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Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 3

Light-Operate or Dark-Operate Photoelectric Sensors. Which is Better for your Application?When choosing a photoelectric sensor for an application there are many things to consider. One of these considerations is whether to select a light-operate or dark-operate photoelectric sensor. The terms ?light-operate? and ?dark-operate? refer to when the sensor activates its output.Learn more Making a Clean…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 2

Material Handling. Just like it sounds.Many components are involved in material handling systems, including motors, drives, sensors, pneumatics, controls, and safety products. When engineered properly, these components will work together in unison to efficiently move products, cases, or other materials from one location to another. Many things can go wrong or right depending on the…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 1

Cybersecure and Remote-Friendly?Manufacturing companies recognize the need and value of practical remote access to their digital systems and data, but they also are aware of the associated cybersecurity risks. The NIST endorses ?defense-in-depth,? but what does this mean for OEMs, systems integrators, and end users looking to achieve workable and secure remote access?Learn more Select…

Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 12

In-House Automation is the Key to CustomizationManufacturers are finding they can rapidly and flexibly adapt to changing production needs by engaging in-house personnel to deploy automation solutions.Automation is essential for improving productivity and quality, but many manufacturers serve markets where production volumes and product options vary drastically. Read more What is PID Control?PID is the most…

Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 11

Robotic Beer Dispenser Hits the Ground Running?Reliable, rugged, and economical automation components are essential building blocks for bringing high-tech into consumer-facing applications.After working for more than a decade on industrial and automation projects, Grayson Dawson founded Hop Robotics to bring high-technology robotic serving systems to the food & beverage and hospitality sectors.Read more Free Practical…

Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 10

Industrializing an Arduino: Making a Single-Board Controller Fit for the FactoryArduinos and similar devices can be highly versatile but are too delicate for industrial environments. So, the challenge for this project was to create an industrial type of application using an industrialized Arduino and associated components, to see what advantages they offer over conventional maker hardware. Read…

Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 9

IO-Link is the Smart Choice for I/O ConnectivityA concept called the ?last mile problem? refers to the difficulty of completing the last link in a process, such as running internet cables to a user?s home. For industrial automation systems, one aspect of the last mile problem is connecting all the wiring from I/O modules to…

Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 8

Cloud Connectivity Supports Smart HVACFor data centers powering the internet, the energy used to keep these systems cool is often the greatest operating cost, so small efficiency improvements can result in significant savings. IoT cloud connectivity lets experts effectively support increasingly complex HVAC systems, such as refrigerant-side economizers for data centers.Read more Old Reliable Just Got…

Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 7

What is a VFD?A variable frequency drive (VFD) is an electronic device used to vary the frequency of an AC voltage to adjust the speed of an AC motor. VFDs also provide start and stop control, acceleration and deceleration, and overload protection. Many VFDs are networkable, allowing them to integrate into and provide feedback to…

Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 6

Making the Cut with Upgraded AutomationUsing the AutomationDirect Do-more BRX PLC, an extrusion company progressively upgraded and simplified their legacy manufacturing lines, greatly improving performance, while minimizing scrap. The situation is common at many manufacturing sites: production equipment is old, degrading, and mismatched, leading to operational and maintenance inefficiencies and nightmares… Read entire article IIoT…

Newsletter Volume 24 Issue 5

Open PLCs Boost HVAC AutomationAutomationDirect?s ProductivityOpen Arduino-compatible automation controller enabled this company to deliver reliable HVAC controls enhanced with modern computing capabilities.Read entire article Supplier Profile: FATHFATH GmbH was started as a family operation in 1989 by Werner Fath and sons Mirko Jan and Wido. Now, still managed by Mirko Jan and Wido, FATH has…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…