Monthly Archives: February 2016

Yaskawa Servo Controller Streamlines Extrusion Die Adjustments

Posted February 5, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Parker, Yaskawa

Tags: , , ,

One of our clients needed a solution for automatically adjusting his horizontal extrusion die. The die controls the thickness of a plastic web about 72 inches wide.

Previously, the 72 bolts across the top of the die were adjusted by hand by an operator. The worker would compare the readings on a nuclear micrometer to what the set point was. This was labor intensive and required a lot of the operator’s attention, time he should have been dedicating to watching the machine and its operation.

Servo controllers, motors and Modbus solved a die adjustment problem on this extrusion machine.

Servo controllers, motors and Modbus solved a die adjustment problem on this extrusion machine.

Our solution was to incorporate a Yaskawa multi-axis servo controller with four servo amplifiers and motors and Modbus communication to interface with their micrometer.

A brief explanation: Two motors are mounted on two “heads.” Each head consists of:

  • A position motor with a gear reducer that travels on a linear gear across the die
  • And, an adjusting motor with a socket mounted to the motor shaft that pneumatically lowers down on a bolt to adjust it.

Each head is taught the position of the first bolt by moving it manually to that position. The distance between each bolt is inputted into the system through the Parker HMI. Then each head travels across the die, learning the positions of every bolt and the rotational position of each bolt head. In case of vibrations or other external influences to the bolts, the system has the ability to relearn on the fly the rotational position of any bolt.

The micrometer will message the servo controller via Modbus when a portion of the web is out of tolerance. The servo controller is told which bolt is causing the error and by how much. The “head” closest to the offending bolt will move to a bolt 3 bolts away. Then, alternating between bolts on either side of the offender, the head start adjusting the bolts. The outside bolts receive minor adjustments working up to a full adjustment on the center (and offending) bolt.

Result; the operator can manage the machine and not have to micromanage a bunch of bolts.


Productivity up. We do solutions like this for customers every month. If you tell us y

our problem, we probably can help your efficiency.

Stewart Bissell is a Field Applications Engineer in Innovative-IDM's Dallas office. He can be reached at


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Team Innovative-IDM, January 2016

Posted February 2, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Employees, IIDM Behind the Scenes, Innovative-IDM

Our annual Kick Off Event was held last weekend at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas. Activities included two days of business meetings, a Kick Off address from our president, an awards dinner and a blowout after party. Many spouses and guests attended, as well as some of our supplier MVPs. Check out the team photo. Didn't hurt that it was 75 degrees and sunny.

Innovative-IDM Team and Support Group

Innovative-IDM Team and Support Group

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Dinner Interrupted? Common Theme for IIDM Field Service Techs

Posted by Pepper Hastings

Categories: IIDM Behind the Scenes

When a client’s Pipe Extruder Machine went down on a Thursday, our technicians wasted no time rushing to repair it.

The machine was used to line large pipes with rubber that sell for up to $8,000 each. Every hour the machine was down, the company lost serious money.

When they chose to call Innovative IDM, it didn’t take our technicians long to get the machine back up and running.

Technician Lonnie Gillilan was out with his wife on a Saturday when fellow technician Jeff Smith called him to help with the machine. Within the hour, Lonnie was geared up and driving to Oklahoma to get the client back in business.

The two worked tirelessly and stayed overnight, replacing multiple components of the foreign machine when they found the problem ran deeper than expected.

“It was a Seimens PLC and a Seimens HMI, which are not the easiest components to work with,” Lonnie recalled. “We did repair them though. It was difficult but we don’t give up. We will not quit until it’s fixed.”

By Monday, the machine was once again lining pipes with rubber, Lonnie was headed home and the client was left smiling.

Our customers swear by our service, made possible by our dedicated team of customer support and field personnel who make up Innovative IDM: The Home of LEGENDARY customer service. -- Robert Dominguez

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