Monthly Archives: January 2016

5 Disadvantages of Wireless Industrial Networks

Posted January 28, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

Wireless technology has made connecting industrial equipment easier. The days where your computer was a stationary device are history and now you can tote your laptop or tablet just about anywhere you go. In the industrial world, it can make setting up new equipment a breeze but only under the right conditions and it certainly has its drawbacks.

fix-intermitten-connecitonBefore you forsake wires for wireless devices, take these points into consideration:

Wireless devices create and suffer from interference.

Because there is just a small portion of the wave spectrum for wireless devices to operate, they can be easily congested by other signals. If you have a lot of wireless equipment operating in the same area, they’ll inhibit each others' signals and may cause service disruptions. Signal weakens every time It passes through an object so if your facility is crowded, wires may be a better choice.

Wireless consumes energy.

Those broadcast waves aren’t going to power themselves. Wireless signals need energy to broadcast and will use much more than the little power needed to run signals through copper wires. Enough wireless devices and your energy consumption will grow.

Wireless connections are less secure.

Modern wireless security protocols are much safer than the days of WEP protection but are still vulnerable to hackers and data thieves who can wreak havoc if they breach your network security. They don’t need to be inside your facility to do it either and can access your network from wherever the signal travels. Wired connections are more secure and can be protected by physical barriers such as locked doors and walls.

Wireless networks aren’t as reliable.

Wireless devices grant you the mobility and flexibility to move around the facility and work at the same time. However, it’s not unusual for wireless devices to lose signal on the fringes of the wireless range or in “deadspots” where signal is too weak to function. Wireless access points also frequently crash and have to be manually rebooted, which requires physical access. Wired connections are more reliable though they will keep you rooted to one location.

Wireless bandwidth is limited.

Because of the narrow broadcast spectrum of wireless signals, bandwidth is a limiting factor for wireless networks. The more users on at the same time, the more of the limited bandwidth will be consumed. This can lead to slow connection speeds, failing connections and even server crashing which will require a manual reboot. Wired connections have much more bandwidth to work with and are more stable speed-wise.

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Rotary Motors vs. Linear Motors

Posted January 25, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Parker


Rotary motors and linear motors can, in many cases, be utilized to accomplish the same goal. Linear motors leverage the same basic magnetic theory as rotary varieties, but in an open and flattened form. As with rotary varieties, a myriad of linear motors exist: Linear steppers, linear AC induction, permanent magnet, and brushless. Linear motors also utilize drives, motion positioners, and feedback devices such as linear encoders.

Parker Linear Motor

Parker's Electric Thrust Tubular (ETT) Series is a tubular style linear motor.

Linear motor benefits include faster speeds, maximum possible acceleration, and much higher accuracy than their rotary counterparts. Consider that replacing a rotary open-loop stepper with a rotary closed-loop servo can improve accuracy by a factor of 80 times; substituting a linear motor can improve accuracy by a factor of 500 times.

Likewise, a typical servomotor and ball screw with a pitch of 5 rev/in. can move a load at 20 to 40 in./sec; in contrast, a linear motor can provide speeds to 400 in./sec. The same servomotor may accelerate at up to 2 g, while the linear motor accelerates at 10 g.

Finally, the typical servomotor-ball screw actuator provides accuracy ranging from 0.001 to 0.0001 in., while the linear motor provides 0.0007 to 0.000008-in. accuracy. Note that these figures don’t account for coupling and ball screw backlash factors. One of the only disadvantages of a linear motor is its initial cost.

Common uses for linear motors

Linear motors are used in short-move pick and place and inspection equipment (to 60 in./sec), longer moves and flying shear applications (to 200 in./sec), and roller coasters, people movers, and vehicle launching systems (2,000 in./sec). They are also used in semiconductor and electronics markets, laser cutting and water etching machines, material handling, component insertion, and bottle labeling and inspection equipment.

When investigating rotary and linear motors, application considerations include speed and accuracy. Comparing the relative price (whether rotary or linear), steppers are the least expensive, followed by induction, permanent magnet, and finally brushless motors.

When comparing the costs of linear and rotary motors, keep in mind that the latter requires motor mounting and possibly a gearbox, ball screw, or belt drive, plus bearings, a slide, and cabling. The linear system requires a bearing system and cabling.

Linear motors are easily configured into multi-axis stages — typically most expensive, as they encompass either a single or multiple-axis mechanical system to position the payload, plus linear motor, bearings, encoder, limit switches, cable carrier, and bellows.



Troy Hardy is a field applications engineer at the Dallas branch of Innovative-IDM. You can reach him at

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5 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Industrial VFDs

Posted by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog, Yaskawa Drives

Q: Why does myyaskawa_v1000 motor need a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)?

A: Sometimes motors don’t need a VFD. But 95% of the time, motors are running in situations where you can/should vary the speed. You may already be varying the speed of your process via chokes or valves.  Putting a VFD on a motor will extend the life of the motor and save on energy costs.

Q: How does a VFD extend the life of my motor?

A: Well, it’s all physics mainly.  Heats kills electronics, and as well as mechanical devices. If you are running your motor full-out, 100%, all the time, then you are inevitably adding unnecessary heat to your system and motor. Just remember that for every 10 degrees the temperature inside of your motor rises above rated spec, you reduce the life of your motor by half! At 20 degrees, you have reduced the life by 75%!

Q: How does a VFD save energy costs?

A: Well it all goes back to the relationship of hp/kw being proportional to the speed cubed.  So if we are running something at 100%, we are using the full amount of hp and kw.  However, if we reduce it to say 50%, we are now only using 12.5% of the hp and kw.  Put two of the 50% systems together and now you have 100% of the load you were looking for at 25% of the energy usage.

Q: How much energy are we talking? Motors don’t use that much energy, right?

A: Wrong, did you know that at very low, conservative numbers, that electric motors consume approximately 25% of the Earth’s energy consumption? At high estimates, it is as much as almost 48%.  Electric motors are the single largest user of electricity in the world, so just think what that translates to your facility.

Q: Yeah but the Return on Investment is years right?

A: Not necessarily.  On the medium voltage side, some of the ROIs can approach 2 to 3 years; however, on the low voltage side, ROIs can be as little as 2 months.  Innovative-IDM can even help you with an energy audit of your facility to help fully develop a VFD ROI proposal.

+Brandt-King-Edited Brandt King is a longtime member of the Innovative-IDM team at the Houston branch. You can reach him at

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Yaskawa introduces U1000, most efficient industrial drive

Posted by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Uncategorized

Yaskawa has introduced the U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive, it's most efficient drive ever. The U1000 is second to none when it comes to power quality and energy savings. Enjoy extremely low harmonic distortion and regeneration in a compact design without the need for additional components. Unlike conventional drives, Yaskawa's matrix technology creates a variable output by switching directly from the input power (no DC bus). Make measurable efficiency gains while experiencing the outstanding performance of a Yaskawa industrial drive.

Yaskawa U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive


For a quote or more information about the new Yaskawa U1000 Industrial Matrix Drive, contact Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or email us at

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Think ‘urgency’ when choosing industrial repair company

Posted by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Industrial Electronics Repair

“A power surge knocked out my equipment. Can you come out tonight?”

If you find yourself on the asking end of this question, you’ll soon find out what kind of industrial repair company you’re dealing with. Power surges happen in facilities and, despite all your protective measures, something electronic and expensive will bite the dust.

Preventivie maintenance

Industrial machine downtime can be minimized with preventive maintenance.

As you weep over the passing away of your too-young-to-die equipment, your facilities production is taking a hit. Even worse if disaster strikes late at night or on the weekend. If only we had implemented a preventive maintenance program, you lament.

Unless your outsourced industrial repair company operates all day, you’ll have to wait until early morning when they open. Every hour your equipment is down, you come closer to breaking commitments as your facility hemorrhages lost productivity.

You need service. And you need it now.

While a good industrial repair service company will be on-scene quickly to repair the issue, a great repair service company is available on-scene ASAP and starts repairs immediately.

For example, when a client suffered a late-night, power issue that destroyed a new A1000 drive, our technician Jon Dutton drove over with a brand new A1000 and installed it the same day.

Client called at 7:30 PM, Jon arrived at 8:30 PM, finished the replacement by 11 PM and was off to another customer appointment at 5 AM that morning.

Customer service should be a top priority for any outsourced industrial repair company you choose. Equipment failures happen and the longer it takes for your equipment to be repaired, the longer you’ll see production drop.

For that reason, keep urgency and customer service quality in the forefronts of the mind when deciding on what repair company to call. Whether it’s with another company or Innovative-IDM's industrial repair field service, your outsourced industrial repair company should strive to provide LEGENDARY customer service. -- Robert Dominguez

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