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Pneumatic Leak Detection Made Easy

Posted December 11, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

All pneumatic systems leak air, eventually. Learn how SMC pneumatics' automatic air leak detection takes the guesswork -- and time -- out of finding leaks on your system. Step by step examples.

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4 Ways to Reduce Variable Frequency Drive Downtime

Posted December 4, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

Hi, I'm Jeff Rogers with Innovative IDM. Variable frequency drives are probably one of the greatest inventions in modern automation. If you aren't using one of these things yet, trust me you will be soon. They're always getting less expensive, easier to use, and the applications are virtually endless.

Variable frequency drives are very instrumental in a lot of different applications and therefore their uptime is critical. If you've ever had to replace one, you already know it can be a little bit cumbersome to replace because it almost certainly means that a motor somewhere is not running - which probably means downtime for you.

So, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind when using your variable frequency drive.

1. The #1 killer of VFD's is heat. These components have high voltage running through them and heat is a result of that fact.

2. To mitigate heat, VFD's have fans that are always running and as a result the fans are the parts that most frequently fail. That means you want to replace your fans before they fail to avoid damaging your VFD as a result of overheating.

3. VFD's have massive heat sinks that draw heat away from the unit and into the atmosphere. As dust and other contaminants accumulate on the heat sinks, their efficiency decreases and can lead to damage of your VFD. This can be avoided by using compressed air on a regular basis to keep your heat sinks clean.

4. Dust is a huge killer of electronic components, and you want to keep your VFD clean and clear of dust as much as possible. A protective cabinet can do a great job of protecting your VFD from dust and other particles and contaminants. Always be sure that the cabinet is suitable for the environment where your VFD will be used.

5. Using proper electrical filters is another way to ensure the longevity of your VFD unit, both the line side (electric company to VFD) and the load side (VFD to motor) should be protected.

These investments may cost a bit more in the beginning, but they are well worth it over the long-term for savings in repair, replacements, and most of all downtime.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our service representatives, give us a call: 877-906-2100

After all, Innovative IDM is the "Home Of The Legendary Customer Experience!"

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How an AC Drive Works

Posted November 27, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

Hi, Adam Ring here with Innovative IDM. I want to take a few minutes and explain a little bit about how an AC drive works. Really basic. First, we start off with the sine wave, an AC sine wave, typically three phase power or we can also use single phase power as well.

So we take that and we send it through a bridge rectifier, or series of diodes basically, convert that AC into DC. It starts off and it's a sine wave. Once it goes through the rectifier, it basically flips all the bottom half's up and makes DC (direct current). We store that in these large capacitors, sometimes we call them water towers, and that basically is our source for what we are going to use to generate a synthetic AC sine wave out to a motor.

Then, we take that DC and we go through a series of transistors which are basically electronic switches. We use that to create a synthetic sine wave, where we can vary the voltage and the frequency in order to get a motor to spin at a given rate.

If we keep the ratio of the voltage to the frequency consistent, then we can produce constant torque throughout slow speeds all the way up to the base speed of the motor. In some cases we can even go up beyond the base speed of the motor.

So, in a nutshell that's how an AC dive works. If you'd like to learn more, please visit us at InnovativeIDM.com. We're the home of the legendary customer experience!

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Another Happy Customer: Chicagoland

Posted November 12, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, IIDM Behind the Scenes

Here's an email received yesterday by our Chicago branch manager praising the work of Chicago controls engineer Jon Dutton.

From: KF
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2019 9:58 AM
To: Tim Mueller <Tim.Mueller@iidm.com>
Subject: [one thing...]

Tim,

I just wanted to take a minute to express my gratitude for the time and effort you guys put in on getting [our line] up and running.  Still some bugs to work through, but overall it’s come together nicely.  I have to say that Jonathan’s hard work, and especially patience, was especially appreciated.  His level of professionalism is something we really don’t see anymore.  Despite some serious challenges, and a customer that perhaps was adding to those challenges, he continued to maintain a thoughtful and solution focused mindset.  His willingness to work through problems, even late into the night, was truly exceptional.

Just wanted you to know what a unique asset you have there, though my guess is that you probably already know that.

Thanks again.

Regards,

KF | Operations Manager, Waukegan, IL

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Most Industrial Accidents Are Avoidable. Not This One.

Posted November 10, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

While most industrial accidents can be avoided through the proper use of safety procedures and equipment safeguards, the one that happened 44 years ago today couldn't.

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that made headlines after sinking in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29.

With Captain Ernest M. McSorley in command and carrying a full cargo of taconite ore pellets, the Fitzgerald embarked on her final voyage from Superior, Wisconsin, on the afternoon of November 9, 1975.

En route to a steel mill near Detroit, Michigan, she joined a second freighter, the SS Arthur M. Anderson. By the next day the two ships were caught in the midst of a massive winter storm, with near hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet (11 m) high.

Shortly after 7:10 p.m. the Fitzgerald suddenly sank in Canadian waters approximately 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay, at a depth of 530 feet. Although the Fitzgerald had reported being in difficulty earlier, no distress signals were sent before she sank. Her crew of 29 perished and no bodies were recovered.

source: Wikipedia

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Clean Electrical Panels Save Money

Posted November 6, 2019 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

Hi, I'm Adam Ring with Innovative IDM. You ever walked up to a control panel and it just looks like a complete rat's nest in there? Do you ever wonder what would be the value in having a nice, clean control panel and how can that save you money?

Well, there's three main reasons:
Number 1 - It's going to last longer.
Number 2 - It's going to be a lot easier to troubleshoot in the end.
Number 3 - It's going to be a lot easier to repair if something were to break.

Now let's take a closer look. Inside this panel you'll notice that there are labels on every device that identify it according to what it's called out on the schematic.

Also, every single wire that terminates into a terminal block has a label on the wire that actually matches the label on the terminal block. So if that wire was ever to come out or you had to replace a component, it would be very easy to make sure that it gets placed back in the right location.

Also, if you just take a look at the general wiring in this panel you'll see that everything is very nice and neat and very organized and just has a really nice look to it.

The wires transition from the door inside of the panel. You notice there's spiral wrap that add an extra layer of protection so that if the wires rub against the door from being opened and closed it makes sure that it doesn't wear through the insulation and cause electrical problems.

Finally, you'll notice that there's also stainless steel hardware that's mounting each of these devices to the panel and that's what gives that extra longevity so that it doesn't break down over time due to corrosion.

Remember a clean panel is more than just looking good. It's going to help save money by lasting longer, being easier to troubleshoot, and easy to repair.

If you'd like to learn more about how Innovative IDM can help you build clean control panels, visit our website http://innovativeIDM.com and if you'd like we could have you in for a tour and show you around the place. Remember, Innovative, the home of the legendary customer experience!

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