• Industrial Automation Solutions: It Begins With The Design

    Automation is a word still feared by many employees – but it shouldn’t be. Industrial automation technology decreases hard labor and improves safety while increasing productivity by as much as 2% annually. At Brenner-Fielder, we work with you to ensure you understand all of the things that automation can accomplish. Our highly trained staff partners with you to ensure you understand what industrial automation solutions are appropriate to your specified goals. Continue reading

  • Brenner-Fiedler: Riverside Innovation Spotlight

    City of Riverside's Innovation Spotlight on Brenner-Fiedler

    Child learns about production










    There’s been a lot of talk lately about keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Brenner-Fiedler, a company based in Riverside, California says it’s doing just that by hiring engineering students from local colleges and universities and focusing on automation.

    Joe Manalastas, Senior Mechanical Engineer:

    "A lot of the labor costs in California are going up, so automation, I think, is going to be a key factor in keeping manufacturing in Riverside."

    The company has been creating and retrofitting devices for medical, industrial, and manufacturing industries. Using a team of engineers and fabricators, they create or modify existing equipment to make the customer’s device perform better, faster, and safer.

    Joe Manalastas explains how they helped a recent client.

    Joe Manalastas:

    "We designed them an ergonomic table that allows them to automatically test three valves at a time. We made two of those tables a day, and now we can test six valves at a time and can easily increase their throughput by 700%."

    When they’re not using robots or automation to help customers save time and money, they’re busy recruiting local talent at career fairs or being part of manufacturing day.

    They focus on STEM students, who are skilled in science, technology, engineering and math because those students might become future interns or employees. Recently, they opened their doors to show students what a career at Brenner-Fiedler is really like.

    Mallayana Bradley, Marketing Manager:

    "We basically showed them what our facility was like inside. We taught them about manufacturing, we taught them about production, and we taught them about engineering."

    The company recognizes that the industry needs to recruit more women. Not only do they have women in key positions, but one of them has a message for young women who are considering a career in STEM.

    Rocio Hernandez, engineering project manager:

    "There are a lot of opportunities out in the world with the new automation lines, new robotics coming through. Follow your dreams, make sure, be determined. There’s nothing really out there that will actually stop you if you’re really determined."

    To find out more about the innovative products and solutions being developed by Brenner-Fiedler, contact Info@brfa.com

  • Showdown: Cylinders vs. Generators

    Email Header Generators

    The Facts

    Cylinders vs. Generators

    • Cylinders
    • 1. A standard laboratory cylinder contains between 8000L and 9000L of compressed gas.
    • 2. Unsafe Pressures used are often in excess of 250 bar (3600 psi).
    • 3. Regular cylinders when full can weigh between 143.3 lb - 209.44 lb.
    • 4. Specific pricey regulators are required for different gases.
    • 5. Repetitive Costly Delivery, rental and filling fees
    • 6. Purities differ from Cylinder to Cylinder
    • 7. Storage locations for most cylinders are remote & not easily accessible
    • Generators
    • 1. Never again will you suffer interruptions to analysis due to your gas cylinders running out.
    • 2. Generating your laboratory gas, only on demand, at safe low pressures eliminates the risks to your staff and your instruments.
    • 3. Installing a gas generator removes the need for time-consuming safety inspections.
    • 4. Guaranteed purity at point of use removes the effects of cylinder to cylinder purity variations on analysis.
    • 5. A gas generator will eliminate delivery, rental, refilling, order processing and downtime costs associated cylinders.


     The benefits of generating as much gas as you need when you need it far outweighs the outdated method of ordering, managing, and carrying heavy cylinders. For more information on the benefits of generation your own nitrogen call specialist, Tania Leisure at 805.907.9706
  • 10 Things to Know When Selecting a Programmable Safety Controller

    You're redesigning a piece of machinery or implementing a new manufacturing line, and you need to select a programmable safety control system to monitor all of your safeguarding devices. There are a lot of options out there, so how do you choose?


    Programmable Controller

    Here are the top ten things to consider when reviewing your options:

    1.Number of I/O  - A good place to start is determining the number and types of Input and Output devices that will need to be connected to the controller. With outputs, you need to determine if feedback is required and whether each output is required and whether each output needs to monitored individually (this can increase the number of inputs required).

    2. Safety I/O connectivity - It is important to consider the type of connection needed. Depending on the controller used and the hazard classification, the numbers of devices that can be connected to an input card or the controller itself can vary.

    3. Standard I/O - Another consideration of I/O is the need to connect 'reset', 'restart', or 'request o enter'input devices and indication of other types of output devices not requiring safety-related signals.

    4. Speed - This is very important when selecting a safety platform, from a performance AND cost perspective. Faster response times mean devices such as safety light curtains can be mounted closer to the hazard, reducing the overall footprint. Pay attention to the speed of the system to ensure that safety is not compromised by switching safety controllers.

    5. Monitoring - Smaller programmable controllers and systems may not require monitoring by a PLC, HMI or other network device, but in larger systems, it is imperative to know which device is on, off, or has an error.

    6. Acces to Status Data - Monitoring provides an excellent tool for overall operation, but the data must be easily accessible. Serial protocols require that points in the program are mapped to specific bits that exchange information with inputs and outputs in another device. The mapping of this information must be tracked and documented, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Some systems have the ability to map all of the status information from the safety controller directly int other PLC; these systems are user-friendly and large amounts of data can be easily accessed.

    7. Panel Space - This is a huge advantage of a programmable system, as the controller input units offer higher density in a much smaller package (can save up to 25% space).

    8. Complexity - Building complex safety systems with various modes of safe operation, different stop categories, and other more advanced functions were hard to be realized with hardwired circuits and often involved costly specialty units. Stop category 1 circuits using time delay relay units are complex to wire and are limited in operation, but with today's programmable systems, a few function blocks can be configured in software and consume a fraction fo the panel space. Programmable controllers can enhance the monitoring capabilities in complex configurations, making them safer and easier to configure.

    9. Programming Style - There are many different styles of programming involving ladder, function blocks with fixed and flexible architecture, and various other styles. Many manufacturers have recently adopted an open architecture, which allows for easier understanding of different supplier's systems and allows for shorter development times if alternate systems are needed.

    10. Scalability - Many manufacturers of equipment require scalable architecture of some degree from smaller stand-alone equipment to full production lines. The ability to re-use hardware and programs and to learn one style of programming improves productivity.


    Research and read the specifications, but do not compromise system performance for a low price tag. There are many systems on the market today, give us a call to find you the perfect safety controller solution.

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  • A Custom Workstation That Works

    It can feel like a bad “case of the Mondays” all week, every week if the work environment just doesn’t work for employees. We have all experienced days that feel like we are pulled in different directions and can’t focus to get anything done. To combat this, we created custom workstations using the trusted brand of aluminum extrusion we have used successfully in hundreds of builds – Maytec. How had we not thought of this before? This simple change made all the difference.

    Production worker works efficiently surrounded by the necessary tools to complete the project 

    There are a ton of factors that make these custom workstations a successful fit for a production department, but the top reasons are:

    1. The height of the tables is ergonomically friendly for a production team. A strong ergonomics integration prevents injuries, increases productivity and ultimately reduces costs.

    2. The casters give the freedom to move the tables according to work flow. In a company that is constantly evolving and growing, a setup that worked one month, might not work the next. The Maytec workstations can move, adapt, and grow with us.

    3. Bottom shelves provide extra storage space. Honestly, everyone needs extra storage space. Need we say more?

    4. Middle shelves provide tool storage. We’ve all heard the adage, “A place for everything, and everything in its place”. The tool storage shelf keeps everything easily accessible, which in turn boosts productivity (and reduces frustration!) by limiting the amount of time procuring a needed tool.

    5. Top shelves used as bin location for parts. With frequent repeat assemblies in production, storing parts as close to the assembly area and keeping track of them with bin assignments are key. This is an easy and effective way to keep the workspaces from becoming cluttered.

    6. End caps are used for large hanging items. We found a perfect fit for packing materials and rolls to prepare finished product for shipment. 

    7. The overall appearance of production room is so much nicer. Sure, looks aren’t everything, but it does speak volumes about an organizations’ values, achievements, work ethic, and professionalism.


    Production worker stands focused at ergonomic work station

    “The ability to customize the workstation allows us to add the tools we really need. After all, a workman is only as good as his tools.” – Felipe Causor, Brenner-Fiedler Production Dept.  

    If your production department is in need of a productivity facelift, send a quick email to see if we can design a custom workstation to fit your production needs.

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  • Bimba IntelliSense

  • Podcast Episode 20: SMAC Talks About Voice Coil Actuators

    In this week's episode, SMAC President, Ed Neff, explains the advantage of Voice Coil Actuators (also referred to as Moving Coil Actuators) for linear motors. Continue reading

  • Podcast Episode 19: Proximity Sensors - Capacitive vs Inductive

    Detecting a target that is close to your sensor can be tricky, but so can the material the target is made of. In this episode, Brenner-Fiedler's sensor specialist, Paul Oppenheim, sits down with host Jeremy Shubert to discuss the difference between Capacitive (detects metal and non-metal elements) and Inductive (only detect metal) Sensors. Continue reading

  • Servo Motor and Voice Coil

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