Monthly Archives: April 2019

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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Forklift vs. Ford F150

Posted April 10, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: IIDM Behind the Scenes

It was a beautiful day in the summer of 2006 when our panel shop completed a panel that needed to be hand delivered to a customer that same day. We needed a truck so Tim Mueller, one of IIDM's owners, volunteered his bright red F150.

The truck was in pristine condition. Tim had to attend a sales meeting so I offered to deliver the panel to the customer. Jason Scott jumped on the forklift to meet me at the dock while I pulled Tim’s truck to the back of the building. Do you see where I am going with this?

We had a ramp for vehicles to drive up to the dock for loading purposes. When I pulled to the back of the building, I saw a co-worker sitting on a forklift on the dock. I didn’t think he would move. He did. And so did I. I start backing up the ramp. Please keep in mind I am NOT looking in the rear view mirror. I am only looking at both side mirrors while assuming Jason was still at the dock.

The next thing I know I just hit a brick wall. My first reaction was what did I hit? Did I hit the building? No, it was the forklift. I didn’t realize my colleague was coming down the ramp while I was backing up the ramp. When I was looking in the side mirrors I did not see him. I felt horrible that I just bashed Tim’s shiny truck. Luckily, it was only the bumper. Jason, my colleague, felt bad as well.

I went ahead and left to take the panel to the customer while Jason broke the news to Tim. Tim took the bad news in stride and still laughs about it today. Ol' Red continued to service the Mueller family for another decade.

But, one thing I will say; I will not let a forklift or anything stop me from delivering product to a customer.

— Mark Stanley

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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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