Electronic Drives and Controls Named First U.S. Siemens Solution Partner Certified for Drives & Motion

Parsippany, NJ – February 28, 2018 – Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC), a leading control system integrator and field service company for industrial automation and drive technology, today announced it is the first U.S. Siemens Solution Partner to be certified for Drives & Motion. A Siemens Solution Partner since 2014, the company is also certified in Advanced Factory Automation.

With this new certification, EDC has established itself as a strategic solution partner and leading system integrator focused on helping manufacturers with obsolete drive and control technology to automate manual processes and upgrade aging equipment.

“Our congratulations go to Electronic Drives and Controls. This certification means their clients can always trust that EDC will professionally deliver the most advanced solutions based on the powerful combination of SINAMICS integrated drives and SIMATIC totally integrated automation,” said Peter Treible, National Industrial Partner Manager, Siemens.

“We are proud to have Electronic Drives and Controls as a Siemens Solution Partner! EDC has consistently proven that we can always count on them to deliver quality engineering and implementation services, the first time, every time, for our clients. This investment in certification is one of many reasons Siemens views EDC as a leader in their market.”

EDC has 50 years of experience integrating new control systems and repairing or retrofitting older equipment for a variety of manufacturing industries local to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. With exceptional domain expertise, the company has also established itself nationwide as the go-to resource for manufacturers in the wire and cable, coating, laminating, and converting industries.

Electronic Drives and Controls Siemens
EDC Case Study - Siemens

“For the typical manufacturers we work with, older drives such as Siemens MasterDrives 6SE70 series have been great workhorses for years. We know because we have installed hundreds of them over the years,” said Chuck Dillard, vice president of EDC. “The problem is, as these older industrial drives and controls reach obsolescence, downtime for manufacturers becomes a costly problem with no OEM support and difficulty sourcing replacement parts. We help manufacturers retrofit existing equipment gaining the advantages of new automation technology at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new equipment.”

When upgrading older equipment, automating manual processes allows manufacturers to gain a competitive edge with greater throughput and efficiency. It also sets the stage for leveraging the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and digitalization of the shop floor.

In addition to EDC’s work with the manufacturing sector, the company has a field service business unit. Highly trained technicians perform repairs, large-scale retrofits, and preventative maintenance for customers in the pharmaceuticals, real estate management and HVAC industries.

About Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc.
Founded in 1968, Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC) is a CSIA Certified control system integrator with a large field service team specializing in AC and DC drives, PLCs and factory automation. Family owned and operated for 50 years, EDC’s team of engineers and technicians has great depth of 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 1 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.

Electronic Drives and Controls to Share Building HVAC Automation Expertise in May 8 Presentation at BuildingsNY 2018 Conference

Engineering Consultant Bob Pusateri of Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. will share best practices for installation and maintenance of energy-efficient variable frequency drives (VFD) to maximize building owners’ utility cost savings over the life of HVAC systems.

Parsippany, NJ –May 6, 2018 – 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 will present at the BuildingsNY 2018 Conference on May 8, 2018 at the Javits Center in NYC at 10:45am. The presentation, entitled “Ensuring VFDs Continue to Save You Money,” will be given by EDC’s Engineering Consultant, Bob Pusateri.

In his presentation, Bob Pusateri will share what building managers can expect from VFDs’ energy cost savings and how to maintain those savings. Bob graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1987. Since then, Bob has gained over 25 years’ experience in industrial controls, specifically with variable frequency drives and motion control. Before joining EDC as an engineering consultant in 2004, Bob held various relevant positions in manufacturing, sales, project management and development. Bob’s experience has given him exposure to thousands of applications in dozens of automation brands.

When asked what he is looking forward to most about the presentation, Bob says, “It has been known for decades that VFDs can significantly reduce a facility’s energy consumption, thus helping owners and managers contain costs while pleasing Mother Earth. We show you in simple terms how VFDs do it and how to keep them running around the clock.”

The BuildingsNY 2018 Conference brings together building owners and managers, facility and maintenance managers, superintendents, architects, contractors, developers and engineers with an opportunity to discover new ways to reduce overhead, manage risk and identify cost savings.

Pre-register for BuildingsNY ’18 and Bob Putaseri’s presentation here: http://www.buildingsny.com/en/Contributors/5571084/Pusateri-Bob

About Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc.  
Founded in 1968, Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC) is a CSIA Certified control system integrator with a large field service team specializing in AC and DC drives, PLCs and factory automation. Family owned and operated for 50 years, EDC’s team of engineers and technicians has great depth of 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 1 and for years to come. In addition to the company’s certifications 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.

Bob Pusateri of Electronic Drives and Controls Headshot

EDC Achieves Control System Integrator Association’s Certification, Meeting Highest Industry Standards

Electronic Drives and Controls achieves CSIA’s benchmark certification, meeting the highest level of technical and business performance standards in providing innovative control system integration solutions and field service work for industrial automation and drive technology.EDC CSIA certification

Parsippany, NJ – January 6, 2020 – 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 certification by the Control System Integrator Association (CSIA), meeting the highest industry standard for successful management of a control system integration business.

“Congratulations to Electronic Drives and Controls on their successful CSIA re-certification. This is a testament to their serious commitment to continuous improvement,” said Jose M. Rivera, CSIA CEO.  “We commend the entire team for this important accomplishment. By supporting the CSIA Certification program Electronic Drives and Controls is not only advancing their company, they are also elevating the playing field for the entire control systems integration community.”

CSIA is a global trade association that seeks to advance the industry of control system integration.  To achieve CSIA certification, a company must demonstrate a commitment to delivering the highest level of quality, performance and reliability by meeting or exceeding the CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks guidelines in ten key areas, encompassing both technical and business aspects of operation.

To achieve CSIA certification, a third-party auditor conducts an intensive review to confirm that the comprehensive CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks have been implemented in ten key areas such as general management, human resources management, business development and sales management, financial management, project management, system development lifecycle, quality management, technical management, and other supporting activities.

“As a longtime CSIA member, we have deeply integrated the CSIA Best Practices and Benchmarks into our culture,” said Bud Dillard, president of Electronic Drives and Controls. “Having successfully achieved the rigorous CSIA certification allows us to demonstrate to our customers that our sound business practices and strong technical proficiency substantially reduce their project risk.”

About Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc.  
Founded in 1968, Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC) is a CSIA Certified control system integrator with a large field service team specializing in AC and DC drives, PLCs and factory automation headquartered in Parsippany, NJ. Family owned and operated for 50 years, EDC’s team of engineers and technicians has great depth of 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 1 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, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

5 Controls-Based Causes of Scrap

Often, when people think about causes of scrap, they think about something like a damaged fixture, or worn-out tooling.

Those examples are both mechanical issues, and can contribute to a large amount of scrap being generated in a system. Now the real question is, are there any other areas that can contribute to scrap?

The answer is yes, and one of those main areas is on the controls side of the system. While frequently overlooked, controls related scrap can start as soon as a system is installed.  Below are 5 sources of scrap and how they can be solved with controls solutions.

Analog

Certain devices, like many analog sensors, can be very sensitive to changes in temperature, humidity and other weather conditions. Not using a sensor in its correct environment can lead to inconsistencies in the feedback generated by the device.

Having the right type of device for the job is important, but making sure that the device is able to work accurately in your environment is crucial.

Electrical Noise

Electrical noise occurs when there are unwanted disturbances in an electrical signal. This can become a major issue, especially with analog signals and cause a system to react in un-intended ways.

Using the correct type of cable and shielding can help to reduce the electrical noise created in the system. It is important to not only look at the signal cables, but the communication and power cables as well.

Outdated Programming

Over the years, and sometimes even months, the conditions can change in a system. Maybe product was sourced from a new supplier, or a whole new product type was added to the line. It may seem more appropriate to make a series of quick patches to get the system back up and running, but you need to also look at the long-term implications.

Properly updating software for new changes and added complexity can help reduce the amount of time spent on adjusting just to make things work. When qualifying the added expense of the software updates, make sure to include the reduction of scrap in the ROI.

Inconsistent Hardware Controls

A lot of hardware in a system can have some degree of variability such as the speed of a motor, the pressure for a pneumatic line, or the amount of product dispensed per cycle. Improperly monitoring or controlling vital pieces of hardware can greatly increase scrap, especially between multiple shifts and newly trained operators.

Recipes are a great way to collect setpoints that can be used to drive the automation. With the added ability to save changes and load different recipes, you can reduce the amount of scrap between product changes.

Tension Control

Variations in the tension of your product can lead to rips, wrinkles, and/or printing issues. Not only can this lead to an increase in scrap, but also downtime to get the line back up and running.

Consider adding in one or more tension zones including a load cell or a dancer to gain greater control of your product and reduce the amount of scrap created. Making any adjustments to a tension process can be a trying process and, in most cases, it is beneficial to seek expert opinions on the subject.

 

EDC can help you diagnose your causes of scrap and create a solution to provide you with a more efficient process. For more information, contact us.

When the Water Breaks, You Better Have a Deep Bench

When the water breaks blog

Unexpected hiccups don’t only come from debugging and equipment delays.  A recent project hit a series of inopportune personal events at a critical moment, but installation finished smoothly (and on time!) due to careful planning and EDC’s deep bench.

EDC was performing a major controls overhaul on an early 1980’s Prandi Coating Line for ADM, an industry leader in the manufacturing and supply of high-quality pressure sensitive envelopes, packaging and shipping products. This upgrade included converting 1990s Indramat servos and AB SLC 500 PLCs to a Siemens S120 vector drive system and Siemens S7-1500 PLC with ET 200SP Remote I/O and Comfort Panel HMIs. Scores of analog controls, relays and other electrical components were also being replaced or eliminated, cleaning up a rat’s nest of wires and chaos.

In-depth mechanical design was required for a load cell roll addition and pneumatic brakes to be integrated into the two unwinds, replacing the older electro-magnetic brakes. Even more difficult was converting the OEM’s integrated rewind spindle DC motors and gear train to off-the-shelf AC vector motors and gearheads utilizing the existing cast housings. Since the turret’s slip rings could not carry all the signals needed for the new controls, wireless ethernet communications were used between the rewind drives, mounted on the turrets themselves, and a nearby remote I/O enclosure.

Veteran Project Engineer Joe Maloney took the helm early in 2021 with an expected August start-up. Explosive customer demand, supply chain issues and later, September’s Hurricane Ida, forced ADMs availability into the New Year. Two additional constraints “arose” – one with a Joe Maloney project start-up for a different customer slated for April 2022 in Virginia and another Joe Maloney joint venture – the impending birth of his first child in February! With that news, EDC pushed for ADM to begin the Prandi retrofit in early January. EDC added two assisting project engineers to ensure that the complex changeover would be completed and back in production in just ten days. 

Joe Maloney devised a detailed project plan for mechanical and electrical facets to keep the install team on track. A meeting with the customer was called right after New Year’s. Everyone from operators to production supervision participated in the review of the plan to ensure all technical and delivery goals would be met. “We started the job on Friday, January 14th,” said Project Manager, Bob Pusateri.  “By Monday morning, we were halfway into ripping out all the old equipment (way past the point of no return) when one of our engineers received the call that his parents, with whom he had spent the weekend, had tested positive for COVID. He immediately quarantined.  While we were arranging for another engineer to head to the site that afternoon, Joe Maloney’s wife called.  Her water broke, five weeks early.  In just a few hours, our lead engineer and a key back-up were out of commission!  EDC went to their bench for two more engineers. The first stepped seamlessly into place the same day, and the second joined him shortly after.”

After a week of family leave, Joe was able to step back into the leadership role and see the project through to its final days. Solid planning and a deep bench of quality project engineers helped EDC to ensure that ADM’s project goals were met, despite a different kind of, er, delivery issue! All three: mom, new baby Maloney, and the customer are doing great.

Find before and after photos below!

Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. Provides Successful Energy Efficiency Upgrade with Harmonic Mitigation for Major Jersey City Commercial Property

EDC Jersey City Project

EDC acted as general contractor, providing the electrical design, installation services, harmonic mitigation and analysis for an upscale waterfront commercial property in Jersey City.

Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC), a leading control systems integrator and field service company for industrial automation and variable frequency drive (VFD) technology, today announced the company has successfully completed a major energy efficiency modernization of the HVAC motor controls for a class-A commercial property on the Hudson River in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Electronic Drives and Controls served as general contractor for the 11-month long project which was won in a competitive bid, partnering with union electricians from Arbor Electric.  EDC engineers modernized the building’s cooling water control system with the addition of 28 energy-efficient fan and pump VFDs and assisted with the replacement of an eight-cell cooling tower, heat trace wiring and temporary controls while the building management system (BMS) was being retrofitted.  After a power quality analysis, EDC engineers completed the electrical design with harmonic mitigation according to IEEE 519 guidelines.  To minimize electrical noise at the facility, EDC’s design included active harmonic filters maintaining optimum power quality, minimizing power-related issues with client computer systems and maintaining unity power factor to provide savings in power cost. Additional savings were realized when EDC engineers retrofitted the drives into existing motor control centers avoiding the cost and lost physical space of wall-mounted drives.

“Between the savings on utilities and the New Jersey energy rebates earned, this project had a quick ROI,” said Chuck Dillard, vice president, Systems Group at Electronic Drives and Controls.  “The client was proactive in modernizing the building’s HVAC VFDs, greatly benefiting the marquee tenants in this upmarket property with better comfort, improved power quality and reliability.”

Electronic Drives and Controls serves premier high-rise commercial real estate clients in the greater New York metro area, specializing in upgrades and preventive maintenance (PM) while also offering 24/7/365 emergency services.  

“In these big properties, when something goes wrong or we lose a critical piece of equipment, it can be very difficult to try and provide services that are necessary without affecting the tenants. It can be daunting at times,” said Kevin Ridder, Chief Engineer of 52 Broadway in New York City.  “I know that when I pick up that phone and call EDC, I’m going to get somebody that’s going to handle it – that will be there as soon as they can, and is going to take care of it with the best solution possible. I can’t give them a higher rating than the highest rating. They are excellent.”

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.”