Posted tagged ‘Wago’

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

Why You Should Use Cage Clamp Terminal Blocks

March 25, 2015

Hi, Adam Ring with Innovative-IDM.  I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about the battle between the screw terminal and the cage clamp. So, why do people choose one or the other? Well, let’s just look at some of the basic facts. On the screw terminal, when you strip a wire and insert it into a screw terminal, the tightest that that’s ever going to be is the connection at the time you actually torque that screw driver down. From that point on it’s only ever going to get looser. Now when you talk about cage clamp terminal, when you strip the wire and insert it into the cage clamp, that’s actually the loosest that connection ever is. And as that wire then starts to take the shape of the terminal and the wires kind of splay out and basically mold to the shape of the terminal, it’s actually going to get tighter over time because of the spring force that’s holding that wire in place.

So, with temperature cycling as that wire has current running through it and it heats up and cools down and heats up and cools down, it’s going to be expanding and contracting and so forth. Well with the screw terminal, that’s only going to force that screw to back out and get looser and looser over time, whereas with the cage clamp with its spring technology, the spring actually compensates. As the wire expands, it expands, when the wire shrinks back it shrinks back with it and so it always maintains the right amount of tension on the wire for the application.

Now there’s also industrial applications; there’s typically a lot of vibration that is experienced. With a screw we all knows what happens when it’s around vibration, they tend to loosen up. With the cage clamp, vibration typically doesn’t matter. It moves and it adjusts and responds to the vibration without coming loose over time.

Now think about what it costs if you’re having to install hundreds of terminals in a given control panel. If you’re having to screw and tighten down each and every terminal, that’s going to take quite a bit of time. But with the cage clamp, all you basically do is insert a screwdriver, insert your wire, remove the screwdriver and it’s done. You get the same great connection every time. The other thing to consider is first thing in the morning when your fresh, you’re probably going to be tightening down those screws a lot tighter than the last one at the end of the day when you’re kind of tired. So you get a variation of how tight those wires are. And so then what ends up happening is once that panel gets installed in a machine, you’re going to start having loose connections and that’s going to potentially cause a machine to go down and cost you extra money.

So you always want to make sure that you use the right product for the right application. In the case where you have temperature cycling and vibration and you’re looking for the most efficient and best cost to connect your wires cage clamps are definitely the leg up.

So if you’d like to learn more about cage clamps and how Innovative-IDM can help you please visit our website We are Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

How to make Multiple Fieldbus Networks Communicate

December 30, 2014

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

Hi, I’m Jeff Rogers with Innovative-IDM.  One of the biggest challenges facing today’s automation specialists is the way to make multiple fieldbuses communicate with upstream and downstream equipment.  It’s a very daunting task that could take a lot of programming knowledge that could probably be covered in several college courses.  Today we are going to keep it pretty high level and talk about a few components that could be used should you find yourself having to do this.

The first thing is the type of fieldbus.  There are all different kinds of fieldbuses out there.  Some are proprietary, some are open-source, meaning anyone could use that type of protocol whenever designing a piece of equipment.  So obviously, the ones that are proprietary are going to be harder to make communicate with other pieces of equipment, because the gateway type equipment that can be used are somewhat limited.  There’s just not that many of them out there.  Other fieldbuses for instance, probably one of the most well-known is Ethernet, be it internet IP, Ethernet EPCIP is very widely used standard that I see getting more and more popular every day.  It seems to be becoming the standard if people have a choice.  So remember proprietary is going to be a bigger challenge, but there are ways of getting around that.  What you have to consider is not only the protocol that you need to make it communicate with other protocols but also the transmission media.  You can actually transmit profibus protocol over an Ethernet cord, over a cat 5 cord with RJ45 connectors on it.  So you have to remember just because the cord looks the same doesn’t mean that the protocol is going to be the same.  So remember those things.  Ideally I always tell people if it is a new piece of equipment and you want to make sure it is going to communicate with all your other equipment you really need to get with that OEM and almost demand that they use a network you are familiar with so you don’t have to go through that hassle because it’s not fun, it’s kind of a pain.  Ideally use should try to standardize on a type of protocol that you are familiar with that’s flexible, gives you many different options and a lot of manufacturers support, such as Ethernet.  I would say that is probably the most common in today’s market.  Now if you do find yourself, for instance if you have older equipment in your plant that already has a different protocol on it and you want it to be able to communicate with say your Skada setup, or just for some sort of monitoring device or an add on or anything like that to the machine and those two protocols need to be able to talk to each other, then you could setup what is called a gateway.  There are different devices that can be used as a gateway which is just allowing two protocols to communicate with each other.

The three most common gateways are:

  • Manufacturers out there that make simple discrete adapter components.
    • You plug on piece of equipment in one and another on the other end and it allows the equipment to communicate with each other through an internal circuit board.
    • They are limited and can be pricey, the manufacturers of them are pretty proud of them. If you have a lot of components where you need to be able to make a bunch of different components talk to each other that could get sort of pricey.
  • PLC or IO system
    • They can be programmed for making different types of communication protocols talk to each other. For instance, WAGO has an IO system that is known as fieldbus independent.  They have fieldbus couplers that support all of the open protocols that exist in today’s market.  For instance, this one right here supports Ethernet.  If I wanted to make Ethernet talk to Modbus then I could drop a Modbus card in right here and have those two components talk to each other.  For instance, if I had a touchscreen that only communicated via Modbus and I wanted to make it talk to a piece of equipment, say a variable frequency drive that communicated over Ethernet I could use this component as the go between.  Often time people use touchscreen HMIs themselves as the gateway.  This particular touchscreen has both Modbus capabilities as well as Ethernet built in to it.  You could plug one piece of equipment in one port and a different piece of equipment that might be a different protocol into the other port and make them communicate via this device essentially turning it into a gateway.  It can get pretty complicated.  There is a lot of ins and outs as far as needing to know how to program those things, addressing registers properly with in a program to make all those talk.  That’s something we have a lot of experience with because it does come up.
  • Networking is extremely important,
    • it will only become even more important as time goes on because the top brass at all the plants and manufacturing companies around the world are always going to want better access to information, efficiency data, also remote control and data acquisition capabilities. All of that has to be done through networking all these pieces of equipment together.

If you need any help with that please contact us.  We have programming specialists, application specialists that can come out and help you with that.  You can also find information located on our website in our knowledge center.  Just go to and you will find our knowledge center there.  It has white papers, for the specific products we support, on how to set them up.  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.

How to Choose the Correct Acuator

October 7, 2014

Hi I’m Adam Ring with Innovative IDM. Wanted to share a couple of ideas of things to consider when selecting an actuator for industrial automation.
First thing to consider is what is the speed requirement that you need to be able to move at, also what kind of acceleration do you need, is it really, really slow, is it really, really, fast, 5 gs, what kind of thrust is gonna be required, how much force are you going to have to push with or pull with, what is your overall travel you’re gonna need the distance from your furthest most retracted point to your most extended point. What kind of accuracy and repeatability do you need or is that even important for your application. These are just some of the basics that might steer you one direction or another.
As you can see here I have an example of a screw drive linear actuator, then I also have an example of a belt drive rod less actuator. This one from a speed standpoint brings you up to about 200 inches per second, whereas the screw is gonna be typically in more of the 20 – 50 inches per second range. From an acceleration standpoint we can get you say up to 1G. If you Really, Really need some fast acceleration you might consider a linear motor actuator that gets you up to basically 5gs of acceleration. So depending on what you need, the speed, the acceleration, the thrust, the travel, and the accuracy and repeatability, are things to consider when selecting an actuator.
If you have a need for an actuator or would like to learn more please visit after all were the home of the legendary customer experience.

AR Advantages behind IEC61131 programming

September 30, 2014

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Hi I’m Adam Ring with Innovative IDM. Now people often wonder what is this IEC61131-3 programming all about. Well I often wonder that myself and actually what this is, is an international standard of programming languages. It’s made up of 5 different languages, sequential function chart, structured text, instruction list, ladder diagram, and function block diagram.
Now why would we want a suit of 5 different languages that’s standardized? Well if you’re an engineer or programmer you can go to school and learn these languages one time, get really good at them, and then regardless of who’s hardware you’re actually using for a particular machine design, if its programmed using this suit of languages then you already know how to program that particular hardware. So whether its vendor A, Vendor B, vendor C, if it follows that IEC61131 standard you already know how to program it.
So what that does for you is allows you to reuse code. You develop something that works really, really well, and you save it. And if you use that on this project and you need to use it on your next project you don’t need to rewrite it each time. It also gives you the flexibility to be able to pick the language that best suits the task that you’re trying to accomplish. So if you’re trying to do a whole lot of math structured text might be a really good way to go. If you doing some basic Boolean logic then maybe ladder diagram would be the best thing or if you’re trying to do a sequence of different events the sequential function chart might be the best. So whatever it is you pick the best language to get the job done and it’s going to save you time and money by not having to rewrite code each time, you’re not gonna have to learn a bunch of new languages for different hardware, and at the end of the day it makes you more valuable as a programmer by knowing how to use it.
So if you’d like to learn more about IEC61131 visit innovative IDMs knowledge center. We have information like papers, catalogs, videos, and more. After all were Innovative home of the legendary customer experience