Electronic Drives and Controls Host Successful ABB Drive Expo

EDC hosted the ABB Drive Expo in late August 2022, which featured VFD technology, industry experts, local food and drink vendors, and a free CEU/PDH class highlighting the advanced ACQ pump drive.

As a system integrator and field service team specializing in over 40 drive brands, Electronic Drives & Controls (EDC) is always excited to have the opportunity to introduce our customers to the latest in drive technology to help their facilities achieve new levels of optimization. This exciting event took place August 24-25, 2022 and was a tremendous success. The ACQ580 pump drive class at the event was an extensive learning opportunity, eligible for continuing education units (CEU) / professional development hour (PDH) credits.

This expo featured the latest VFD technology in an air-conditioned mobile demo space while providing networking opportunities with industrial, pumping, and harmonic mitigation applications experts. The all-compatible ACQ580 drives for water and wastewater increase energy efficiency by simplifying your pumping processes and motor control with built-in pumping functionalities, including multi pump and level control, an energy saving calculator, soft pipe fill, dry run protection, quick ramps and pump cleaning. These drives are compact and wall-mounted to complement usability with a Hand Off Auto control panel and PC tool Drive composer.  

As a system integrator and field service team specializing in over 40 drive brands, Electronic Drives and Controls has alliances with world class hardware and software providers. 

Want to learn more about the event? Contact EDC and ask about the ABB Drive Expo for a conversation that could lead to the advancement of your water and wastewater technology and effectiveness. 

 

Electronic Drives and Controls Field Service Engineer Scott Sullivan Featured in Webcast

Congratulations are in order to Electronic Drives and Controls Field Service Engineer Scott Sullivan who joined CFE Media and Technology for a VFD Technology focused webcast on September 14, 2022. Find the full webcast here!

Sullivan has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and specializes in the application of variable speed drive (VFD) technology and on-site field service of AC drives. Since joining EDC in 2016, Sullivan has served on EDC’s field service support team performing repairs, preventive maintenance services, start-ups, training, and much more for AC & DC drives, PLCs and factory automation. 

This webcast was well received by over 260 participants and focused on helping to explain why markets for variable speed drives are growing so precipitously and how they contribute towards efforts for enhanced productivity and sustainability in a wide range of industries.

“Scott did an amazing job and the information presented was a tremendous resource for all. This was a team effort and the team behind Scott’s webcast also deserve major kudos. Peter put together an excellent presentation and the product built was highly regarded by CFE Media,” said Deborah DeLuca, Vice President of Electronic Drives and Controls.

“The audience was highly receptive, and their questions were sophisticated and in-depth showing the level of the audience EDC and CFE Media attracted.” Any unanswered questions and answers will be published as part of a promo of archived webcasts along with the transcript.

 

Webcast learning objectives: 

  • AC drives significantly reduce energy consumption 
  • Common applications for AC drives
  • Common methods of AC drive regulation

 

 

More info on the event is provided by CFE Media below:

Variable speed drives provide effective speed control of AC motors by manipulating voltage and frequency. Controlling the speed of a motor provides users with improved process control, reduced wear on machines, increased power factor and large energy savings.

The most significant energy savings can be achieved in applications with a variable torque load. Reducing a fan’s speed in a variable torque load application by 20% can achieve energy savings of 50%. Therefore, for most motion control applications, reducing motor speed is often the easiest way to get large energy savings.

AC drives significantly reduce energy consumption by varying the speed of the motor to precisely match the effort required for the application. To vary the speed of the motor dynamically, a closed-loop regulator that considers the measured output of a process is required. Common applications where this is used include pressure, level and temperature control. The most common method of regulation is the PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) control loop.

Want to hear Scott’s webcast that could transform your energy savings and efficiency? Listen here!

 

EDC Scott Sullivan webcast social (1)

Case Study – From Old to New: Modifying a Legacy Dual Textile Spray Line into an Efficient Machine with Doubled Throughput

Heytex, a brand of the German-based Heytex Bramsche GmbH, is a global developer and manufacturer of high-quality technical textiles. Their portfolio includes sophisticated and unique products fabricated and engineered using complex textile technology, such as signage, banners, boats, sales, barriers, and other technical textile products for a variety of customers. Electronic Drives and Controls (EDC), a recognized leader in the design, upgrade, and service support of drive and PLC Systems, recently helped Heytex significantly improve industrial textile coatings equipment for a military customer and double their overall production capabilities. 

Problem

Heytex had previously purchased a used paint line machine at auction that consists of two parallel production lines sharing the same painting booth and oven sections which could run concurrently or separately. However, one of the lines (Line 2) sat idle for approximately three years before Heytex sought help improving its operability to produce spray-painted industrial camouflage textiles for a military customer. Parts from Line 2 were scavenged to keep Line 1 running.

Originally, Heytex would receive an AutoCAD file from their military customer that specified the geometry of the desired pattern to be painted by the machine. Each line has six drives: 3 VFDs for web handling and 3 servo drives to traverse the paint heads. The process begins by feeding industrial fabric through a conveyor from an unpainted fabric roll. Next, three spray heads move across the fabric in a coordinated fashion applying green, brown and black paint resulting in a specified camouflage pattern. The machine then dries the fabric in a tunnel oven and rolls it into a finished painted textile roll.  

As purchased, each section of the machine used a personal computer with an obsolete Windows XP operating system and a soft Allen Bradley Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for the unwinding and painting of the fabric. Two physical Omron PLCs handled downstream control, one for the oven and conveying systems and another on the rewind section. A proprietary software run on the XP operating system utilized algorithms to control the paint from the spray heads and help to convert the customer’s CAD files into control commands, a very cumbersome process requiring much manual intervention.

Another problem impeding the retrofit plan was a tremendous lack of documentation and labeling. This coupled with obsolete controls, proprietary software and a burdensome workflow with no known support prompted Heytex to task EDC with improving the machine with an integrated hardware and software design.  

Solution

EDC’s approach was to streamline the control architecture ensuring that the PLC, drives and HMI were from the same manufacturer and would all be on the same communications network. Three disparate control programs were consolidated into one PLC, eliminating the need for a machine-based computer, soft PLC and monitor. The Siemens S7-1500 PLC and S120 drive platforms coupled with a 12-inch Comfort Panel were an excellent fit for this application. 

Siemens’ S120 Sinamics Smart line module and common DC-bussed drives provide energy saving load sharing across the six drives and is able to regen excess AC voltage back to the incoming power line. Line drives were previously controlled in a start/stop mode and could only run at other speeds by manually changing the internal drive parameters. The S120 system provided full speed control capabilities as commanded by the PLC over a ProfiNet network.

The S7-1500F failsafe PLC simplified safety component wiring, especially given that three new cable-operated switches (safety rope pulls) were installed at the Unwind Exit, Paint Booth Entry and Rewind, improving the overall safe operation of the line. All main control components communicated with the PLC over a single ProfiNet control network including six VFD and servo drives, two remote I/O hubs and a new 7” HMI located at the Rewind section.

In addition to the cable-operated switches, other mechanical upgrades included a specially designed tension control system for the Unwind, adapters to couple new servo motors to existing spray head linear actuators, a line speed encoder at the oven exit and a linear position transducer for accumulator feedback. The EDC Field Installation Team installed and wired the new elements on Line 2 and ensured their proper functionality.

As previously mentioned, EDC consolidated all PLC logic into one CPU that closely communicates with the new HMI and S120 drive system. A user-friendly HMI screen and a recipe system were incorporated to improve the operator’s experience running the line. An offline program to convert the customer’s CAD files to data the PLC could use for proper control of the spray heads was a crucial part of the upgrade. EDC’s Project Engineer wrote an open-source Java script/HTML interface that could be modified by anyone with those computer language skills, eliminating the proprietary nature of the previous software incarnation.

Another key element of EDC’s retrofit is their documentation. A full set of wiring schematics was created that included reference for all components, wire numbers and a terminal plan. The customer was given a physical binder with hard copies of the drawings and digital copies of the control programs, the CAD conversion program and component manuals. A Tosibox remote access module was installed and connected to the machine’s control network. When connected to the internet, this device provides an ultra-secure VPN tunnel for remote monitoring and troubleshooting.

Impact

The improvements EDC made on Line 2 were substantial. Heytex went from a non-operational line whose parts were being cannibalized to keep an adjacent line running to a fully functional, efficient line with a state-of-the-art control system. Improvements included:

  • Streamlined workflow making it easier to go from the customer’s drawing to product runs, eliminating a full set-up step
  • Open source programs that can be modified and improved by any qualified service provider, eliminating proprietary software
  • An energy-efficient control architecture that is rugged, orderly and fully documented without reliance on ever-changing personal computer hardware
  • Improved control of the Oven conveyor, Tensioner and Rewind motors including better accuracy and synchronization through all speed ranges 
  • Improved Accumulator control that prevents finished product from touching the floor as was the case during Rewind roll changeover
  • User-friendly operator interface screens with more relevant operational feedback, alarms, messages and maintenance screens 
  • New capability to switch between patterns in the middle of a single roll and stop and resume a pattern if there is an Estop or alarm, potentially saving hundreds of yards of material per year
  • Remote monitoring and troubleshooting capability which was utilized to its full potential one month after start-up when Heytex needed to recalibrate Line 2 for new material. EDC was able to support them remotely and avoid a costly service trip from New Jersey to Virginia.
  • A retrofit platform with documentation, programs and drawings that can be utilized to upgrade Line 1, ensuring production viability for years to come

To sum up the benefits of the project, EDC’s VP of Engineering Chuck Dillard said, “If you look back, only Line 1 was operable. Now both lines are running, and Line 2 runs more efficiently with higher throughput than the machine’s original design.”

Coating and Laminating Website Page Delivers Educational Content for Manufacturers Across the Country

Electronic Drives and Controls recently published a new website page on everything you need to know on coating and laminating as a manufacturer. 

Whether your machine is facing an issue (or multiple), not running at full speed, producing lower quality work than expected, or maybe just needs an upgrade and you’re not sure where to start, this page was created with you in mind. This educational article is supported by multiple case studies featuring relevant EDC projects that have brought success to manufacturers across the country.

 

To view the full website page visit below:

 

 

If your coating and laminating line’s throughput is rapidly decreasing or the machine is experiencing more downtime, there are a few relatively small strategies you can employ to take a bite out of the larger issues. Or if need be, it might be time to consider a retrofit for a fraction of the cost and in less time than it would take to install a more expensive, completely new line. How can you know for sure?

It’s time for you to master unwinds, rewinds, flying splices, printing heads, laminators, accumulators, and more. Navigate to the page today to learn more about coating and laminating and advance your manufacturing process with EDC’s guidance. Additional topics covered are common pain points, resolutions, upgrades, and best practices for coating and laminating machines, including how to know when it’s time for a full retrofit. 

If you need further help with your coating and laminating line, reach out to EDC today.

Overcoming Supply Chain Issues in Automation Through Flexibility

Since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic, supply chain issues have been on everyone’s mind. It’s a universal problem that is not industry exclusive and has progressively gotten worse in 2022 as demand has soared.

The automation industry today seems to be at its wit’s end. Everyone needs parts, but parts aren’t available. Deadlines are getting pushed back. Lines are down. It’s getting harder and harder to put out these fires. 

Below are methods that Electronic Drives and Controls has employed to better tackle these supply chain issues and bring their clients relief.

Stay Early, Stay Ahead 

Evolution during a crisis is imperative to a business’ survival, so it will come as no surprise that many integrators have made certain changes to keep up with the ever-changing tides. EDC has always been creative in their problem solving, so it was an easy pivot for them to make a slight change in their project planning by sourcing parts as their first step, or as early in the process as possible.  

“On the front end of an upcoming project’s discussion, we tend to now look at availability of parts even before we start our engineering process. We used to engineer it, then find out that certain parts were not available, and then we would have to re-engineer it if we wanted to meet a particular delivery,” said Chuck Dillard, vice president of EDC. “Now, it’s a lot of coordination between our purchasing and engineering departments to pick the right parts and design around what’s available.”

Through front end work on a project, engineers can predict pitfalls and pivot where needed. Having an early plan and changing where needed is better than coming in later and improvising when challenges arise. This flexibility can be crucial during supply chain constraints.

Utilizing Third-Party Manufacturers

EDC has also turned to third-party manufacturers to help address challenges. Third-party manufacturers can be difficult to choose from and it takes extensive research, time, and experience to understand how to credibly source parts. When you’re on your own, there are quality and safety concerns to consider when ordering off of the web – that’s why EDC has invested the necessary time and effort to research and connect with the right sources. 

“For instance, if we want to get an Allen Bradley PLC, we go to Turtle & Hughes and we place an order with them. They order from the factory and then the factory says, ‘Oh, that’ll be four or five months,’ but we really need that PLC right away,” said Bob Pusateri, director of business development at EDC. “So, we purchase components from alternate sources.”

EDC keeps a well-researched list of possible sources in their back pocket to acquire parts as quickly as possible. They rely on their proven expertise to discern whether a part will be usable, even from somewhat-controversial online auction sites like eBay. They don’t make any sourcing decisions lightly, and they always employ a proper investigation before committing to a purchase. With the risk of faulty seals, or other safety measures at stake, working with an industry expert like EDC is crucial to ensuring the successful delivery of these hard-to-find items.

A Vendor-Neutral Strategy

As a system integrator and field service team specializing in over 40 drive brands, Electronic Drives and Controls maintains a vendor-neutral strategy, meaning they do not prescribe to only one OEM for all their projects. This has allowed the company to be more flexible and pull from an array of manufacturers. In turn, EDC is able to compare pricing and capabilities between vendors, allowing them to pass along the added value to their customers. 

Having strong alliances with world-class hardware and software providers around the nation, EDC has done the background work to ensure that their customers are getting the quality that they have come to expect. Through good relationships and a strong network, EDC has lowered lead times and sourced parts that would have otherwise been inaccessible.

The Benefits of Mixing and Matching

With an ample and extensive network of contacts, EDC has the added benefit of being able to pull parts from multiple resources when they’re ready, and as soon as possible. By utilizing a vendor-neutral approach, EDC is able to ‘mix and match’ parts for systems. By sourcing appropriate parts from alternative resources, EDC is able to better maintain project timeline expectations, allowing projects to be completed faster and with much less downtime.

In addition, through mixing and matching, the more cost-effective alternative can be purchased. Using one OEM for the HMI and another for the PLC offers the option to now choose the less expensive parts. This can also help cut down on the time needed to make a purchase, which means more time is going into actual engineering for the project.

What Does the Future Hold for the Supply Chain? 

Last summer, if you had asked a supplier when they expected the supply chain to start improving, they would have most likely estimated the summer of 2022. Yet, as most of us well know, that time has come and gone, yet supply challenges remain. 

Today, there is a mixed review, with some saying it’s getting better, and some of the opinion that it’s getting worse. This unpredictability can understandably be worrisome, but it is not cause for panic. 

When you’re stuck with downtime that is troublesome or you can’t get parts for the system that you rely on, EDC is proud to be your warranty. The supply chain is scraping the bottom of the barrel and the outlook is uncertain. Call on EDC, an experienced and knowledgeable integrator, to navigate this volatile landscape and make conscious decisions on your behalf. EDC has the resources to get your systems up and running.

Start a conversation with EDC here to source the parts you need today!

Resolutions to Common Wire and Cable Pain Points In Informative New Website Page

With industry-leading knowledge and 50 years of expertise, Electronic Drives and Controls authored a new website page to help you advance your wire and cable lines and deliver attainable solutions to current and future issues you may face.

As you may know, operating a wire or cable production line can be complex and daunting. As many systems and processes run simultaneously, a small malfunction can result in significant waste, rework, delays, or down time. With drawing, annealing, stranding, jacketing, spooling, and even packaging involved, EDC’s new educational guide to resolutions for common pain points in wire and cable production lines is a true game changer.

 

To view the full website page visit below:

 

Issues you may be facing include:

  • Drawing line runs too slow or will not hold speed regulation
  • Excessive wire breaks
  • Annealer voltage regulation is inconsistent
  • Excessive set-up time due to mechanical intervention required
  • Hot or cold spots in extruder barrels or unable to maintain proper temperature in barrels or dies
  • Improper colorant or compounding mixes/weighs
  • Unable to maintain proper wire tension throughout jacketing line
  • Unable to maintain proper ratio between extruders
  • Footage count is too long or too short in your rewind line
  • Finished product touches the floor or scuffs
  • Obsolete drives and/or PLCs
  • Difficult to train new operators on older equipment without a rich graphics display and dashboard. 
  • Analog controls should be replaced with digital to eliminate variations due to temperature, humidity or electrical noise
  • Shift-to-shift set-up inconsistencies
  • + many more!

 

This website page gives you multiple options of fixing your wire and cable pain points, depending on the nature of the problem, the time available to address them and, of course, your budget. There are many relatively small steps you can take to take a bite out of the larger issue. Or it might be time to retrofit the whole line, without needing to install a more expensive, completely new line for a fraction of the cost and in less time.

You deserve to feel confident in the future of your wire or cable production line and EDC is here to help. Reach out to EDC today and we’ll help you tackle your production line obstacles, no matter how small or large!

Continuing a 41 Year-Long Tradition: the Latest on the Notorious EDC Calendar!

Started back in 1981, every year Electronic Drives and Controls (EDC) releases a new wall calendar. The first year they were printed, EDC gave out 150 copies. What started as a fun piece of marketing collateral to hand out like pens and hats quickly turned into a massive yearly production. The calendars have been incredibly popular year over year – printing copies had to be capped at 5,200 in 2019! 

“We could probably distribute about 20,000 calendars if we wanted to – they are very popular with our clients,” said Bud Dillard, President of Electronic Drives and Controls. “We have kept the calendar printing cost proportional to our revenue, so the program has grown along with the company.”

It’s no easy undertaking for the company to print and distribute so many calendars each year, but it seems like a no-brainer when they’re so trendy with clients. The calendars pop up on walls all around the area, even in places with no relation to EDC. 

The wall calendar set up is simple: see all 12 months of the year spread out before you. With just a glance at the wall, you can see your year planned out in front of you. It’s a convenient way to avoid missing important dates and deadlines.

The design features EDC’s impressive fleet of service vehicles that stand ready to help clients with a nationally recognized service team to perform repairs, preventative maintenance, and more. The design also clearly labels the weekends in blue and gray, making it easier to focus on the busy workdays. 

If you would like to be added to the list of client calendar recipients, fill out the form here. Don’t delay, the list fills up fast! 

Case Study – Modernizing a Cable Fabrication Line with Supportable Parts and Equipment for Better Operation, Data Collection, and Performance Features

EDC Wire and Cable CV Line Upgrade Case StudyThe oil and gas industry utilizes equipment and components that must perform and endure in harsh environments such as the ocean, underground, weather, and other adverse conditions.  It is crucial that all equipment or materials used in such operations meet the highest quality standards and specifications.  While many companies outsource the fabrication of large power cabling for these purposes, others fabricate internally for their own products and services for their customers. One such EDC customer in the oil and gas services industry manufactures many types of cable in-house.

Of the assortment of products their plant produces, the most rugged, highest performing is a power cable that includes a rubberized outer jacket, made utilizing a process called continuous vulcanization – CV for short. In general, vulcanization is an industrial process in which rubber is hardened. Wire and cable manufacturers run their rubber-jacketed cables through a long steam-pipe catenary (think suspension bridge main cables) which cures the cable along the 300-plus foot-long tube. For a CV Line to work properly, an orchestra of extruders, pullers, motors, drives, sensors, valves and pumps must all work perfectly in concert. 

While the cable manufacturer has been successfully producing CV cable for years, one of their three CV lines was experiencing excessive downtime and was scheduled for modernization.

 

PROBLEM

Apart from the expected aging and wear of production equipment, controls components such as drives, PLCs and other electronics suffer from the added issue of obsolescence.  Whether functioning or not, an obsolete component such as an extruder AC variable frequency drive (VFD) puts continuous production in jeopardy.

The cable manufacturer had several obsolete components across a variety of automation manufacturers that made downtime even more harrowing. Years of purchasing refurbished or “gently used” components from eBay or surplus distributors had run its course.  When a component was not able to be sourced, a replacement solution needed to be engineered to keep the line running.

In addition to overcoming the obsolescence issue, they wanted to take advantage of the many technological advances in industrial controls since the CV line’s construction, determined to upgrade to a world class, state-of-the-art production line.

 

SOLUTION

The cable manufacturer secured EDC’s turnkey integration services to give the line a full controls makeover.  The upgrade featured a failsafe Rockwell GuardLogix PLC and a network of ABB ACS880 vector drives, HMIs, remote I/O and an industrial-hardened PC for data collection. The state-of-the-art controls network included:

EDC - GuardLogix PLC & ABB VFDs

    • Rockwell GuardLogix 1756-L82ES Failsafe PLC CPU and I/O
    • (5) Rockwell PanelView Plus 7 Performance HMIs, 7”-15”
    • (11) ABB ACS880 VFDs, 3-200 hp
    • (8) Rockwell 1734 series standard and failsafe remote I/O racks
    • Lanner Fanless i7 PC with Rockwell Factory Talk SETM 
    • Tosibox Remote Access Module for remote monitoring and troubleshooting (EDC is located in New Jersey and the customer in Oklahoma!)
    • Graceport with 115VAC convenience outlet and ethernet port for safe access to the machine network

 

Mechanical retrofits included swapping out Reeves drives with fixed gearboxes and VFD-controlled vector motors, sized for optimal speed range and torque. Caterpillar capstan motors and gearboxes were upsized to provide additional pulling capacity so larger cables could be run at higher line speeds.

EDC - Capstan Retrofit Before & After

EDC designed, manufactured, programmed, installed and commissioned the system. Operator training was provided, and the line turned over to the customer following execution and approval of a written Site Acceptance Test. A full documentation package included all schematics, drawings, programs and parts manuals.

IMPACT

During the Site Acceptance Test, their process engineers and maintenance personnel could immediately see an improvement on the line’s performance. It was much easier to adjust important process parameters, tighter tolerances were held throughout the product runs and higher quality cables were being produced. Operators with limited training could be qualified in a few hours to run the line, making it easier to find and retain them. New drives and PLC components meant no more late-night sourcing of obsolete components or outdated control methods. Because these key components were now networked together, vital information could be passed from the VFDs to the PLC and back to the operators at the user-friendly HMIs and on to the facility’s CimplicityTM plant historian.  From their HMI screens, operators could now monitor line speed, steam pressure, and the speed of each drive.

EDC - Main CV Line HMI

Additional improvements at the HMIs included recipe functionality, contextual alarms and messages and streamlined set-up capabilities. One such streamline was the elimination of individual temperature controllers for the extruder barrel heater zones. The entire temperature control was moved into the PLC and the temperature setpoints featured as part of the recipes. Setting up one cable lot number to the next was nearly the touch of a button whether it was initiated on 1st, 2nd or 3rd shift – resolution of common pain point of shift-to-shift set-up (and quality) differences.

 

Other benefits included:

  • Improved tension control between the Capstans
  • Continuous data collection – allowing the customer to examine the data, see trends over time and adjust as necessary.  Problems such as an out-of-range temperature or an oversized diameter can be pinpointed more quickly and accurately. 
  • Faster line speed – Conversion of communication protocols from hardwired to Ethernet-based results in a faster reaction to changes in tension, steam pressure, water level and speed ratios.
  • More capability to fine-tune production – digital controls are more amenable to fine tuning and adjustments and not subject to drift.
  • Overall improved safety – The failsafe PLC and VFDs with safe torque off capability ensure that the line can react to an E-stop quickly and reliably. Failsafe I/O meant elimination of long E-stop strings with the added benefit of knowing where and when an E-stop was triggered. Anti-tie-down features were added where two-hand controls were utilized.
  • Full set of schematics with wire numbers and component references – previous control iterations did not include updated drawing or complete information. The customer’s maintenance department now has a full documentation package to help troubleshoot this line.
  • Significantly reduced downtime – old, obsolete controls almost always lead to downtime and headaches. Upgrading to a world-class digital control system with late-model components that are readily available is a game-changer for any production facility. 

 

“In addition to the efficiency gains, the modernization helped the client understand their process better,” says EDC Project Engineer Zach Fischer, who was the technical lead of this modernization project. “For example, if they see the tension increasing, to maintain the cable’s position in the tube they can take corrective action. The customer now has a wealth of information available to them via the much-improved operator interface.”

While EDC is happy with the success of the project and the many benefits attained by their customer, even more rewording are the words from a key member of the customer’s maintenance team,” I am impressed at how EDC resolved the tension issue with our capstans. They stood by their word and made it happen. I’d also like to add that when I need them it is so great to be able to get a person on the phone. I call in to their office, a live person answers their line, and I am able to speak to an engineer who assures me that they are working on my situation. With the Tosibox remote access module EDC can ‘see’ my CV Line from their office 1,000 miles away and help pinpoint and fix any issues. This gives me even more comfort.” 

Electronic Drives & Controls, Inc. to Showcase Innovative Solutions for the Wire and Cable Industry at 2023 Interwire Trade Exposition

EDC Interwire event press release

EDC will exhibit at booth #1259 May 9-11 during the 2023 Interwire Trade Exposition, organized by The Wire Association International (WAI), to connect with wire and cable professionals and to share leading-edge solutions to industry pain points. 

Parsippany, NJ – April 18, 2023 – Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC), a leading control system integrator and field service company for industrial automation and drive technology, today announced their attendance at the upcoming Interwire Trade Exposition at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. EDC will be available May 9 and 10 from 10 am to 5 pm and May 11 from 10 am to 3 pm in exhibitor booth #1259 to discuss wire and cable manufacturing solutions with attendees and industry professionals.

“We are thrilled to be exhibiting at Interwire and sharing our expertise in AC & DC drives, PLCs and factory automation for the wire and cable industry with attendees,” said Vice President Chuck Dillard. “With over 50 years of experience in integrating new control systems and upgrading older equipment, we are able to tackle projects of any complexity. We have a top-notch engineering team to design, build and start-up projects, and a dedicated service support team to ensure our solutions continue to operate smoothly for years to come. Our track record of success in the wire and cable industry speaks for itself, and we look forward to showcasing our capabilities at the expo.”

With a deep understanding of wire and cable industry pain points, EDC engineers will be on hand to share the company’s industry experience and an understanding of the many obstacles wire and cable manufacturers face.  EDC has completed projects ranging from small upgrades to full retrofits, from dealing with obsolete drives or PLCs to excessive wire breaks and increased downtime, all with a tailored approach that prioritizes cost and timing.

The Interwire Trade Exposition provides a global resource for attendees to stay up-to-date with the recent developments and innovations in the industry, such as the growing importance of Industry 4.0, including the integration of IoT, Smart Manufacturing, and Artificial Intelligence in manufacturing processes. The conference promises to be an exciting opportunity for wire and cable manufacturing professionals to share knowledge and expertise, network with colleagues, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the industry. 

During the two-day exposition, industry experts and professionals will converge to participate in panel discussions on key issues affecting the wire and cable workforce, copper supply and demand, and the outlook for the steel market. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore industry best practices, including wire break solutions, production developments, and approaches to case-by-case difficulties. 

To learn more and register for the event, visit https://www.interwire23.com/

 

About Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc.

Founded in 1968, Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC) is a CSIA Certified control system integrator with deep domain expertise in the wire and cable industry. The company’s large field service team specializes in AC and DC drives, PLCs and factory automation. Family owned and operated for more than 50 years, EDC’s team of engineers and technicians has a vast experience integrating new control systems and breathing life into older equipment. EDC has the engineering capability to design, build, start-up and service projects from the sophisticated to the simple and the service support team on call 24/7/365 to keep it all running at peak efficiency from day one and for years to come. In addition to the company’s certification as a Siemens Solution Partner and a Rockwell Automation Recognized System Integrator, EDC is a factory authorized/factory trained service center for over 40 drive brands.  For more information, visit the company’s website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Amid Supply Chain Shortages, Facility Managers Leverage Preventive Maintenance Services to Avoid HVAC Downtime

EDC preventive services blog

If you are a building owner or facility maintenance engineer feeling the pains of the ongoing supply chain shortages, the cost and delays of replacing Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) replacement parts, or the inability to control motor speed to keep your building’s HVAC system running at peak efficiency, EDC’s preventive maintenance services can help.

Due to the current supply chain challenges across the country, obtaining replacement new or refurbished VFDs and parts for your HVAC system can be a daunting task. This makes maintenance all the more important, particularly in New York, where buildings are tasked with reducing their carbon footprint every year. Failure of a VFD drive could result in the inability to control motor speed, which would lead to the motor running at full speed, a significant factor in not meeting strict energy conservation goals as the ones set forth for New York where energy usage laws are some of the strictest in the nation. Even spare parts need maintenance, which is often overlooked despite its importance.

Having a trusted partner that you can rely on to keep your facility’s HVAC running efficiently in the face of supply chain challenges has never been more important. EDC has been a trusted partner to many of New York City and the tri-states premier commercial buildings for decades. Our preventive maintenance (PM) clients know they can count on us to provide excellent PM services, and perhaps more importantly, to respond rapidly when there is an emergency. We pride ourselves on having the fastest on-site response in the industry – on-site service is available 24/7/365. 

In a client interview conducted by an independent third party, Chief Engineer of a major Commercial Property in NY spoke about the challenges of managing a New York City high-rise commercial office building and how working with EDC has given him peace of mind. During the interview, he described working with EDC, “It is more like working with a partner that truly cares. I know the service people by name because they have been there for many years. Some other vendors have been hit or miss, sometimes providing experienced technicians and sometimes not. EDC always responds as quickly as they can, rising to the occasion when there is an emergency. They don’t try to upsell a new drive, and they try hard to find the most economical solution to meet their clients’ needs.” 

With a strong preventive maintenance service program, Electronic Drives and Controls customizes each program to suit the client’s needs, schedule, and budget. Our commitment to client satisfaction is reflected in every aspect of our work, from the thorough survey of your building’s equipment to the detailed proposal outlining our recommended maintenance plan and estimated costs.

Many commercial buildings have older drives from multiple different manufacturers on the property. Our highly trained service engineers have experience with a wide variety of equipment, as we are a factory authorized/factory trained service center for over 40 drive brands. This allows our engineers to accurately identify areas of concern before they turn into more costly, complicated issues – regardless of the VFD brand, age, model, etc.

At EDC, we emphasize the importance of being proactive and ensuring the reliability of your equipment through regular maintenance. That’s why we are committed to providing top-notch preventive maintenance services to our clients. We use state-of-the-art technologies to monitor equipment performance and detect potential issues before they escalate into major problems. 

EDC provides customized maintenance plans that suit your unique needs, schedules, and budgets. Check out our recent blogs featuring our innovative maintenance services.

Do you need a trusted partner you can count on? If so, reach out to EDC today to not only ensure the reliability and longevity of your equipment, but to achieve peak energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint as well.

Revolutionizing Automation: Insights from Bob Pusateri on the Changing Role of Control System Integrators

Electronic Drives and Controls is excited to announce that Bob Pusateri, Director of Business Development at EDC, recently made a notable appearance on a Plant Services podcast titled “The changing role of control system integrators in the automation industry.” In this insightful discussion, Bob Pusateri, along with two other seasoned professionals and host Tom Wilk, Plant Services Editor in Chief, shared their perspectives on the future direction of the automation industry and the evolving role of control system integrators.

During the podcast, Bob highlighted the work undertaken by Electronic Drives and Controls in the field of production line retrofits and “breathing new life into older systems.” EDC specializes in retrofitting lines in industries such as metals, wire and cable, and coating and laminating. With expertise in converting DC drives to AC, updating older generations of AC drives, and offering PLC and drive retrofits across various industries, Electronic Drives and Controls has become a trusted partner for businesses seeking to optimize their automation systems.

One of the key insights shared by Bob revolved around the demand for automation arising from the changing expectations of the workforce. He mentioned how repetitive tasks can now be efficiently replaced by machines, thereby enabling employees to focus on higher-skilled jobs. This shift not only enhances worker satisfaction but also boosts productivity. Bob’s real-world examples provided valuable context to the transformative potential of automation. Looking ahead, Bob also mentioned that Electronic Drives and Controls anticipates an increase in opportunities in the field of OEM-type work, collaborating with original equipment manufacturers to achieve more with fewer resources.

To listen to the full podcast and gain deeper insights into the changing role of control system integrators in the automation industry, we invite you to follow this link: Podcast: The changing role of control system integrators in the automation industry.

Dave Radford, Longtime EDC Employee Retires

When Dave Radford started his career as a Drive Service Engineer in 1993, many of EDC’s current employees were not yet even born. Variable frequency drive (VFD) technology was just starting to take a foothold in the manufacturing sector and many PLCs that were released then have long been obsolete. EDC was a smaller entity with just six servicemen and even fewer project engineers (now almost twenty in total). Drives were just starting to be utilized in energy-saving HVAC applications and soon thereafter VFDs expanded their use of software and multi-layer circuit boards. So goes Dave’s career that spanned three decades and came to a close just last week.

Growing up in Elizabeth, NJ, Dave was an accomplished hockey player and chose to attend Lehigh University so he could play his chosen sport and study chemical engineering. He worked at his uncle’s bar and as a laborer at a now defunct roller bearing plant in Clark, NJ. Looking for some direction in life he joined the Army at twenty seven and was eventually sent to Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA to a unit that repaired communications avionics for helicopters. While Dave enjoyed the hands-on electronics work, he was “not thrilled” taking a couple of flights in the Army’s infamous “Huey” Bell UH-1 helicopters.

After several promotions, receiving the “Soldier of the Quarter” award and a 3-year tour of Panama and a stop in Fort Drum, NC he performed repairs on biomedical equipment for Army hospitals in facilities in Brooklyn, NY and Aurora, CO, returning home in May of 1993. Not resting long, he answered an ad placed by a long-tenured EDC recruiter who recently placed a Project Engineer just this year!

With a few strong years of repairing electronics for the Army, Dave was a perfect fit to troubleshoot, repair and install industrial drives for EDC. He tackled everything from plastic bag manufacturers to steel slitters to cardboard plants, older eddy current and DC drives, VFDs and later, EDC’s burgeoning new field of HVAC fan and pump drives.

Of the many stories Dave could tell of his troubleshooting travels, one in particular stands out from a steel plant in Gary, IN. After struggling all week to get their line restarted, they practically had a parade for Dave when he arrived on a Friday to dig them out of their hole as the Siemens Factory Service Rep. Despite the added pressure of just seeing it for the first time, Dave had the line running in less than a few hours. A parade would have been well-deserved!

EDC Dave Radford Retirement blog
Dave Radford, left, accepting a 30-years’ Appreciation Plaque from EDC president, Bud Dillard, signed by all EDC Employees

Dave’s skill, intellect and professionalism will leave an enduring legacy. Many customers and EDC coworkers have benefited from his presence on an everyday basis. A very modest person, Dave would not be one to brag about, or even mention, his many success stories. It is estimated that he made well over 4,000 service calls during his 30-year tenure, repairing, troubleshooting or installing about 3,000 drives.  He was, however, glad to be a part of broadening the scope of jobs EDC tackles, especially helping them to expand into PLC programming and troubleshooting. As much as he enjoyed this very fulfilling work, he looks forward to moving to South Carolina and getting in as much golf, boating and, of course, hockey as he can. However, says EDC president, Bud Dillard, “we are pleased to hear that Dave has accepted our offer to work remotely as a Quality Control and Training specialist on a part-time basis.”

 

Case Study – EDC’s Comprehensive Upgrade of an Unique Horizontal Drawbench to Enhance Performance and Reliability

Electronic Drives and Controls recently successfully upgraded a unique horizontal wire drawbench, resolving complex challenges through hardware and software optimization, diagnostic enhancements, and safety improvements, resulting in enhanced performance, reliability, and operational efficiency.

Horizontal Drawbench

Problem:

A long-time client of Electronic Drives and Controls and an American manufacturer of scientific instruments faced numerous issues with their one-of-a-kind machine designed to draw and elongate copper bars filled with superconductors for use in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. 

Obsolete PLC I-O

After being custom-built by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in 2013, the machine experienced sporadic problems due to its

 complex design and programming. The existing PLC program, written in structured text using Siemens SIMATIC S7-300 hardware, was challenging to read and understand. Additionally, the PLC I/O modules were outdated, and the critical position sensors utilized an ultra-sensitive communications protocol that was subject to frequent “crashes,” made worse by machine vibrations. The client needed a comprehensive solution to address these issues and enhance the machine’s performance and reliability.

 

 

Solution:

EDC took on the challenge of upgrading the horizontal drawbench, providing a complete controls overhaul solution to optimize its performance. The project involved several key milestones. First, the existing PLC and HMI software programs were migrated from Siemens SIMATIC Step 7 to Siemens’ more robust Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal. This transition improved program readability, removed obsolete code, and enhanced visualization and maintenance.

Hydraulic Lifter & Position Sensor

The hardware upgrade involved migrating the PLC from SIMATIC S7-300 to S7-1500, providing the client with updated components that offered improved performance, and reliability. Another significant aspect of the project was the transition from PROFIBUS to PROFINET, an Ethernet-based communication system. This switch eliminated existing issues, provided better diagnostic capabilities, and increased bandwidth. Approximately 40 devices were upgraded during this transition.

EDC also recognized that all existing I/O modules, specifically the S7-300 hardware, were obsolete. Consequently, each I/O module was updated to the latest Siemens S7-1500 series hardware, ensuring improved functionality and availability. The combination of the hardware and software improvements enabled optimization of the machine’s hydraulic lifters, key mechanical elements whose motion must be choreographed like a ballet to prevent a physical crash. EDC implemented a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) loop control method around each lifter, resulting in precise coordination between them not previously realized.

To enhance network reliability, EDC introduced Device Level Rings (DLRs) into the machine’s network architecture. DLRs provided network redundancy, preventing downtime caused by a single faulty cable or device, facilitating efficient troubleshooting and issue diagnosis. Additionally, EDC revamped all drawings associated with the machine, including improved device references, wire numbering and enclosure layouts, providing comprehensive documentation for future reference and maintenance. 

 

 

 

Impact:

The completion of the project had a significant impact on the drawbench and the client’s operations, delivering several key benefits. 

S7-1500 PLC & ProfiNet Comms

First and foremost, the performance and reliability of the machine were significantly enhanced.

The hardware and software upgrades, coupled with the removal of obsolete code, resulted in improved stability and efficiency. In turn, there was no longer sporadic downtime experienced, ensuring a more reliable production process.

The transition from PROFIBUS to PROFINET granted the client enhanced diagnostic capabilities.

This allowed for better monitoring, troubleshooting, and prompt identification of any potential issues, facilitating faster resolution and minimizing downtime. The new HMIs improved visualization and readability making it easier for maintenance personnel to understand the machine’s operations, improving overall efficiency. Furthermore, the optimization of the control scheme and coordination with upgraded safety devices added protection and reduced the risk of failures or accidents, ensuring a safer working environment for operators.

 

In conclusion, EDC’s comprehensive upgrade project effectively tackled the challenges faced with this custom-built horizontal drawbench. The implementation of hardware and software improvements, coupled with enhanced diagnostic capabilities, led to a significant boost in reliability, efficiency, and maintainability. The successful completion of the project highlighted EDC’s expertise in resolving complex industrial automation issues and empowered a dependable machine to be capable of consistently producing high-quality, drawn super-conducting bars for MRI applications.

Case Study – EDC’s Modernization of a Ruesch Steel Slitting Machine Control System with Siemens Yields 67% Throughput Gain

In a recent project for a leading producer of specialty rolled products, Electronic Drives and Controls (EDC) successfully addressed a series of challenges stemming from an outdated Ruesch slitting machine control system. Characterized by obsolete hardware components, a complex operator interface, and difficulties in maintaining precise tension during steel slitting, the control system required an extensive modernization. EDC proposed a detailed control system upgrade, committing to an installation period of less than four days, leveraging modern Siemens technology to enhance hardware reliability, retrofit existing components, improve operator interface with a user-friendly HMI, and implement innovative torque management control for consistent winding tension.

The Client:

ATI Materials, a producer of specialty rolled products specializing in high-tech steel for aerospace and defense applications, operates as a critical supplier focused on precision aerospace engine and airframe components. They produce advanced steel alloys, including titanium, nickel, and cobalt-based materials in various forms such as long products, precision forgings, and machined components.

Problem:

The client faced significant issues with their aging Ruesch slitting line originally installed in 1995. The equipment’s legacy control system presented three primary challenges. 

1. The system’s reliance on obsolete hardware components, including SIMOREG 6RA24 DC Drives and Siemens TI545 PLC made it progressively difficult to secure replacement parts, thereby jeopardizing the system’s operational continuity and increasing the risk of downtime.
2. The operator control panel, with its complex array of analog functions, push buttons, and meters, hindered efficiency, making the system less intuitive and harder to use.
 3. The critical requirement of ensuring consistent tension across the material web during steel slitting was a significant challenge, given the current system’s difficulty in providing accurate torque control for the winding process.
EDC Case Study Simatic TI545 PLC
Prior to Installation – Original Simatic TI545 PLC

Solution:

To address these challenges and provide a comprehensive solution, EDC proposed a control system upgrade using modern components and innovative technology:

Hardware and Software Upgrade: EDC replaced the outdated components with the state-of-the-art Siemens  6RA80 DC drives, S7-1500 PLC, and Siemens Comfort Panel HMI, ensuring reliability, scalability, and long-term support. Existing motors were retained, optimizing cost-effectiveness.

Installation and Retrofit: EDC’s engineers designed, built and tested the hardware and software prior to installation to minimize downtime for the retrofit. Sending a team of three engineers to work extended hours on site to install the new Siemens control system hardware and software further minimized production downtime.

Enhanced Operator Interface: An ergonomic 22-inch Siemens Touchscreen Comfort Panel HMI was installed to provide an intuitive and user-friendly operator interface. EDC programmed the HMI with meticulous detail to display over three dozen machine status messages and alarms making it easier to train operators and maintenance personnel to visualize and navigate the system effectively to keep production running at peak performance.

Torque Management: The EDC team harnessed the extended speed range of the existing DC motor to maintain predictable winding tension, even in the field range where torque no longer reacted linearly as field current decreased. This ensured the precise tension exiting the slitter section optimizing the quality of the slit edge. 

Advanced Communication: PROFINET was implemented to enable high-speed communication, replacing the previous PROFIBUS system. This upgrade enhanced speed, data processing, and control capabilities.

Remote Troubleshooting: EDC introduced remote access capabilities utilizing Tosibox secure remote access platform to streamline maintenance. If support is needed, the remote access into the machine’s control system facilitates a much quicker issue resolution.

Documentation: Using Siemens totally integrated automation software platform, TIA Portal, EDC provided a complete PLC, HMI and Drive functionality documentation package, including a fully commented PLC and HMI program, and drive parameters. In addition, using AutoCAD Electrical, EDC provided a robust complete set of schematics of not just the hardware components provided by EDC, but for the entire system including every limit switch, product sensor, push button, etc. to replace the clients’ outdated schematics.

Results

The modernization of the Ruesch slitting line’s control system yielded significant improvements in the customer’s operations. The machine’s throughput experienced a remarkable surge, increasing from 300 to 500 feet per minute. This remarkable 67% boost in productivity not only delighted the client, but also enhanced their overall operational efficiency. Safety measures received substantial upgrades, particularly with the introduction of an automatic slowdown feature to prevent material “tail-out.” This enhancement significantly reduced the risk of accidents and potential equipment damage, a critical advantage, especially when dealing with sensitive materials such as titanium. 

EDC Case Study 6RA80 and S7-1500 state of the art DC Drives and PLC
6RA80 and S7-1500 state of the art DC Drives and PLC
EDC Case Study Post Installation – Fuses
Post Installation – Fuses replaced with more resilient Molded Case Circuit Breakers

The implementation of remote troubleshooting capabilities played a pivotal role in reducing downtime and improving maintenance efficiency. The introduction of a user-friendly, 22-inch HMI streamlined machine operation and reduced downtime by providing operators with a clear overview of machine status and alarms to quickly assess and rectify issues, ensuring a seamless and efficient production process. The new intuitive operator interface also proved invaluable in training new personnel.  The modern control system, founded on Siemens technology, offered long-term reliability and a robust, well-supported platform.

“We are extremely satisfied with the project’s results. EDC’s solution brought about a notable transformation in our slitting operations,” said ATI Senior Engineer II, Greg Lima. “With improved speed control and torque management, we achieved a more predictable winding tension, ensuring the quality of our slit materials. EDC’s expertise and innovative problem-solving have proven instrumental in optimizing our processes and ensuring our continued success in the industry.”

By overcoming the challenges posed by an outdated system and implementing innovative solutions, EDC not only improved productivity and safety but also future-proofed the client’s operations in an installation that lasted less than four days.

Elevating Safety and Efficiency: Success in Machine Control Modernization

Foam Line

EDC recently modernized a foam production line for a client that specializes in the development and production of advanced wound care materials, enhancing safety features without extensive control system changes. Key safety components, including a door access interlock, a cable operated switch and emergency stop buttons, were integrated with a new safety controller. The project also included a provision for comprehensive schematics, previously incomplete and written in Chinese. EDC’s efforts ensured compliance, improved efficiency, and boosted the client’s global competitiveness.

Whether your machinery is aging or from abroad, placing a priority on safety can protect your workforce and offer a clear path for future enhancements. A recent project involving a client’s imported wound care foam production line, shipped from Asia to the U.S., highlights how a machine’s safe operation can be improved without major control system overhauls. EDC’s swift initiative, with only one week of on-site implementation, added crucial safety measures while ensuring continual efficiency to the production line. Not only did the project enhance safety, but it also provided comprehensive schematics, facilitating future improvements. 

 

Solving Safety Challenges

Upon the equipment’s arrival from overseas, it became evident to the client that the safety standards of the machinery for the foam production line did not meet U.S. machinery safety requirements. A key element to the upgrade was the addition of a safety controller, ensuring that all safety components were properly coordinated and monitored across various sections of the line. The controller makes certain that a malfunction of any of the safety devices prevents the foam line from operating until the issue is resolved or the fault cleared. The controller analyzes real-time status of the safety devices and initiates emergency shutdowns when necessary.

In conjunction with implementation of the safety controller, additional failsafe components were installed where none were present. Previously a padlock was used on a door to an access point near a critical area of the machine’s production process. When the padlock was removed to access the area, the machine could potentially be run with the doors wide open.

New HMI with Safety Monitor Screen

To solve this, EDC introduced a safety interlock system from Fortress Safety that features a solenoid interlock. This device prevents a door from opening without first engaging a stop button or a supervisor’s override button, requiring deliberate action be taken to access the area. The safety controller ensured that once the door was opened, the machine could not be operated. 

Next, a cable-operated switch, which functions as an emergency stop, was installed at the Rewind end of the line. Operators could also take advantage of the device’s E-stop button, located at knee-level, for additional safety control. 

Finally, all existing E-stop buttons were replaced with late model equivalents with up-to-date safety ratings. A dual channel E-stop string tied to the safety controller ensured the utmost in failsafe reliability.  Status of all safety components was displayed on a newly installed HMI ensuring operators are informed and have multiple ways to take immediate action in case of an emergency. 

 

Empowering Safety and Efficiency

The project relied on advanced technological components provided by distributor Shingle & Gibb, including: 

Banner XS26-2 Safety Controller: The heart of the safety integration, this controller monitors all connected components and ensures safe operation of the line.

Siemens PLC (S7-1200): A programmable logic controller (PLC) that works in tandem with the safety controller, communicating status information to be displayed on the HMI. 

Siemens SIMATIC Comfort Panel HMI: The HMI serves as the interactive hub where operators can monitor and control the machine. It displays real-time warnings and alarms, further bolstering safety.

Siemens Safety E-stop Buttons: Mushroom head, twist E-stops with the latest EN ISO 13850 safety certification.

Banner RP-LS42F Series Cable Operated Switch: Commonly referred to as a “rope pull,” this device provides an E-stop function over a wide area of the machine that can be actuated by a hand, knee or foot.

Fortress Safety Interlock: This switch is critical in safeguarding operators and machinery by preventing unauthorized access during operation.

Cable Operated Safety Switch at Rewind

Timeline and Deliverables

The entire project took a few weeks over the course of approximately three months to complete, with one crucial week of on-site installation work. During this on-site phase, the team installed and wired all the safety components, tested the programs and conducted extensive testing to ensure proper functionality.

Also included as a project deliverable was a full set of schematic drawings for all new components and the line’s existing devices that did not change. EDC’s provision of machine schematics built upon the client’s current documentation and improved the understanding for the control system, providing a valuable tool for not only troubleshooting and routine maintenance but also for making future modifications to the control system. Offering the client the option to receive detailed drawings and schematics allowed them to gain a clear image of the equipment’s connectivity, enhancing safety, reducing downtime, and creating opportunities for additional projects. 

 

Beyond Compliance

By modernizing an imported machine with a series of well-thought-out safety controls, EDC ensured that the client’s equipment met local and national compliance requirements without a major control system overhaul. Operational efficiency was improved by employing a Banner Safety Controller, Siemens PLC and an intuitive HMI that provided operators with real-time information about the machine’s status. By investing in modernization and implementing safety controls, the client was able to mitigate risks, protect their workforce, and meet the highest safety standards – all while maintaining their production efficiency and competitiveness in the global market. 

Safety requirements apply to all types of production equipment. Contact us to discuss your machine modernization or safety compliance project.

Electronic Drives and Controls Earns Prestigious CSIA Certification, Exemplifying Excellence in Control System Integration

Electronic Drives and Controls successfully renews its CSIA benchmark certification, reaffirming their commitment to maintaining the highest level of technical and business performance standards in delivering innovative control system integration solutions for industrial automation and drive technology.

Parsippany, NJ – December 5, 2023 – Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC), a leading control system integrator and field service company for industrial automation and drive technology, today announced the company has achieved recertification by the Control System Integrator Association (CSIA), meeting the highest industry standard for successful management of a control system integration business.

“Maintaining our CSIA certification helps promote the documenting of operating procedures that ultimately removes many obstacles to growth,” says Chuck Dillard, Vice President of Electronic Drives & Controls. “It helps to make sure the business is set up for longevity. Customers want to know you will be there for the long haul and the CSIA best practices committee does a great job providing a road map to that end.” 

CSIA, a global trade association, is dedicated to advancing the field of control system integration by focusing on the overall management of a system integration business. To earn CSIA certification, companies must showcase a dedicated commitment to upholding the highest standards of quality, performance, and reliability. This entails adherence to the CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks across ten critical areas, spanning both technical and operational realms. 

CSIA Certification offers clients the assurance that the control system integrator is an established organization committed to cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships. CSIA Certified companies undergo a recertification audit every three years. This process promotes adherence to current business practices and ongoing business improvement. It is imperative for companies to complete the audit before the expiration date to maintain their certified status.

“Selecting a CSIA Certified system integrator represents a strategic decision to work with a vetted professionally managed control system integration company,” says Jose Rivera, CEO of CSIA. “The certification process requires a substantial investment to meet the Best Practice’s stringent performance criteria, demonstrating the company’s commitment to excellence. By choosing a SI that has embraced the CSIA’s Best Practices and successfully achieved Certification, you’re choosing a partner dedicated to implementing industry-leading standards in your facility.”

To achieve or renew CSIA certification, a thorough examination is conducted by a third-party auditor, with a primary objective to validate the comprehensive implementation of CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks across ten critical areas. These encompass general management, human resources management, business development and sales management, financial management, project management, system development life cycle, quality management, technical management, and various other ancillary activities.

 

About Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc.

Founded in 1968, Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC) is a CSIA Certified control system integrator with deep domain expertise in the wire & cable and coating & laminating industries. The company’s large field service team specializes in AC and DC drives, PLCs and factory automation. Family owned and operated for more than 50 years, EDC’s team of engineers and technicians has a vast experience integrating new control systems and breathing life into older equipment. EDC has the engineering capability to design, build, start-up and service projects from the sophisticated to the simple and the service support team on call 24/7/365 to keep it all running at peak efficiency from day one and for years to come. In addition to the company’s certification as a Siemens Solution Partner and a Rockwell Automation Recognized System Integrator, EDC is a factory authorized/factory trained service center for over 40 drive brands.  For more information, visit the company’s website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

EDC Builds Customized Siemens 1250 HP Drive Solution, Shaving 10 Months off Delivery Time

With the closing of a Siemens factory in Pennsylvania that previously built custom large 480 VAC, 200+ horsepower drives, this article showcases EDC’s capability to fill the gap for U.S. manufacturers. Collaborating with Siemens distributor Shingle & Gibb, EDC provided a custom-designed large-scale Siemens drive solution to a manufacturer with delivery in just eight months versus the 18-month delivery turnaround from the OEM’s Germany facility.

Background

A major material pelletizing company specializing in producing rubberized compounds used in various applications, including jacking lines for the wire and cable industry, needed to replace outdated and unsupported legacy drive technology. The company wanted to replace an obsolete Emerson/Control Techniques model SP9435, 460 VAC, 1164A / 1000 HP drive powering a vital pelletizing extruder with an oversized Siemens drive for future scalability to a larger motor. 

This drive would previously have been built to the customer’s specifications by Siemens in their large drive facility in Pennsylvania. However, with the closing of the PA facility, orders fulfilled at the back-up Siemens, Germany site came with an 18-month lead-time. The company sought an alternative solution provider. 

As if an 18-month lead time wasn’t problematic enough, the customer needed to expend the budgeted funds in calendar-year 2023. Collaborating with their local Siemens distributor, Shingle & Gibb, EDC was recommended as an alternate provider to meet the customer’s needs and desired timeline. EDC’s team of engineers worked with Shingle & Gibb to gather data, coordinate site visits and finalize a design. EDC is manufacturing the customized solution for the new Siemens 480 VAC S120 Series rated for 1596A / 1250 HP with delivery in just 8 months.

Project Highlights

Existing Legacy Drive

Emerson/Control Techniques model SP9435, 460 VAC, 1164A / 1000 HP

EDC-Integrated New Drive

Siemens 480 VAC S120 Series rated for 1596A / 1250 HP

* Drive is oversized to accommodate future option of upsizing to larger motor
* Custom-designed to fit in existing floor space which is surrounded by guardrails to protect from forklift traffic
* Drive configuration features parallel motor module design with jacketed busbar conductors
* EDC accommodated a change order for customer-preferred external blower cooling with mechanical mounts for blowers to be designed and supplied by EDC
* Start-up and support by EDC
* EDC’s manufacturing turn-around was eight months vs. 18 months from OEM

Efficiency Beyond Standard

The end result is a reliable, high-capacity drive system adaptable to the customer’s evolving production needs. Once the drive is shipped to the customer, their electricians will handle installation, including substantial wiring work. The EDC project team will return to commission the system, ensuring all components work seamlessly together.

EDC is committed to delivering innovative solutions that optimize industrial processes, whether the needs of the production line dictate one drive or a number of drives coordinated with modern digital communications. EDC adheres to rigorous industry standards, which includes designing and building to UL 508A specifications. If you’re looking to enhance your operational efficiency through modernization or system upgrades, EDC can assist you. Contact us today to explore how we can elevate your industrial operations.

EDC Engineers to Share Coating and Laminating Expertise at 2024 ICEC Converting Show in Orlando

EDC will exhibit at booth #617 during the 2024 ICEC Converting Show, January 9-11, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, where they will engage with industry professionals and showcase innovative solutions for the converting manufacturing sector.

Parsippany, NJ – January 3, 2023 – Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC), a leading control system integrator and field service company for industrial automation and drive technology, today announced their attendance at the upcoming ICEC Converting Show 2024 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL January 9-11, 2024. EDC will be available at booth #617 to discuss automation related to coating and laminating manufacturing solutions with attendees and industry professionals.

“We’re delighted to have a booth at the ICEC Converting Show,” says Chuck Dillard, VP and Co-owner of EDC. “We specialize in designing and constructing engineered drive and control systems, seamlessly transitioning from DC to AC drives, offering expert PLC and HMI programming, and providing turnkey solutions for a wide array of applications. With our engineering team and dedicated service support, we’re excited to demonstrate how EDC’s solutions excel.”

With an extensive understanding of the challenges in the coating and laminating sector, EDC’s VP Chuck Dillard and Director of Business Development Bob Pusateri will be available to share their industry knowledge and insights into the obstacles faced by manufacturers in industries such as paper, film, foil, and nonwovens. EDC has a proven track record, encompassing projects that span from minor enhancements to line upgrades and comprehensive overhauls. The system integrator offers a customized approach that places a premium on cost-effectiveness and timeliness when addressing issues related to outdated equipment or tackling persistent problems like rewinds and tension control.

This ICEC Converting Show serves as a central hub for the global converting industry, offering a platform to explore innovations, connect with experts, and stay ahead in the field. Attendees can participate in fundamental courses, technical sessions, one-on-one consultations with experts, and forward-thinking presentations on industry trends. 

To learn more or register for the ICEC Convention, visit https://www.convertingshow.com/en-us.html

 

About Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc.

Founded in 1968, Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC) is a CSIA Certified control system integrator with deep domain expertise in the coating and laminating, and converting industries. The company’s large field service team specializes in AC and DC drives, PLCs and factory automation. Family owned and operated for more than 50 years, EDC’s team of engineers and technicians has a vast experience integrating new control systems and breathing life into older equipment. EDC has the engineering capability to design, build, start-up and service projects from the sophisticated to the simple and the service support team on call 24/7/365 to keep it all running at peak efficiency from day one and for years to come. In addition to the company’s certification as a Siemens Solution Partner and a Rockwell Automation Recognized System Integrator, EDC is a factory authorized/factory trained service center for over 40 drive brands.  For more information, visit the company’s website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.