Monthly Archives: April 2016

Choosing a Linear Motion Solution

Posted April 28, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

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When choosing a linear motion solution an application, deciding which technology to implement can be a head-scratcher with so many different solutions on the market. Ball screw. Linear motor. Rack and pinion. Cylinder.

We run through this all of the time with our customers when helping them with linear motion solution applications. Bottom line is, your solution must satisfy your applications requirements.

Here is a basic checklist of some of the questions we ask our customers before choosing a linear motion solution:

  1. Distance

Know how far your load needs to move will help you choose a solution. If you only need to move the load a few inches, it can be a drastically different solution than if you need to move it hundreds of feet.

  1. Time Frame

Consider how much time you have to move the load. You’ll need a faster or slower solution depending on if you need to move the load from Point A to Point B in 10 seconds or in 1/10th of a second.

  1. Weight

Know what your loads weight will be. Moving a few ounces is going to require much less force than moving a few hundred pounds. The difference is force requirements will naturally point you towards certain technologies.

  1. Precision

Think about just how much fine control you need. If it doesn’t matter if the load stops within an inch or so of its target destination then certain technologies will be available. If you need the load to stop in specific areas at a micron level, that’s a new, tech ballpark.

Of course, the entire process of choosing a linear motion solution is more complex than these four simple parameters. But you have to start somewhere. Once you’ve determined the four criteria above, choosing a linear motion solution and solving the details of the application will be easier. We can help you find the solution that fits your need when you're ready for more help.

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President’s Club — Josh McIver, Mike Adams, Steve Falcone

Posted April 23, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: IIDM Behind the Scenes

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Our 2015 President's Club honorees and a guest this week are on a Caribbean trip with -- who else? --  president Gene Gray and other company dignitaries. Each night at dinner, Gray reads a card like this one. The accolades were written by the honorees fellow employees upon PC nomination.

Josh McIver is a field applications engineer in Dallas. Mike Adams is a Baton Rouge territory manager. Steve Falcone is a Dallas territory manager.

Josh-McIver-2015-Winner Mike-Adams-2015-Winner Steve-F-2015-Winner (002)

 

 

 

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President’s Club — Joey Fairchild, Gina Arredondo

Posted April 22, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: IIDM Behind the Scenes

Tags:

Our 2015 President's Club honorees and a guest this week are on a Caribbean trip with -- who else? --  president Gene Gray and other company dignitaries. Each night at dinner, Gray reads a card like this one. The accolades were written by the honorees fellow employees upon PC nomination.

Joey Fairchild is a Baton Rouge field service tech. Gina Arredondo is a Dallas customer service rep.

Joey-Fairchild-2015-Winner Gina-Arredondo-2015-Winner

 

 

 

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AC Drives in Extrusion Machine Systems

Posted April 19, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Yaskawa Drives

Tags: , , ,

A lot has been written and said about AC drives in extrusion machine systems. And about DC drives in extrusion applications. Let's get to the basics.

  1. Even though the DC drive is more efficient than the AC drive, the AC motor is more efficient than the DC motor by a much greater amount. So overall, the AC system is more efficient than the DC system.
The extrusion industry for years favored DC drives to control the big DC motors. But is that still the best practice in 2016?

The extrusion industry for years favored DC drives to control the big DC motors. But is that still the best practice in 2016?

2. The AC system has a Power Factor of about 98% whereas the DC system varies proportional to speed from about 1% to 82%. Thus, the overall power distribution system is more efficient with AC than with DC.

Now, for some more details.

Line Notching

  • DC drives switch line voltage to the motor using a Phase Control method; the AC drive switches the line using a diode to a DC bus.
  • SCR switching will cause line notching (due to the relatively slow turn off time) which can be devastating to adjacent equipment. With the AC drive, diode switching does not cause line notching due to its relatively fast turn off time.

Extrusion machine’s control system’s response

  • The plastics industry for years considered DC king because of its speed regulation with tach feedback. AC did not rate because it had poor speed regulation.
  • Today, through Vector Control, the AC system without feedback (Open loop vector) will perform at least as well as the DC with tach feedback and AC with Encoder feedback can outperform DC with tach feedback.
  • I acknowledge that DC can perform as well as the AC if the DC system can use encoder feedback.

Extrusion system reliability comparison between AC and DC drives

  • DC is inherently more reliable than AC since it has fewer parts to fail (until you take the Motor into account).
  • AC is inherently less reliable than DC, until you take the Motor into account, since it has more parts than DC.
  • However, the DC system is less reliable than AC in that the major failure point of the DC system is the DC motor.
  • The DC motor brush system is a high maintenance item giving rise to an inherently weak link in the system.
  • A DC motor failure has a high probability of causing a DC drive failure as collateral damage.
  • The DC drive system can also be less reliable than AC since it depends upon the AC utility line switched by SCRs to control the current to the DC motor.
  • In the event of a motor failure, the SCR will continue to conduct till:
    The AC line commutates to the opposite polarity or,
    The AC line fuse blows whichever comes first.
    The latter is many times the result of the former.
  • With the AC system, the transistor is switched off much faster than the SCR.
  • The AC drive can detect the high current of a motor failure and switch off before blowing a fuse or damaging an AC drive component
  • Many AC drive manufacturers’ systems still cannot detect a destructive fault and will fail as a result of the motor failure.

Why Yaskawa Matters in Extrusion

  • Yaskawa has broken the reliability curve (better stated that Yaskawa has SMASHED the reliability curve) of all other solutions.
  • Yaskawa has, by nature of their quality process, their design criteria, and their excessive attention to detail, made the most reliable drive on the planet
  • Yaskawa’s patented transistor system does in most cases turn off before a catastrophic failure can occur.
  • Here is an application paper on Yaskawa and extrusion machine applications.

Conclusion

  • When planning what to do with your extruder's DC drive system, consider the following: AC beats DC for performance; AC beats DC for energy savings; Yaskawa AC trumps DC for system reliability; chose an systems integrator who has experience with DC to AC retrofits.
Lyons

Lyons

Steve Lyons is a member of the Houston engineered solutions team and is widely known as an industry authority on AC drive applications in control systems, including extrusion, centrifuge and many others. You can reach him at steve.lyons@iidm.com

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President’s Club — Ed Hyer, Lonnie Gillilan

Posted April 18, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: IIDM Behind the Scenes

Tags:

Our 2015 President's Club honorees and a guest this week are on a Caribbean trip with -- who else? --  president Gene Gray and other company dignitaries. Each night at dinner, Gray reads a card like this one. The accolades were written by the honorees fellow employees upon PC nomination.

Ed Hyer is the Baton Rouge branch manager. Lonnie Gillilan is the Dallas Field Service manager.

Ed Hyer

 

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April 15 Means Taxes, Day Abraham Lincoln Died

Posted April 15, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: IIDM Behind the Scenes

Tags: , ,

Bloodstains and all, the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was assassinated resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

Bloodstains and all, the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was assassinated resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

Yes, it's Tax Day. Actually, you have until Monday at midnight to file this year.

But it's also the day in 1865 that Abraham Lincoln died after being shot the night before while watching a show in Washington D.C.'s Ford's Theater. He was 56 and the first U.S. president to be assassinated.

What's any of this have to do with factory automation? Well, the chair in which Lincoln was sitting when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth resides -- blood stains and all -- in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

Ford, of course, is generally considered the father of modern factory automation and scientific management. And now you know.

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