Posted tagged ‘UL508A Control Panel’

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 innovativeidm.com. After all, we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Why You Need to Backup Your PLC Programs

January 6, 2015

Be sure to visit our knowledge Center – http://www.innovativeidm.com/Resources.aspx

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

Hi I’m Lonnie Muse with Innovative IDM. Would like to talk to you a little bit about why you should back up your PLC, but first I’d like to show you something. Something that’s really horrifying, something that will just kill your day at the plant. This is what we need to look at, this is something nobody noticed. Nobody noticed that PLC light going off, here’s the culprit a little bitty 40$ battery. You know what the result was? The programs got lost when they turned the power off, turned the machine back on guess what no production. Can you imagine this you’ve got a production line down because of a battery and no back up when the tech tells you there’s no back up, I don’t have the programs, we don’t know where they’re at, can’t find them. How long do you think that’ll be down?
Now the first big issue is being prepared for that. This is a 40$ resolution, make sure to keep the PLC on so you don’t lose it when you change this. The next thing is to back up your programs in the PLC there’s a couple ways to do that. One is a little SanDisk that will fit in a PLC normally, the other is something like a CD or your server or a laptop. If you have the back up along with the software to put it in and out of your machine then the battery’s not such a big deal because you can recover. But if you don’t have this recovery is a lot of money and a lot of time because now you’ve got to recreate everything from scratch and that’s thousands, maybe 10 thousands of dollars.
So you get a choice here, 40, or 10 thousand, a few minutes a few cents, or 10 thousand, you pick.
We can help with that back up issue! Give us a call at Innovative IDM or go on our website at innovativeidm.com click on the field service and request some help. Come out and do that, give me a call id be glad to help. After all were the home of the legendary customer experience

The Benefits of Retrofitting an Industrial Control Panel

December 23, 2014

Be sure to visit our knowledge Center – http://www.innovativeidm.com/Resources.aspx

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

Hi, I’m Adam Ring with Innovative-IDM. You know, when I walk through manufacturing plants, sometimes I’ll come across a control panel where you open it up and look inside and you see this technology that is like 30, 40 years old. So what’s starting to happen is, customers are finding that a lot of the controls in their automation are starting to really become aged, and when that happens if something breaks it’s really, really hard to find.

We find a lot of people who try and search on eBay to find replacement parts. Sometimes they’ll send them in and try to get parts repaired. But as they continue to age, the repair gets more and more expensive and eventually things just get to the point where they’re not repairable anymore. One of the worst things that happens is a major component necessary for the operation of a machine goes out and then the machine is completely rendered useless until you either find a new part or completely rebuild the controls for it. And so by retrofitting a control panel, you’re able to remove any of those obsolete components and replace them with the current up-to-date stuff that’s readily available. It gets rid of all of your hard to find really difficult parts, it enables you to not have to worry about repairs for a while.

Typically the life of a new control panel, before you have to really start repairing stuff, usually lasts about 10 years before it starts to break down and then you eliminate that big terrible major risk of down time. And everyone knows, whatever the cost to build a new control panel is usually minimal in regards to or compared to what it costs if a machine goes down or can’t produce products for weeks or months on end while a new control panel is being designed and built.
So overall, it’s a really good idea if you’ve got aged control panels where a component going out could really, really cost some major downtime and production loss, it’s a good idea to go ahead and take a look at retrofitting those control panels.

If you’d like help in that regard take a look at innovativeidm.com. We are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Industrial Electronics How To Tell Whether To Repair Or Replace

December 16, 2014

Be sure to visit our knowledge Center – http://www.innovativeidm.com/Resources.aspx

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

Hi, I’m Jeff Rodgers with Innovative IDM. You know, a true dichotomy really does exist between the age old question of should I repair my electronic component or just throw it out and replace it with a new one. Well first thing is, if you have an electronic component go down, we all know that time costs money. So, priority number one is get back up and running. If it’s that critical of a component, hopefully you’ve got a spare on the shelf to replace it with. If not, you probably have bigger problems than just that question. So let’s say you replace the component with your spare that’s on the shelf and now you’ve got a bad component. Well should you just toss it, or should you have it validated for repair?

Well, the one thing you might want to consider is, if you are going to have it evaluated for repair you want to make sure that that piece of equipment goes to a reputable firm that’s done it for a long time, offers you a warranty on that product, and is not going to just repair it but really refurbish that piece of equipment. You want to make sure that when it comes back, one component that was fixed can’t allow another component to fail right afterwards. So all the wear components really need to have been replaced. Now a good rule of thumb is that you probably want to make sure it’s not going to cost you over half the price of a new piece of equipment or it may not really be worth it. So just kinda really keep that in mind.

So real common components that you could have evaluated for repair are going to be variable frequency drives, touch screen HMIs are another big one that can be a failure point and can prove to be pretty expensive to buy new. IO cards, processors, temperature controllers, any kind of controllers in general, motion controllers, process controllers, all of the above.

So, another thing you really ought to think about is you know when it comes to cost, not just what its gonna cost to repair the component but if you did need to replace the component, is that component obsolete, is it even made anymore? So if it’s not made anymore, then if you need to replace that piece of equipment and you have to go to something new, now you’ve got to think about cost in terms of time and resources needed to make that work with all the equipment. Is there going to be any new programming that is involved and do you have time to do that while your lines down. You know all your up and down stream equipment is it going to work properly with that new piece of equipment. A lot of times that’s not the case, it may be a variable act of congress to get that new piece of equipment to work with that old piece of machinery. So if it is obsolete you may really want to think about getting that component repaired because a lot of times you can keep that component repaired. It’s more than likely if you know its repaired by a reputable firm it’s going to have the same amount of warranty on it as a brand new product would, and it’s probably going to be the fraction of the cost of a new component.

So, again repairs can be a great way to reduce maintenance budgets. The cost associated with replacing electronic components especially if you have an event like a lighting strike that can take out a slew of different components on a single drop can prove to be extremely costly. So just remember that, that way if you do have a piece of equipment that goes bad you can replace it with what’s on the shelf as a spare, and then have your bad unit repaired and now that goes back onto the shelf as your spare. So now your spare just cost you a fraction of what it would have cost brand new off the shelf in the first place.

So, Innovative-IDM is one of the premier service organizations out there for repairing industrial electronics. One thing that you can do is visit our website, which is innovativeidm.com/repairs and that will get you into our repair center. Once you’re there, you can look up certain components that we’ve actually repaired in the past and see what it’s going to cost to repair that component without even having to send it to us. If you do send it to us, it’s going to be a free evaluation, typically it takes us 24 – 48 hours to evaluate something for repair. And then, we are going to send you a quote on that and you can elect to have it repaired, returned, or scrapped, it’s your choice. If we do repair something for you, it’s going to give you a new one year warranty on a component from the date of repair. Another thing is, there’s an easy online tool that you can use to actually log in, enter in your email address, and it’ll locate all your information and you can basically just enter in the information about the components you’re going to send in, hit submit, and it will print out a service ticket that you put in the box with the component you’re going to send our repair depot in our Houston facility. The shipping address is right on it, so you don’t even have to wait for a representative from our company to come out and pick that piece of equipment up. Of course, if you are working with one of our field representatives they would be happy to come by and pick the component up, and bring it in for repair if they can fit it in their vehicle.

So, any questions you have on that again you can visit our website or contact one of our representatives and we’d be happy to assist you. After all we are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Safety Rated vs NonSafety Rated Components

December 2, 2014

Be sure to visit our knowledge Center – http://www.innovativeidm.com/Resources.aspx

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

Hi, my name is Jeff Rogers. Often times I’m asked what the difference is between safety rated and non-safety rated components. There is a really big difference. I often walk into plants and see components all over the place that people are using such as through beam sensors for perimeter guarding that are not safety rated. To not use safety rated components can mean the difference between a law suit, potential injury or death and just a properly functioning safety system. A few things that I wanted to discuss today are a few of the differences between the two, how they can resemble each other and still be completely different, and what is going to make one a better choice than the other.
If you are going to use a component for a safety circuit, when you are thinking safety components that needs to ring in your mind reliability, redundancy, and fail safe. Those are the three main things that should come to mind when thinking about that. Like the example I stated earlier a through beam sensor can be used as a perimeter guard, but if it is not hooked up to a safety monitoring relay for instance if there is a problem with that sensor the circuit may not know. Your machine may keep operating even if someone walks through and someone could potentially get hurt by that piece of equipment. There are also things out there such as programmable safety controllers that exist, as well as just discrete components such as interlocks or safety rope pulls that have certain types of internal components that are used so that it’s reliable, it’s called control reliability. That’s the one thing you always want to make sure. You’ll hear things such as force guided contacts that are important in these types of components it basically means if a contact welds shut it can then be forced open so that the circuit can be broken. Most safety circuits are closed circuits, so in the event of power loss the circuit is broken and everything fails to a stop. If you look at this interlock you can see this is a tongue and groove type interlock. The internals of it you can see if I push on the plunger in here you can see that red piece moves the contacts up and down. They are all mechanically linked together. That is one example. Another thing is this symbol right here which is a circle with an arrow inside of it stands for forced guided contact. That is important to use when picking out safety components.
The things that you really want to remember are the safety regulated components are more expensive, they always will be because of the redundancy that is built in. When it could mean serious injury or death don’t go cheap because if you do it could cost you more in the long run. If you are not sure, there are a lot of grey areas, ask somebody. Don’t leave it to chance. There are professionals out there. You could go to our website at innovative-idm.com and go to our knowledge center. We have white pages that exist and we could come out on site and help you solve those things. We’re not the safety police. We’re not going to report you to OSHA, but we want to help you make better decisions when dealing with safety circuits and know that there is a difference. Using non safety rated components in a safety circuit is never okay. That is all I have for you today. After all we are the home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

How An AC Drive Works

September 9, 2014

Hi, Adam Ring here with Innovative IDM. I want to take a few minutes and explain a little bit about how an AC drive works. Really basic. First, we start off with the sine wave, an AC sine wave typically three phase power or we can also use single phase power as well.

So, we take that and we send it through a bridge rectifier or series of diodes that basically convert that AC into DC. It starts off and its a sine wave, once it goes through the rectifier it basically flips all the bottom half’s up and makes DC (direct current). We store that in these large capacitors sometimes we call them water towers and that basically is our source for what we are going to use to generate a synthetic AC sine wave out to a motor.

Then, we take that DC and we go through a series of transistors which are basically electronic switches and we use that to create a synthetic sine wave, where we can vary the voltage and the frequency in order to get a motor to spin at a given rate.

If we keep the ratio of the voltage to the frequency consistent, then we can produce constant torque throughout slow speeds all the way up to the base speed of the motor. In some cases we can even go up beyond the base speed of the motor.

So, in a nutshell that’s how an AC dive works. If you’d like to learn more, please visit us at http://InnovativeIDM.com/

We’re the home of the legendary customer experience!

How To Choose The Best Linear Motion Solutions For Your Applications

September 2, 2014

Hi, my name is Jack Marsh with innovative IDM and I’d like to talk a little bit about the different ways there are to produce motion to move stuff back and forth in industrial applications.

People often ask “what is the best technology for me to use in my application?”

Should I be using a ball screw? Should I be using a belt drive? Should I be using a rack and pinion?What about linear motors? and my answer to them, really is “it doesn’t matter.”

The important thing for you to decide, is what is your application? What do you need out of the solution and there’s really four things you need to focus on.

One: What is the overall travel, how far do you need to move your load?

Two: What kinda time frame do you need to do that in? Does it need to get from point A to point B in 10 seconds? Or does it need to get from point A to point B in a tenth of a second.

Very big difference.

The third thing is how much weight is getting moved? If it’s a few grams or a couple tons that naturally is going to point you to different technologies for the solution.

The last thing to consider is the precision. If you’re dealing with getting from point A to point B and stopping within a 1/16th or 1/8th of an inch, well that’s going to be a very different solution then needing to get there and stop to a micron level precision.

So once you’ve defined those four things, travel, time, weight and precision. Manufacturers already have the solutions mapped out for you.

The easiest thing to do is go to the catalogs take a look at the information that’s available there’s almost always a matrix of the different solutions and based on that criteria of precision, travel, weight you get to pick what you want.

So, it doesn’t really matter whether its a belt drive or ball screw as long as it meets what you need in your application. it’s going to work for you.

If you’d like to get this information from Parker please visit our website at http://InnovativeIDM.com and keep in mind that Innovative IDM is the home of the legendary customer experience.