10 Things To Consider When Choosing Industrial Electronics Repair Facility

Posted January 7, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Industrial Electronics Repair

Innovative-IDM Board Repair Team

An Experienced, Reputable Repair Company
Working with a company that’s been around for a while has many advantages. They will have seen it all and gained experience in various types of equipment and the problems that occur. If a firm has been around long enough, they will have knowledge, spare parts and documentation for equipment that is obsolete and in some cases, long obsolete. Having the endorsement of major manufacturers doesn’t hurt either.

Convenient Repair Submittal Process
Dealing with repairs is only part of your job, so why work with a repair facility that makes it hard to do business? Online forms, a repair pick-up service and an efficient process from beginning to end makes it easier for you to maintain the equipment at your facility.

Timely Turnaround Options
Emergencies come up from time to time and it’s good to know where to send your parts when you need them repaired and returned fast.

Free Evaluation
You have a part that doesn’t work – you don’t know why, what it will take to repair it or what it will cost. Is it worth repairing at all? Look for a company that can give real answers to these questions without it costing you more money.

Communication on the Progress of Your Repair
When you have equipment needing to be repaired and returned to production, the status of your repair shouldn’t be a mystery. Progress reports help you to plan on having your part out of production and when you can count on its return.

Full Refurbishment of Repaired Equipment
Sometimes repairing the faulty component isn’t enough – you can get a chain reaction of components failing if they are not checked and repaired all at the same time. In addition to a complete repair, removing dust and dirt from the unit contributes to improved performance of your equipment. Make sure to work with a company that returns your equipment clean and fully functional.

Communication with the Technician Who Repaired Your Item
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could speak with the person who actually worked on your equipment? Technicians who are willing and able to discuss your repair and answer your questions should be on the checklist for your preferred repair facility.

Offers a Warranty on All Repairs
Work with a company who takes responsibility and is confident enough in the work performed that they are willing to guarantee it.

Extensive QC Process
High workmanship standards are paramount, which includes extensive testing of repaired equipment before shipment back to the owner. Find out what kind of testing equipment they use, how they measure performance before they determine that a part is fully repaired.

Repair is Securely Packaged When Shipped Back to You
When you take time to ship in a repair and count on that part to work when you get it back, the last thing you want is to open the box and find that your equipment has had a rough ride through the return shipment. A quality repair facility will make sure that your part is packaged to arrive at your door in the same working condition it was in when it left theirs.

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Parker Zeta Controller Help

Posted January 2, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Parker

Tags: ,

This customer in the Austin area had some problems. Innovative-IDM was there to help. It takes a lot to receive such unsolicited accolades, yet we seem to get them frequently. Think you ought to check out what everyone is talking about? This email came to our VP of Sales, Chad Kauffman, from the operations manager of one of our customers using centrifuge technology.

From: Shawn
To: <>
Subject: Thank You!
Dear Chad,

I would like to take the time to tell you how pleased I am with your company. After a rough start with all the back and forth over our Parker Zeta controller. Matt Miller and Jack Marsh came on site and troubleshot the Zeta controller we received from you. He loaded the correct software program and found a new pin that was not on our older controller that you replaced that needed to be jumpered to24 V. This really shows your commitment to quality and customer service. IDM could have left me in a tight spot. You had your money a long time ago….I really want you to know how impressed I am with the type of world class support received. I will recommend and use IDM without hesitation in the future.

Sincerely, Shawn, Operations Manager

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Industrial Automation and Controls Holiday Closures

Posted December 15, 2015 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog


There are several holiday closures that could affect urgent customer orders. Please make a note of the following holiday closures of some of our key suppliers:

Wago - Closed December 24th, 25th, 31st, and January 1st – Last shipping day of the year is Monday, December 28. Orders must be in by noon.

Yaskawa – Closed December 24th, 25th, 31st, and January 1st

Parker SSD and Bayside – Production closed December 24th through January 1

Omron – Closed December 24th, 25th, 31st, and January 1st

SMC – Closed December 24th through January 1

Parker Daedal/IPS/Compumotor – Closed December 24th, 25th, 31st, and January 1

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Clean Electrical Panels Save Money

Posted December 14, 2015 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Industrial Maintenance


Have you ever walked up to a control panel and it just looks like a complete rat’s nest in there? Have you ever wondered, what would be the value of having a nice clean control panel and how can that save you money?

Well, there’s three main reasons. Number one is that it’s going to last longer. Number two, it’s going to be a lot easier to troubleshoot in the end. And number three, 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 were to ever come out or you had to replace a component, it can be very easy to make sure that it gets placed back in the right location.

Also, if you take a look at the general wiring in this panel, you’ll see that everything is very nice and neat, very organized and just has a very nice look to it. When the wires transition from the inside of the door panel, you notice that there’s spiral wrap that adds 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 ad 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 will give it that extra longevity, so that it doesn’t break down over time due to corrosion. So 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.

So if you’d like to learn more about how Innovative-IDM can help you build clean control panels, visit our website: And if you like, we can actually have you in for a tour and show you around the place. Remember Innovative, Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

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Aluminum Extrusion vs. Welded Steel

Posted August 26, 2015 by eeadmin

Categories: Aluminum Extrusion, Blog

When designing a machine frame for today’s automation equipment, should you use welded steel or structural aluminum extrusion?

machine frame built with aluminumAluminum extrusion vs. welded steel. There are several advantages to using aluminum extrusion when designing a machine frame:

  • Aluminum extrusion is a lightweight and high-strength material. It’s easy to cut and machine.
  • It does not require welding and does not require painting.
  • Aluminum extrusion is easy to assemble and disassemble which means that design changes are simplified and not as expensive.

Welded steel machine frames are made from less expensive steel, but the advantages tend to end there. Welded steel machine frames are a permanent assembly which requires much more effort to change or disassemble. They require special equipment (and specialized labor) to assemble, including a welder. Welded steel frames require paint and associated cleaning supplies. Steele is susceptible to rust anywhere that the paint is not covering. Over the long term life of the machine, welded steel frames require regular maintenance to prevent degradation.

On the plus side, welded steel survives (no fasteners to come loose) in applications where vibration is severe.

Aluminum Extrusion is Low Maintenance

All of those challenges go away when used structural aluminum. And designing your machine frame is as simple or as complicated as your imagination wants it to be. This is because assembly is so flexible and adaptive to change.

To assemble aluminum extrusion, insert a T-Nut and fastener into a T-Slot of the extrusion and tighten. It’s that simple. No welding or grinding is required. A few simple hand tools is all your need to tighten your design. When done, you have a durable, strong, lightweight structure that’s functional and attractive. The high-strength aluminum profiles have a clear anodize surface that is scratch and corrosion resistant. Your structure never needs painting and is maintenance free.

Most structural extrusions have a 2 degree taper that spring locks fasteners as they are tightened. Therefore, fasteners will not loosen, even under heavy vibration.

Aluminum extrusion machine frames need no welding, no painting (unless you want to), and don’t rust. They don’t require any special tools (or a welder) to assemble. Modifications are easy and attachments can be added and removed easily. Multiple automation manufacturer’s attachments can be utilized because of the standard sizes of T-slots.

Structural aluminum extrusion works well where changed might be needed, like the length of a table, desk or machine base.

Structural aluminum extrusion works well where changes might be needed, like the length of a table, desk or machine base. Accessories include handles, casters, feet and others.

Steel may cost less at the beginning of the project. But in the end, structural aluminum extrusion usually makes for lower overall cost per project. Consider structural aluminum as an alternative for shelving, work stations, carts and other projects where lightweight and design flexibility are needed. – Adam Ring

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Yaskawa F7 Drive: Problem I’ve Never Seen

Posted by eeadmin

Categories: Blog, Industrial AC Drive

As one of Innovative-IDM's Houston-area field service technicians, I was called out to look at a lathe.

The customer complained that the lube pump wasn't working. It actually was. But we started the machine and ramped it up, it sounded like the gears were going to grind out of the machine and the DB resistors started smoking. The customer indicated it was probably normal, due to low load and gear selection...I took the opposite view (there is something seriously wrong here) and convinced him to pull the belts. The motor continued to cog (and the DB started to smoke again) at about 1/4 speed even uncoupled.

The motor megged and ohmed normal.

The Yaskawa F7 4045 drive was running in Open loop vector.

I disconnected the DB Unit (it statically checked fine). The cogging continued and the drive OV tripped.

I saved the parameters and switched the drive to V/Hz. The cogging decreased dramatically (however the machine still started to vibrate. No OV trip.) The output waveform looked fairly normal phase to phase, and normal phase to+/- busses.

At about 15hz the DC buss started to get a 100VAC sign wave riding on top of it at ~ 11Hz and linearly increased to 12Hz as the drive was speed up to 20hz, above that the ripple disappeared. The machine vibration also followed starting at 15Hz and disappearing at 20 Hz.

I broke out my Fluke Scope current clamp on, and found the output current waveform to be a normal sine wave below 15hz and above 20Hz.

Between 15 and 20Hz however the Current waveform (on all 3 legs) appears to be the summation of 2 similarly sized ac waveforms.

I discussing the situation with one of our engineers, Steve Lyons, and he suggested that the issue could be the result of the motors rotor wobbling, changing the air gap.

I informed the customer that I'm leaning towards a motor issue ~ 85/15 and that the only way to be certain is to hook up the drive to a test motor.

We will do so at a later date as the customer will bring out his spare motor while he fixes the gearing (he found several issues during a visual inspection preformed while I was dinking with the drive). The machine will be down for a month or so.

I have included a pdf of the "Normal" current waveform VS the "Distorted" current waveform.

I've never seen this before ... if any one has any ideas I'm open for suggestions, experiences, anecdotes...what ever you've got. - DF

Yaskawa V7 data

Yaskawa V7 Trouble Shooting Data

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