Posted tagged ‘UL508A’

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.

The Benefits of Retrofitting an Industrial Control Panel

December 23, 2014

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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 We are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

Safety Rated vs NonSafety Rated Components

December 2, 2014

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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 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.

5 Reasons Manufacturers Outsource Assembly Work

November 25, 2014

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

Hi Adam Ring with Innovative IDM. Now it’s a growing trend in industry for regional equipment manufactures to outsource all or part of their assembly work. Now there’s five primary reasons why a company might look at doing that.
The first one is the idea of variable versus fixed overhead. If you hire a bunch workers and have a large building you have quite a bit of fixed overhead because you got to pay for that rent every month, you got to pay the salaries of those employees, you got to pay for the benefits. So whether you have a lot of work to do or a little bit of work to do you still have to pay that fixed overhead.
Well if you outsource that assembly work then you are only paying for the work when you need it and as much as you need it. And so if you get a lot of work come in the door one day you can outsource that and another company basically like Innovative IDM could provide that assembly work for you. And if things slow down hey you don’t have to lay them off you don’t have to fire them you don’t have to pay unemployment you just simply don’t place more orders and when things get busy again you can place more orders with them.
Another point of why manufacturers outsource assembly work is you don’t have to go through the whole cycle of hiring, of training, and then firing, and then basically doing that over and over and over again in order to maintain a good staff of assembly techs. Also another really, really good reason why a lot of companies outsource their assembly work is they are just not in the business of doing certain things. Take this control panel for example. If you’re not in the business of building control panels, then why build it yourself? Why not outsource it to a company that is in the business, that’s experts at doing work just like this.
Now from an ownership perspective, it enables you by outsourcing all of the assembly work or a portion of it, in order to ship way more machines, so you’re not limited in the resources and space you have available. You can basically distribute that work out, and get more done in the same amount of time. And that in turn leads us to our last point, which improves cash flow so you basically get assemblies in, you don’t have to pay for them for typically 30 days after you get them in, and by that time you can get them installed in your machine, shipped that machine, and get that clock ticking to get paid by your customer. You also reduce the amount of inventory you have to carry so you don’t have that money tied up on the shelf in the form of parts. You can use it in the bank, where its working for you, and by outsourcing assembly work, you can utilize the just in time techniques, that enable you to get parts exactly when you need it so that it can literally be married to the machine when its ready for it and get it out the door as quick as possible.
So once again the 5 most common reasons companies outsource assembly work, the variable verses fixed overhead, not having to hire and train and fire assembly techs, just simply not in the business of doing certain kinds of work, you’re enabled to ship more machines in a given amount of time, and finally you get improved cash flow, reduced inventory, and able to get parts when you need them at the exact time when you need them. So if you’d like to learn more about outsourced assembly work, contact us we’re the home of the legendary customer experience.

How To Stretch Your Facilities Maintenance Budget

November 12, 2014

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

Hi I’m gene gray. Welcome to innovative IDMs intergalactic headquarters. Are you a manufacturing facility a plant with automated machinery, conveyors, and robots, all kinds of things spinning around and moving? Well you’ve got to keep it up and running. Sometimes that’s a stressful thing to do, and expensive, so let’s talk about a couple ways that buzz and I have been discussing that can potentially help you stretch your maintenance dollar, get the most out of that buck, help your budget go just a little bit further.
Now it’s important that when you talk about stretching your maintenance budget that you think about your supply chain. It’s not just the cost of parts, anybody’s going to tell you that that’s important, sure that’s important, but it’s not the most important, but it’s not unimportant. Now I’ve been in this business since 1989 and I’ve found by visiting many different factories that they’re all different, they don’t have the same capabilities. Some of them have different styles of maintenance teams heavier in mechanical or electrical, some have engineering departments, and some don’t have any of that. So what do you do, how do you keep it up and running?
Well one of the things you need to do is preventative maintenance programs and most of you probably know, do those right now, some of you have heard about it, when you have that pm program are you using hot spares? I mean you’ve got that spare sitting over there on the shelf when you bought it but the last time you had a controlled shut down did you install it, take out the other one you know was working fine, to make sure the spare actually works? To make sure that your maintenance people do have the skill set to practice putting that in, in a break down situation. If not, you might want to do that.
When something that’s expensive breaks, you want to stretch your dollar, get it repaired, send it to Innovative IDM we have an in house electronic repair department. Now if you’re one of those plants that don’t have all the resources that you need, maybe you’ve got a controlled shut down coming up, and you have a big project and you need some field service staff. Well outsource it. Innovative has a 24/7 365 field service team. We can send you the extra boots you need to get on the ground to get that project done. Maybe the thing that’s broke down or the problem that your having is too complicated for the staff you have, or like we’ve talked about maybe that guys on vacation, well give us a call we’d be happy to help you out.
Now you really want to get the most out of this dollar, you don’t want to call innovative just when you’re broke down, give us a shout so we can get out there, you can meet our field service team techs before that ever happens, we can get to know your machines, we can get to know your processes, that way if it’s in the middle of the night, production uptime is super important, we can be efficient as a team mate.
Now putting together a company that’s got field service technicians, a repair center, things that we can help you with from an outsourcing perspective, to make sure that your supply chain is playing a part in stretching your budget, why would we go through the trouble to do something like that? Huh buzz why would we do that? Well buzz knows it’s simple it’s innovative, were home to 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 and keep in mind that Innovative IDM is the home of the legendary customer experience.

How To Control High Voltage Spikes

August 19, 2014

Hi, my name is Andy Lewis with Innovative IDM. A lot of the times when I’m out in the industrial sector, I find a lot of my customers have problems with transients aka surges, sags or swells. Generally, what occurs here is due to your utility company who provides a power factor correction.

Now, this can be done in a variety of ways. Switching due to time, temperature or it could be fixed based upon certain times of the day or temperature once again. Whenever this occurs this actually sends a spike throughout your electrical circuit through your service entrance down to your intermediary bus duct and right into your machines.

What does this cause? Parameter failure and or loss, plc reset and down time due to machines having to be restarted. This causes a lot of problems for production, lots of money, lots of time and headache.

There’s a couple of ways you can fix it actually, at the service entrance you can actually use a mov and selenium stack transient suppression unit. What this does is, the mov’s will take on the instantaneous voltage spike but it can’t handle it for too long because they’re self sacrificing.

What will happen then is there’s a handshake from the mov’s (metal oxide varistors) to the selenium stack which will handle the brute force of the transient. After that, you could actually have surge protection in a intermediary way at the bus duct which will include once again the mov’s and the selenium stack but once again, not in as large of a size.

Finally, at point of use you could actually use mov’s to help protect the machine from anything that’s come down stream already.

If you’d like more information on this please contact us at and remember Innovative IDM is the home of the legendary customer experience.



Company Improvement – Custom Mobile Hardware Cart

March 3, 2014
Made from scrap material!

Made from scrap material!

Innovative-IDM‘s Dallas Panel Shop has been improved once again. In the past we had two hardware storage racks, they were not mobile, and were located at opposite ends of the shop. Deadly waste #6 – Wasted Motion. Techs had to walk across each ends of the shop to find a bolt or screw. Company Value #5 – Take Initiative.

Innovative’s Rick Wormwood took it upon himself to design and fabricate a mobile base using scrap material and combine the two carts into one! Eliminating waste! In true 5S, Ross Poste sorted, set, and organized all of the bins to easily access the hardware, even had new labels printed to identify the items in the bins. To top off this great company improvement, sample screws, washers, and nuts were glued to the front of the small hardware rack to easily identify what goes in each of the bins. Excellent team effort to improve the bottom line and take care of our customers.

New tables for customer manufacturing shop

January 16, 2014

New tables

Look at the newest improvement in the shop! Rick Wormwood and myself took the initiative (which is our fifth VALUE!!!) to create a new work table for a better working environment. The table was designed to create mobility within the shop. Please dont hesitate to check out the newest improvement in our shop!!

— Jerome Cotton

Protect Valuable Automation Equipment From Transient Surges

October 4, 2012

The OVR DIN rail surge protector line from ABB is the ideal solution to protecting valuable equipment and keeping an operation up and running.  Reduce downtime related to maintenance and troubleshooting with pluggable cartridges, visual life indicators, and integrated auxiliary contacts for remote monitoring.  When a cartridge has reached the end of its life it will alert you with a visual indicator both on the cartridge itself and remotely.  Then simply replace the cartridge, no rewiring is necessary.  Contact Innovative-IDM at today for more.