Ancient HMI Repair

Last week a facility maintenance contractor contacted us about repairing a VERY old Johnson Controls HMI panel for a swimming pool at a local country club. This unit’s push buttons were only working intermittently. No replacements were available from the manufacturer or any of its’ distributors around the country. A used, untested, and no guaranteed unit was found on E-bay for $3000.00! The client certainly didn’t want to pay any where near that amount of money for this old of a unit. When asked if we could repair it…..We told the contractor that we would certainly “give it a try”!

Johnson Controls HMI

He brought the unit over. The case was cracked and broken into many pieces. Upon examination, all of the unit’s push buttons were just worn out and not working. We found that we had some very similar replacement push buttons in stock. Each buttons case took some grinding and filing with a Dremel tool to properly fit, but they worked! All of the units buttons were replaced and then some serious “body” work was required to be done on the exterior case of the unit. With some epoxy and a lot of technician patience, the unit came back together. Having no way to completely test the unit, we contacted the client and informed him about what we had done to his unit. He picked up the unit, reinstalled it and it worked perfectly! This repair was performed in less than one day, and WELL under the used unit cost.

Emergency VFD Replacements at a Level 1 Trauma Center

Last weeks multiple massive thunderstorms caused major power dips, voltage spikes/surges, voltage fluctuations, phase losses and generator switch-overs. All of these electrical events  can create havoc upon sensitive electronic devices. VFDs are no exception.

During these storms with all of the electrical activity occurring, 4 separate, critical VFDs running air handling systems throughout the hospital unit failed. Clean, filtered air flow is a necessity in these locations. Delta was called to evaluate these failed units on an emergency basis. The hope was that Delta could quickly repair these VFDs. Unfortunately, all 4 of the units were damaged beyond any economical repair. Delta immediately provided 4 new replacement VFDs and had them all retrofitted into the old VFD panels, up and running, overnight.


Delta Automation is Prepared to Assist any or all of our clients in the the wake of the Hurricanes

Graphic courtesy of NOAA

cone graphic

Delta Automation is prepared to assist any or all of our clients that were in the path of Harvey or may be in the path of  Irma. Our stock of new and refurbished equipment is ready to go to get you or your clients equipment up and running as soon as possible.

Our field service team will be on alert to assist with any on-site needs as well.         Please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email!

804 236 2800 or 1 888  PC DELTA          Email:


Consequences of Duplicate Addresses on a ModBus Plus Network

As with any addressable network, having duplicate addresses is an issue. On Modbus Plus networks, one of three things can occur. Modicon technical support disagrees on this subject but in my 30+ years of working with these networks all over the world, I have proven differently many, many times.

The first, and most likely event to occur,  the node that is being added to a network with the same address, will simply not be allowed to join the network.

The second thing that may occur, the node that is being added to the network will displace the existing node with the same address, assuming its’ place upon the network.

The third thing that may occur, is that when connecting the new node to the network with an existing node address is that the two nodes alternate joining and dropping off of the network.

The second and third options are obviously not desirable results. For this reason ALWAYS be certain of what addresses are existing on any given network. Utilizing a network discovery tool such as MBPStat, should eliminate any dual addressing.

Very recently, while performing a quick troubleshooting procedure upon a Modbus Plus network, I found a unique situation. I knew that I had a duplicate address on my computers’ PCMCIA card. however the plant was down, with no equipment running , and I was just doing a quick error check after repairing an illegal splice on the network. I was located at the MB+ repeater between segments 3 and 4 of this network. I monitored segment 3 for errors, all was OK, then I monitored segment 4 for errors, again all was OK. I reconnected the cables back to the repeater and then went to the end of segment 4 to monitor the entire network for errors. I was surprised to see all “U”‘s on every node! Those familiar with MBPStat, know that this indicates the monitor cannot properly identify the nodes. I went back to the repeater and checked both segments individually, again, all was OK. It was then that I remembered that I was utilizing an already assigned node address. I suspected this may be the issue. I again reconnected the cables back to the repeater, went to the end of segment 4,  reset the address to a non-assigned node address. Upon checking the network monitor, it now showed all nodes properly with no errors.This further illustrates the unusual results which may occur in the event of a dual node address.

This is even more reason to be aware of existing addresses when adding any nodes to a network!

Unusual Application for an IDEC FT1A Touchscreen

A local Virginia facility engineer had an unusual, and mundane task to accomplish. In a newly completed housing building, the living quarters all are equipped with motion or occupancy sensor to increase the overall energy efficiency of the new building. With no motion in a particular room, the lights and HVAC systems are reduced or shut off.  These particular occupancy sensors, illuminate utilizing a green LED when sensing motion. This however, in a darkened room is very bright and disturbed  the occupants.  The engineer found no published method to extinguish the LEDs, so he contacted the manufacturer. The manufacturer explained a procedure to accomplish this task. It was however a cumbersome task, especially when there were over 1100 of these sensors involved. The procedure goes something like this: Press the programming button 20 times, wait 1 second, press the button again 2 times, wait 1 second, press and hold the button 1 second, press the button 20 times. Can you imagine performing this procedure over 1100 times without a mistake?

Fortunately, he was already a user of the IDEC FT1A touch screen for other applications there. He designed and built the “jig” shown in this quick video, to program the occupancy sensors 5 at time, error free every time!

Sensor Video

An efficient and fun project!

City Fountain VFD Repair

Prolonged Failure Of A VFD Gets Political Attention In South Central VA Town – Situation Abated by Delta Automation Engineers And Sales Team.

Delta Automation received an emergency call from water authority officials to repair a variable frequency drive (VFD) that controlled a very important monumental fountain that was erected in memory of a prominent local citizen. The operation and maintenance of the fountain is funded from a private grant. The problem of the fountain being down for so long became a sensitive political issue that was escalated all the way to the office of the Mayor.

The primary reason a VFD was utilized in this application is because the spray from the fountain could get misdirected due to moderate wind. The VFD and hence its pump motor, is piloted by wind speed (via an anemometer). The lower the wind speed, the greater the force of the fountain spray and water volume output. As the wind speed increased, the VFD would act to slow the pump speed down thus reducing the fountain’s force and volume of water spray.

Once Delta was contacted about the problem, our field service engineers, Lee Gleason and Kevin Randolph went to the site to investigate the problem, determined that the VFD was damaged beyond repair and that a new VFD was needed. Delta engineers specified and selected a replacement WEG CFW 11 VFD that was available with a low cost, quick shipment option. Once the price quotation furnished by the Delta sales specialist, Win Bradley, was approved by the municipality, the drive was ordered and installed the following business day and the fountain was returned to service. Both the Mayor’s office and maintenance officials were extremely pleased with the rapid response by Delta Automation on this project. The political ‘fire’ was extinguished once the fountain had been restored to service.