Monthly Archives: February 2018

A Fresh Look at Waste

Waste production is a vast issue across all industries worldwide. Hundreds of millions of tons of waste are sent to landfills nationwide from businesses alone every year. By taking a fresh look at waste, business can lessen their environmental impact.

Cardboard and Shrink Wrap

Recently French Gerleman has taken a new approach when it comes to waste, focusing on recycling the key sources of waste from our distribution centers, namely cardboard, shrink wrap and pallets. We also recycle materials that you include in your curbside recycling bin like computer paper, aluminum cans and plastic bottles.  We even recycle scrap metal, old electronic equipment and used fluorescent lamps.

eScrap Waste

“We started looking at our waste as a commodity and not trash,” said Alex McKie, Director of Logistics.  “Once we did that, we really changed how we handled our waste and started implementing programs that keep it out of landfills.”

By adopting this new approach, each month we divert more than six tons of waste out of the landfill so it can instead be recycled for other purposes:

Our Cardboard Baler

  • Cardboard – 2,170 cubic yards (or 2.25 tons)
  • Shrink wrap – 58,500 cubic yards (or 2.3 tons)
  • Wood pallets – 27,000 cubic yards (or 1.05 tons)
  • Computer paper, cans, plastic, etc. – 7 cubic yards (0.5 tons)
  • eScrap, metal scrap, and copper and aluminum scrap – 0.5 tons

These monthly totals equate to removing nearly 80 tons of waste from the landfill each year.  The next time you toss out a cardboard box or packing materials, think about where it’s going. Know your French Gerleman team is constantly seeking new ways to recycle, reduce waste and find solutions that keep material out of our landfills.

If your company would like to decrease its impact on landfill waste by recycling and need referrals to local services, we would be happy to help.  Contact your French Gerleman Account Manager for information on recycling solutions we offer or referrals to other recycling services.

Recyclable Pallets


The French Gerleman Motion Summit Recap

Recently we hosted a Motion Summit, a complimentary event at our St. Louis branch covering the latest motion control updates with Rockwell Automation and our other motion automation partners. We demonstrated tools to design, develop, and troubleshoot motion control systems.

If you weren’t able to attend, here are some highlights from the presentations:


Rockwell Automation focused on Integrated Architecture and how it incorporates Motion Control into its Logix controllers.  Utilizing one common Ethernet/IP network, Rockwell is able to connect to I/O, servo drives (CIP Motion) and safety features (CIP Safety) within those servo drives

Rotary motors and actuators from Rockwell’s VP and MP series are designed to meet the needs of various industries, including those with wash down applications. Their Kinetix Servo Drives come in a broad range, from low-power indexing drive to high-power multi-axes drives. iTRAK and MagneMotion systems have Intelligent Track Systems that allow independent control of multiple movers.

Rockwell Automation also has safety built directly into its motion products. The most common safety feature is “Safe Off”, which interrupts gate power to prevent IGBT switching. This allows the drive to be disabled safely without removing power from the drive itself.  In addition to “safe off”, there are advanced safety features such as safe speed, safe direction, and safe position which allow personnel to safely interact with moving parts of a machine while it continues to operate.  For example, to allow a machine to be cleaned or serviced while it is running, safe speed and safe direction features might be enabled on a drive.  This would allow the operator to run the machine at a speed slower than typical production speeds, and in a direction such that he cannot be pulled into the machine, yet still have the machine produce parts. Conventional safety approaches can often hinder productivity, but these advanced safety features allow all of this to be done without losing efficiency.

They demonstrated their Motion Analyzer Sizing Software that makes it easier and more efficient to size and optimize motion control systems.  Rockwell also demonstrated the Load Observer and Dynamic Notch Filter features of the Kinetix drive which dramatically reduce the tuning process and automatically compensate for dynamic loads.


 Nidec-Shimpo is an Encompass Partner of Rockwell Automation, and an ISO 9001, ISO 14001 certified manufacturer.  Their products include high precision servo gearboxes, such as inline planetary, right angle planetary, right angle worm, rotary indexing, and pancake gear sets. Their gearboxes are lubricated for life, and active centering is standard on all products, allowing horizontal installation on equipment.


LUTZE covered the standards that need to be considered when choosing VFD cables, most notably the new standards outlined in NFPA 79 2018. What are the NFPA changes, and how do they affect VFD cable?

Paragraph 4.4.2.8 in the NFPA 79 2018 Edition states that “electrical conductors and equipment supplied by power conversion equipment as part of the adjustable speed drive systems and servo drive systems shall be listed flexible motor supply cable marked RHH, RHW, RHW-2, XHH, XHHW, or XHHW-2.”  This may eliminate using THHN cabling if NFPA 79 is required.

To make sure you comply with the new NFPA 79 standards, check the cable’s specification sheet to make sure it has one of the above designations. These ensure the cables are rubber high heat resistant, water resistant, and/or crosslinked high heat resistant. Avoid any designation that begins with T, as it stands for “thermoplastic” and should be avoided.

What cables would LUTZE recommend using considering this? DRIVEFLEX VFD cable is the most flexible in its class, easy to strip, route, and terminate, safer and more efficient. DRIVEFLEX VFD cable also has the lowest capacitance, highest impedance, full shielded, reduces shaft voltage, bearing failures, and nuisance tripping. Not to mention, it is also code compliant with the new NFPA changes.


LinMot specializes in linear motors, guided actuators, and servo drives. their linear servo motors reach speeds greater than 200 inches per second, with forces up to 610 pounds. They are tested out to two billion cycles, and have high energy savings compared to air cylinders. They also offer a unique combination linear-rotary actuator which has both a linear and rotary motor in one package – ideal for capping applications.  LinMot also integrates the safe torque off feature in their servo drives.


MTS Sensors is recognized as an industry leader in sensing technologies and solutions that enable feedback control for automation and safety applications. They make precision absolute linear sensors with resolutions of 5 micrometers and lengths up to 787 inches.  They offer a variety of output signals which include an Ethernet/IP interface for seamless integration with Rockwell controllers.

In industrial markets, MTS Sensors provides rugged and reliable sensors which can reduce maintenance costs, increase uptime, and enhance safety. Examples of temposonic industrial markets include machine/tool, steel, paper and wood processing, plastics and rubber, wind, metal forming, food and beverage and medical equipment.


Tolomatic is an Encompass Partner of Rockwell Automation that manufactures both rod and rodless mechanical linear actuators.  They offer a variety of solutions in linear motion using both ballscrew and belt-drive technologies.  Food-grade applications would benefit from their USDA-approved, stainless steel, IP69K washdown-rated actuators.  They also demonstrated their online sizing software for properly selecting an actuator and highlighted their “Your Motor Here” feature which is a library of motor adapters for over 100 different servo motors from a variety of manufacturers.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these products or the information covered in our recent Motion Summit, contact your French Gerleman Account Manager.


Save the Date for French Gerleman’s Product and Technology Expo

Are you looking to learn more about new automation technology? What about best safety practices? Or new electrical or lighting trends?  At our Product and Technology Expo, you can learn about those topics and more!  The Expo will be held on Tuesday, April 24, at the St. Charles Convention Center.  The event will kick off at 8 a.m. and run to 5 p.m.

More than 80 industry-leading manufacturers will be exhibiting and educating you on new products. We will host 30+ breakout sessions covering the latest topics driving your industry related to automation, electrical supply, datacom, power transmission and safety. If you attended our Product and Technology Expo in 2016, you know how beneficial it was, and this one will feature new topics and technology.

Why Should You Attend?

Here are three reasons why YOU should attend French Gerleman’s Product and Technology Expo:

Get informed

With so much new information being released, it can be difficult to keep current. What better way to learn than to hear about it, or see it, in person? We have 30+ education breakout sessions planned for the Expo, so you can pick the topics most relevant to you. There will also be product demonstration and 80+ exhibits for you to soak in.

Meet your manufacturers

Manufacturers play a crucial part in your business by providing the quality products you need. This is your chance to meet them face to face, and learn just how their products can help your business be more efficient and profitable.

Make connections

The Product and Technology Expo provides an opportunity to make connections with others in your industry. Don’t pass up this opportunity to network and learn from people, who just like you, strive for excellence.

Learn More

The Expo is FREE to all those who attend. If you’d like to learn more, visit our website at www.fg2018expo.com. We will release additional details, including specifics on the breakout sessions, on the website as they are finalized.  Expect registration to open mid-March.  We hope to see you there!


French Gerleman’s New Mobile App: Photo Inquiry

 

Have you ever needed a product and weren’t sure where to find it? Thanks to French Gerleman’s new mobile app, finding what you need has never been easier.

With the French Gerleman photo inquiry option, you can take a picture, include a quick note and press send.  Our inside sales support team will review your request, quickly source the product for you, or recommend an alternate product we have in stock and confirm pricing and availability. Count on our knowledgeable team of product experts to find you what you need to help keep your business running.

There are even more features to discover on French Gerleman’s new app, and you can try it out for yourself on either iOS or Android. Contact your French Gerleman Account Manager to learn more about how you can use photo inquiry and other features on the app.