Archive for the ‘video’ category

Yaskawa’s Unified Control Packaging Demo

August 4, 2015

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

Understanding the Difference Between OSHA and ANSI Safety Standards

May 27, 2015

Hi I’m Lonnie Muse with Innovative-IDM. I get questions from customers… “OSHA was just here. What does that mean? What do I do?” Well, we need to understand what some of the standards are. It can be confusing with all these letters O.S.H.A. It means Occupational Safety Health Administration.

ANSI – American National Standards Institute. The difference is OSHA is a government entity. It is the Bible, the ruling, the guys make the rules and do the inspections and if you really want to know you can go to this guide which is for industrial OSHA rules 1910. This has everything that you should have done. Okay, how do I do that?

Well ANSI standards is a group of American companies that got together to decide how products would perform; so its performance standards. As an example I have a safety relay made by a company. ANSI designed the safety performance that this relate would match and when it works it conforms to the OSHA Bible.

Product performance standards ANSI, how to hook it up ANSI. Why you do it and what rule you have to follow OSHA. I hope that helps if you need more help go to, go to our Knowledge Center there’s plenty of information there, such as white papers to help out or give us a call one of our techs can come out and look at your machine and make recommendations. After all, we’re Home of the Legendary Customer Experience!

6 Things You Must Know Before Choosing a Control Panel Enclosure

May 21, 2015

Picking the right enclosure for a machine design is extremely important. If you get it right everything is going to last and work great and be easily maintained. If you get it wrong things will overheat, you can get contaminants in the cabinet, things will prematurely fail. It may seem rudimentary but there are a lot of different options to consider. I want to tell you about the 6 that I think are the most important.

1. The environment is critical in picking the right cabinet. If this is going to go anywhere where water or dust or any type of contaminants are present in the atmosphere then you want to make sure your cabinet has some sort of seal on it so that you can remember to keep the water and the dust out, that’s the main thing. You want to make sure there isn’t going to be too much heat in the cabinet. You want to make sure that the components have room to breathe. So again all kinds of enclosures exist, each application is unique, the enclosure should be unique as well. The smallest enclosure is not always the best enclosure. You may want the smallest enclosure because space = cost. The bigger the enclosure the more it’s going to cost because the more metal there is. Just think about the long term maintainability of all the equipment that you are going to put inside of it. It is not easy to change an enclosure once you decided and installed all the components so make sure you take the time to get it right. Consider all the options; way all the pros and cons and make an educated decision. So again the first thing is going to be the environment that dictates the type of enclosure. That’s going to be the NEMA or the IP which means Ingress Protection rating that’s going to keep all the contaminants out of the cabinet.

2. The internal components that are going to go inside. Most of the time it’s going to be electronics inside and those electronics produce heat. All these electronics have an associated watt loss, heat loss that’s associated with them. That’s usually part of the specification for each of these components. Add all that up and make sure your cabinet can dissipate that much heat. There are calculations you could use to determine that.

3. The need to access all the different sides of the components. For instance, if you need to get your hand up underneath here to grab a hold of this wire and it’s too close to the wire duct you can’t get your hand in there. Same thing if I need to be able to grab the in stop on the side of the piece to pull it off of the din rail. If I can’t get my hand in here it’s going to make it a lot more painful for me to do that if I’m a maintenance person. Remember you want to make enough space in here for things to be able to breathe and for you to be able to access these things with your hands.

4. Surrounding obstacles outside of the cabinet.Anything that is going to be on either side or the front or back is going to determine how big your door needs to be. If you have any cables that have to come out with a minimum bend radius or anything like that. That’s going to affect how far away you need to place things from the cabinet. If there is going to be any corrosives in the environment, if it’s a wash down say for a food and beverage application the type of enclosure you’re going to want to make sure it’s stainless or something that can’t corrode with cost of chemical wash down.

5. Think about any arc flash mitigation that you have to deal with. Certain customers of ours require the internal disconnect be located on the outside of the panel completely, so when power is removed there is no internal components that will have live power to them. Think of your maintenance personnel when you pick these component because it can really mean the difference between being able to work on these efficiently and effectively to reduce downtime. Make sure you can prolong the life of the equipment inside, which has to do with heat loss and contaminants.

How Capacitive, Inductive and Photoelectric Sensors Work

May 12, 2015

Hi, I’m Adam Ring with Innovative-IDM. You know, I was just teaching a class last week and a topic came up about different types of sensors that are used for industrial automation. So I thought, well, I’ll take a few minutes and go over some of the basics of how these types of sensors work.
The first thing I would like to talk about is the inductive proximity sensor, these are very widely used in automation, they’re used to sense various metal objects. So, basically any kind of metal objects that we need to know that’s present or absence or is there a part in place, is that part missing? Is an actuator retracted or extended? Anyway in which we need to sense something that is a ferrous metal we can use this.
Basically what it does, it has this tractor beam that emits from the tip of the sensor, and it’s really what we call an eddy current killed oscillator. What that means is that, there’s this electrical field generated outside the tip of this sensor, and when a ferrous object comes near-by, it actually absorbs that field and the sensor is then able to detect that there is something there and it gives us a signal.
Another type of sensor that is similar to the inductive proximity sensor is the capacitive proximity sensor. This uses a different sensing technology, in that, instead of looking for a ferrous metal object, it actually looks for a difference in the capacitance of an object. So, in other words, how much does it absorb electricity and so, a real common application for this is that we can mount this on a plastic tank that contains water. And we’re able to detect the level of water that’s inside the tank. So it can actually look through the outer surface, and see the material that’s in, as long as the capacitance properties of that material are different enough from the outer material, to where we can just tune out what that outer material is and figure out “Hey, is there something inside or not?”
Then we have another really common type of sensor that is used in automation; that’s called the photoelectric sensor. As its name implies, it basically uses light in order to detect objects. Something like this has an emitter and receiver, so it emits a light beam and it bounces off of an object and comes back to the receiver and if it sees the light, then it knows that there’s an object there. If it doesn’t get an object back, then it knows that there’s nothing there. So it’s able to easily detect when there’s an object present or absent. Real common use for these is on conveyors, if you want to detect if there’s a box moving on a conveyor, and as soon as it passes by, the photo eye reflects the light and says that object’s there. Very common use in the industry.
If you’d like to learn more about these types of sensors and others, please take a look at the Innovative-IDM knowledge base, our website is, and we’d love to share some information with you. Remember, we’re Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

4 Reasons a Kitting Service Can Help You

May 6, 2015

Hi I’m Adam Ring with Innovative-IDM. 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 lets 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.

5 Reasons to Add Lighting Solutions to Your Manufacturing Lines

April 28, 2015

Hi, my name is Andy Lewis with Innovative-IDM, and today I’d like to speak with you for a couple of minutes about a variety of lighting solutions that you can utilize for your plant floor, for your industrial facility.

We carry a line called Patlite and they have a wide variety of novel solutions to allow greater through-put, production visibility, enhanced speed at which maintenance is done and responded to, increase operator performance as well as, in general, give you an idea of where issues may lie in your plant and where they usually happen.

What’s great about lights? They light up, they’re bright, and they draw attention. Say for example, you have a plant floor with about 100 CNC’s; the plant manager is always interested in knowing when they make money, when they’re down, how much time it takes to go from loading a CNC to another part coming out and making money.

Enter the Patlite stack light. For example, green means that the machine is in operation, it’s actually using the CNC to tool the part. Yellow might be loading, and red flashing could be, emergency, machine is down for whatever reason. You can actually tie that in to faults from the PLC in the CNC machine.
Another example, say for example, you’re using an automated welder and you don’t want people to walk into the area where they might get an arc flash or something like that. Well, you can have visibility and safety for your customers and not only your operators by having this on outside the door, so they know that they are walking into a dangerous environment.

You have maintenance guys constantly going into panels. Panels could be eight foot tall with components all the way down to six inches from the ground. Lighting isn’t always the best in this situation. What’s pretty convenient is the magnetic strip on the back side here, and lit up with LED lights that won’t break on you if it falls. This will give better transparency and view ability for your maintenance guys.

Finally, one cool thing that Patlite is really good at is noise. What I mean by that, is they can tell a CNC operator “This step just finished, now load the CNC machine.” Or “Please press the start button.” There’s a variety of different alerts and instructions that can be provided.

If Patlite seems like a good fit for you, please go to for more information. Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Why You Should Use Safety PLC

April 23, 2015

I’ve heard a lot of talk recently about safety PLCs. When should I use a safety PLC and when should I just use individual safety controllers? Well a lot of that has to do with your particular machine that you’re trying to guard.

If you have multiple zones on a machine, for example there’s 3 or 4 different doors that can be opened in order to clear a jam or maybe there’s some covers over different components that are spinning or possible pinch points, you’re typically going to protect those with some sort of safety device. Maybe it’s a safety switch or safety light curtain, each one of those are typically going to have a controller tied to it in order to monitor it and check for faults and ensure if someone opens a door or removes a cover that the machine stops in a safe manner.

If you’re dealing with a large machine where there may be multiple zones or multiple covers that you want to be guarding at the same time, you might choose to shut down only part of a machine if a certain event happens. In that case you can use a safety PLC. Just like its counterpart, the regular programmable logic controller or a PLC, you can wire in various inputs which would be like safety interlock switches, safety mats, safety light curtains and actually write a program that decides how to respond when it gets an input from one of those devices. For example, you can have a guard on one end of the machine open and it shuts down just that portion of the machine while it leaves the rest of the machine free to run.

Typically the breaking point is if you got more than 3 safety controllers on a given machine you probably want to start looking at a safety PLC. Very, Very, easy to implement, easy to program, and gets the job done.

If you’d like to learn more about how safety PLCs could help you in your application, take a look at We would be glad to help and remember we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.