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Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 4

Product advice on easy, affordable modern control, IIoT implementationPlant engineers, electrical technicians, machine builders are among the users who need industrial-grade automation platforms so they can create practical control systems and advanced Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. Many of these projects are smaller-scale, perhaps 100 or fewer input/output (I/O) points, and these users require…
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Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 3

Cybersecurity Best PracticesContemporary industrial cybersecurity measures require the right hardware and software technologies, but must also incorporate user best practices.Now that most intelligent automation devices include wired or wireless network connectivity, end users can easily obtain valuable equipment data. However, the more capable PLCs, HMIs, and other devices making this possible also mean that designers need…
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Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 2

Industrial Automation Mobile Access on the Rise Most consumers are comfortable with?and even reliant on?easy access to information, technologies, and personal communications using their mobile devices, like phones and tablets. These same commercial trends are making their way into the industrial sector, and to gauge the progress, AutomationDirect surveyed industrial users back in June 2016 and…
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Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 1

What is Needed for Industrial Control Panels?Industrial control panels are fundamental for protecting electrical, instrumentation, and control devices. The AutomationDirect portfolio of enclosures and components can help users obtain everything they need to create control panel solutions. This post looks at some key concepts involved with designing control panels.Learn more Secure Remote Monitoring of Process…
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Newsletter Volume 23 Issue 11

Off-the-Shelf IIoT Solutions for OperationsOff-the-shelf Intelligent VPN routers and associated cloud services make it easy for end users and OEMs to use an IIoT approach for accessing and acting on operational data.Learn more MERZ Schaltgerate?s Top-Quality SwitchesSatisfy customers. Produce high quality, reliable switches. Continuously improve and align. Seventy-five years ago, Gustav Merz put these key…
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Newsletter Volume 23 Issue 10

PLCs Provide a Conduit for Better Predictive MaintenanceModern IIoT-capable PLCs can be a more active conduit for a user to implement a strong predictive maintenance program that can lower costs and unplanned shutdowns, and improve any plant?s performance.Read the entire article Industrial Enclosures Examined Inside and OutAlthough we generally think of industrial enclosures as protecting…
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Newsletter Volume 23 Issue 9

“Fermenting a Homebrew Automation System“…AutomationDirect PLCs and products help a hobbyist automate his homebrew equipment, taking quality to the next level. Back in 2012, Jason Wilson toured a local brewery, and soon thereafter became a homebrew enthusiast. He was fascinated by the detailed science and math underlying the production process, and quickly realized automation would…
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Newsletter Volume 23 Issue 8

“How to Control a Stepper Motor“…Stepper motors use specialized control methods to achieve better precision than standard variable speed motors, while avoiding the expense and complexity of servo systems. This article describes how users can implement and control stepper motor systems in their motion control applications.Read more Quick and Clean Automation ImplementationIn the midst of…
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Newsletter Volume 23, Issue 7

“Modern PLCs Break Out of Industrial Automation Limitations“… Old-fashioned automation architectures suffer from complexity and slow communications while today?s PLC advances boost simplicity and performance. See how today?s PLC advances boost simplicity and performance. This article looks at how modern PLCs can streamline classically rigid architectures to securely and directly access cloud computing resources like…
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Newsletter Volume 23, Issue 6

“Electronic Circuit Breakers Provide Smarter Protection“…Sensors and controllers used for automating machinery require reliable low voltage and low current power. Designers must incorporate overcurrent protection devices (OCPDs) to guard conductors from damaging overcurrent and short circuit conditions, in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC). However, there is a smarter way than using traditional fuses…
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Newsletter Volume 23, Issue 5

“Supplier Profile: Code Corporation“…Beep Beep Beep that’s the distinctive sound made when someone scans a barcode on items going through a grocery store checkout line. Barcode technology began revolutionizing the efficiency of the grocery checkout process decades ago and is now fostering huge advances in healthcare, law enforcement, and manufacturing. Read more about Code Corp. Industrializing…
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Newsletter Volume 23, Issue 4

“Networking Decision: Managed or Unmanaged Switches?“…Unmanaged switches may be able to do the job in some applications, but managed switches deliver improved performance and cybersecurity.People everywhere are spoiled by fast and reliable consumer-grade Ethernet connectivity, in both wired and Wi-Fi versions. But can basic networking devices be used directly for industrial applications? This article examines…
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Newsletter Volume 23, Issue 3

“What is Safe Torque Off (STO)?“…Let’s say you have a system with some Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and you want to integrate those VFDs into your emergency stop circuit to ensure the VFDs will place the motors into a safe state upon an emergency stop condition. How do you do this? There were many ways…
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Newsletter Volume 23, Issue 2

“PLCs Integrate Industrial Data to the Cloud“…Not too long ago, the roles of industrial automation devices were relatively clear-cut. Simple sensors were wired to controllers, like PLCs, which in turn might be visualized by local HMIs. Today however there are many more options due to the availability of smart sensors, specialized controllers, and PLCs and…
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Newsletter Volume 23, Issue 1

“Measure More Using Cloud Connectivity“…Tapping into data marooned on remotely-installed automation systems is made practical with new cloud-capable wireless devices.Industrial sites commonly operate a significant number of systems and equipment as isolated ‘islands of automation’. Remote locations, legacy hardware, and incompatible automation platforms have often made it expensive or unfeasible to tap into the valuable…
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Newsletter Volume 22 Issue 11

“ProductivityOpen – Reliability Starts With Design“…FACTS Engineering, our development partner for the Productivity line of products, has many in-house testing stations that they use to verify the survivability of their products. Shaker tables, temperature chambers, noise induction stations all help FACTS guarantee a quality product before it ever leaves their facility. In this video, FACTS…