Automation Now: News and Info for Users of Motion Control

Industrial Field Service Turns Rat’s Nest into Beauty

Posted June 11, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

One of our field service techs recently encountered the infamous "rat's nest" of tangled, unlabeled wires commonly found in inoperative industrial controls panels. If you need help, we can make your panel like new again, too.  See before and after pics below.











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Yaskawa U1000 VFD Helps OEM Offer a Clean Energy Solution

Posted April 30, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Yaskawa, Yaskawa Drives


A leader in cutting edge sawmill equipment since 1954, Cleereman Industries in Newald, Wis. They started out owning and operating a sawmill business and now are a manufacturer of a wide range of sawmill equipment that includes Carriages, Track Frames, and Trim & Grading Lines.

U1000 Drive

Cleereman recently decided to redesign a rotary log kicker in order to increase its size range, as well as transition its hydraulic system to a fully clean electric system. The challenge was the overall size of the log kicker. The resulting machine inertia makes the 15 cycle per minute rate difficult to achieve. The machine’s inertia and cycle per hour requirement would have required a large braking package to dissipate the energy.


Cleereman turned to L&S Electric for a solution to their challenge.

Initial thoughts of a standard VFD and brake resistor were considered, but L&S representatives recommended a more energy efficient solution. Due to its power regeneration capabilities, a Yaskawa U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive was selected to control the 30HP electric drive system.

This solution allowed Cleereman to get away from the maintenance time and costs that are associated with hydraulic systems, and provided them a cleaner, more energy efficient solution in a smaller package.


Cleereman now can smoothly control the very high inertia log kicker. Whether motoring or regenerating, the U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive provides Cleereman with a clean power solution by maintaining ultra low input current harmonics.

In addition, the U1000’s inherent regenerative capabilities eliminated the braking resistors that dissipated heat from the deceleration of the load.

Cleereman now provides a solution that reduces their customers’ utility costs. The energy wasted using resistors is now diverted back onto the grid. Removal of the resistor package also increases machine lifetime and reduces machine maintenance requirements by eliminating another point of potential failure. Lastly, using the U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive eliminates fire safety concerns that come with using resistors in lumber mills to burn off regenerative energy.


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Hardguard Protects VFDs from Contaminants

Posted April 24, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Aluminum Extrusion, Blog

Aluminum t-slotted extrusion keeps particles out of control cabinet, VFDs.

One of our sales engineers recently solved a problem for a customer in the oil and gas sector. The customer was running a horizontal drilling simulation and needed to keep particles and debris from getting into the cabinets and fouling the drives controlling the motors.

The solution was simple yet effective: Extruded aluminum framing with clear poly carbonate panels created a quasi-clean room to protect the cabinets. The framing included a door that allows technicians to access the control panels. Innovative-IDM worked with the customer on the design, and then cut and constructed the pieces. The modules were shipped to the customer where workers there easily put together the final product. There's a whole world of factory applications for aluminum extrusion.

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I probably could have gone a lifetime without knowing this about OMRON relays . . .

Posted April 3, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Uncategorized

The ubiquitous relay.

. . . But since I found out, I can't quit thinking about the fact that 1/5 of Omron's total workforce -- about 7,000 people -- works on its electrical relays. Omron produces in excess of 800 million relays a year managed by a state-of-the-art facility in Japan, which is large enough to cover 30 football fields.

Approximately 7,000 employees (from the entire workforce of 36,000) are active within the area of relays at five dedicated production centers, including Kumamoto, which is the main production plant and headquarters. Innovative-IDM is a key distributor for Omron products. If you need relays, call today.

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