Automation Now: News and Info for Users of Motion Control

Responsiveness Earns Plaudits from Customer

Posted December 7, 2017 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Legendary Customer Service Act of the Week

Last week, a customer had a pump go down and needed a new drive to replace an OEM drive.

After a few phone calls and text messages until 10:30 that night we had the right drive for the job and it was in stock at Yaskawa. He said he would place the order that next morning and would have it shipped over night. I asked Brad in customer service to help him with the order.

After three days his electrical guys worked on trying to install and get it running then they called our field service tech. Joey had it up any running in one hour plus fixed other issues they were having with that system. The owner called and thanked Joey for helping and getting the line running.


Yesterday, I received a call from the Operations Manager of all five plants to say thank you. He said that we are the most responsive company he has dealt with in a longtime. Thanked me for helping him while I was on vacation, said Brad was awesome to work with and Joey was Superman.

Ed Hyer is branch manager of Innovative-IDM's Baton Rouge store. You can reach him at



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Industrial AC Drive Start Up Tips

Posted November 2, 2017 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog, Industrial AC Drive, Industrial Electronics Repair

If you need help with your AC drive start up, call us. We can help.

Here are some tips to help you with an industrial AC drive start up.

Before You Start

• VFDs are mounted in an appropriate environment and required input circuit protection.
• Install all electrical conduit, if needed, prior to the AC drive start up
• The electrical in/out 3Ø power cable have been pulled and are terminated onto VFDs.
• The AC motors are mounted and are uncoupled from the load, if possible, to facilitate an auto tune of the VFD with access to the motor name plate data.
• The communication signals are pulled and are near the field connection terminals on the VFD.

AC Drive Start Up Steps

• Verify the drive model number to ensure it's the correct model
• Ensure the area surrounding the drive complies with specifications
• Verify that the drive is properly sized to run the motor
• Confirm there is proper circuit protection as specified by national and local code
• Properly wire drive terminals R/L1, S/L2, T/L3 & R/T1. V/T2, W/T3 and control wiring
• Properly ground the drive and tighten control and grounding terminal according to specification
• Program the VFD according to the motor nameplate data and customer’s expectations
• Perform Auto-Tune based on control mode and other operating conditions.
• Verify rotation.

Innovative-IDM is an Authorized Service Provider and Distributor for Yaskawa VFDs. When we do your Yaskawa AC drive start up, you receive an additional year on your Yaskawa factory warranty -- a total of two years.


If you have a drive that needs to be repaired, we can help you with that, too. If I can be of any help to you, email me and I'd be glad to walk you through whatever I can. If you're not using VFDs, you could end up like Lucy in the candy factory.

Juan Silva is a field service technician out of our Houston store. You can reach him at

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If Lucy Had a Yaskawa VFD, This (Episode) Wouldn’t Have Happened

Posted October 31, 2017 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog


Because a Yaskawa VFD would have allowed the operators of the candy factory to slow down or even reverse the conveyor belt. Instead, they were probably running an old DC motor with in-rush current starts and stops and draining their electricity use. Does this sound like you?

I, for one, am extremely happy they DID NOT have VFDs in the 1950s — lest we’d have never had this classic episode of I Love Lucy, which was bad luck for Lucy and Ethel.

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Another Happy Customer in Chicago

Posted August 7, 2017 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, field service

Here's an email our Chicago branch manager Tim Mueller received from one of our Chicagoland customers today.

Sent: Monday, August 07, 2017 10:16 AM
To: Tim Mueller <>
Cc: Trevor Sisco <>; Jonathan Dutton <>
Subject: Job well done

Good morning, Tim. I’m head of Engineering in Skokie. We have been working with Trevor and Jonathon on some automation ideas we’ve had. I wanted to give you some feedback on recent activity with them.

Recently, an older piece of processing equipment for one of our key production lines failed. We were unable to find the problem with internal resources and the equipment was old enough that the manufacturer was refusing to help.

Based on our prior history with Trevor and Jonathon tackling unusual equipment problems I decided to call I-IDM and see if they were willing to try and help, even though they hadn’t ever seen this equipment or process before. Trevor’s quick coordination and willingness to take on challenging issues, combined with Jonathon’s technical skill and immediate responsiveness saved the day.

I-IDM had our equipment diagnosed, repaired, and back up and running within 2 days – I’m convinced it would have been sooner had parts been readily available.  Outstanding service from exceptional people – well done!

V.P. – Engineering

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