Monthly Archives: December 2016

Choosing an Industrial Repairs Service

Posted December 29, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Industrial Maintenance

When your assembly line is down and it's time for choosing an industrial repairs and field service company, make sure the company can be reached 24/7.

It might take a couple of hours for a technician to arrive on the scene, but make sure the phone is answered 24/7. Here are some other tips on choosing an industrial repairs service.

  • Cheapest rates are not always in your best interest. If you want an electrician, that’s one rate. If you want a technician who can program AC drives, troubleshoot PLC programs AND fix your electrical problems, that’s another rate.
  • Does the field service company have access to parts 24/7? Are they supported by a warehouse? Do they have relationships directly with the machine component manufacturers? All of this can save time.
  • Establish a relationship with several field service companies. If you have an emergency and your primary company is busy, now what? Invite several field service companies into your plant to familiarize them with your machines. It could save you a lot headaches later.
  • Keep those industrial field service phone numbers where all of your staff can see them. Don’t waste time looking for contact information.

After the devastating floods in Baton Rouge last fall, Fairchild uses a pressure sprayer on an electrical panel in a printing plant. No, it's not plugged in.

One of our customers recently let the smoke out of their obsolete, 600-amp DC drive. Of course, they needed a replacement tomorrow. Why do all emergencies seem to happen at 5 on Friday afternoon?

I called our headquarters in Dallas, and we manage to use our pull with Bardac Drives, since we also are an authorized distributor for Bardac. Yes, they have one in stock. And yes, they agree to drive the package to the UPS terminal to be shipped out same day. Pretty good for after 5 p.m. on Friday huh? Hats off to the people at Bardac. But, we’re not out of the woods yet.

After working well into the Satruday night helping the customer retrofit his brand new Bardac drive, it’s time to start it up. But we can’t. There is some kind of mechanical issue.
“Can you beback first thing in the morning?”

Sure I can.

Well, honestly I wasn’t exactly prepared to stay overnight on this job, which was three hours away from home. I cannot find a store open at midnight in Picayune, Miss., and the Holiday Inn front desk is out of complimentary toothbrushes.


I decide that today is not my day. I show up that next morning wearing the same clothes, (pretty nasty I know). But the customer was extremely grateful. The Friday afternoon breakdown could easily have been a week or more of downtime. But thanks to Bardac, the Holiday Inn and some dedication, it was only two days.I now keep a “go” bag in my truck at all times.

Joey Fairchild is a field service technician in IIDM's Baton Rouge location. He can be reached at

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Robotics Lab Helps Initiatives Surge Forward

Posted December 7, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Robotics

Manufacturing plants are investing resources in robotics. Since installing a proof-of-concept robotics lab at its Texas headquarters, Innovative-IDM has seen a surge of curious engineers and plant managers asking the question: "How can robots handle my application?"

Innovative’s robotics lab currently includes multiple robots integrated with conveyors, vision, AC drives, PLCs and pneumatics. It’s a great lab to prepare for an initial robot installation, test applications or further advance knowledge of Omron Adept's SCARA and Parallel machines, as well as Rethink's Collaborative robots. (The lab also has a model of what is claimed to be the world's fastest robot.)

The robotics lab has been busy. In October, IIDM hosted a Robot Day for manufacturing plant executives. And last week, in an effort to stay ahead of customer demands, IIDM brought in more than a dozen of its field technicians and engineers for three days of intensive hands-on training -- this time on the Omron Adept line of robots.

In the past month, IIDM implemented robotics solutions for customers at nearly every branch location -- most recently last Friday in Austin.

Another Robot Day is planned for Q1 2017, and additional training for both customers and IIDM techs is planned as well. If you want to be involved, or if you would like for us to test your proof-of-concept to see if robotics can keep your plant globally competitive, email us at

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