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AutomationDirect Newsletter

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Check Out Some of Our Past Newsletters

  • Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 6

    Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 6

    CLICK PLC and C-more HMI Integral for Emergency Ventilator Using readily available AutomationDirect parts, an Auburn University team converted a CPAP machine to a high-functioning emergency ventilator in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the threat of ventilator shortages during the COVID-19 crisis, various organizations called on developers to build “emergency ventilators”. A team at … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 5

    Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 5

    VFDs Take Control Many industrial automation projects use programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for executing programs and variable frequency drives (VFDs) for running AC motors at commanded speeds. Some of the latest VFDs are actually hybrids with PLC-like programming functionality built right in, giving end users new options when designing automated systems. Read the article here … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 4

    Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 4

    Can a Raspberry Pi Challenge a PLC? Single-board consumer microcontrollers are popular with hobbyists, but how do they stand up to industrial PLCs for more advanced process control applications? Many readers expressed considerable interest in a previous Control Design article comparing an Arduino microcontroller with a programmable logic controller (PLC) for basic flow control. This led author Doug … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 3

    Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 3

    Important Supply Update – Coronavirus Outbreak  AutomationDirect is paying close attention to the fast-changing news regarding the Coronavirus. We are in close contact with all our suppliers to anticipate any potential effects on our supply chain as quickly as possible. We are also monitoring states’ mandates on any shipment/delivery restrictions we need to comply with. … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 2

    Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 2

    AutomationDirect’s Food & Beverage Idea Book The Food and Beverage industry is a growing and changing field that’s becoming more and more reliant on automation and finding efficiencies. Click below to download our Food and Beverage eBook to see how big of a role automation plays. Topics Include: Top 10 Trends in the Industry NEMA … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 1

    Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 1

    New Industrial Grade Open-Source CPU The open-source Productivity®Open platform provides all the great features of a standard Arduino plus the added power and reliability of an industrial controller. The processor circuit of the P1AM-100 Arduino-compatible CPU is designed to mimic the Arduino MKRZero microcontroller. The P1AM-100 is compatible with most available Arduino MKR format shields, and/or … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 11

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 11

    Free HMI eBook AutomationDirect’s HMI Handbook delves into the world of human machine interfacing with informative chapters on selecting, designing and installing HMIs. But that’s just the first half, the back half of the book focuses specifically on C-more HMIs with chapters covering how to use screen objects, how to configure events, simulation basics, recipe … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 10

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 10

    16 Tips for an Effective HMI Do you have an HMI project coming up? Here are some helpful tips and guidelines for you to remember during your planning and implementation. A good starting point for HMI design is a text-based outline documenting each screen’s content. With the operator’s point-of-view and ease-of-use in mind, detail the … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 9

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 9

    Applying the Right Position Sensor Many products are available in good, better, and best versions—and so it is with industrial positions sensors—with products ranging in functionality from basic general-purpose to enhanced mission-specific styles. The latter usually cost more but have additional features, and this article examines some criteria end-users should use when choosing the best … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 8

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 8

    Robroy-AttaBox | Tough on Protection What do oil refining, rail and transit systems, outdoor water parks, wastewater treatment plants, and breweries have in common? They are environments that need high-quality, watertight, corrosion resistant enclosures to protect critical equipment such as electrical connections, wiring, control panels, and sensitive measurement systems. In harsh places like these, non-metallic … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 7

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 7

    Benefits of Connecting a PLC to the Internet PLCs have traditionally excelled at using wired inputs and outputs (I/O) to execute automation logic quickly and reliably. Now, users are recognizing the internet contains a wealth of information useful for PLC applications either directly in the logic or for operator displays. Many websites can programmatically deliver … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 6

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 6

    Specifying Performance Instead of Parts Specifying performance instead of parts when purchasing machines and process skids cuts costs, reduces lead time and guarantees reliable operation.  Many plants and facilities rely on pre-packaged machines and process skids purchased from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) suppliers. They want the components installed in this equipment to match what they … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 5

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 5

    As electricity bills continue to rise due to new government mandates, manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities are making reducing energy consumption a priority. No company can afford to waste money by using machines or processes that consume too much energy. Since pneumatic systems are ubiquitous throughout manufacturing and can consume a large share of a plant’s power costs, ensuring they consume only the air required is extremely important.

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 4

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 4

    Machine Automation Basics Automation systems must integrate multiple power and control subsystems and components into a coherent whole. Faced with ever-increasing cost pressures and demands for improved performance, machine builders are actively seeking new automation solutions with improved cost/performance ratios. In response to these demands, vendors must often incorporate commercial off-the-shelf components and other technologies … Read More

  • Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 3

    Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 3

    Free Online PLC Training Program AutomationDirect’s free online PLC training program has been expanded with over a hundred additional training videos. The complete video training series encompasses various levels of training from entry level programming to advanced PLC functions and is available to anyone interested in learning about industrial controllers. The training video library is … Read More