Automation Now: News and Info for Users of Motion Control

Traceability in Food and Beverage Packaging (White Paper from Ormon)

Posted June 15, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Uncategorized

Traceability is not optional in Food and Beverage packaging.

In the food and beverage packaging industry, authenticity is essential. Since both public health and consumer satisfaction depend so heavily on product integrity, the food and beverage packaging industry is highly regulated.

Traceability is mandated by food and beverage regulation. Omron's laser markers, inspection verifiers, code readers and controllers cover the spectrum of traceability solutions.

Omron's white paper on traceability is must read for engineers and planners in the F&B packaging industry.

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DC to AC Drive Retrofit Benefits: No-Cost Webinar June 8

Posted June 3, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Yaskawa, Yaskawa Drives

Join us Tuesday, June 8, 11 am CDT.

Do you have an older DC drive system in need of upgrading, but your motor is still in good shape or difficult to replace? You will benefit from this 40-minute no-cost webinar.

Register NOW. You will learn about:
*Differences of DC and AC Drives
*DC vs AC performance considerations
*Cost of Ownership Comparisons -- You Will be Surprised.

Please forward to those in your organization who would benefit from knowing more about the benefits of replacing a DC system with a more modern AC drive system. REGISTER TODAY!

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May Day

Posted May 1, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized

Today at our morning hoopla meeting (right), we danced around the Innovative-IDM Maypole to celebrate several things.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

  1. the end of April
  2. May Day
  3. Our customers
  4. we are free
  5. the fact that May Day and Mayday have very different meanings

Now if you believe all of that malarkey, consider this. We really do have a customer focus meeting EVERY morning at 8:15 a.m. There have been guest appearances by cow tippers, soothsayers, el pollo loco, beanie wienie recipes and lots and lots of motivational techniques.

Customers ARE our focus, and we remind ourselves every morning. Visit us at or call 1.877.906.2100 for WAGO, Yaskawa motion and Yaskawa drives, Parker mechanical, SMC Pneumatics, Wittenstein actuators and alpha gears, plus Omron and many other factory and plant automation products. And don't forget, we have a field service tech group and an industrial electronics repairs department as well.

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Power Measurement in Your Modern Facility: No-Cost Webinar May 4

Posted April 22, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog

No-Cost Webinar May 4. Register today.

Anyone in plant maintenance, management or machine systems designers should be versed in the fundamentals power measurement.

Not only are there compliance issues, there is money and energy to be saved.

This webinar will provide you with the basics of how you can have increased insight int energy consumption by specific machines and systems, as well as the ability to perform basic network analysis and measurement of your power use.


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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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