Monthly Archives: July 2017

Pinch Point Protection in Your Production Facility

Posted July 24, 2017 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

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Pinch points are usually engineered into the machine tool, making them difficult to eliminate. The answer is to restrict access to these hazards.

Pinch points are usually engineered into the machine tool, making them difficult to eliminate. The answer is to restrict access to these hazards.

Pinch point protection is a necessary audit in your facility.

OSHA statistics show that more than 10,000 severe injuries occur every year.  One of the most frequent causes is lack of machinery guarding (29 CFR 1910.212).  One of the many things I help my customers with is increasing the total number of days without loss time due to injury. . . you know, that number posted on the bulletin board where you enter a plant or factory.

The most effective way to protect your employees is eliminating the hazard.  But sometimes eliminating the hazard is not possible. That's when engineering controls come into play, like safeguarding and protective devices.

Pinch points are tough to eliminate since they are inherently part of the machine tool. Sprockets, gears, rollers and flywheels are some pinch point examples. Check to make sure no one can reach the pinch point with their hands (or even their clothing). One way to check is to use a method called AUTO.  The AUTO means can I reach Around, Under, Through or Over the machinery and reach the pinch point. If that's the case, it's no bueno.

If we fail the AUTO test, we can usually solve the problem with machine hard guarding, safety light curtains, scanners or even safety mat. With our customized hard guarding products and our Omron safety products we have helped many companies resolve these issues to make a safer work place.

Next step? Take a walk around and look at all the places that could be a hazard and apply the AUTO method and if you are not sure about safe distance email me. I can request a Gotcha Stick from Omron.


Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Don't for an accident to move you to action. If you're in Louisiana, email me and I'd be happy to walk with your and do an informal safety inspection of your facility. Our other branch managers in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Illinois would be happy to do the same.

Ed Hyer is the branch manager for Innovative-IDM's Baton Rouge office. You can reach him at


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Chilicheesemustardonionrelishdogmania Time Again!!!

Posted July 13, 2017 by Omar Mediano

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

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Our 2017 Independence Celebration has passed again with completion of our Chilicheesemustardonionrelishdogmania part and Chili Cook-off. This year we had some very close competition with 5 contestants with 5 very unique styles of chili and flavors. With that being said, we had the tightest race in Innovative IDM history. How did the voting occur? Each person who joined our event including Team Members, Omron Sales Reps, and Parker Sales Reps, was given a single poker chip to vote for their favorite chili. At the end of the meal we ended up with a tie for First and Second places.

1st Place – Britt Welch & Cyrus Jahani

2nd Place – Jesse Simental & Kris Hanchette

3rd Place – Dan Managan

We wanted to give a huge shout out to all of the contestants as the margin of victory was not much at all. Thanks to everyone that participated, voted, brought chili, and the Dallas CIA group for putting on the event. We can’t wait to see what happens next year!!

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Electronics And Heat Don’t Mix

Posted July 10, 2017 by Omar Mediano

Categories: Blog, Electronics Repair, Industrial Electronics Repair, Industrial Maintenance, Innovative-IDM

Tags: , , ,

As we here in Texas groan about high temperatures of summer, it’s important to remember that we aren’t the only ones suffering from the heat. Electronics and heat don’t mix and the combination can be disastrous.

As temperatures rise the number of businesses that lost power or experienced brown increase. During that time, many people turn on their generators or use battery power to keep machines running. What they didn’t realize was – the heat could be damaging their equipment.

Circuit systems within electronics work best at lower temperatures. Allowing systems to run for prolonged periods of time in high temperatures can decrease the longevity and reliability of devices. Solid state electronics actually begin to break down and fry at temperatures much above 120 degrees. However, the hotter the temperature – the less functional the machine will become. Most systems tend to run 10 to 20 degrees hotter than room temperature.

Within the era of technology electronic devices such as drives (VFDs), programable logic controllers (PLCs), human machine interfaces(HMIs) and power supplies have dramatically decreased in size. This causes a lot of systems to run with a higher heat density. While many companies have worked to include cooling systems within their products – cooling systems cannot keep up when devices are left in areas without air conditioning. Believe it or not, just surfing the web on your cellphone or playing games on your laptop may sound like the perfect idea during a blackout, but that heat can even damage them!

When the power is off or it is not stable and rooms temperatures are high, limit use of electronic devices.  Cooling units similar to small air conditioners can be purchased and installed to keep equipment cabinets cool.  Placing a fan in front of a cabinet with the door open will provide temporary relief, but could cause more environmental damage to the drive by allowing foreign material, dirt and water into the cabinet.  Just remember. The longer the use, the hotter the object will get.

If you experience issues with any electronic device after exposure to heat send it to Innovative IDM and we will provide a free evaluation. IIDM also stocks and sells new world class VFDs, PLCs and HMIs and can do turnkey installations. So, if you have a piece of equipment you’d like to check on repairing, contact your IIDM sale representative or email us at

Marc Phelps

Marc Phelps is manager of the Innovative-IDM repair facility in Houston. You can contact him at

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Live Large, Live Free

Posted July 4, 2017 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

The Spirit of '76 by Archibald Willard

Happy July 4th from Innovative Behind the Scenes!

He who drinks a fifth on the 4th may not come forth on the 5th." -- George Washington (not really)

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