Posted tagged ‘SMC’

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

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 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.

How to Remove Water From a Pneumatic Air Line

April 1, 2015

Hello, my name is Chad Kauffman and I’ve been in the pneumatics industry for nearly 20 years now. Through my years I’ve visited many, many different types of plants and facilities, and a very common problem that I get asked about quite a bit, is “how do I get the water out of my air lines?”

Especially in the south this time of year, it’s a common problem for everybody as the temperature warms up. Air gets heated up and compressed in the compressor, gets out into the normal atmosphere of a plant and a facility, cools down a little bit, water forms, before you know it you’ve got water running through your air lines and all kinds of problems soon thereafter. So it’s a common and very costly problem that we all experience. It can cause major damage to your equipment, to your air tools, to a lot of the other components on the machine from the pneumatic valves, to the pneumatic actuators, to the pressure switches, sensors, etc.  Big problem, and costs can really skyrocket in that quite quickly.

One question we get quite a bit is “I have basic filtration already on my equipment or in my facility, why am I getting air in my airlines.” The answer to that is most filtration is designed to remove particulates and not necessarily moisture. So what we’ve got is a very nice solution that’s called the AMG micro mist separator manufactured by SMC Corporation.

This unit is a point of use filter that is strictly there to remove water. It removes up to 99.9% of all moisture in an airline. Again it is a point of use product. You put it right where you need it, where you have water issues. It pulls the water out and gives you clean dry air, keeping your tools up and running, reduce down time, etc. It’s very economical, typically cost is under $100 and it’s a great solution for point of use problems you are having in your airline. If you are in a facility where you are experiencing a more serious water problem where you’ve got water through all of your airlines in the entire facility, we would probably come out and recommend a series of filtration at the compressor, followed by an air dryer. An air dryer is a little bit more expensive but it is going to provide your plant with clean dry air, reduce your downtime, and save you a lot of money on replacement components.

If you would like more information about the AMG or the air dryer or the other services that we offer please go to innovative and click on the knowledge center, after all we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

5 Ways to Improve the Air Quality in a Pneumatic System

March 11, 2015

My name is Andy Lewis and I’m with Innovative-IDM. Today I’m going to talk to you a little bit about your air quality and your pneumatics system. A lot of my customers tend to have issues with debris in their airline, scaling from black iron pipe, water in their airline, leaks, etc. Pneumatic systems with compressors, primarily reciprocating compressors, cause the most issues. Now, how do you protect your machinery downstream? Your cylinder, your valves- how do you protect them from having to constantly replace them or rebuild them? Well there a couple of ways you can do it, and today I’m going to give you five ways you can do it.

First off, main line filtration. Basically this is going right after the compressor and the whole purpose of it is to get oil and water out of your system. What you are going to see is generally a larger filter than this, with a port size of one and three inches. It’s going to be a very large body and it’s going to be able to handle the oil that’s going to come through. Now what’s great about SMC versus its competitors is going to be the level of microns that they filter down to is much higher than other companies. For example, the average is about twenty micron filtration. SMC’s basic mainline filtration is anywhere between three and five microns. So what you’re receiving from that is better filtration.

Now, say for example you don’t have that filtration on your line, oil and water travels down the line. And say for example, it isn’t water yet- it’s still in vapor form because your reciprocating compressor is putting air out at 160˚ F. So you have vapor traveling down your line. As that vapor gets down your line, it’s going to turn into condensate, because it has hit the dew point and now it’s in droplet form. Your valves, your rubber seal valves are noticing this water- your cylinders are noticing this water. It takes more air, higher psi, to actually shift that spool or to move that cylinder. Why? Because rubber seals expand when they get wet. Alright, so how do you fix that? Well, one way you can do it is by using a filter regulator combo. With that being said you have your regulator at the top, you can actually pop it up, change, put in place, lock.

You also have your filter- standard is five micron, goes all the way down to .01 micron, instrument grade quality. There’s nothing in your system then, it’s completely clean dry air. After that there’s also an AMG. Now this isn’t an AMG but it’s the same size. It’s a water droplet separator and takes out 99% of all water that’s going to be in your airline, and that’s a point of use item.

Finally, if you find yourself with the reciprocating compressor instead of the screw type compressor, the air is abnormal, or much hotter than the screw type. And with that being said you’re going to want an after cooler and you’re going to want a refrigerated air dryer coming out of that airline before it hits your other machines.

If you would like more information on this, please go to our website at 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.

Top 5 reasons Allen-Bradley May not be your best application solution

January 20, 2015

Be sure to visit our knowledge Center –

Innovative IDM
1625 Wallace Drive, Ste. 110
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Call: 877-906-2100

Hi my name is Jack Marsh with Innovative IDM. Today I’d like to talk a little bit about Allen Bradley and maybe perhaps why it’s not always the best solution for your application. Allen Bradley makes fine products, and they are quality products, and they’ve got a very broad offering, but they are not always the perfect solution for every application. We’ve really identified, 5 reasons why that’s the case.

Alan Bradley has a very successful top down marketing approach, and convinced large end users in specific market segments, to standardize on their products. And then those end users can dictate to the machine builders that they go to, that Allen Bradley is the products that’s going to be used in their machines, but that allows Allen Bradley to charge more for their hardware and software. They don’t have to be competitive with the market if their users are dictating their products are going to be used in the machines. There’s also the support cost. If you don’t have a service agreement, or a purchase order, or a credit card, handy when you call Allen Bradley for factory support you’re going to be out of luck. So you better have those things in mind when you call to get support from them

Then all of their software sold on an alacart basis, so say for example you purchase the PLC programming software then say later on down the road you find that you need to configure some network communications, or perhaps you want to simulate the PLC and HMI interactions without having the hardware present. Well that network communication suit is an additional product you’re going to have to purchase, the simulation package is an additional product you’re going to have to purchase. Wherein a lot of other manufactures those functions are built into the software you buy for the programming.

Another thing Alan Bradley does that allows them to offer a very broad product line without incurring high development cost is to private label products from other manufactures, but the downside of that is there is not a consistent look and feel across the product line. So a small ac drive for example may program and configure completely differently than the large variable frequency drives from Allan Bradley. And if one of the manufacturers there private labeling from happens to have a discontinuation or product change there are ramifications for Allen Bradley products that are beyond their control, there might not be a simple replacement for that.

And then the last thing to consider is the international support. While Allen Bradley has a very large market share in the US their presence in Europe and Asia is not nearly as large so if you’re building machines for the overseas market and you’re going to need support after it’s installed that might be an issue.

If you’d line to research some of the options to Allen Bradley such as Omron, Yaskawa, Parker, or Wago, please visit our website at and remember Innovative IDM is the home of the legendary customer experience.

Output Signals for Critical Pressures

December 30, 2014



Digital pressure switches monitor positive and vacuum pressures, displaying instantaneous readings, as well as transmitting output signals when critical set points are detected. Switch outputs can trigger machine controls for continuing operation, emergency response, or maintenance. An amazing set of capabilities are packed into an inch-sized cube.

  • Vacuum, compound, and positive pressure ranges from -101kPa to 1.0MPa
  • 2 switch outputs, or 1 switch with an analog current or voltage output
  • IP40 enclosure offers protection in dusty environments
  • CE, UL/CSA, RoHS
  • Available M12 4-pin connector
  • Choose 1 of 7 display units for a variety of install locations
  • Optimize readability with display calibration, anti-chatter, and zero clear
  • Protect settings with key lock and password code security functions
  • Auto calculate ideal min/max switch values for vacuum pick and release

For more information or to order your SMC ISE/ZSE30A Digital Pressure Switch, call Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or email us at