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! 

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 a 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


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.




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. 





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.


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


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.


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.

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.


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


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.

EDC: A Growing Force in System Integration

Explore how Electronic Drives and Controls (EDC) secures its position among System Integrator Giants through unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction, innovation, and sustained excellence in system integration.

The realm of system integration is a competitive arena, demanding excellence, dedication, and a steadfast commitment to customer satisfaction. Electronic Drives and Controls (EDC) continues to make significant strides in this space. This year marks another achievement for EDC as they secure a place once again on the prestigious 2023 System Integrator Giants list presented by CFE Media and Technology, showcasing their consistent excellence in the field.

Securing the 64th position on this list is a testament to EDC’s continued success. EDC has demonstrated a consistent growth rate averaging 10% annually. Their expertise in both coating and laminating, and wire and cable systems has been instrumental in their sustained growth over the years.

Understanding EDC’s Success

When reflecting on their inclusion on the list of SI Giants, EDC leadership expressed great excitement, attributing a big part of their success to an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. Their dedication goes beyond project completion—it’s about fostering enduring relationships built on trust and reliability. Chuck Dillard, when interviewed for this piece, was actually at a client’s factory replacing some equipment that EDC installed way back in 1995, perfectly encapsulating EDC’s ethos of being a trusted, long-term partner to their clients. Customer satisfaction is their cornerstone and it’s what drives repeat business and nurtures long-term partnerships. This approach has helped them build trust, secure repeat business, and stand out among the best in the System Integrator Giants list.

Their affiliation with the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) has also played a pivotal role in EDC’s success, acting as a catalyst towards a higher level of operations. Chuck highlighted this transition, noting that while membership provided direction, and “Certification holds us accountable, triggering a cultural shift in our company.” He emphasized that, “Once certified, we began implementing and adhering to the documented standards.” 

The move from relying on ‘tribal knowledge’ to embracing documented standards expedited growth and enhanced operational efficiency at EDC. “CSIA’s certification not only standardized our processes but also instilled a culture of accountability and excellence within EDC,” said Chuck. This shift laid the foundation for sustained growth and solidified EDC’s position among the System Integrator Giants.

Overcoming Challenges and Innovating

While making the list was a great success for 2023, the year wasn’t without its challenges, the most notable of which was the parts shortage amid supply chain disruptions. However, in a collaborative effort between EDC’s purchasing and engineering departments adeptly navigated these hurdles, creating workarounds and ensuring seamless business operations even amid the scarcity. Their ability to grow during this period was commendable and spoke volumes about their resilience.

Insights from EDC

Being recognized among the System Integrator Giants serves as more than just a milestone; it’s a morale booster for the entire EDC team. Chuck highlighted its impact, stating, “It reminds us that we are part of something bigger. We contribute to something really important in the world.”

EDC’s advice for aspiring System Integrator Giants revolves around the paramount importance of customer satisfaction. He stressed the value of maintaining customer satisfaction as the linchpin of business success, urging others to prioritize it above all else.  Chuck emphasized, “Your customers are your greatest asset.” 

Reinvestment emerged as a pivotal principle driving EDC’s success. Chuck’s advice echoed a philosophy of steady growth through prudent reinvestment rather than mere profit-seeking. “We have always reinvested back into EDC as a company, and it has made all the difference.” 

Future Plans and Commitment

EDC’s continued inclusion on the list of SI Giants signifies a momentous achievement for 2023, but their journey doesn’t end here; it marks the beginning of their commitment to continued growth, anchored in quality, customer-centricity, and prudent reinvestment. As Chuck eloquently summarized, “Some Giants become top-heavy and topple over. That won’t be us.” EDC is poised to be a shining example of sustainable growth, forging a legacy in the domain of system integration. Contact us today to explore our services.

Modernizing Industrial Machinery: A Strategic Approach to Retrofitting with EDC

EDC’s client bought a slitting machine that was in pieces from an auction.  EDC engineers were excited to give new life to a line that was in a used equipment warehouse.

Case study by EDC Project Manager Joe Maloney

Slitting Line Upgraded by EDC with New HMI and Streamlined Operator Controls
Slitting Line Upgraded by EDC with New HMI and Streamlined Operator Controls


Reviving outdated machinery with modern controls demands strategic planning. This was the case when an EDC client acquired a 1960s-era Ruesch Slitting line from an auction. “The client bought the individual pieces of the slitting line. Everything was obsolete, defunct,” said EDC Project Manager Joe Maloney. “The client didn’t have any electrical drawings. Everything had to be refurbished and there were no controls. The client bought this slitter and they needed us, the systems integrator, to provide controls and integrate it back to working condition, which was no small feat.”

For cost and timing reasons, the client had chosen refurbishment of older equipment rather than investing in new equipment.

Once running, the line would be tasked with slitting 200 meter runs of a thicker gauge steel laminate material used in making bearings.  With no welding system in place to link subsequent coils together, the material tails out at the end of each coil.  


In addition to possessing obsolete controls, among the primary challenges was the presence of outdated Parker SSD DC drives. 

Reusing the existing drives required extensive refurbishment and rewiring to integrate them with a modern control system. This choice was driven by both cost considerations and the compatibility of the drives with the line’s existing components. The client’s choice to use the refurbished drives presented additional challenges with outdated connectivity interfaces, such as the need to program drives through serial cables due to the absence of Ethernet connectivity.  “Without the refurbished drives, we could have used a high-speed Ethernet protocol to communicate things like run commands and line speed. Because of the drives, everything had to be hardwired,” said Joe Maloney.

“We followed strict arc flash rules to gain access to the panel, wearing the full personal protective equipment (PPE) suit,” said Joe Maloney. “All these old drives don’t connect over Ethernet, so you have to program them through a serial connection. The hard wire, the run, the speed reference, all the feedback – all that eats up your available IO.”



With an ambitious project timeline of four months and needing to meet additional safety requirements, the client aimed to integrate controls into the acquired line. With a focus on compliance with safety standards and certifications, EDC offered flexibility in programming and integrating the outdated controls and fragmented machinery.


The line’s layout comprised six primary components, each playing an important role in its operation. These included:
1. Uncoiler section: Where the material is unwound and fed into the machine
 2. Slitting section: Where the actual cutting process occurs
3. Scrap winder area: Manages the disposal of scrap edge trimmed material
4. Tension stand: Isolates tension between Slitter and Recoiler
5. Recoiler: Rewinds the processed material
6. Turnstile: facilitates material handling and movement within the line





While reusing the legacy Parker SSD DC drives, EDC engineers retrofitted the slitting machine with a modern PLC and HMI; the controls software was programmed from scratch.  To enhance functionality, EDC modified the operator stations by streamlining interfaces and optimizing control panels. Rockwell Automation / Allen Bradley components were used for the retrofit, including the installation of a CompactLogix PLC and a PanelView HMI, enhancing control capabilities and providing a user-friendly interface for operators. 

In addressing the outdated DC motor used in the scrap winder area, EDC opted for integration of a new AC motor. This replacement not only eliminated the limitations associated with the obsolete DC motor but also improved efficiency and reliability in material handling operations.

Since the line’s speed could exceed 100-200 feet per minute as the coil finishes, the metal tail could pose a safety hazard.  “I programmed in a footage counter and an auto stop on the slitter so the customer could stop near the recoil,” said Joe Maloney. “Once you reach the preset length, it shifts your set point down to a slow speed, and then you run at that slow speed for a short amount of time before it is turned off. We provide the flexibility of being able to have custom programming to meet the client’s specific situation and needs.  We can even add features at a future time as the production evolves.”

Another customization was adding a sensor that integrated with the hydraulic system to automatically provide tension stand positioning.


“It’s almost like we took a bucket of parts and helped them put it all in place and then completely reprogrammed everything from scratch,” said EDC Vice President of Systems Chuck Dillard. “You can get a line from a used equipment dealer, not know much about it and have junk for electrical parts. Our engineers were able to put it together utilizing many of the original parts to create a fully-functional machine.”

“It can take months, if not years, to build a new piece of equipment rather than getting a used piece of machinery,” said Joe Maloney. “By taking older equipment and updating the controls, you can save not only time, but also a lot of money – and that gives you an extra 20 or 30 years of life on that equipment.”

Through retrofitting, integration of modern components, and adherence to strict safety regulations, the slitting line was transformed into a reliable and efficient asset for the client. Despite the many challenges posed by outdated controls, lack of documentation, complex wiring, and more, EDC successfully restored the equipment’s functionality. This slitting line will contribute to the client’s operations for years to come, offering a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to investing in new equipment.