How to Choose a Controller
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How to Choose a Controller

Choosing the most effective controller for your application depends on a number of factors. The worksheet below serves as a checklist of things to consider when determining programmable controller requirements. It lists the most important areas to consider when choosing a system, as well as provides space for recording determinations of your system needs. To…
Machine Maintenance Checklist
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Machine Maintenance Checklist

It is important to develop a routine maintenance schedule for your automated control system. Having a routine schedule for checking critical components and devices in the system will increase the longevity of the system and more importantly, it will help reduce future problems. Set up the schedule based on a monthly or quarterly time period,…
Specifying and Sizing Motor Starters
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Specifying and Sizing Motor Starters

There are four basic motor control options available: Basic contactors, traditional starters, manual motor starters, or combination starters. A basic contactor is a special purpose relay that is used to control large electrical currents. Similarly, a traditional starter utilizes overload relays, auxiliary and alarm contacts, and mechanical interlocks to create a reversing unit. On the other…
What Type of Photoelectric Sensor Is Best For Me?
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What Type of Photoelectric Sensor Is Best For Me?

There are many different styles of photoelectric sensors, but really only four basic technologies: through-beam, reflective, diffuse, and background suppression. The chart describes some advantages and disadvantages of each technology. To learn more about AutomationDirect’s photoelectric sensors visits www.AutomationDirect.com/photoelectric. [hozbreak] [hozbreak] Through-beam [two_columns]Advantages: [list style=”arrow” color=”blue”] Most accurate Longest sensing range Very reliable [/list] [/two_columns] [two_columns_last]Disadvantages:…
Choosing The Right Proximity Sensor
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Choosing The Right Proximity Sensor

Proximity sensors allow non-contact detection of objects. Therefore, they are used in many industries, including manufacturing, robotics, semiconductor, and many more. Inductive sensors detect metallic objects while capacitive sensors detect all other materials. Ultrasonic sensors detect all materials by using sound wave reflections to determine presence. All applications have certain specific needs, but, in general, the…
Thermal Management: Enclosure Cooling Tips
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Thermal Management: Enclosure Cooling Tips

You need to cool down – Heat inside an enclosure can decrease the life expectancy of controlling units such as your PLC, HMI, AC drives and other items. Excessive heat can cause nuisance faults from your electrical and electronic components: for example, overloads tripping unexpectedly. Heat will also change the expected performance of circuit breakers and fuses, which can cause whole…