Automation Now: News and Info for Users of Motion Control

White Paper: Reducing Down Time Using Machine Safety

Posted April 8, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Omron Safety

Thankfully, things have changed for the better since this photo was taken in August 1908 at an Indiana glass factory.

(Omron machine safety white paper)

Today’s manufacturers are under pressure to be more flexible, reduce downtime, increase efficiency and, above all, keep personnel safe from injury and even worse.

These efforts are complicated by yet another requirement: the successful management of external influences. These factors are difficult to predict. And when their true effects become known, effective adaptation can be a challenge.

Fortunately, the right machine safety technology can help companies reduce the impact of unforeseen events and keep productivity levels high. In this white paper, we’ll examine how this works, with a focus on key features of machine safety solutions provided by Omron.

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Upgrade Your Existing DC Motor System

Posted April 7, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

I've spent three decades working with industrial drive- and PLC-centric production processes.

Much has been written and talked about replacing DC systems with AC drives and systems. However, your production process might require you to retain your DC system. If the DC motor is in good shape but you need to upgrade the drive, then we can upgrade the existing system in the following ways:

• A simple DC drive replacement in the field is in order and cost effective (many examples of this, both Parker and Bardac DC drives.)
• A new installation of Packaged DC drive.
• If the DC drive is large, and the DC bridge is in good shape, a controls retrofit could be in order. We have done a number of these, both Parker and Bardac have a solution.

For each of these options, there are many available accessories:
• Communications types
• Both input AC and output DC reactors
• Retain or replace the contactors, either AC or DC
• Retain or replace dynamic braking resistors
• Recommended to replace fuses
• Replace the PLC and other controls

If you've been worried about keeping your old DC system in top shape, there are solutions. I've probably worked with a system similar to yours and would be happy to help you keep your DC production process humming for many years to come.

Steve Lyons is a senior applications specialist at Innovative-IDM and can be reached at


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VFDs for Your Modern Facility: No-Cost Webinar April 6

Posted March 26, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Yaskawa Drives

No-cost webinar, April 6, 11 a.m. CDT

Join us Tuesday April 6, 11 am CST.

Anyone responsible maintaining, upgrading or designing automation equipment would benefit from attending VFDs for Your Modern Facility, a 40-minute no-cost webinar about the advantages of deploying Variable Frequency Drives in your facility.

Register NOW. You will learn about:

*VFD applications you must consider
*Drawbacks of across the line operations
*How to select the right VFD for your application
*Energy, Equipment Wear and other advantages of using a VFD



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How to Take Advantage of an Electric Power Take-Off

Posted March 24, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Parker

Ancillary implements on work trucks, like a crane shown here, normally are powered by an idling truck engine. Trends point to greener solutions like a DC-powered motor from Parker.

Ancillary implements on work trucks, like a crane shown here, normally are powered by an idling truck engine. Trends point to greener solutions like a DC-powered motor from Parker.

With the increased emphasis to reduce emissions, air pollution, resource waste and traffic noise, government legislation is pushing towards the use of electric power to drive ancillaries in work trucks. Parker Electro-mechanical products help make that happen.

This is particularly relevant in construction, materials handling and refuse collection applications operating in urban areas. Adopting electric power take-off (ePTO) as an alternative to the traditional PTO from an internal combustion engine (ICE), brings multiple benefits to the application, the operator, and the environment. Download the full list of benefits now.

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Welcome Jordan Yates

Posted March 16, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Uncategorized

Jordan with friend Buzz.

We've added several new teammates in Q1. Welcome Jordan Yates to our Dallas team where she is enduring sales engineer training for the coming months.

Jordan’s first introduction to Innovative-IDM was via webcam with Mike Zimmerman at Texas Tech’s career fair in September.  She eventually was interviewed in-person by Klent Prewitt and Mason Godwin in Lubbock.

“It didn’t seem as real,” Jordan said of the pandemic version of on-campus recruiting. “Usually you have a rush of adrenaline and excitement standing in line waiting to go [into the career fair]. But we still dressed like a regular recruiting event. We were afraid [recruiters] would ask us to stand up to see if we were really dressed for business.” Turns out, says Jordan, a fair share of the companies didn’t know how to turn on their cameras or microphones. “Even some of the huge companies didn’t know how to work the software. Turned into a chat interview.”

A lifelong Texan, Yates played multiple sports for the Pioneers of Boswell High School in Fort Worth.  “I was a well-rounded mediocre athlete,” says Yates, who recently took up the game of golf. “Not very good. I can almost get around the course now.” For a recent birthday, Jordan jumped out of a perfectly good airplane on a skydive. “Painful,” she recalls. “You can’t breath because of the wind and when the chute opens, the straps really jerk you up. Lots of bruises from that one, but I’d do it again.”

With her first two weeks at IIDM behind her, Jordan is certain that she has entered the “consciously incompetent” phase she was warned of on Day One by Gene Gray. “I feel like I’m getting a second degree in electrical engineering. But I’m not worried. People have made it through this before and [IIDM] knows how to get us to the next stage as long as we put in the work. I’m excited. It’s a nice place to work.”

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