Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Chad Patkus Wins Mac Valves Distributor of the Month Award

Congratulations to FPE Automation's Chad Patkus - Winner of the MAC Valves Distributor of the Month Award!

It was announced today that Chad Patkus received a Distributor of the Month award for his work at a heavy equipment manufacturer in the transportation sector. The company was using outdated technology and having reliability issues as a result. 

Their top priority was reliability. Ideally, they also wanted a 12VDC valve that could run off a vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system. Ultimately, they got both. 

At this point, Chad, FPE Automation's Scott Massie (Sales Manager & FPE In-house MAC Valves Specialist) and Joe Richardson (VP Sales, MAC Valves) set up a virtual meeting with the customer to present the Bullet Valve® in a custom manifold.

Advantages and Reliability

The team presented the advantages and reliability of the Bullet Valve using animation and showed several configurations of custom Bullet Valve manifolds. Ultimately, the customer decided upon a custom manifold complete with a wiring harness that would connect using Deutsch connectors that are preferred for mobile applications. There appeared to be some clear advantages, but field performance would be the true test. 

After months of testing the performance of the valves in the field, the customer was eager to move forward with the MAC Bullet Valve manifolds on their production equipment. 

Top executives at MAC Valves review application reports, and carefully choose award recipients, based on designs that work. The Bullet Valve manifolds exceeded the customer’s requirements for reliability, came in a slim design, and were plug and play with 12-volt mobile compatibility. 

Reliability issues present more problems than just downtime. They're costlier than ever with global supply chain delays. If your current technology is giving you headaches, reach out to FPE Automation. We may be able to significantly improve your processes using MAC Valves' patented technology. 

On behalf of the FPE Automation team, congratulations, Chad. Great work! 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Case Study: Vision Inspection for Injection Mold Clearing Pays Off

Vision Tools Reduce Damage, Cost, and Downtime

To achieve high productivity with injection molding, part clearance at the end of each mold cycle is critical. If the mold isn’t cleared properly, the core pins and other fine features of the mold may be damaged. The result and corresponding downtime can be catastrophic.

One Customer's Story

PROBLEM:  A large manufacturer of consumer products was experiencing an average of two incidents a year of parts getting stuck in their molds. Failed mold clears cost them $10K+ per replacement or rework of a damaged mold. When you factor in maintenance costs and the cost of downtime, the cost can skyrocket. They needed an automated solution that proactively prevented failed mold clears.

"After the implementation of this solution, the customer has had zero failed mold clear incidents in 3 years."

SOLUTION: FPE Automation provided a system consisting of two vision sensors, two LED bar lights, and Swivellink mounting arms. Total cost was under $6K!  After the implementation of this solution, the customer has had zero failed mold clear incidents in 3 years.

What a typical Mold Clear system consists of:

  • Vison sensor with cables

- Includes free user-friendly software

- FPE Automation provides free machine vision concepts and software training

  • External lighting options (application specific)

  • Mounting accessories (application specific)

  • Optional accessories (application specific)

- HMI screens

- PLCs

- Power supplies

- Stack lights and other fail signals

Why FPE Automation?

·     Experienced Vision Expert

  • Full vision lab for application-specific evaluations
  • 6 Automation Controls Specialists
  • 60 years of servicing the Illinois market with Automation expertise

Please contact Joe Jerger or your local Automation Sales Specialist for more information, or an application review. 


Friday, September 24, 2021

FPE Automation is a Platinum Universal Robots Partner

FPE Automation Achieves Coveted Platinum Level Status as a Universal Robots Distributor

The announcement that FPE Automation, in Elk Grove Village, Illinois and Sunset Hills, Missouri, has achieved platinum status as a Universal Robots partner, defines the company more than ever before as one of the world's most trusted sources for the world's leading collaborative robots. 

FPE Automation has been an award-winning partner of Universal Robots since 2015. During that time, we have been honored to achieve many accolades, the most recent of which was a prominent growth award in 2019. Shortly after, FPE Automation became a Universal Robots Preferred Partner. We were one of the first, globally, to invest in and open two state-of-the-art authorized training centers. Recently, it meant a great deal to us when we were selected by Universal Robots, for a video production of a case study/success story, alongside our good customer, RCM Industries, Inc. in Franklin Park, Illinois.

This announcement is our greatest achievement to date in our successful partnership with Universal Robots. All of us at FPE Automation are honored to receive the news.

David Bardos, CEO of FPE Automation, reacted to the announcement. 

"We are proud to announce that we have been recognized as a Platinum Partner for Universal Robots. This is a very elite club and we would like to thank our customers, employees, and all at Universal RobotsFPE Automation continues to assist our customers in being more productive, profitable and leaders in their respective industries".

Our on-staff engineers, alongside the dedicated Universal Robots team, work very hard to assist customers in getting over the typical hurdles associated with automating. 

Brian Conner, Channel Development Manager for Universal Robots, had this to say, "Thanks again, FPE, for all of your efforts this year! Can’t wait to finish strong in 2021 and prepare ourselves for growth in 2022 and beyond!"

Together with people like Brian and his team, our customers, and our loyal staff, we make it happen one cobot at a time. We are humbled to get to witness the results. They're remarkable, both as they relate to companies' internal processes, and also their bottom line. We'd like to thank all of you who have helped us get there along the way. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

ABB Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) Now Available at FPE Automation

FPE Automation Has Partnered with ABB

You may have heard us say,

"What you do is what we do."

The phrase has been around for many years. It's much more than just rhetoric. We've been proud to be a part of so many things that are part of our everyday lives. From planes, trains and automobiles, to medical supplies, food and agriculture, packaging, cans, bottles, the logistics that bring all of it together, to retail, fast food, and more. FPE Automation is connected with the products we all buy. We're quite involved in keeping us safe, and well. We've provided solutions since 1963 that make things more efficient, so they run better. All so that everything we all need is accessible to us when we need it. 

That statement became even more accurate than ever before, with FPE Automation's new partnership with ABB

ABB drives are used globally, across an impressively expansive array of industries and applications. 

Why ABB? 

What sets ABB apart from others? 

Lead Times
ABB has local stock in Wisconsin. You can have most drives in-house in a matter of weeks, not months. 

Product Offering
More than just basics, ABB's comprehensive lineup includes drives for every application. From low and medium-voltage AC drives to DC drives, up to 3000 HP, ABB has the right drive for you.

Ethernet/IP and Bluetooth Compatibility
ABB drives feature the latest technological advances so that you can boost productivity, reduce maintenance and improve your processes. 

Rockwell Add-On Instructions (AOI)
AOIs enable you to develop and package PLC code in user-defined instruction that is reused throughout Rockwell programs.

If you would like more information, or a quote, feel free to contact FPE Automation

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Robotic MIG/TIGWelding, Machine Tending, Bin Picking and Palletizing: Live Demos Coming to Granite City, Illinois

Southwestern Illinois College Hosts Collaborative Robotics Automation Conference 

Live Event: Thursday, October 28, 2021 at the SWIC campus in Granite City, IL

Discover how to leverage collaborative robots (cobots) to maximize ROI. During this hands-on conference, we will help you find the right process strategy for your enterprise’s automation so that you can become more efficient. Increase productivity, solve labor challenges, reduce margin of error and make your place of business safer, all by implementing cobots.

Automate Your Business for a Better Future

Our experts can help:

• save you money

• retain workers

• improve quality

• increase productivity

Discover and Unlock Automation Possibilities in Your Place of Business

Businesses of all sizes are discovering the significant benefits of automation. Join our expert team for an interactive conversation about collaborative robots and how they can benefit you. You’ll have the opportunity to see the technology in action with live demos.


Bring Your Own Item for a Proof of Concept

MIG/TIG welders: you are invited to bring a part with you. Although our packed agenda doesn’t allow us to test individual items on-site at SWIC, our engineers will bring your item back to their state-of-the-art facility. They will follow up with you to show you a proof-of-concept demo of your part being welded by a collaborative robot.



4950 Maryville Rd, Granite City, IL 62040

REGISTRATION/MORE INFORMATION: https://www.fpeautomation.com/swic


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Introducing FLEXION Robot Gripping Solutions by PHD Inc.

PHD Releases FLEXION Robotic End-of-arm Tooling

PHD announces the release of FLEXION, a new technology inspired by the ultimate gripper: the human hand.

Suitable for both collaborative and industrial applications, FLEXION’s configurable design allows for an unparalleled range of application ability and offers the potential to solve challenges that previously had no answer.

When actuated, FLEXION’s internal tendon system engages multiple joints to encapsulate a part or grip it by the fingertips. The adjustment of the operating pressure allows for a wide range of usable force to provide industrial-strength gripping for demanding applications or a delicate soft touch for sensitive product handling. In addition, fingers can be reconfigured by the user to suit multiple purposes as they arise.

Finger arrays of one to five fingers can be mounted to the hub position to suit the user’s unique requirements. The arrays can be rotated on the hub to spread opposing arrays apart or together for optimal workpiece encapsulation. Each finger can be equipped with up to two switches to sense positions such as “part gripped”, “missed part”, or “starting position.” The configured system follows ISO 9409 mounting standards to mount directly to most robots on the market. 

FLEXION’s innovative technology solves many difficult applications including variable shaped items, irregular shapes, items that are sensitive and can be crushed, loose-filled bags, and even items intended for human hands. FLEXION has been tested with Universal Robots, with excellent results, and will perform with other leading industrial robots as well. 


Friday, September 10, 2021

FPE Automation Partners with Kawasaki Robotics

FPE Automation Announces the Addition of Kawasaki's Premier Robotic Products to the Range of Industrial Robots We Offer

FPE Automation has been a premier supplier of automation products since 1963. That's more than 50 years of forming partnerships with manufacturers that resulted in strong bonds. 

It was just announced that another of those solid partnerships was created. FPE is now an authorized supplier of Kawasaki Robotics

This addition enhances FPE's already comprehensive range of robots offered. 

Collaborative robots by the world's #1 supplier, Universal Robots are enabling employees to safely work alongside robots as they perform pick & place, machine loading/tending, welding, screwdriving, sanding, palletizing, and many other functions. 

For more than 35 years, the world's top manufacturers have relied on Epson Robots to reduce production costs, improve product quality, and increase their bottom line. Their products are not only of the highest quality and reliability, they are also affordably priced. It's a winning combination that makes them very popular among our customers.

The addition of the Kawasaki Robotics line of products enables FPE Automation to offer you robots with higher speeds, and much higher payload capacities, up to 1500 kg. 

In addition, we now carry ultra-high-speed Delta style robots. They can be used for many material handling and assembly applications in a variety of industries. The Kawasaki Y series robot is capable of high-speed motion over a wide range, which helps speed up production lines. 

Adding the world-class Kawasaki line of industrial robots to our line card is just another way FPE Automation can take you further, help you do more with less, and stay competitive. As always, we have a team of nine on-staff expert engineers that can help you with selection and much more. 

If you'd like to learn more, please reach out to us

Friday, September 3, 2021

FPE Automation Wins Award for Dust Collection/Green Energy Solution at a Pet Food Plant

Congratulations to FPE Automation's Steve Carrera - Winner of the MAC Valves Distributor of the Month Award for July 2021

FPE Automation's MAC Valve Specialist
Steve Carrera holds a MAC pulse valve
A maintenance manager at a pet food manufacturer was interested in a dust collection/green energy solution with a more dependable and repeatable valve that would extend the life of their collection bags and provide energy savings while increasing uptime at their busy facility. The plant is running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, producing 700 tons of pet food per day – a busy place! The old technology (diaphragm valves) did a poor job of cleaning the bags. DP was at 5 inches of water. They also had failing diaphragms, valves freezing, cracked hose lines, leaks from fittings, and non-responsive remote pilots.

Steve and the FPE Automation team were able to reduce these failure points by removing the remote pilots, along with the fittings and hoses that came from the valves. They replaced the legacy equipment with the pulse valve by MAC Valves with an integral solenoid. After installing the MAC Pulse Valve, the DP dropped to 2 inches of water. The new valves were far more efficient and saved energy costs as well. The customer was impressed and convinced. The pet food plant proceeded to replace all of its dust collectors with the MAC Pulse Valve Solution.

Download the FPE Automation Dust Collection whitepaper and read more here.

Groundbreaking innovations have produced new technology that will have you re-thinking the way you process your airborne contaminants.