Implementing An Automation System

Automation isn’t a desire, it’s a need. Every plant operations manager is aware of this need and the impact it has on the overall safety, reliability and economic efficiency. Still, companies are sometimes suspicious of adopting such technologies as the risk for failure is significant while the margin of error near to zero. This is especially true in large-scale industries where even a single hour of downtime due to delayed or malfunctioned automation can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of losses.

Connectivity, complexity, testing reliability of hardware/software and staff satisfaction are just a few of the many issues that a plant can face if an upcoming automation is pending. Nonetheless, these are not reasons, sufficient for abandoning the automation of a system, irrespective of its size. In retrospect, following a few simple best practices can go a long way and save any automation implementation from being put on the back-burner.

Reality Based Development

One of the major problems managers face is coping with the budget. As soon as they overflow their limitations, a nervousness arises and the entire team tries to cut corners wherever possible. Doing so only hurts the functionality and reliability of the system being developed, which could lead to greater operational and maintenance costs than planned.

Starting off with a realistic budget is the key to success in such matters. Automation managers often try to accomplish more with fewer resources. However, if from the very start they work on an optimistic schedule and budget, they would face no issues throughout the development and implementation.


Any plant, big or small, should be developed along lines that would allow easy-expansion in the future. Machine interfaces form a core part of any industrial automation system, and in order to ensure smooth operations, all parts should be coherent and in-phase with each other.

This means that the user-interface should be designed in such a manner, that the feel of the interface remains the same around all corners of the plant. Furthermore, the user should be such that it sits well with the staff automatically, providing functions which were previously non-existent.

Next, a well-executed asset optimization strategy should be in place to take care of any maintenance requirements in an organized manner. It should be able to track the cause of failures, identify root causes and in the end, recommend actions that can bring the asset back online. Moreover, the asset management system should be aware of the current state of each machine and recommend diagnostic actions on its own before the asset is completely unusable. Only such strategies would ensure smooth operation, proving the system’s ability and its worth over the previous one.

If you’re seeking a partner for your next automation or controls project, contact one of our experienced engineers to schedule a free on-site visit.


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Industrial Services Offered by UMD

UMD Industrial Services make sure that your systems are set up properly and operating safely. Our services include training and installation as well as custom work such as relocation of existing equipment, system retrofitting and more! We offer these services in order to best serve our customers.

On-Site Training 

UMD offers complete, on-site training services by qualified personnel. Our training staff will make sure that you understand how to operate our equipment safely and efficiently. They will also address any questions or concerns that you may have. This is the perfect opportunity to ask in depth questions about the equipment, in order to be relay the information to your staff.


UMD offers comprehensive installation services for every product that we build! Installation is one of the most important parts of the process. All work is performed by factory trained and certified installation personnel and our installation services are guaranteed. We install equipment in any type of operational environment and strive for no disruption of your work schedules. We will work with the company and their staff to ensure that the installation schedule works best for all parties involved. Our goal is always to provide efficient installation services wherever and whenever you need them.

Custom Services

UMD also offers a variety of custom services designed to complement our traditional business. By combining our custom services to best suit your needs, you will have all the resources necessary to complete your project on-time and on-budget. And all provided by a trusted partner who understands your business.

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U.S Demand for High-Performance Tires Continues to Rise

The demand for high-performance tires in the U.S. increased in 2017 for the eighth straight year, increasing their share of the OE and replacement markets to nearly 56 and 46 percent, respectively, according to the latest U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) data.

Aftermarket shipments in the U.S. of tires H-Rated and higher rose 9.1 percent last year to 92 million units, a volume that represents 44 percent of all aftermarket shipments, up from 41 percent in 2016. Viewed more closely, aftermarket shipments of H-rated tires rose 11.7 percent to 48.8 million units; V-rated tires rose 8.4 percent to 25.8 million units; and Z-rated were up to 3.6 percent to 17.4 million units.

What does that mean for UMD Automated Systems?

It is great news for not only our company but for our industry as well. The tire manufacturing process of our business involves a series of specialized operations with precise requirements for temperature and pressure control, component splicing, measurement and testing. UMD can help you every step of the way with equipment that will meet or exceed quality standards will improving productivity throughout your operation.

With the demand for high-performance tires on the rise, our engineers will continue to work and evolve the product that our company currently produces as well as work to enhance our products to better meet the needs of the consumer.

Read the full article from Tire Business about the U.S. Demand for High-Performance Tires here:

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UMD JIT Trailer Conveyor Systems

Have you checked out the JIT Trailer Conveyor Systems in action? UMD loading/unloading systems help move trailers away from the dock faster than ever saving time and money. Our loading/unloading systems can build trailer loads to shipping manifests or bulk load. Product is then pre-conveyed to the dock before the truck arrives resulting in shorter load/unload time and maximum productivity.

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UMD’s Production Process


In order to best serve our customers, it is important to know how we do things here at UMD Automated Systems. The Production Process plays is a crucial piece of the puzzle in regards to accomplishing our goals and completing projects. This process covers every aspect of product development from concept design through operation. Without fail, we apply this process to every project we engage. Our project engineers guide the project team through each phase of production to ensure that our company’s high standards are maintained from start to finish.

Concept Phase

Our design engineers work directly with our customers to define their exact goals and expectations for the project. This is where we define the details from initial concept through finished product. We take everything our customers have to say into consideration while paying close attention to their application needs, the operating environment and the usage of the equipment. We want to make this a true joint collaboration, driven by our belief that detailed planning leads to effective design engineering and precise, efficient manufacturing.

Design Phase

UMD engineers develop a product design based on the initial discussions during the concept phase. As the design work evolves, we often develop new innovations and architecture which improve the original concepts. Where appropriate these are added to the design and final specifications are committed to an engineering blueprint.

Production Phase

This includes construction and modification of the parts needed to assemble the final product. UMD fabricates each component based on the exact specifications provided in the engineering design print. From there, it is time to assemble the parts into a working model of the product and add finishing applications.

Setup and Testing Phase

Once production is completed, the assembled, working model is rigorously tested using actual customer products. We will then perform a complete diagnostic and process test on all working parts of the product, paying special attention to the structural components and overall assembly of the product.

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UMD Automated Systems is excited about our most recent product video! This industry tailored conveyor belt offers 90° and 180° powered curves featuring modular Intralox® ZTR belting. Available in medium and heavy-duty designs. The powered curves provides smooth and reliable transfers while maintaining product location and orientation.

Watch the product in action here:

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Engineering Office Expansion Update

New year, new space! UMD Automated System has exciting news about our new Engineering office. Our associates expect to move into the space sometime in January. At UMD, we consistently aim for innovation within the material handling and manufacturing industries. The expansion will help us to work even closer together by increasing communication for project management.

Our goal is to be able to bring our engineers to develop a stronger team atmosphere within the company. The extra space and the layout will allow us to leverage innovation and push the industry forward. With the open layout, modern design and natural lighting we hope to give a boost to the company’s creativity and the individuals morale towards the team. With these internal changes we believe in the end, this will have a large positive impact and show with our project management, innovations, and overall customer service.

The new addition will also sharpen our work and technology when it comes to research and development. At UMD, we are passionate about sharing industry advice with others in an effort to advance the field as a whole. We believe that together, we are strong and can help all industry leaders success to new heights. Make sure to check back with us once we officially reveal the new space!

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Watch UMD’s Non Contact Sortation Conveyors in Action!

Our Non Contact Sortation Conveyors utilizes Intralox Dual-Stacked Angled Roller Belt (DARB) with our transfer activation unit creating a precise lateral movement each and every time. Non Contact handling not only minimizes tire uniformity issues, it reduces scrap and ensures product quality.

Watch it in action in our latest video:

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Watch our ZonAcc – Zero Pressure Accumulation in action!

Check out our ZonAcc Zero Pressure Accumulation! This piece of equipment includes all of the following features:

• Eliminates Line Pressure but allows product to touch

• Utilizes 1 Drive for up to 200 foot of accumulation, lowering cost of installation.

• Reduces Product Scrap

• Robust heavy duty bolted construction

• Easy Retro Fit

• Modular Design

• Utilizes Intralox 1200 Drive Belt

• Utilizes UMD custom photo eyes solution which reduces wiring requirements to the PLC.

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The Different Types of Sorters and how they can Impact your Operations

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Productivity, capacity and industry trends have increased the need for high performance equipment, demanding high speeds and constant operation. Sorters are the way for your operation to achieve these different levels of success. Sorters are a way to quickly move products around at the highest and utmost efficiency without taking away your man power from other areas they need to be attending to.

UMD provides a number of sorting systems designed to maximize efficiency, handle larger capacities at a faster pace, and are completely modifiable for changing needs. Our production engineers work closely with both our customers and suppliers to forecast changes in demand within the manufacturing, distribution and storage industries. We then incorporate these factors in our systems design to reflect the trends and changes in the marketplace.

Standard Sorters

Standard Sorters offer a contact sorting solution with a higher rate of product diverting per minute than no-touch equipment. UMD sorters employ VibraDamp™ technology for rapid sorting with much less vibration than traditional sorting equipment. Our standard sorters are bi-directional and capable of 90° transfer without spurs.

UMD offers an extensive line of pre-engineered standard conveyors that can combined to create an effective modular sorting system with medium to heavy duty material handling capacity. Our standardized conveyor and sortation components are designed with customization in mind to meet your specific system requirements quickly and efficiently. UMD’s modular systems are highly flexible and will readily adapt to future changes in system requirements.

7000 Sorters

The 7000 Sorter offers non-contact sorting and requires a spur for discharge. It is capable of bi-directional sorting, diverting both left and right with a single belt.

DARB Sorters

DARB Sorters utilize non-contact diverter technology to avoid the potential alteration in green tire uniformity that can occur with standard sortation equipment. With DARB Sorters, the outside tread or inside bead make no contact with the conveyance equipment. DARB cross-belt intersection technology can move product straight through an intersection or make precise, single direction 90° transfers in a single plane of operation without the need for spurs.

For more information about how our different types of Sorters can benefit your operation, give us a call today 740-694-8614.

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