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Beam Testing at Portland State

Beam Testing at Portland State

For their undergraduate senior capstone project, a team of Mechanical Engineering students at Portland State University (PSU) recently designed an electronic system upgrade for the control system of a 100-year-old beam testing machine. Using a range of AutomationDirect parts, the purpose of the project was to make the operator experience comparable to modern machines.
 
Cool Strawberries

Cool Strawberries

MACS Cooler—with the help of Hawkins Engineering, Quantum Automation and AutomationDirect—designed a more efficient precooling system for produce. Not only do these forced-air portable precooling systems reduce labor costs by 60%, they also help assure fresh strawberries quickly make it to market.
 
PLCs Have Many Uses in Radio Broadcasting

PLCs Have Many Uses in Radio Broadcasting

There is lots of impressive technology used in broadcasting, but control of transmitters, audio sources, power and facilities is often low tech. A seasoned broadcast engineer is addressing this issue by using PLCs to improve broadcasting, starting with remote transmitter sites at iHeartMedia in Los Angeles.
 
The Halloween Box

The Halloween Box

In every haunted house, you’ll find automated props: chairs that rock on their own, slamming doors, rattling chains, drawers opening and closing as if by some supernatural force. These “tricks” enhance the “treat” of getting the life scared out of you. The process behind making a Halloween prop can be quite simple. Here is just ... Read More
 
Lock-Jaw2 Robot Competes in BattleBots TV Show Using AutomationDirect Parts

Lock-Jaw2 Robot Competes in BattleBots TV Show Using AutomationDirect Parts

Robots Activate! Is a familiar phrase to those fans who follow the BattleBots competition which just completed its 2016 season broadcast on ABC Television in the United States. One of the BattleBots competition veterans, Donald Hutson, has been involved since the show began and has been on the robot combat circuit since 1986.
 
Machine Produces Nanofibers for Biomedical Research

Machine Produces Nanofibers for Biomedical Research

If you can’t buy it, you have to build it. This was the situation our group of engineering students encountered when we needed to grow vascular tissue for a bioengineering project at Walla Walla University, and found existing solutions were not acceptable.
 
It’s a Wrap! Automated Taping Machine

It’s a Wrap! Automated Taping Machine

The capstone senior design project is the crowning achievement for seniors at the University of Connecticut School of Engineering.  In this two-semester course, senior students are mentored by faculty and industry engineers as they work to solve real-world engineering problems for their corporate sponsor. Students learn about the principles of design, how ethics affect engineering ... Read More
 
Keeping the Lights On In Jamaica

Keeping the Lights On In Jamaica

Power generation facilities typically operate for decades, so it is not uncommon for the automation systems to become obsolete and difficult to support. This was the case at the Maggotty Hydroelectric Plant operated by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company Limited in Jamaica. As the largest hydroelectric plant on the island, Maggotty is critical to ... Read More
 
Raising the Curtain on STEM Education

Raising the Curtain on STEM Education

STEM education is becoming more important in today’s fast-paced technical world. But some kids may have a difficult time with traditional STEM classes especially when a student doesn’t think they’re a “math or science type.” One way to encourage an awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is to look for activities that already attract ... Read More