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Newsletter Volume 26 Issue 06

The Evolution of Controls from Relay Logic to IEC Programming In this video, Doug Bell from Interconnecting Automation discusses the evolution of machine control from relays to the first PLC with ladder logic and now IEC programming. Watch the video Installing a Rock-Solid Automation Retrofit This electrical contractor relied on AutomationDirect PLC and HMI hardware and…

Newsletter Volume 26 Issue 05

From Ethernet to EtherCAT and Beyond Once upon a time (think 1980s), Ethernet was a relatively specialized computer connectivity technology, administrated by experienced gurus under highly-controlled office settings. Since then, technology and performance have advanced incredibly, and much of the world?s population uses wired and wireless (Wi-Fi) Ethernet in their everyday lives. Learn more AutomationDirect Named…

Newsletter Volume 26 Issue 04

What is EtherCAT? EtherCAT, which stands for Ethernet for Control Automation Technology, is a high-performance industrial network protocol based on standard Ethernet. It?s specifically designed for real-time communication and deterministic data exchange, making it ideal for motion control applications like robotics, assembly lines, and packaging machines. Learn more C-more CM5 HMI Selected as a 2024 Control…

Newsletter Volume 26 Issue 03

Supplier Profile: Metal Work What makes the “swoosh” noise happen when a soda can opens? What powers the gates, brakes, and passenger restraint systems on a roller coaster? What makes animatronics work at an amusement park? Compressed air is the magic that makes all these things happen ? and much more. Learn more Redundancy Options…

Newsletter Volume 26 Issue 02

Automation Expands a Machine Shop?s Success By partnering with a local systems integrator and using AutomationDirect products, this machine shop enhanced its capabilities, allowing it to deliver the services required by its customers. Par Electric and Engineering founder Pete Baker explains how the two companies teamed up to deliver a high-performance pressure testing solution. Read more…

Newsletter Volume 26 Issue 01

Automating a Big Rig Light Show A truck customization shop expanded their capabilities by offering AutomationDirect PLCs and HMIs to control expansive on-vehicle lighting displays.Just as many car owners like to customize their rides, there is a growing convoy of truck operators who like to do the same as a personal and promotional statement. Dickerson…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 12

VFDs Keep the Good Times Pumping When the Triple R Camping Resort enhanced their facility to include a waterpark with interactive water features, they also needed to upgrade some behind-the-scenes elements, such as pumps and the VFDs controlling them. AutomationDirect VFDs were installed to control waterpark systems, and in the process the resort added the…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 11

4-20mA Analog Transmitter Troubleshooting Although most current loops are easy to install and commission, sometimes there can be a snag on initial setup, which requires a bit of troubleshooting to overcome. This article looks at some 4-20mA basics, and how to check on problematic installations. Read more Selecting Discrete Sensors Discrete object detection refers to…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 10

Future-Proof Ethernet Installations Consumer- and commercial-grade Ethernet networking has been common since the 1980s, and it has evolved significantly over the decades. Yet, Ethernet for industrial applications generally lagged behind commercial installations. However, many more recent developments have elevated Ethernet to today?s preferred industrial networking technology. Read more Tech Brief ? HMIs Human beings are visual…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 9

In-House Automation Focuses on People, Plant, and Profit Many companies rely on external firms for automation upgrades and changes, and this works well for countless applications. But Pacific Cheese Company faced a dual challenge of maintaining and improving manual and legacy systems, while at the same time upgrading operations to responsively meet changing consumer demands….

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 8

Control Panels are Changing Due to Distributed Automation Control panels have long been essential for protecting automation and electrical components associated with OEM machines and industrial manufacturing. While control panels will continue to be with us for the foreseeable future, several technologies are reducing the size of and need for control panels. Read more Prevent…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 7

Supplier Profile: Peninsular Cylinder, Co. | Superheroes of Cylinders The Marvel Cinematic Universe? is full of superheroes with incredible powers and abilities. But even superheroes need the right tools and equipment to get the job done. Just like how Iron Man?s suit is equipped with hydraulic and pneumatic systems, Peninsular Cylinder Co.?s cylinders can provide…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 6

Vacuum Gripper Advantages Modular gripper system kits provide a versatile way for designers and OEMs to quickly create material handling and robot end-of-arm tooling solutions.OEMs and designers put a lot of work into gripping systems because dropping a payload can lead to waste and downtime. Custom-engineered systems are often the norm, but these can be…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 5

Modern PLCs Provide Support for Advanced Data AccessAlthough many think of PLCs as primarily for real-time control, modern versions make it easy to implement extensive data connectivity and analytics. While everyday consumers are familiar with getting things their way, this type of flexibility has often been less available within the industrial manufacturing arena. This is…

Newsletter Volume 25 Issue 4

Linear Actuator OptionsLinear actuators, driven with servo or stepper motors, are an effective way to implement accurate automated machine motion. Linear actuators can also be driven by pneumatic or hydraulic methods, depending on the force, speed, accuracy, and cost requirements of an application. Electrically-driven actuators are the preferred solution for many applications, especially when automated…

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…