NHL Teams that Travel the Most

There’s nothing more thrilling than attending a sporting event to watch your favorite team take on a tough opponent. Home games are a blast, but traveling to a new city to watch your team can be an equally exhilarating experience. For fans, traveling for one game can be a whirlwind to plan, but athletes are traveling multiple times a week – especially hockey players. 

NHL players have many games a week, and several teams are based outside of the U.S., meaning they spend a lot of time on the road during the season. There’s a lot that goes into getting your favorite players on the ice on time. On average, your favorite NHL team travels nearly 50,000 miles per season!  

For this study, MRO Electric’s resident hockey fanatics analyzed how many miles each team is slated to travel based on the upcoming season.

Methodology

To gear up for hockey season (and for this study), we reviewed each team’s schedule on ESPN to see where everyone will skate off to. Next, we used Google Maps to calculate the mileage between each hockey game of the 2022-2023 season for every team in the league. This study assumes that each NHL team is driving to and from each game and doesn’t need to travel elsewhere for personal reasons. We measured the travel time back to home ice, meaning that if a team spent multiple games on the road, we calculated the distance between each venue on the road and then the trip home. Finally, we found which teams travel the most and which individual games require the most miles to get from point A to point B.

Top 10 NHL Teams Traveling the Most Miles in 2022-2023 Season

If your favorite hockey team is a part of the pacific division, chances are your star players are traveling far and wide to push the puck. Pacific division NHL teams account for seven of our top 10 most traveled teams. The majority of teams in this division have at least a handful of games that require trekking over 2,000 miles and several more that clock in at just over 1,000 miles. Not only that, but the league’s average distance for an away game overall is just over 19,000 miles. Talk about going the distance!

The most well-traveled team in the league is Edmonton’s own Oilers. The Oilers claim the unofficial title of the NHL’s top road warriors, traveling over 5,000 more miles than any other hockey team in any division. The Edmonton Oilers have nine games that require them to travel 2,000 miles or more to get to. Oiler fans in the Sunshine State who support them on November 12th will have traveled nearly 3,000 miles to get there.

Another Pacific dream team to go the distance is the Anaheim Ducks. On October 18th, Anaheim’s beloved Ducks travel over 2,000 miles to face off against the New York Islanders. New York is a fighting city and the Anaheim Ducks are a tough bunch to tussle with. Fun fact: these mighty mallards came in second place last season for most fights on the ice. Can you blame them though? Any hockey team that is jet-lagged is bound to be a little crabby.

Many of the league’s east coast teams have the luxury of being some of the least-traveled hockey teams, but one unlucky franchise has to hit the road more than the others. The only team in the NHL’s metro division to make our top 10 list was the Carolina Hurricanes. Caniacs (that’s Carolina-speak for huge Hurricanes fans) have to travel nearly 2,800 miles from Raleigh to San Jose to support the Cardiac Canes at their most distant away game of the season.

Hitting the Road: Games with the Highest Mileage

Teams on the road travel great distances to compete against each other on enemy territory. Many teams in the league will have a few consecutive games away from having home-ice advantage. Not only is it tough to be away from home for extended periods of time, but it’s even worse when you’re getting booed for being on the wrong team. 

If you ever question your favorite team’s commitment to the game, consider that the distance the NHL would travel as a whole this season would take you around the globe 63 times and from LA to NY 569 times! Truthfully, NHL teams go through many hoops to play their hearts out game after game. For fans wondering how far their teams will go to put on a good show, here’s a closer look at some games that require the most travel from rink to rink.

We’re certain that the New York Rangers will not be feeling the love during Valentine’s day week this hockey season. The Rangers have to travel just over 3,000 miles after rallying against Raleigh’s Carolina Hurricanes to face off with the Vancouver Canucks on February 15th. That’s a lot of pressure– winning against the Canucks could mean breaking a few fans’ hearts in Vancouver. Oh well, all is fair in love and hockey.

The most gas-guzzling NHL game of the regular season takes place in the Emerald State, where the Boston Bruins will take on the Seattle Kraken. The Bruins will have to travel a total of 3,006 miles to take a shot at Seattle. The only two hockey games on our list of games with the highest mileage not involving our friends in the Great White North both feature Boston in some way. In December, the Los Angeles Kings will journey 2,985 miles to square off with the Bruins in Bean Town.

Closing Thoughts

Whether your favorite hockey team has the home-ice advantage or not, cheering them on against a fierce competitor can be an emotional whirlwind. The truth is, your commitment to your favorite team means a lot to them– especially when they’re in enemy territory. NHL hockey players travel between cities and sometimes countries multiple times a week to make it to the game. There are many moving parts that go into making sure your favorite players safely get from venue to venue, so consider that next time you cheer them on against a tough rival team!


In the same way, your favorite NHL team has a lot of moving parts and players, your business needs a solid system and plan to make it all happen. As a premier factory automation wholesale distributor, MRO Electric can help your business by working with the best manufacturers to get you the best parts to get the job done.

“They Terk Urr Jurrbs!”: Automation Changing Employment

For those who are not familiar with meme culture or are avid viewers of the long-running Comedy Central show, “South Park”, the title of this article is a call-back to an episode in which the residents of the titular town express outrage in losing their jobs to immigrants–from the future year of 3045–who travels to the present to find employment. These “time immigrants” are willing to work for lower wages than their present-time counterparts. They then send money back to their families–in the future. As absurd as this plot sounds, the story’s overarching theme reflects timeless anxiety that resides in the American psyche: job security. Anxiety that bleeds well into today’s world of automation.

US History with Job Loss Anxiety

Job loss and labor replacement are not anything new to Americans. Since this country’s inception, companies have been looking for ways to increase profit for the lowest cost possible. As any entrepreneur can testify, one of the biggest costs for business operations is labor. If the past reveals anything about our history with labor, it will show that it has been….tedious….at best. Since the abolishment of slavery, affordable labor has always been an objective for many business ventures. Often this manifested itself by companies hiring various immigrant groups and having them work for low wages, then firing them in favor of another immigrant group willing to work for less.

Of course as one would imagine this created great anxiety among an already struggling socioeconomic group, which led to numerous conflicts between different immigrant groups over labor issues. One example of such is the treatment of Chinese immigrants during the 1800s. Not only did these migrant workers deal with laws that targeted Chinese people such as the Chinese Exclusion Act. Often Irish workers, frustrated with being replaced, would lash out and attack these migrants from China.

This also doesn’t consider that this was also taking place while the US was going through its Industrial Revolution and the mass migration of people leaving farms and moving to urban areas only to have to compete for jobs amongst each other. These events all happening simultaneously, stand to highlight the underlying fear of job insecurity and foreshadowed what was to come.

An Early Era Warning of Automation

During the 1930s, British economist, John Maynard Keynes, predicted rapid technological progress within 90 years. Industrialized countries were openly embracing technology as a way of job growth for many. Keynes, however, warned of what he referred to as “technological unemployment”. Rather than the optimistic outlook that technology would expand job growth, it would instead shrink the number of available jobs for employees. Keynes went as far as to refer to technological unemployment as a “disease” that would be afflicting the world. Now almost a century later, Keynes’s predictions appear eerily true.

Automation and the 1950s

Despite the ideal iconography that the 1950s invokes for a number of people, the decade had its own brand of challenges. The mid-50s found itself in what would be described as the worst “economic slump since the Great Depression”. Companies like Caterpillar and General Motors were laying off employees by the thousands as they made deeper investments in automation. In a 1958 article, The Nation described America’s transition towards automation as: “stumbling blindly into the automation era with no concept or plan to reconcile the need of workers for income and the need of business for cost-cutting and worker-displacing innovations.”

The AI Age of Automation

The 1980s saw another leap in the world of automation with the introduction of AI technology. The developments in artificial intelligence meant that machines now could work autonomously to an extent without the need for a human controller. This changed the game across multiple industries because now this meant that (at least in certain aspects) where an operator would need to stop, the machine would not have to. This also changed the game in regard to the tradition of employment equilibrium. In the early days changing the workforce simply meant trading out one group of employees for another. Also, in previous decades, despite machines becoming more prominent and replacing the jobs of employees in labor. By in large they still required human operators to make them function. Essentially, while they replaced jobs held by humans, they in turn created jobs to be filled by people as well.

Artificial Intelligence removed the need for humans to be manually manipulating the process, to an extent becoming its own operator. Also, despite these new AI machines still requiring an operator, the expertise of an operator needed became much higher. AI specialization meant a narrowing in jobs available to lesser-skilled employees.

Automation’s Full Throttling During the Pandemic

For the majority of people around the world, the Covid 19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event unlike any other. In less than a month, millions of people lost their jobs, and businesses across various industries were forced to shut down. With unemployment at its highest since the Great Depression, remaining businesses had to find ways to adapt their daily operations to this new global situation. Companies started looking toward automation as a way to fill the employment gap. Restaurants replaced their cashiers with self-service kiosks. With the mandates of social distancing, grocery stores leaned into curbside-service apps, with some even using robots to run items out to customers. This switch to automation goes beyond the scope of the service industry. Hospitality, manufacturing, and healthcare have all switched to implementing automation in positions that were once held by human employees.

While it is easy to presume that the pandemic is the leading cause of this wave of unemployment, one New York Times article writes that upwards of 300 global companies had already projected to replace their staff with automation up to 43 percent. This means that this shift towards automating labor was expected to happen, but the pandemic just expedited the process.

An AI algorithm automates taking drive thru orders.


Automation vs The Human Condition

While it may seem that automation is on the verge of outmoding all the jobs held by people, the element of the human experience is our biggest pushback against this future. People want to be able to walk into their local coffee shop and converse with their baristas. How many of us try to impatiently dial through an automated call just to speak to a customer representative? Despite statistics showing that automated vehicles have a lower rate of driver error than people, federal and state laws are being written to restrict automated driving. This is because while yes, machines make more calculative driving decisions. The ability of these machines to adapt and make human-valued decisions are practically non-existent. Not to mention the question of liability should something occur.

The 2003 film, IRobot, portrays a((n)albeit extreme) version of this dilemma. Will Smith’s character, Del, gets into a life-threatening car accident that also involves a 12-yr-old girl. The robot on the scene makes a calculated decision to save Del instead of the child concluding that Del’s chance of survivability was higher. In short, the machine isn’t capable of complying with our human values. Hopefully, it is our value of the human experience that will continue to stem back the push toward automation, and in turn, help alleviate much of the job anxieties that many have.

Diversity in the Engineering Field

Opening Summary

The last decade has seen a huge shift in the way diversity plays a role in companies, with the lessons of diversity and inclusion being taught at more company meetings, and more team-wide open discussions. Often the question of: “Why should there even be conversations about diversity in the workplace?”, comes up in professional spaces. It is easy to dismiss the concepts of diversity and inclusion as simple ‘virtue signaling’ and there are numerous companies performing “diversity theatre”. However, when you get past the superficial and performative layers, there are valid points to make in regards to workplace diversity. The topic of diversity is very controversial, ironically invoking a rather diverse range of emotions and thoughts. The concept of diversity in itself is more complex than just “Oh hey, this person looks different from me so I need to work with them”.

This article will attempt to cover various issues among three demographics. While the issues being written are NOT the only obstacles facing these groups, they are the most common ones.

LGBTQ in the WorkPlace

For decades members on the LGBTQ community have experienced many obstacles in the workplace in regards to discrimination. While this form of discrimination is found across multiple industries, engineering fields such as automotive are historically known to promote that form of discrimination. This has speculated to be due to in part there being a “car guy” culture within the work environment. In an article written by Jeremy Alicandri for Forbes, Alicandri notes that a Ford Foundation-backed study found that 1 in 4 LGBTQ employees experienced discrimination or bullying in the workplace. Another study by Out Leadership, found that 47 percent LGBTQ employees experienced micro aggressions that resulted in 70 percent deciding to cover up or mask their LGBTQ characteristics.

So the question remains: Why is it important to change the work place culture?

The same Forbes article addresses the issue through a pragmatic lense. That is simply that by not including and changing the culture for LGBTQ members, a company is inevitably going to lose money. This comes in the form of both employees and consumers.

From an employment perspective, the loss of valuable talent due to discrimination in the workplace is a huge oversight for a company to make. Potentially a company could lose out on something innovative that would have yielded sizable profits all because they allowed for discrimination to happen in the work place. One example of this is of Dr. Lynn Conway, professor ameritas at Michigan State University. Conway began employment at IBM in 1964, but was fired in 1968 after it was discovered that she was transgendered. Dr. Conway speculates that it was out of fear of the company’s public image if it were discovered that they had a transgendered employee. She was hired by several other organizations (Xerox, MIT, and even the Dept of Defense) over the years and became the top scientists in her field, contributing to innovative technology that are still used in computers today.

Women in Engineering

In an online publication from the University of California, Riverside, the number of women currently working in the field of engineering is about 14 percent. This is a big leap from the 1980’s when the numbers were closer to 5.8 percent. While the number of female employees is on the rise in the field of engineering overall, there are still barriers and challenges that face women in the work place. One of the challenges that women still face are having enough role models in the work force that younger employees can look up to for guidance. Just as much as women are entering the engineering field, many women are leaving just as fast because companies are not flexible. Therefore it still leaves a huge disparity in the number of women in higher managment and leadership positions that more junior female employees can look up to when entering the engineering field.

Another issue is that while more companies are starting to implement policies and changes that can accomodate women in regards to allowing them to be able to balance their work with their family responsibilities, there are still a lot of companies that don’t have effective accomodations for things like maternity leave and needing to leave work for childrent-related issues.

Racial Diversity in Engineering

According a report by the Stem Education Journal (SEJ), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is currently the fastest growing occupational cluster in the US, with engineering being second only to the medical field. However, while a lot of companies are calling for racial diversity, at the same time positions in the STEM field continue to stagnate due to long employee retention by companies. While this is generally seen as a positive in regards to companies valuing their employees, at the same time it is presenting the issue of majority demographic within companies.

A 2019 report released by Georgetown University, found that despite making up a third of the population, the number of Black and LatinX people only made up about 14 percent of employees in the engineering field, while Asians made up 16 percent, and White employees making up 61 percent. Additionally, report goes on to cover the income disparity between racial groups with Black and LatinX employees making 15-18 percent above the average of a bachelor degree holder, while Asian and White employees make 61 – 71 percent more. Further research had also shown that in order to close the wage gap, Black and LatinX employees generally have to gain a graduate degree to make close to what Asian/White employees would make with undergraduate degrees.

One contributing factor begins in high schools where Black and LatinX students attend schools that do not have access to classes that would ideally set them on right career path towards engineering. One example the study shows is that the subject of Calculus tends to be absent in many high schools that are predominantly Black and LatinX students. To address this inequity, some robotics programs like the one in University of Michigan, are changing the curriculum to push Calculus back to later years and starting Freshman off in more linear-based math such as Algebra, as it is something that is more commonly accessible in public high schools.

Conclusion

In his 2005 book, “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century”, economist and author, Thomas L. Friedman covers the economic “flattening of the world” or more simply, globalization. Friedman highlights the inevitibility of interconnectivity between countries and cultures, which the world has seen more of nearly two decades after his book’s release. This highlights the importance of diversity from a pragmatic lense.

An article from UNC Pembroke, highlights a study done by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the growth of a business from diversity. Research from the study showed that companies that had higher averages for innovation also had higher diversity averages as opposed to companies with lower diversity averages. Gender diverse groups tend to out perform more gender homogenous groups by 50 percent. The article also cites a study by McKinsey and Company, showing that companies that scored in the to 25 percent for racial/culture diversity also were 25 – 36 percent more likely to bring in larger financial returns.

Ultimately what these studies are pointing to is that for a company wanting to play the long game, adapting to cultural shifts as opposed to getting locked into culture battles, is better for business.

Micromaster 420

Siemens Micromaster 420 Faults and Alarms

Siemens Micromaster 420: Troubleshooting Faults and Alarms

A blog we posted earlier this week about the Micromaster 420 troubleshooting referenced the Faults and Alarms list for the Micromaster series, so we decided that it would make sense to make the list of Micromaster 420 Faults and Alarms directly available. This is from the corresponding manual for the Micromaster 420 series, but it is buried within the manual which most people most likely don’t even have. Hopefully, this helps with your troubleshooting of Siemens drive fault codes and alarms.

Be sure to also check out our list of Siemens Micromaster 440 fault codes and our article touching on Siemens Simodrive E/R Module Fault Troubleshooting, along with other Siemens series coverage.

If you’re looking to purchase a Siemens Micromaster drive, view our 420 Micromaster Drives in stock. For more information or to request a quote, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com. We also provide pre-priced Micromaster 420 Repairs.

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Digitalizing Automation For the Future

A Brief History

For the longest time, automation has always been the end-goal process when it comes to industrialization. That is that the user can quickly and efficiently complete a process repeatedly. Whether that process involves production or maintenance, the last two decades have seen a monumental rise in digitalization across numerous industries. Of course, digitalization is not a stranger to the world of automation machinery (and it would be incorrect to conflate that one is the opposite of the other). As it stands, all of the major industrial companies have some form of proprietary software that they use to automate their machinery and it’s been that way for several decades. However, in research done by Forrester, 77% of businesses today still rely on a paper process, with only 63% still using spreadsheet programs. Ultimately, this makes it more difficult to keep up with customer demands, and really wanting for a more streamlined process.

Automation and Digitalization

What is Automation?

Automation physically performs a process without the constant need of a human operator. Its tasks are dedicated by a group of rules preset by an operator usually in the form of either script commands or more robust software pending on what the task is.

What is Digitalization?

Digitalization is basically the process of taking a hard copy of something and converting it into a digital format. This could be anything from a worded manual or even a photo. Digitalizing is crucial to automation because it is how an automated process interprets data to commit to a function. The last few decades have seen a progression in the control of industrial automation from manual to digital.

The Possibilities

One example of how digitalization can streamline automation is through the way tasks and functions are being given to a piece of industrial equipment. For the longest time, equipment like automoted robots in manufacturing have been relying on external devices like PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) to output individual commands. These are all multiple components linked together on a bus and then connected to the drive and other components. This is the current setup for a lot of industrial and manufacturing operations.

While this setup does get the job done, it does present a few issues.

For starters, communication is one of the most important things when automizing. When multiple components come into play, there is always the chance of communication issues between devices. This can be attributed to various issues, like conflicting software between the devices or even simply how something is connected. There is also the issue of troubleshooting and trying to figure out the cause of an existing issue. With digitalization, instead of having a bunch of devices trying to talk to one another, there can be just one fully-integrated device using a single software. Having instant diagnostics would also cut down on troubleshooting time.

A Little Thing Called BIM

One piece of digitalization that could potentially change the way automation works is actually a technology that is becoming more prominent in the field of architecture and engineering called BIM (Building Information Modeling). What is BIM? In short, BIM is a digitalized way to create and manage data in the design, construction, and operation of products. Often it is used by architects, engineers, and construction working on sophisticated buildings. It allows for multiple teams to collaborate in real-time as they are working on a project. The same technology could virtually model the layout of a factory and could share accurate data in real-time across multiple teams.

Imagine an entire manufacturing setup being represented by a virtual model that is constantly sharing diagnostics of the equipment. If something were to break down or get faulty, the diagnostic could alert the technician, and using the virtual model, they can get a better visual representation of what is causing the issue and where it can be found. Simultaneously an alert can be sent out across different departments so that different teams can quickly communicate and come up with solutions to the problem. This in turn saves time on labor and the cost of troubleshooting.

Final Thoughts

Automation has always been and continues to be the end goal for many companies across multiple industries. With digitalization allowing for the process to function more autonomous than ever, it seems we are moving further along into a world of unfettered interconnectivity. As the digitalization of automation continues to progress, the acknowledgment of anxiety over its effects on human employees cannot be ignored. If everything is fully automated and more streamlined, what place does the employee have?

One issue that we need to consider is how automation will affect socioeconomics. From an optimistic point of view, one could argue that the present automation has already done away with a lot of the ‘human element’, and the margins of laying off workers would be small, especially when a company could train up employees to learn the technology.

On the other hand, we’re talking about a situation where only a handful of positions are available. Often, a company would rather onboard someone who already has experience rather than train an existing employee. Automation could pessimistically mean that both low-skilled and specialized employees both have a hard time finding work. On one end when most of the general tasks can be automated why would a company need to hire humans? Not to mention that exists a ceiling with just how many specialized jobs exist versus how many specialized employees compete to fill those seats. This is an existing issue we can see across multiple tech sector positions today.

What the solution is, remains to be seen. While the advancement of automation is crucial to productivity, it is something that should be treated cautiously in regards to how it affects the working person.

title graphic of “Comparing Gas Prices to Minimum Wage in Cities Around the U.S.”

The US Minimum Wage vs Gas Price Inflation Compared

With no ceiling in sight for the climbing gas prices around the nation, many Americans are forced to adjust both their driving and spending habits to keep pace. Plus, with the holiday season in full swing, Americans need to account for higher airfare, food costs, and hotel prices as they plan their vacations, which may mean trips closer to home. Gone are the days of purchasing gas for under $2.00 per gallon. We now live in an era, where the price per gallon exceeds the federal minimum wage in certain locations––talk about pain at the pump. 

Minimum wage workers and low-income commuters are suffering the most as a large percentage of their paychecks are being ravaged by rising gas prices.  In California, a 12-gallon tank of gas costs minimum wage workers in some areas nearly 57% of a day’s pay. In some states like Pennsylvania and Utah, gas prices continue to rise, while minimum wage still sits at $7.25 an hour––where it’s sat for the last ten years, despite growing inflation rates. 

To uncover where soaring gas prices are taking the biggest bite out of workers’ paychecks, MRO compared the minimum wage to the mean gas price in 100 U.S. cities. We dug deeper, focusing on 18 cities where gas costs over 80% of a minimum wage employee’s paycheck, ushering in a dystopian-like society all over the U.S. Read on to see where your city and state stack up.

What Causes Gas Prices to Go Up?

Low prices at the pump in our pre-pandemic world weren’t just a fever dream. If you remember, the demand for oil drastically fell during the pandemic as the world shut down and people were forced to stay home, but as the U.S. slowly started to recover, the demand for oil rebounded once more. The only problem? Oil production came to a grinding halt and drilling new oil wells takes a lot longer than ordering a new outfit through Amazon Prime. Plus, inflated energy prices, transportation costs, and a U.S. ban on purchasing oil from Russia all factor into soaring oil costs. 

Why Is the Minimum Wage so Low?

The minimum wage was last raised thirteen years ago to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009, and it’s no secret that this amount has not kept up with inflation. Certain places like New York City have taken steps to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15.00 per hour, but not every state and city has followed suit, leaving many wondering how they can survive and stretch their paychecks. 

The minimum wage is indexed in 18 states and adjusts to keep up with inflation, but even this can vary depending on the individual counties within the same state. While President Biden did use executive order privileges to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour for federal workers, republican and democratic lawmakers still can’t reach a resolution that satisfies either party’s agenda. With other pressing matters coming to a head, it’s not clear when or if a raised minimum wage that accounts for the rising cost of living will ever be ratified into law in the near future. 

Can Minimum Wage Workers Afford the Gas Prices for Their Commute?

a U.S. map displaying the cities with the largest difference between minimum wage and gas prices

According to study results, minimum wage workers who make $5.15 per hour in Atlanta, GA pay $3.80 on average for a gallon of gas, resulting in 110.6% of a day’s paycheck being eaten by a full tank of gas (12 gallons). If the average commute in the U.S. requires 1.28 gallons of gas, then these Atlanta workers would lose wages just by showing up to work. 

A full tank of gas consumes 93.1% of a day’s pay in cities like Boise City, ID, and it isn’t much better in places like Salt Lake City, UT, where 92.3% of a hard earned day’s wages is budgeted towards a full tank of gas. Those in Philadelphia, PA lose out on 85.9% of their paycheck towards a full tank. Minimum wage workers are stuck in a catch-22, but certain restaurant owners in Philadelphia are promising to raise their hourly wage to $15 per hour, creating light at the end of the tunnel. 

Some customers are willing to pay higher menu prices to accommodate a living wage, and with the City of Brotherly Love welcoming 36.2 million visitors in 2021 alone, let’s hope this hot spot tourist destination can back these restaurant owners’ selfless initiatives.

Out of the top 18 cities where gas costs over 80% of a minimum wage worker’s paycheck, Pennsylvania holds five of those seats in places like Scranton (87.3% of a day’s pay), Pittsburgh (86.9% of a day’s pay), Harrisburg (86.4% of a day’s pay), and Allentown (85.5% of a day’s pay). The oil refinery explosion that occurred in South Philly in 2019 has forced the state to rely on imports more than ever before, contributing to the rising cost of gas. 

Popular tourist destinations like New Orleans, LA, and Memphis, TN, are seeing skyrocketing gas prices at the pump. New Orleans minimum wage workers sacrifice 81.7% of a day’s pay to a gallon of gas while Memphis workers follow closely behind at 81.0%. Taking a trip to day drink at New Orleans’ historic bars? Avoid soaring gas prices and careen around the city on foot or with their bike share program.

The 5 States With the Largest Difference Between Minimum Wage and Average Gas Prices

Washington

an infographic showing how many gallons of gas minimum wage workers in Washington can afford with one hour of work

Next, we found the five states with the largest difference between minimum wage and average gas prices. Topping the list is Washington state. With a minimum wage of $14.49 and the average price per gallon of gas at $4.23, minimum wage workers in Spokane, WA can purchase 3.43 gallons of gas with one hour of work. Minimum wage workers in Seattle, WA can purchase 3.00 gallons of gas with one hour of work. What’s more, a full tank of gas (12 gallons) costs minimum wage workers in Seattle, WA 50.1% of their pay that day.

Massachusetts

an infographic showing how many gallons of gas minimum wage workers in Massachusetts can afford with one hour of work

With a minimum wage of $14.25 and the average price per gallon of gas at $4.12, minimum wage workers in Boston, MA can purchase 3.46 gallons of gas with one hour of work. Additionally, a full tank of gas costs minimum wage workers in Boston, MA over 43% of a day’s pay.

Connecticut

an infographic showing how many gallons of gas minimum wage workers in Connecticut can afford with one hour of work

In Connecticut’s capital, Hartford, minimum wage workers can purchase 3.40 gallons of gas with one hour of work. In New Haven, CT, home of Yale University, that number drops to 3.35 gallons. Therefore, a full tank of gas costs minimum wage workers in Hartford and New Haven nearly 45% of a day’s pay.

New York

an infographic showing how many gallons of gas minimum wage workers in New York can afford with one hour of work

With a minimum wage of $13.20 and the average price per gallon of gas at $4.27, minimum wage workers in Rochester, New York can purchase 3.09 gallons of gas with one hour of work. Minimum wage workers in Buffalo, NY, and Albany, NY could purchase 3.13 and 3.17 gallons of gas, respectively.

Maryland

an infographic showing how many gallons of gas minimum wage workers in Maryland can afford with one hour of work

In Baltimore, MD, minimum wage workers can purchase 3.41 gallons of gas with one hour of work. Additionally, a full tank of gas costs minimum wage workers in Baltimore almost 44% of their pay that day.

Are There Any Signs of Relief on the Horizon for Minimum Wage Employees?

While minimum wage workers protest all over the country to get their voices heard, they still face an upward battle in this ongoing fight, despite there being a majority of Americans who are in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Governors in certain places like Pennsylvania are putting pressure on the General Assembly for a living wage and relief for their constituents. One survey found that while Republicans do agree the minimum wage should be increased, most would prefer raising it to $11.00 per hour, instead of $15.00. As states, cities, and local counties possess the authority to raise the minimum wage, this fight may need to be taken to the lower levels of power, instead of advocating for a living wage on a national scale, where it may find less success.

Gas Prices and Stagnant Minimum Wages Continue to Affect Consumers

That wraps up our study, comparing gas prices to minimum wage amounts around the U.S. Gas prices continue to be a dire issue across the country in 2022, as well as a harrowing expense for lower-income Americans who are also struggling to keep up with rising food prices and housing costs. 


While MRO Electric can’t control the cost of gas, we can offer the parts and equipment you need to keep things getting from A to B. Get in touch with us today by emailing sales@mroelectric.com or calling us at 800-691-8511 for a quote.

Research Methodology

Using data from the U.S. Department of Labor and GasBuddy, we collected the minimum wage in each state and the mean gas price in 100 U.S. cities in April 2022. We divided the minimum wage in each state by the average gas price in each city to determine how much gas a minimum wage worker can purchase with one hour of work. For all minimum wage amounts by state, we collected the basic minimum rate per hour, as listed by the Department of Labor. Gas prices are always fluctuating, so prices may differ from the time frame the data was pulled.

Siemens Sinamics CU320 Modules: Beyond the User Manual

About Sinamics S120 CU320 Modules

There are two Sinamics S120 CU320 Modules. There is the CU320-2 DP, which is the 6SL3040-1MA00-0AA0, and the CU320-2 PN, which is the 6SL3040-1MA01-0AA0.

These multi-drive Control Units increase axis count and functionality. They have an Ethernet port, as well as more I/O and controller to controller communication. Each unit can manage up to 6 servo or vector axes in a high performance system. For standard systems, up to 12 V/Hz axes can be controlled from one CU320-2 unit. These Control Units significantly reduce system costs, as they increase functionality for positioning, safety integration, and drive control allowing all these functions to be controlled by one unit versus several.

Siemens CU320 control units also provide additional flexibility with a high number of programming options and digital inputs. With up to 12 binary inputs, the modules’ high I/O count add ease of use. The additional Ethernet port expands programming options as well. Overall, the CU320-2 control units allow for simple yet flexible performance with minimal cost and space requirements.

If you want to learn more about these high-performance drives, check out our blog on Sinamics s120 fault codes.

CU320-2 DP Module

CU320-2 DP

The CU320-2 DP is a Sinamics Control Unit with a Profibus interface. It is a central Control Module in which the closed-loop and open-loop functions are implemented for one or more Line Modules and/or Motor Modules. It can be used with firmware version 4.3 or greater. It has 12 digital inputs, 8 digital inputs/outputs, 4 DRIVE-CLiQ interfaces, a Profibus and Ethernet interface, a serial interface (RS232), an option slot, and 3 measuring sockets.

MRO Electric stocks new and refurbished CU320-2 DP Control Units, which is part number 6SL3040-1MA00-0AA0. If you would like a replacement module, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

 

CU320-2 PN Module

CU320-2 PN

The CU320-2 PN is a Sinamics S120 Control Unit without a Profibus interface. It has the same interfaces as described above, however without the Profibus port. It is also a central control unit with closed-loop and open-loop functions that can be implemented for one or more Line or Motor modules.

MRO Electric stocks new and refurbished CU320-2 PN Control Units, which is part number 6SL3040-1MA01-0AA0. If you would like a replacement module, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Sinamics S120

Sinamics S120 Fault Codes and Alarms, Part I

It is important to understand the differences between faults and alarms on Sinamics S120 Drives by Siemens. We have included a list of common faults and alarm codes for S120 drives, what they mean, likely causes and how to fix the fault or alarm. For more Sinamics S120 faults and alarms, check out Part II and Part III of the series that we will be posting shortly. Be sure to check out our website to browse all of our Siemens products.

Understanding Faults 

What happens when a fault occurs?

  • The appropriate fault reaction is initiated
  •  Status signal ZSW1.3 is set.
  • The fault is entered in the fault buffer.

How are faults eliminated?

  • Remove the original cause of the fault
  • Acknowledge the fault

Understanding Alarms

What happens when an alarm occurs?

  • Status signal ZSW1.7 is set.
  • Alarms are “Self Acknowledging” meaning they are reset when the cause of the alarm has been eliminated.

List of Sinamics S120 Faults and Alarms

F01000:  Internal software error

Message Value: Module: %1, Line: %2
Drive Object: All Objects
ReactionOFF2
AcknowledgePOWER ON
Cause: An internal software error has occurred. Fault value (r0949, interpret hexadecimal)
Remedy

  • Evaluate fault buffer
  • Carry out a POWER ON (power on/off) for all components.
  • If required, check the data on the non-volatile memory (memory card).
  • Upgrade firmware to a later version.
  • Replace the control unit or contact MRO Electric.

F01001:  Floating Point Exception

Message Value: %1
Drive Object: All objects
Reaction: OFF2
AcknowledgePOWER ON
Cause: An exception occurred during an operation with the FloatingPoint data type. The error may be caused by the basic system or the OA application (e.g. FBLOCKS, DCC).
Remedy:

  • Carry out a POWER ON (power on/off) for all components.
  • Check configuration and signals of the blocks in FBLOCKS.
  • Check configuration and signals of DCC charts.
  • Upgrade firmware to a later version.
  • Contact Service Hotline.

F01002:  Internal software error

Message Value: %1
Drive Object: All objects
Reaction: OFF2
Acknowledge: IMMEDIATELY
Cause: An internal software error has occurred
Remedy: 

  • Carry out a POWER ON (power on/off) for all components.
  • Upgrade firmware to a later version.
  • Contact Service Hotline.

F01003:  Acknowledgement delay when accessing the memory

Message Value: %1
Drive Object: All objects
Reaction: OFF2
Acknowledge: IMMEDIATELY
Cause: A memory area was accessed that does not return a “READY”.
Remedy: 

  • Carry out a POWER ON (power on/off) for all components.
  • Contact Service Hotline

N01004 (F, A):  Internal software error

Message Value: %1
Drive Object: All objects
Reaction: NONE
Acknowledge: NONE
Cause: An internal software error has occurred. 
Remedy:  Read out diagnostics parameter (r9999).
Reaction upon F: OFF2
Acknowl. upon F: POWER ON
Reaction upon A:  NONE
Acknowl. upon A: NONE

F01005:  Firmware  download for DRIVE-CLiQ component unsuccessful

Message Value: Component number: %1, fault cause: %2
Drive Object: All objects
Reaction: NONE
Acknowledge: IMMEDIATELY
Cause: It was not possible to download the firmware to a DRIVE-CLiQ component
Remedy:

  • Check the selected component number
  • Check the DRIVE-CLiQ connection
  • Save suitable firmware file for download in “/siemens/sinamics/code/sac/”
  • Use a component with a suitable hardware version
  • After POWER ON has been carried out again for the DRIVE-CLiQ component,                               download the firmware again. Depending on p7826, the firmware will be                                       automatically downloaded.

A01006: Firmware update for DRIVE-CLiQ component required

Message Value: Component number: %1
Drive Object: All objects
Reaction: NONE
Acknowledge: NONE
Cause: The firmware of a DRIVE-CLiQ component must be updated as there is no suitable firmware or firmware version in the component for operation with the Control Unit.
Alarm value (r2124, interpret decimal): Component number of the DRIVE-CLiQ component
Remedy: 

  • Firmware update using the commissioning software: 
    • The firmware version of all of the components on the “Version overview” page can be read in the Project Navigator
      under “Configuration” of the associated drive unit and an appropriate firmware update can be carried out.
  • Firmware update via parameter:
    • Take the component number from the alarm value and enter into p7828.
    • Start the firmware download with p7829 = 1.

A01007: POWER ON for DRIVE-CLiQ component required

Message Value: Component number: %1
Drive Object: All objects
Reaction: NONE
Acknowledge: NONE
Cause: A DRIVE-CLiQ component must be powered up again (POWER ON) (e.g. due to a firmware update). 

Alarm value (r2124, interpret decimal): Component number of the DRIVE-CLiQ component. If the component number is 1, a POWER ON of the Control Unit is required. 
Remedy: 

  • Switch off the power supply of the specified DRIVE-CLiQ component and switch it                   on again.
  • For SINUMERIK, auto commissioning is prevented. In this case, a POWER ON is                           required for all components and the auto commissioning must be restarted.

A01009 (N):   CU: Control module overtemperature

Message Value: –
Drive Object: All objects
Reaction: NONE
Acknowledge: NONE
Cause: The temperature (r0037[0]) of the control module (Control Unit) has exceeded the specified limit value.
Remedy:

  • Check the air intake for the Control Unit.
  • Check the Control Unit fan.

MRO Electric and Supply carries new and used Sinamics modules. For more information or to request a quote, call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

KUKA Robot Arms | Available Now at MRO Electric and Supply

KUKA Robotics

Updated August 2019: You can purchase KUKA products directly from our website.

MRO Electric and Supply distributes a variety of new and refurbished KUKA Robot arms.

We repaint and rebuild all of our refurbished robotics arms, as well as purge and replace the grease according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

KUKA Robot Models

We supply KUKA arms and wrists from a number of robots. We have included some popular KUKA robot models in our inventory below:

  • KR30
  • KR60
  • KR90
  • KR150
  • KR180
  • KR360
  • KR500
  • Any Many More!

About KUKA Robotic Arms

Most KUKA robotic arms are made up of 4-6 joints, and can be used for many different applications such as welding, material handling, material removal, and more. Their large arms are typically used to lift heavy payloads and are sometimes run by hydraulic and pneumatic methods. Most KUKA robot arms are made from aluminum and built from the base up, ending with the wrist and whichever end effect is needed to help the arm perform its given application.

KUKA was one of the first companies to use aluminum in robot arm design, which makes KUKA manipulators one of the fastest and lightest on the market. They also introduced a horizontal balancing spring on axis 2 before the other robot manufacturers, a design that has now been widely adopted.

Even if you are new to programming, you can explore different intuitive programming options to find out what will work best for you. KUKA robotic arms can be programmed in multiple ways including using KUKA’s own robot language, through hand guiding, a handheld probe, graphical offline programming and more.

MRO Electric and Supply has a warehouse full of many types of KUKA arms and wrists. Give us a call today if you need a replacement and we can usually ship you one same-day! You can also email sales@mroelectric.com for a quote.

How Does a Relay Work?

What Is a Relay?

A relay is an electrically controlled switch that has the ability to turn a circuit on or off. Depending on the application relays can do a number of things. Relays can be used as switches to turn things on and off, or as amplifiers to convert smaller currents into larger ones. They can also be used to control a circuit with a low power signal or when multiple circuits need to be controlled by a single signal.

There are two kinds of relays, electromechanical and solid state. In this post, we will be focusing on electromechanical relays and how they work.

Basic Parts of a Relay

Armature– is a basic metal piece that is balanced on a pivot or a stand. It is considered the moving ‘arm’ of the relay. It makes or breaks the connection with the contacts connected to it.

Spring– is connected to one end of the armature and pushes the armature back into place if no current is passing through.

Electromagnet– is a metal wire wrapped around a metal core. The wire does not have magnetic property but can be converted into a magnet with the help of an electrical signal.

Yoke– is a small metal piece affixedon a core which attracts and holds the armature when the coil is energized.

Contacts– conductive material that exists within the device whose physical contact opens or closes a circuit

A break refers to the number of locations on a circuit that a switch can make or break the flow of current. In electromechanical relays, there can be single breaks and double breaks. A single break is usually used with low power devices while a double break is usually used with high power devices.

A pole refers to the number of circuits that relays can pass through a switch. A single pole contact carries current through one circuit, while a double can carry it through two.

A throw refers to the number of separate wiring paths. For example, a triple throw switch can be connected to one of three contacts instead of one.

How Do Electromechanical Relays Work?

Source:
https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/io/io_5.html

In an electromechanical relay, a small circuit has the ability to switch a larger circuit on or off through contacts by using an electromagnet. Some contacts come in different configurations depending on the use of the relay, namely, normally open relays and normally closed relays.

With a normally open (NO) relay, contacts are open when there is no current passing through. Once power is presented, the electromagnet will be activated. When charged, the electromagnet creates a magnetic field that attracts the armature and closes the contacts.

With a normally closed (NC) relay, contacts are closed when there is no current passing through. Unlike normally open relays, when normally closed relays become activated, the circuit will open and cause the current to stop flowing.

Types of Electromechanical Relays

Electromechanical relays can be broken down into the following distinct categories: general purpose relays, machine control relays and reed relays.

General Purpose Relays

General purpose relays are electromechanical switches that typically function via a  magnetic coil. Using an AC or DC current, general purpose relays often run at voltages such as 12V, 24V, 48V, 120V and 230V. Additionally, they can command currents ranging from 2A-30A. These relays are sought after due to them having a multitude of switch configurations and being cost-effective.

Machine Control Relays

Like general purpose relays, machine control relays are operated by a magnetic coil. Typically used to control starters and other industrial elements, these relays are robust. While this gives them greater durability, it also means that they are less economical than general purpose relays. However, with additional accessories and functionality, they have an advantage over general purpose relays.

Reed Relays

Reed relays consist of two reeds, which can open or close when controlled by an electromagnet. These small relays can operate up to eight reed switches, which are typically found inside of the electromagnetic coil. When the magnetic force is removed, the reeds return to their initial open position. Since the reeds are only a short distance apart from each other, reed relays work rather quickly. There are many benefits of using a reed relay, as their hermetic seal prevents the passage of contaminants. Additionally, this seal enables reed relays to have dependable switching.

There are many things to consider when choosing a relay for a project. Lifespan, operating environment, mechanical loads, size, and number and type of contacts are all important factors in choosing the right relay.

Pros and Cons of Electromechanical Relays

While electromechanical relays have a variety of uses, different applications require different automation devices, and electromechanical relays may not always be the best fit. To help you determine if an electromechanical relay will work for you, we have highlighted some of the advantages and disadvantages below.

Advantages

  • Fast operation and reset
  • More definitive ON/OFF
  • Simple and most reliable

Disadvantages

  • Suffers the effects of age
  • No directional features
  • Needs a large amount of input power to operate

How to Identify a Faulty Relay

Although relays are considered reliable mechanisms, they do have the capability of failing. Determining whether you have a faulty relay is simple and can be easily identified with the help of a multimeter. 

Here are a few tips on how to use your multimeter to test a relay:

  1. Remove the relay from the fuse box or vehicle.
  2. Determine where the input and output points of the circuit are located on the relay.
  3. Make sure your multimeter is set to ohm.
  4. Connect the leads of the multimeter across the entrance and exit pins to determine resistance. Ideally, you’ll see a reading between 50 to 120 ohm.
  5. If your multimeter has a reading of Open or Out of Range you may have a defective coil winding and the relay will need to be replaced.
  6. If the reading looks good, you’ll want to connect the leads in between the switch pins. You should see a reading of OL or Open.

MRO Electric and Supply has an extensive inventory of relays in stock.  Please email sales@mroelectric or call us at 800-691-8511 for a quote.