Archive For: +Tech Topics

16 Tips for an Effective HMI

16 Tips for an Effective HMI

Do you have an HMI project coming up? Here are some helpful tips and guidelines for you to remember during your planning and implementation. 1. Story Boards are a Good Start A good starting point for HMI design is a text-based outline documenting each screen’s content. With the operator’s point-of-view and ease-of-use in mind, detail ... Read More
 
Do-more PLC: Temperature PID Tuning Resource Page

Do-more PLC: Temperature PID Tuning Resource Page

The Do-more PLC has an awesome tool set that’s gets you up and running with PID quickly and reliably. The videos shown below take you from novice to expert with short hands-on live tutorials. Resources like Do-more Designer Project files, excel spreadsheets, block diagrams, etc are included below each video for you to download and ... Read More
 
Three Steps to Size Motors

Three Steps to Size Motors

Proper motor sizing precludes equipment failures, ensures efficiency and reduces maintenance issues Bryan Sisler, a product manager for drives and motors at AutomationDirect, authored an article for the August 2019 issue of Plant Engineering titled Three Steps to Size Motors. Following is a summary, please click on the link above for the full text. Electric ... Read More
 
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
 
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
 
Proper Air Preparation for Automated Machines

Proper Air Preparation for Automated Machines

Available in many combinations, filters and regulators are a must-have on any machine. Other devices to perform functions such as energy isolation, lockout tagout and lubrication should also be considered. Chip McDaniel, technical marketer for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the January 2019 issue of Design World magazine, titled Proper Air Preparation for Automated Machines. ... Read More
 
Selecting a Software Programming Platform

Selecting a Software Programming Platform

PLCs are typically programmed with PC-based software, and selecting the right platform is critical to project success and ongoing operations. Bill Dehner, technical marketing engineer at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the February 2019 issue of NASA Tech Briefs titled Selecting a Software Programming Platform, here’s a summary. Dehner says software development and testing is ... Read More
 
Basic Sensors – PLC Fundamentals

Basic Sensors – PLC Fundamentals

For a PLC to monitor and in turn control its application variables, there must be a way for it to sense its surroundings. In today’s industrial realm, there are a huge variety of electrical sensors that provide the input data (position, distance, level, flow, etc.) that control systems need. These basic sensors can be broken ... Read More
 
Compressed Air Can Be Lethal

Compressed Air Can Be Lethal

Compressed air can cause many hazards to workers’ eyes in manufacturing facilities, so review of applicable OSHA standards, common misuse and how to minimize hazards is always a good idea. Jim Krebs, technical marketing engineer at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the January 2019 edition of ISHN magazine titled Compressed air can be lethal. Here’s ... Read More