When automating machines or processes, picking the right controller hardware is important, and the application often drives the selection process. However, the programming software can make development, startup and operation easier—and is therefore an important factor in the buying decision. Jeff Payne, the Automation Controls Group Product Manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article titled How ... Read More
General purpose motors have been around for many years. They are the workhorse of almost every industry. An inverter-duty motor is a much newer concept that became necessary as motors began to be driven by VFDs (inverters or AC drives). An inverter duty motor can withstand the higher voltage spikes produced by all VFDs (amplified ... Read More
AC motors are electric motors driven by alternating current (AC). AC motors are widely used in industry, primarily due to their high efficiency, and their ability to produce constant torque up to the rated speed. AC Motor Types The two most widely used types of AC motors are induction motors and synchronous motors. How AC ... Read More
Service engineers and machine builders ensure that arrays of machines, computers, and equipment perform optimally 24/7. In the past, service engineers were alerted about a malfunctioning machine with a frantic call from a machine operator or owner. If it happened at night (which was all too often, right?!) the call forced the service engineer to ... Read More
A stepper motor (sometimes called a step motor or stepping motor) is a DC motor with a fixed number of steps that make a full rotation. The motor can be commanded to move to any one of those step locations and hold position without any need for a position sensor – assuming it is properly ... Read More
AutomationDirect’s BRX PLC was announced as a Finalist in the Automation & Controls category for Plant Engineering’s 2017 Product of the Year. You can check out the new BRX PLC here. Winners will be announced on April 2, 2018.
To control pneumatic cylinders and actuators with fluid power, air flow must be reliably controlled, typically with a solenoid valve. Pat Phillips, Product Manager, Fluid Power & Mechanical Products at AutomationDirect, wrote an article titled There’s a Valve for That, which ran in the November-December 2017 issue of IEN magazine. In the article, he discussed ... Read More
The world of single-board computers and microcontrollers offers interesting and inexpensive opportunities for automation applications, but can these components be trusted in critical production applications? The assortment of microcontrollers emerging in the “maker” world has been growing rapidly, with no signs of abating. These devices—including Arduino, BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi and others—offer extraordinary capabilities, along with ... Read More
Broadcasting is a high tech industry and much of it is cutting edge, such as Ethernet-based audio over IP. Our industry employs the latest technology in many areas, such as the use of coding algorithms for bit rate reduction and remote broadcasting. But when it comes to controlling the radio signals sent out by the ... Read More
Don’t let this issue’s Brainteasers get you tied up in knots! Sit back and relax with this invigorating round of puzzles and then be sure to impress your co-workers with your new found knowledge. If this set has you stumped, no worries just click the link at the bottom for the correct answers!