Find Out if LED Lighting is for You

Have you seen the new LED lighting tubes that can simply replace your conventional T8 fluorescent tubes?

LEDtronics has just unveiled their line of energy-efficient T8/bi-pin LED lighting tubes.

What’s so great about that you might ask and what can they do for you?  Quite a number of things, actually, that can affect your work space, your bottom line, and your energy consumption requirements:

  • The LED48T8-288-001 W bi-pin LED will fit right into your standard G13 bases and are made to be direct replacements for your T8’s; no having to buy new fixtures
  • LED48T8 lamps have an operating life of 50,000 hours (that’s about 5.7 years of continuous light) compared to conventional fluorescents range of 8,000-24,000 hours
  • They run on a voltage range of only 100-290 volts AC allowing them to operate easily on solar power
  • The LED’s provide the equivalent light output of 24-32 watt fluorescent lamps but consume less than 19 watts
  • The LED48T8 tubes comply with RoHS (the lead-free and mercury-free directive) as well as the CE safety assurance
  • They emit NO infrared or ultraviolet radiation and reduce light pollution
  • LED tube lamps require no ballast, turn on instantly with no flickering or humming, and over their lifespan the light degrades only 10%, typically near the end of its life
  • The lamps produce minimal heat (running at about 95 degrees F) so the temperature inside your fixtures will not build up as it does with conventional fluorescent tubes (which run up to 180 degrees F)
  • LEDtronics’ LED tubes have UV-resistance polycarbonate housings  that allow these lamps to be used in places exposed to the elements
  • For those of you in industries that have light-specific requirements check this out:  LEDtronics’s LED tubes deliver 1,342 lumens at a color temperature of 5000K (pure daylight white) and 1,072 lumens at a color temperature of 3000K (warm white) and provide a brightness of up to 429 maximum foot candela across a 114 degree beam pattern with a CRI of 80

These lights do cost a bit more than traditional fluorescents but the return on investment is obvious.  Although we have mentioned LEDtronics here in this article, there are a number of LED tube manufacturers who can provide information and prices.

Plant efficiency is achieved in multiple ways including reducing your energy costs.  Don’t forget about getting your industrial electronics repaired which can also be a big money-saver.  From servo motor repairs to circuit board repairs, to plc repairs and much more, ACS Industrial has your back.  Call our helpful and always-friendly customer service team for assistance at 800-605-6419.

ACS Selected by DOD’s ESGR as Five Star Employer

ACS Industrial Services, Inc. is proud to announce that it has been selected as a Five Star Employer by the Department of Defense’s Employer Support Group of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) for its outstanding support of military families. 

“Everyone at ACS was so supportive right from the first day,” said ACS’ Jenny Burner who nominated ACS for the Five Star designation as soon as her husband Sgt. Carl Burner, US Army Reserve returned from his year-long deployment to Iraq with the US Army Reserve’s 298th SMC.  “We’re just so grateful to everyone here at ACS for being so supportive knowing I was the only one here responsible for the kids while Carl was away,” said Jen.

As veterans themselves, Arnie Breidenbaugh and Bill Bafford of ACS are very conscious of doing what they can for employees who are serving their country.   ACS Supports the Troops

“We do our best to have a supportive work environment for all of our employees and are especially honored to be recognized by the DOD for our part in helping out the troops,” said Breidenbaugh, who served in the U.S. Army in the 1970s.

“As a former Naval officer I’m proud to be honored for supporting our troops and their families,” added Bafford.

The ESGR is a Department of Defense volunteer organization dedicated to recognizing employers that support their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve and their families.  The five-star recognition is the highest honor ESGR can award.   ACS’ name will soon be added to the ESGR’s website along with many other fine companies that have been recognized for their support.

You can find out more about this important program at www.esgr.mil.

Are You Well Grounded? Don’t Be “Shocked” if You’re Not

Stay Safe - Get Industrial Electronic Repairs “Shocking” Info Bites: 

  • Almost 500 people die each year from electrical accidents, mostly in the workplace, putting it among the top 10 causes of accidental death in the U.S.
  • Approximately 80% of all injuries and fatalities caused by electrical accidents are not caused by the electric shock itself, but by the intensive heat, light and pressure blast caused by electrical faults. 
  • The blast made by vaporizing metallic components can break bones and damage internal organs.

Scary?  Don’t be one of these statistics. One important factor in plant safety is proper grounding techniques.  There is no faking it here, so make sure you are working with a licensed master electrician.   Here are just a few important things to remember about grounding to protect both people and equipment:

  • The ground wire must be sized the same size as the supply wires or one size smaller as a minimum.  The three-phase power brought into a plant must also have a ground wire.
  • Do not mix wires of different voltages in conduit.
  • Never run any wires through an electronic control panel that do not relate to the function of the panel; electronic control panels should never be used as a junction box.
  • Never allow field wiring to come in close proximity with the controller boards.
  • Never add relays, starters, timers, transformers, etc. inside an electronic control panel without first contacting the manufacturer for specific instructions.
  • Never run refrigerant tubing inside an electronic control panel (ammonia will destroy your electronics).
  • If the electronic control panel has a starter built into the same panel, be sure to run the higher voltage wires as indicated by the manufacturer since EMI from the wires can interfere with the electronics if run too close to the circuitry.
  • Never daisy-chain or parallel-connect power or ground wires to electronic control panels.
  • Sensitive electronics require special grounding; ground impedance of one ohm or less may protect people from electric shock but may not be enough protection for electronic equipment.  IEEE recommends a ground impedance to be less than 0.25 ohms for proper protection.
  • Check all devices immediately after installation to verify proper wiring; receptacles should be checked to avoid common wiring errors such as reversed polarity or an open neutral.
  • Check the manufacturer’s requirements, codes, and always hire a licensed master electrician for electrical work.  It may save a life and it will almost certainly save your electronic equipment.

The bottom line is, we CAN protect ourselves from electrical accidents AND prevent costly equipment damage by using certified devices, testing equipment from reputable manufacturers, and keeping up to date on electrical codes. For specific code compliance information see http://www.neccodebooks.com or get the latest electrical codes from http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/.

If your electronic equipment does get fried, we will be delighted to provide power supply repair, circuit board repair, or virtually any other type of industrial electronics repair you need.  ACS Industrial’s tech team is here to help you.

Zippo Making Lemonade out of Lemons

Wouldn’t it be sad if the iconic Zippo lighter disappeared?  It could happen.  Even as a never-smoked non-smoker (ok, except for that one pack I tried back in 1977 in 10th grade (sorry Mom)) I would miss this American –made symbol of ruggedness and durability with its recognizable click.

Zippo celebrates its 80th anniversary this year and the making of its 500 millionth lighter in 2012. This icon has played an important symbolic role in many classic American films such as “The Green Berets”, “Apocalypse Now”, “From Here to Eternity”,  “Pork Chop Hill”, both “Die Hard” and “Die Harder”, and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusader.”

But with increasing pressure on people not to smoke, the Zippo Manufacturing Company knew even 10 years ago that it was time to find a way to keep the Zippo brand alive that didn’t rely on smoking. Yes…making lemonade out of lemons.

Think Victorinox Swiss Army brands that now sells watches, luggage, clothing and fragrances all consistent with their image of the ruggedness of their multi-purpose knives or of the Eddie Bauer-branded sport utility vehicles.

In that vein, Zippo hired David Warfel as its director of global marketing taking advantage of his considerable branding experience with Xerox, Kodak, and Ray-Ban.

You might soon see Zippo “kiosks” inside of larger department stores and prototype Zippo specialty stores selling a wider variety of products possibly including watches, clothing, and of course, lighters.  Although most of the test locations will be overseas, the first U.S. Zippo kiosk will open at Kennedy International Airport in New York City this April.

So, good for you Zippo.   The Duke would probably be pleased that you didn’t give up.

My motto is “There’s always a way” and we are all about making lemonade out of lemons.  Three bad servo motors can sometimes equal one good, repaired servo motor with a talented repair technician at the helm.  Whether it’s servo motor repairs, drive repairs, power supply repairs or any other industrial electronic repair, we look for the most sensible, cost-sensitive approach to solving your repair problems.

Feel Like Plant Maintenance is a Necessary Evil? It Doesn’t Have to Be!

Do you consider plant maintenance to be a necessary evil?  You are not alone.  According to a poll by Plant Engineering, 44% of you feel that way.  And, 30% of you consider it the first place to cut money out of the budget.

I get that.  Maintenance is not glamorous, not nearly as cool as getting shiny new equipment, sometimes kinda boring, and occasionally, expensive.   Rather stick a hot poker in your eye?

We can help.  Send us your huddled masses of electronic equipment needing maintenance or repair.

Wringing out the problems, repairing them and getting your equipment back to you in perfect working order as fast as we can is NOT boring and NOT a necessary evil for our tech team.

Drive repairs, power supply repairs, servo motor repairs, encoders, PLCs, printed circuit boards, monitors, we do it all!   We make it as painless and seamless as possible.  Head to our website at www.acsindustrial.com  or call us at 800-605-6419 to get speedy repair assistance.

Mention this blog and get %15 off the cost of the repair price of your first order.  Now, doesn’t that feel a little less evil?

Pie Anyone?

Like pie?  Me too!!! Cherry, peach, key lime, shoofly, apple…. with ice cream…without ice cream.  All pies!  Today is International Pi Day….3/14….Pi…get it?  As most of you are of the engineering mindset, I’m sure you got that.

If you didn’t, Pi is the number expressing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and used in engineering, science and statistics.  It begins with 3.14 and goes on into infinity….hence March 14 is International Pi Day.

Stop by your local bakery on the way home tonight and surprise your family with a pie to celebrate Pi Day – no one will complain about this celebration of math!  No flash cards, calculators, or slide rules (anybody remember those??) required – just pie!!!

If pi(e) doesn’t get it for you, then take a snooze.  Tell your boss it’s legit – today is also National Workplace Napping Day.  Not kidding either…see for yourself http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87232&page=1.

If you wake up from that much-deserved post-pie nap and remember you forgot to find an industrial electronics repair shop today for your broken equipment, and now you need rush electronic repair service, give us a call at 800-605-6419.  Our helpful customer service team is positively excellent at understanding panicy yawns!

Hiring “Rockstarninjas” – Jobs in Industry Growing

Unemployed?  If you are in construction or manufacturing, here’s some good news.  According to CNN reports, in February construction jobs had the biggest one-month jobs gain in nearly four years – and it’s been a long darn four years for the construction industry which still has a jaw-dropping 21.8% unemployment rate.

Manufacturing’s February increase was the strongest in 16 years, with a 9.9% current unemployment rate, only one percentage higher than the overall unemployment rate.

Many manufacturers are now saying they could increase production 50% or more if they could just find the workers.  They predict that the number of manufacturers with a large number of unfilled positions for skilled workers will likely double in the next five years!

Still, I keep hearing our manufacturing customers say they can’t find skilled workers and the ones they’ve got are great but they aren’t getting any younger.  If you are a middle-aged electrician, machinist, or welder you are probably still employed…if not, keep looking because there is an increasing demand and more companies are willing to invest  in training and education in new  technologies – they literally have to.

And what about the kids?  They’re spooked about getting jobs in manufacturing with worries that U.S. manufacturing has left for China and India.  From what I am hearing, this thought is more like an urban myth gone viral and could not be further from the truth.  Industry is literally getting desperate for young skilled workers to replace those that are aging out.

There are, of course, irresistible temptations out there for young graduates – Google’s starting salary for new computer science grads is $100,000.  $100,000! For a kid who probably doesn’t even know how to balance a check book!  But if he or she can write great apps, Google will pay them even more and call them “rockstarninja” engineers. At that rate I guess they can hire someone to balance their check book.

Not everyone, or rather hardly anyone, was meant to be a “rockstarninja” engineer.  It’s totally cool to be a “rockstarninja” machinist, technician or electrician.  I don’t have a list of manufacturers hiring, but am happy to pass along some good news.

Spring Surprises and Buffalo Experiments

Excitement is in the air! Spring is almost here and  it’s time for…wait for it, wait for it….no, not spring flowers, no, not baseball… it’s time for the Annual Science Fair!

This weekend I will be spending quality time with the youngest and smallest of my three buffalo, oops, I mean sons measuring and graphing the heat dissipation of various types of metal.  This will require a great deal of focus, patience, frequent snacks for the buffalo as all the brain-work will surely make him more hungry than usual, and some electronic  test equipment (not that I would ever borrow tools from work).

Much to the delight of the rest of the family, we will commandeer the kitchen, the oven (to heat the dang things), the dining room table, the computer, the printer and whatever else I haven’t thought of yet.

It’s sounding a little complainy here, but in reality, this will be time well spent and I might learn a thing or two myself.  He’ll learn a good bit too including how to use electronic test equipment, how to persevere even when things don’t go quite as planned, how to track information accurately, how to present his findings in a clear and straight forward report…heck, sounds like he might make a good ACS electronic repair technician!

Top Tips To Save Your Manufacturing Plant Money

I am always interested in understanding where our customers are coming from.  Two things I hear a lot are “skilled workers shortage” and needing to “produce more with less money”.  Today’s tips are for helping you “do more with less”.  No matter what your role at the plant, you are expected to look for ways to squeeze more out of poor old Abe.  One way most plants can save is by reducing their energy costs:

  1. Use variable-speed drives on motors serving variable loads.  (for more on this see this previous post on variable speed drives) When the motor is under a lighter load, they slow the motor down to reduce power consumption.
  2. Install occupancy sensors.  These work by turning lights on when people enter private offices, restrooms, or other infrequently used spaces.  (These gizmos freaked me out the first time I saw them in the local Wal-Mart  – the whole row of freezers lit up when I walked down the aisle…thought I was on T.V. or something!)
  3. Install a setback thermometer in smaller buildings.  These can really save.
  4. Install your own substation.  Better rates are often available to large consumers of electric power.
  5. Outsource heating/cooling and generation operations. This reduces energy bills as well as capital and personnel costs.  Your energy company can provide advice about this.
  6. Manage loads.  If your plant operates 24/7 shift loads to off-peak hours wherever possible and stagger the start-up of major electrical loads.  Programmable sequence controllers make this doable.  Larger plants can consider self-generation of distributed generation.
  7. Downsize mechanical equipment.  Many older plants have oversized HVAC blowers, pumps and chillers which waste capital, space and energy.  Do a load analysis to see if downsizing mechanical equipment will work for you.
  8. Establish an “energy cop” and respond.  This means regularly reviewing the energy saving performance of your energy and HVAC providers and ask for competitive proposals.  If you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it.
  9. Perform an energy audit.  A true energy audit by a specialist will pinpoint savings that might be missed otherwise.  This could be money well spent.
  10. Modernize the lighting.  Lighting systems over 10 years old should likely be replaced.  Payback on this will be pretty quick especially if there are local incentive programs.  More efficient lighting uses less power and runs cooler which reduces HVAC costs.  Consider upgrading all your lighting including signage such as emergency exit signs.

If you give it some thought, you can probably come up with 10 more ideas to save on energy for your plant.  I got these ideas from an article on one of my favorite websites, www.PlantServices.com.  Be a hero and save your plant some money.  There might be great ways to invest that saved money like advanced training, or new equipment, or a trip to Fiji (just kidding!)