Making the Cut with Upgraded Automation
Application StoriesCommunicationsOperator InterfacePLCProductProgrammable Control

Making the Cut with Upgraded Automation

Using 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. In an April 2022 Automation.com article bylined by Gary…
Open PLCs Boost HVAC Automation
Application StoriesOpen SourcePLCProductProgrammable Control

Open PLCs Boost HVAC Automation

AutomationDirect’s ProductivityOpen Arduino-compatible automation controller enabled this company to deliver reliable HVAC controls enhanced with modern computing capabilities. The hands-on attitude of Frank Bicknell led him to start Bicknell Heating & Cooling in the Cincinnati area to support commercial and industrial clients with all types of HVAC needs. In an April 2022 InTech article bylined…
Opening the Automation Door
ApplicationApplication StoriesMachine ControlMotorsPLCProductProgrammable ControlVariable Speed Drives

Opening the Automation Door

A home project to upgrade a garage door system with an AutomationDirect PLC, HMI, and VFD made the equipment run better, added many functional features, and provided extensive visibility and diagnostics. Industrial automation components have many applications outside the factory. Home and hobbyist projects can be a great way for learning how to execute larger…
Open-Source Controllers Now Fit for the Factory
Application StoriesPLCProductProgrammable Control

Open-Source Controllers Now Fit for the Factory

The AutomationDirect ProductivityOpen is a versatile Arduino-compatible controller designed into a tough form factor suitable for industrial environments. Hobbyist-grade Arduinos and other microcontrollers are interesting for a variety of applications, but they are simply too frail for any type of industrial application. AutomationDirect has listened to the needs of end users, systems integrators, OEMs, makers,…
Connecting AI to the OT
ApplicationApplication StoriesOpen source controlOperator InterfacePLCProcess ControlProductProgrammable Control

Connecting AI to the OT

This greenhouse automation startup shows how AutomationDirect controllers are a flexible platform for connecting cloud-based artificial intelligence to practical operations manufacturing automation. Connecting AI concepts to age-old agricultural operations using modern IoT methods is the ambitious undertaking of Kenneth Tran and his team at Koidra. The resulting “artificial intelligence of things” (AIoT) is yielding positive…
Building User-Focused Water/Wastewater Utility Systems with AutomationDirect
Application StoriesPLCProductProgrammable Control

Building User-Focused Water/Wastewater Utility Systems with AutomationDirect

Many water utilities could benefit from using robust and standardized PLC automation, instead of enduring inconsistent and difficult to troubleshoot custom control systems. While many people settle for things that are good enough, sometimes it takes relatively little extra effort to make things excellent. Dennis O’Hara experienced this many times as he progressed from getting…
Helping Automation Users Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Application StoriesDrivesHMIOperator InterfacePLCProductProgrammable ControlVariable Speed Drives

Helping Automation Users Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Automation of a tabletop coffee roaster demonstrates how home automation projects can help users explore new technologies and develop their skills. Michael Hoffman, who works at Dragos and is a member of the SANS Technology Institute, wrote a success story for the October 2021 issue of Design World titled Brewing Up DIY Automation Solutions. Here’s…
Contemporary Controls Combined with Classic Camper Chic
Application StoriesPLCProductProgrammable Control

Contemporary Controls Combined with Classic Camper Chic

This retro-look travel trailer is custom-built using aircraft fabrication principles, and the all-electric support systems are automated and visualized using a PLC and other components from AutomationDirect. As a self-employed consultant with many years designing, building, and automation state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, Scott Sutton is a hands-on guy. So, when his family came up with the…
Student Brings Joy to Kids During COVID-19 with Automated Halloween Display
Application StoriesAutomationDirect SpotlightCommunicationsHMIPLCProductProgrammable ControlStudent Spotlight

Student Brings Joy to Kids During COVID-19 with Automated Halloween Display

In a typical year, children excitedly count down the days in October to Halloween. However, Halloween 2020 was different due to COVID-19, and many kids felt it was going to be a disappointing nightmare. That wasn’t the case in one town in Utah, thanks to the efforts of Shaun Oaks, father of two young children…
Fermenting a Homebrew Automation System
ApplicationApplication StoriesManufacturingPLCProcess ControlProductProgrammable Control

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 be key to precisely…