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What is a Contactor?

What is a Contactor?

Contactors are a specialized form of relay capable of switching higher power loads such as motors, lighting and electric heaters. Turning large electrical power loads such as motors, lighting and heaters on and off is a common automation requirement. Applications are found in commercial buildings, industrial equipment and vehicles. The fundamental device for switching electrical ... Read More
 
Benefits of Connecting a PLC to the Internet

Benefits of Connecting a PLC to the Internet

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are now gaining information technology (IT) abilities to interact directly with the internet, creating new automation and information possibilities. Bill Dehner, a Technical Marketing Manager at AutomationDirect, authored an article for the July 2019 issue of Control Engineering titled Benefits of Connecting a PLC to the Internet. Here’s a summary, click ... Read More
 
Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion

Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion

Pneumatics are often the best fit for executing mechanical motion in a reliable, simple, and cost-effective manner. Pat Phillips is the Product Manager for Fluid Power and Mechanical products at AutomationDirect, and he authored an article for the June 2019 issue of Tech Briefs titled Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion. Here’s a summary, click on the ... Read More
 
Safety Components on Guard |White Paper

Safety Components on Guard |White Paper

Protecting operators from the safety hazards introduced by automated machines and robotic equipment demands an understanding of both the appropriate safety guarding level and the machine safety components needed to get the job done. As always, the designer must identify the safety risks, plan the best ways of addressing them, and ensure the proper application ... Read More
 
Specifying Performance Instead of Parts

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. Bill Dehner, Automation Specialist at AutomationDirect, authored an article for the June 2019 issue of Applied Automation titled Specifying performance instead of parts. Here is a summary of the article, click on the link above ... Read More
 
How to Choose an Industrial Automation Controller

How to Choose an Industrial Automation Controller

Choosing the right controller requires careful evaluation of multiple requirements. Jeff Payne, Product Manager for the Drives & Motors Group at AutomationDirect, authored an article for the May 2019 issue of Modern Pumping Today titled How to Choose an Industrial Automation Controller. Many OEMs and machine builders are more familiar with specifying motors for their ... Read More
 
How to Choose an Industrial Automation Controller | White Paper

How to Choose an Industrial Automation Controller | White Paper

There are many important items to consider when choosing a controller for machine and process automation. Breaking down the equipment’s operational needs is a starting point and will help evaluate the range of controllers specified by OEMs or machine builders. Depending on how the equipment fits into the larger manufacturing environment, the automation system can ... Read More
 
What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Hosted VPNs?

What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Hosted VPNs?

Jonathan Griffith, Product Manager, Industrial Communications & Power Supplies at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for Machine Design April 2018 titled What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Hosted VPNs? Griffith points out that connecting programmable logic controllers (PLCs), human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other automation system components to the industrial internet of things (IIoT) for remote ... Read More
 
PLC Package Handling

PLC Package Handling

PLCs play a major role when it comes to material or package handling operations. Conveyors, motors, drives, object detection sensors and of course controllers are used quite often when it comes to delivering your suitcase to the right airplane or getting the laptop you ordered to the right delivery truck. But how would you go ... Read More
 
Basic Pneumatic Circuits |White Paper

Basic Pneumatic Circuits |White Paper

Pneumatics have been used in automated machines for well over 100 years, with pneumatic technology developing and evolving for over a thousand years in some form or another, for example as boat sails. There have been many innovations over the years, and the basic pneumatic components such as valves, solenoids, cylinders, hoses and fittings are ... Read More