Automation Now: News and Info for Users of Motion Control

PLC Training Oklahoma City — April 7 & 8

Posted February 19, 2020 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Training Class

Two-day class on basic and intermediate PLC.

Plus you'll leave with $230+ worth of hard equipment, including a leather engineer's bag. This is a HOT class -- Hands On Training -- that will add value to your skill set. Invest in yourself and your career with training from Innovative-IDM.

$449 for both days. Email info@iidm.com to reserve your spot. Class limited to 12 seats. Laptop required. Hearty lunch included. Executive Residency, 4750 S. I-35 Service Rd, OKC, 73129

Best Western Executive Residency, 4750 S. I-35 Service Rd, OKC, 73129

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Hydraulic Presses Improved with PLC and HMI

Posted by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

Overview:

A plastics manufacturer suffering from poor productivity, inefficiency and a large number of operator errors acquires an automated solution to alleviate the problem. Using a simple setup with an Omron PLC and Omron HMI, the manufacturer reduces wasted time and material and utilizes his hydraulic presses to their full potential.

The Challenge:

The process in question was a fully manual process. It consisted of an operator filling a mold with resin, setting the pressure, and activating the hydraulic press. The operator would wait for a given time as indicated in the “recipe”, then increase the pressure setting. The operator, again, would wait for a given time, and then disengage the hydraulic press. The mold is flipped over, and the process repeated. The total time of production for one part could run from 30 minutes to 300 minutes, depending on the resin composition and size of the finished product.

This type of process, while simple in nature, is actually inherently prone to productivity issues. The process relies completely on the operator to accurately set and control variables, such as pressure and pressing time. Human error, and unfortunately a lack of care by the operator, was resulting in these variables being inaccurate and ultimately many parts were rendered useless. On a typical day, the manufacturer had 10 presses running and was losing two parts a day due to operator error, at an average of $175 per part.

The Solution:

Our solution was to automate the process by installing an Omron CP1H PLC and an Omron NS series Industrial Touch Screen HMI on each press. The operator from then on would only need to select the “recipe” from a user friendly menu on the HMI, and press start. The PLC from then on would control the process by starting the hydraulic press, setting the pressure required, and time to hold. It would alert the operator when the process was completed, either to flip the part over or to remove the product. It also would trigger an alarm if a mechanical failure had occurred in the press and the set pressure could not be achieved.

The total cost for setting up the system, allowing for programming, hardware, and installation was $130,000.

 

The Results:

The manufacturer eliminated the losses due to defective products coming out of the presses. While that alone would have covered the cost of the automated solution in approximately one year and directly increase his revenue by $127,750/yr from then on, there were also added benefits that became apparent. Productivity was increased as now a visual alarm allowed the supervisor to quickly see when a press was sitting idle, and the situation corrected immediately. The solution provided also reduced the manpower required to run the ten presses from five operators to two.

Materials Used:

OMRON CP1H Series PLC with Ethernet Interface.

OMRON NS Series Industrial Touch Screen HMI, 8” with Ethernet Interface

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Application Note: Going from DC Motors to a Synchronized System of AC Motors and Drives

Posted February 12, 2020 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

Overview:  At one company, there is what they call a brine box. There is a saltwater tank setup that slows an electric motor saw. Within this setup, they use three DC motors. They decided they would like to change the DC motors to AC motors. In addition to changing from DC to AC, they would like to implement speed control between the motors, including the ability to decelerate the motors at the same time and at the same rate.

The Solution: We selected the AC motors to match the required speed and torque needed for the application. This information was obtained by analyzing the load conditions and from the specifications at which the DC motors were running the application. For speed control, the simple solution was to daisy chain Yaskawa drives. This allowed the drives to communicate with each other, as well as synchronize their deceleration.

The Results:  The AC motors can be rated to give the same performance, or higher performance, as the DC motors.The AC drives can provide for controlled acceleration and deceleration rates. Connection between the drives allows for the synchronization of the acceleration and deceleration rates.The Yaskawa drives have the ability for the parameter setting to be extracted. This would make programming the drives to be easier by setting the parameters in one, and just copying the parameters from that one to the other two.

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Omron PLC Training Tulsa – March 10-11

Posted February 11, 2020 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Uncategorized

Two-day class on basic and intermediate PLC.

Plus you'll leave with $230+ worth of hard equipment, including a leather engineer's bag. This is a HOT class -- Hands On Training -- that will add value to your skill set. Invest in yourself and your career with training from Innovative-IDM.

$449 for both days. Email info@iidm.com to reserve your spot. Class limited to 12 seats. Laptop required. Hearty lunch included.

 

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3 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Electronic Repair Service

Posted January 29, 2020 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

Repairs: The Problem that Keeps You Awake

You have a malfunctioning AC Drive, Circuit Board, DC Drive, Servo, Controller, PLC or other industrial electronics part. Where do you send it for service? How do you determine which repair service depot is the best fit for your situation.

Your choices are varied. You can send it to the OEM of the part, but many times the part is obsolete or the repair is just too expensive – after all, OEMs are in the business of selling new parts, not necessarily fixing old ones. If the part is still under warranty from the OEM, this could be your best bet, however.

Should you use your current repairs vendor? Or should you examine some new avenues for repair service? Most maintenance pros recommend that you have several quality vendors available to you for repair houses. That way, if Vendor A is backed up on turnaround time, you can have a backup plan and use Vendor B.  If Vendor B doesn’t work on certain parts, then Vendor C does….and so on.

If you're doing some searching for additional help with electronic repairs, here are three important questions to ask prospective repair companies.

3 Questions to Ask

Before you send in your electronics for repair, ask the service provider these three questions:

Do you offer a NO CHARGE EVALUATION?

Careful. Many services offer to “waive” the evaluation fee after you approve the repair, or to “subtract” the evaluation fee after you approve the repair. Fact is, paying for repairs evaluations is not necessary in today's environment. You should be able to find a service that provides you with an evaluation whether or not you decide to eventually repair the item or not. Some services even offer online repair price lookup tools so you can ballpark a repair BEFORE you even send it in for evaluation.

Be wary of terms like "Evaluation Fee," "Bench Fee," and other terms that may indicate that you have to pay to find out what's wrong with your part.  Ask these questions up front. Don’t pay for evaluations. Look for a repair service that will quote you a price, then offer YOU the decision what to do from there: Approve the quote, return the part unrepaired, or simply dispose of the part. The less hassle for you, the better.

Does your repair warranty COVER THE COMPLETE PART? 

Repair warranty periods are a key factor in choosing a repair service. Make sure you are getting at least a one-year warranty on the repair and also make sure the warranty covers the ENTIRE PART and not just the repaired area of the part. Some electronic repair companies will only cover the repairs they made, and you can negotiate a better deal than that for sure.

After all, remember that repairs are just another term for "troubleshooting" and even the best repair services can, on rare occasions, miss on a bench diagnosis. The good repair houses, however, will minimize the chance of this happening by performing additional testing on ALL AREAS of the part after the repair is made. That means they will check for loose wires, weakened components, testing under load and will generally inspect and clean the part to ensure it's in true working order before it ships back to you.

What is the turnaround time for my repair?

Always the crucial question: How long will it take to repair my part? Again, ask this BEFORE you send in the part. Most electronic repair companies have published turnaround times. Some even offer Expedited and/or RUSH services for emergency situations. These rush turnarounds will cost extra, but it may be worth moving to the head of the line no matter what the cost is if you are in an emergency situation.

The company you want is the repair depot that will under-promise and over-deliver. That is, they publish a 7-10 day turnaround and you get your part back in five business days. That rocks, but you’ll have to take a leap of faith and try a service before you’ll have a good feel for their delivery habits. First impressions mean a lot, so hold the company to their turnaround promise. Remember, too, that when you are asked to approve a quote for repair, you’re doing yourself a big favor on turnaround time if you approve that quote as soon as you make the decision.

No Evaluation Fee, Warranty the Entire Part, Good Turnaround Options

Asking these 3 questions can help you evaluate how a repair service facility will perform for your needs. It doesn’t take much time to ask these questions in advance, and it will save you a lot of time and headaches later down the line. Repairs already keep you awake at night: Choose a repair service that makes repair submissions easy (preferably an online tool), does not charge for evaluations, has a warranty on the repair AND the entire part, and offers turnaround times that fit your needs.

If you need to cut through the red tape on these issues quickly, call Innovative-IDM’s Electronic Repair services at 800.237.3278 or go to www.innovativeidm.com/repairs.

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Feb. 27 DFW – Omron Smart Manufacturing Tech Showcase & Workshop

Posted January 24, 2020 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Omron

We and Omron are hosting a FREE Tech Showcase and Workshop at Innovative-IDM's DFW (Lewisville/Coppell) training center, Thursday, February 27. This event, held in several cities across North America, is FREE to design engineers, plant managers and others interested in IIoT and industrial connectivity.

See below for all the details. REGISTER HERE! Spaces are limited. Download the agenda here.

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