDM and today I’m going to tell you about some guidelines whenever specing in or picking out an industrial motor. It’s really not as hard as you might think; it’s pretty simple to tell you the truth. But there are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to.

One, sizing:  whenever we’re talking about mounting size or voltage or current, we need to make sure that the holes are going to match up. You need to make sure that if it’s a 494T, that what you get is capable of handling that amount.

Second: current and voltage, as long as the application is not changing, need to be the same as the previous motor. If you’re unsure of that information, I would suggest that you take a look at the force requirements and other requirements from the application before you spec in that motor. First, take a look at torque curves; make sure that you’re providing enough information so that you can pick out the right size motor. Second is environment. Is it in a harsh environment? Are there pieces of rock, dust and dirt falling on it? Or is it inside? Or is it just for general purposes, running a fan 24/7 all day, every day.

Another idea is to take a look at whether it is inverter duty or general purpose. And when we say inverter duty, this type of motor is made for a high duty cycle environment; it is constantly speeding up and slowing down, all from an inverter or a VFD.

Next, there are a couple of different ways to control a motor. You can do it across the line, meaning that the motor is basically hooked up, three phased or one phased, however it is, to a circuit or a disconnect. Otherwise, you can use a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) and use volts, hertz control, you can do open loop vector or you can do closed loop vector. The main thing you need to know here is that if you’re going to be dealing with closed looped vector for the most control out of that motor, you’re going to need an encoder or a tach for a DC motor to actually make that happen. Don’t overlook that; make sure that the mounting bracket on the backside is going to fit the encoder that you use.

Finally speed range. What speed are you working at? Do you need a gearbox? Do you need some type of rack and pinion? How do you plan on driving the end product? All questions that are very important, but if you do it correctly, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

For more information, go to and remember, Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

How To Detect an Air Leak in Your Pneumatic System

February 11, 2015

Hello, my name is Chad Kauffman and I’ve been in the pneumatics industry for nearly 20 years. Over those years I’ve literally been in thousands of different plants and a common problem that we see in almost every plant, some people recognize it but most don’t, are leaks in your air system.

The reason that is important is there’s substantial cost associated with those air leaks. Rising costs globally for energy has really put pressure on maintenance staffs and production facilities to reduce their energy costs. One way to do that is to get a really good handle on your air leaks and your air system. There are factories out there with literally thousands and thousands of feet of tubing and for you to identify where those air leaks are at and get them corrected is not only vitally important to your bottom line, it’s something that we need to help you find a solution for.

There have been several studies done by the leading pneumatic manufacturers in the industry, and what those have shown us is that on average about 20% of a compressor’s output air is lost due to air leaks in an average factory. So you can imagine how much that adds up to each year. As an example, a 200 horsepower compressor that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year can cost in excess of 14 thousand dollars per year in energy costs. So, it’s a very substantial problem that everyone needs to be aware of and we’ve got some solutions to help you resolve that issue.

There are many factors that contribute to leaks. They can be small pinhole leaks which are tough to identify, again when you’ve got a hundred thousand square foot facility with thousands of feet of tubing. There are missized components, loose fitting, poor seals, various reasons for leaks. Not all are easily identified. If it’s a major leak you’ll hear a hissing sound, but if it’s a small leak, which most of them are, they are very tough to identify. So we have an interesting product called an ALDS made by SMC.

ALDS stands for Automatic Leak Detection System and it is a box we can mount on an OEM piece of equipment. We can mount it inline on your air system and it measures the airflow going through tubing; the pressure drops and rises and it gives you a signal back that tells you if you have an air leak problem. On certain systems when it’s applied on a piece of OEM equipment with a software package, it can actually not only tell you that you have a leak, but identify where that leak is. This can become very valuable and save a substantial amount of dollars.

It’s a great solution for OEMs as an upsale to the customers and end users for a huge cost savings on your energy costs each and every year. For more information on the ALDS you can visit touch the knowledge tab and we would be happy to help you out. After all we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Yaskawa F7 Interesting Problem I’ve Never Seen

February 6, 2015

As one of Innovative-IDM’s Houston-area field service technicians, I was called out to look at a lathe.

The customer complained that the lube pump wasn’t working. It actually was. But we started the machine and ramped it up, it sounded like the gears were going to grind out of the machine and the DB resistors started smoking. The customer indicated it was probably normal, due to low load and gear selection…I took the opposite view (there is something seriously wrong here) and convinced him to pull the belts. The motor continued to cog (and the DB started to smoke again) at about 1/4 speed even uncoupled.

The motor megged and ohmed normal.

The Yaskawa F7 4045 drive was running in Open loop vector.

I disconnected the DB Unit (it statically checked fine). The cogging continued and the drive OV tripped.

I saved the parameters and switched the drive to V/Hz. The cogging decreased dramatically (however the machine still started to vibrate. No OV trip.) The output waveform looked fairly normal phase to phase, and normal phase to+/- busses.

At about 15hz the DC buss started to get a 100VAC sign wave riding on top of it at ~ 11Hz and linearly increased to 12Hz as the drive was speed up to 20hz, above that the ripple disappeared. The machine vibration also followed starting at 15Hz and disappearing at 20 Hz.

I broke out my Fluke Scope current clamp on, and found the output current waveform to be a normal sine wave below 15hz and above 20Hz.

Between 15 and 20Hz however the Current waveform (on all 3 legs) appears to be the summation of 2 similarly sized ac waveforms.

I discussing the situation with one of our engineers, Steve Lyons, and he suggested that the issue could be the result of the motors rotor wobbling, changing the air gap.

I informed the customer that I’m leaning towards a motor issue ~ 85/15 and that the only way to be certain is to hook up the drive to a test motor.

We will do so at a later date as the customer will bring out his spare motor while he fixes the gearing (he found several issues during a visual inspection preformed while I was dinking with the drive). The machine will be down for a month or so.

I have included a pdf of the “Normal” current waveform VS the “Distorted” current waveform.

I’ve never seen this before … if any one has any ideas I’m open for suggestions, experiences, anecdotes…what ever you’ve got.  – DF

Yaskawa V7 data

Yaskawa V7 Trouble Shooting Data

The Advantage of Using a UL508A Shop

February 3, 2015

Hi, Adam Ring here with Innovative-IDM. I want to take a few minutes and talk about UL508A, which is basically Underwriter’s Laboratories and it’s a standard for industrial control panel design. What is it all about?

Basically, you want to able to make sure that your control panel is safe, it uses good design practices, it has circuit protection, and that certain steps or precautions are taken to make sure that the thing doesn’t catch on fire when something goes wrong. At the end of the day, you need a supplier that is UL508A certified that can make sure all those things are covered and eventually put a sticker in your control panel that it meets all those requirements.

Now, you can go and do this yourself if you like, and a lot of people do. The challenge is, you end up paying an annual fee, and then a quarterly inspection fee. If you’re not really having a demand for a lot of control panels that are UL508A, it ends up being quite expensive for just getting a little bit of use.

One of the things that Innovative-IDM can do for you is to build UL508A control panels when necessary. We go through all the certifications and pay all the fees, so that we can serve customers like you and make sure that you get what you need in a timely manner. If you’d like to learn more about how Innovative-IDM can help you with your UL508A needs, check us out, at After all, we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.