Posted tagged ‘industrial automation’

10 Things You Want to See in an Industrial Electronics Repair Facility

December 8, 2015

Innovative-IDM Board Repair Team

An Experienced, Reputable Repair Company
Working with a company that’s been around for a while has many advantages. They will have seen it all and gained experience in various types of equipment and the problems that occur.  If a firm has been around long enough, they will have knowledge, spare parts and documentation for equipment that is obsolete and in some cases, long obsolete.  Having the endorsement of major manufacturers doesn’t hurt either.

Convenient Repair Submittal Process
Dealing with repairs is only part of your job, so why work with a repair facility that makes it hard to do business?  Online forms, a repair pick-up service and an efficient process from beginning to end makes it easier for you to maintain the equipment at your facility.

Timely Turnaround Options
Emergencies come up from time to time and it’s good to know where to send your parts when you need them repaired and returned fast.

Free Evaluation
You have a part that doesn’t work – you don’t know why, what it will take to repair it or what it will cost. Is it worth repairing at all?  Look for a company that can give real answers to these questions without it costing you more money.

Communication on the Progress of Your Repair
When you have equipment needing to be repaired and returned to production, the status of your repair shouldn’t be a mystery. Progress reports help you to plan on having your part out of production and when you can count on its return.

Full Refurbishment of Repaired Equipment
Sometimes repairing the faulty component isn’t enough – you can get a chain reaction of components failing if they are not checked and repaired all at the same time.  In addition to a complete repair, removing dust and dirt from the unit contributes to improved performance of your equipment. Make sure to work with a company that returns your equipment clean and fully functional.

Communication with the Technician Who Repaired Your Item
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could speak with the person who actually worked on your equipment? Technicians who are willing and able to discuss your repair and answer your questions should be on the checklist for your preferred repair facility.

Offers a Warranty on All Repairs
Work with a company who takes responsibility and is confident enough in the work performed that they are willing to guarantee it.

Extensive QC Process
High workmanship standards are paramount, which includes extensive testing of repaired equipment before shipment back to the owner.  Find out what kind of testing equipment they use, how they measure performance before they determine that a part is fully repaired.

Repair is Securely Packaged When Shipped Back to You
When you take time to ship in a repair and count on that part to work when you get it back, the last thing you want is to open the box and find that your equipment has had a rough ride through the return shipment.  A quality repair facility will make sure that your part is packaged to arrive at your door in the same working condition it was in when it left theirs.

Critical Facts to Know About HMIs

August 6, 2015

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 info@iidm.com.

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 info@iidm.com.

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

July 31, 2015

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 info@iidm.com

How to Spec a Pneumatic Cylinder

July 15, 2015

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 innovativeidm.com.  Remember Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Yaskawa Introduces New High Efficiency Drive

July 14, 2015

Yaskawa has introduced the U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive, it’s most efficient drive ever. The U1000 is second to none when it comes to power quality and energy savings.  Enjoy extremely low harmonic distortion and regeneration in a compact design without the need for additional components. Unlike conventional drives, Yaskawa’s matrix technology creates a variable output by switching directly from the input power (no DC bus). Make measurable efficiency gains while experiencing the outstanding performance of a Yaskawa industrial drive.

Yaskawa U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive

 

For a quote or more information about the new Yaskawa U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive, contact Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or email us at info@iidm.com.

How to Choose Pneumatic Fittings and Thread Types

July 7, 2015

The point of this video for today is to talk about pneumatic fittings and thread types.  There is a wide variety of different kinds and I could run through a list for the next 30 minutes, and guess what you’re still trying to figure out which thread type you have.  In the end it comes down to a rule of thumb.  In Europe you generally run into PT thread, BSPT thread, or metric thread sizes.  In the US we predominately use NPT thread.  Now a lot of my customers get random machines that are going to have fittings that they have no idea what they are doing, what sizes they have, what pitch they have, ect.

Now one way to combat this is actually the SMC unifit fitting.  What makes it special is that it has a conical rubber seal on the threaded side.  Now the threads you don’t have to worry about.  They are general sizes that are going to fit general, metric, BSPT, or PT thread types.  So all it does is screws on, it is not going to screw on overly tight and then with an easy quarter turn of the wrench its actually going to seal and seat that conical seal onto your surface.  Now why does that make life easier?  You won’t have to have 150 different types of fittings to control one line, to replace everything in your plant.  That’s confusing, wastes time, wastes money because you are going to have excess inventory because you can’t generally buy one at a time.  In general it is just going to make life a lot easier.

So what I would like to leave you with is a couple simple conversions from metric to NPT.  A lot of people don’t know this. So I hope it helps you out.  The conversions are 3.2 mm = 1/8th inch, also 4mm = 5/32nd inch and finally 5/16th inch = 8mm.  I hope after this video you take the time to go to Innnovativeidm.com and click on the knowledge center.  From there go to SMC and you’ll find out all their different product offerings for the unifit as well as other one touch fittings.  And remember Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Terminal Block Assemblies, Is Outsourcing the Answer

July 1, 2015

A lot of people might wonder, should I build terminal block assemblies or should I outsource them to a manufacturer?

Let’s look at both scenarios. Typically, terminal block assemblies are used in about every control panel out there, and typically they are made out of a lot of different components. So you could go and buy each of these components from several different suppliers, and cut multiple orders. Each order might have multiple line items on it, and then when they come into your warehouse, they probably come in separate boxes which you have to unpack and put on to your shelves.

And then when it comes time to use them, you’d have to go and pull them back off the shelves one by one. So it’s a lot of extra work that’s required. On the other hand, with contract manufacturing you can outsource that assembly and buy something that looks something like this. Where it’s one part number, gets you the full assembly, you buy it from one source. There’s one box to receive, one bill to pay, and it just would make your life a whole lot easier.

So, terminal block assemblies are just one of the value added services that we provide customers at Innovative-IDM. So, whether you prefer to buy individual components, or complete assemblies, we’re here to help. After all, we’re Innovative-IDM, Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Having the RIGHT Spare Parts are Vital to Your Total Maintenance Program

June 17, 2015

Spare Parts Vital for Maintenance“I need that part tomorrow morning. Can you ship it UPS RED?”

We hear that request often at Innovative-IDM, and we are happy to oblige when a maintenance manager needs a part quickly. But we sometimes ask: “Why not go ahead and purchase TWO of them. One for now, and one for the NEXT time the machine breaks?”

Ah yes, spare parts. Walk into any maintenance store room and you’ll likely see they have something in common: plenty of spare parts. But are they the RIGHT spare parts? The ones that cause you the most trouble?

Having the right spare parts in your store room helps you establish an effective Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program. A Total Productive Maintenance program means you need to invest ahead of time in your maintenance program, not just troubleshoot after things go wrong.

When your machine is down, you’re losing money. Worse yet, if the broken machine is a “bottleneck machine”(all production flows through it), then you’ve got a total productivity SNAFU on your hands. It’s a worst-case scenario.

Before your equipment breaks down, invest in spare parts for your store room. Spare industrial repair parts may seem like misplaced resources as they sit and gather dust. But having them on hand when failure strikes is priceless.

When planning your parts store room, consider stocking parts not readily available within 24 hours. Consider parts that have caused you problems in the past. Check your equipment’s operating manual for a recommended spare parts list. Keeping equipment repair histories on hand will help you decide what parts are commonly used for repairs. For instance, if your industrial controls system cooling fans go out frequently, it makes sense to keep a ready supply fan repair parts available.

Talk to your repair colleagues, too. They know the equipment and should play a vital role in developing a spare parts strategy. Listen to their needs and ask them to help identify your current strategy’s shortcomings. If your team lacks repair equipment or training, all the spare parts in the world will be worth nothing. Make sure your staff has everything they need for the job, including offsite training when needed.

Spare parts are an overlooked facet of many TPM programs. Preventative maintenance helps ensure your equipment lasts. But inevitably, friction, heat and other factors will cause failure. Minimize your downtime with an effective and well-planned spare parts program that will leave you with one less thing to worry about. — Robert Dominguez

How to Start a Preventive Maintenance Program

June 15, 2015

How to Start a Preventive Maintenance ProgramStarting a Preventive Maintenance Program isn’t easy….or is it? While taking a proactive approach to your maintenance makes sense on paper, putting the practice to work takes some planning and implementation. That’s why many industrial plants outsource their Preventive Maintenance Programs.

But a do-it-yourself PMP can work, too. With budgets tight and repair teams stretched thin, it can take some patience before a PMP bears any fruit. But patience is a virtue that often is rewarded.

Most factory maintenance teams spend time stamping out repairs and drowning in an endless sea of repair and parts availability problems. Getting ahead of the problems seems impossible — but it’s not.

Any size team can implement a Preventive Maintenance Program of some type. Research indicates that up to 70 percent of all equipment failures are traced back to a lack of regular maintenance. Considering this, the benefits of employing a PMP are paramount if you want to achieve optimum performance from your equipment with minimal cost.

It’s easiest to start with one system and form the foundation of your PMP from there. Choosing the most vital system to your operation, commonly the HVAC, makes the most sense and will provide automatic relief to your maintenance team by removing the heaviest stress load.

To facilitate the transition to a Preventive Maintenance Program, try assigning a small task force to handle any immediate repairs while the remaining group continues to build the momentum of the PMP. As you begin to focus on proactive maintenance instead of reactive maintenance, the workload will gradually begin to lighten and you’ll be able to allocate more personnel to preventive maintenance.

As systems are consistently maintained instead of repaired until they fail again, repair personnel will have fewer surprises to deal with and will focus their efforts on continuing the PMP push. The systems will also operate more efficiently, increasing performance, lifespan and lowering energy costs by up to 50 percent. This where using an outsourced field service company can really pay off.

Conquering the facility’s largest systems first will bring the greatest benefit. Research supports the 80/20 maintenance rule: 80 percent of a facility’s problems are caused by 20 percent of the machines.

Once the emergency workload is reduced drastically, maintenance can become a scheduled event instead of a surprise. It’s less likely you’ll be backed into a corner with a must-have expensive repair. You’ll have time to negotiate a fairer price with outsourced repair contractors backed by the confidence of your stable facility.

The endgame is eventually to have 90 percent of your work orders generated by scheduled equipment inspections. Overall, preventive maintenance should eventually encompass about 30 percent of your total maintenance workload.

Having an easy, scheduled facility to maintain should help you attract and retain quality repairmen who will be more than eager to operate on a schedule instead of in a race. Once all the planning and implementation is done, your repairmen will be thankful, you’ll be thankful and your plant’s maintenance spending should be spread out more orderly instead of spikes and valleys.  — Robert Dominguez