Archive For: Tech Topics

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
 
PLC Fundamentals – The PLC Scan

PLC Fundamentals – The PLC Scan

With PLC control, it’s important to understand the sequence of operations for the CPU. Some may think when an output is set to ON in the ladder code, that this output change is immediately reflected in the output card. Or that when an input is activated, the CPU instantly sees it. While it may seem ... Read More
 
Sinking and Sourcing Circuits – PLC Fundamentals

Sinking and Sourcing Circuits – PLC Fundamentals

Two of the most important fundamentals to understand when it comes to sensors is sinking and sourcing circuits. To properly wire your control device, you need to first know whether the sensor you are using is switching the positive or negative connection. For AC (alternating current) sensors, this is not an issue since AC power ... Read More
 
Honing in on Machine Automation

Honing in on Machine Automation

The automation and electrical system on a large, 82-year-old cylinder honing machine was replaced with a variety of AutomationDirect hardware to improve cycle time, safety and quality. Andrew Marks, Maintenance Foreman and Master Electrician at Exline Leasing Inc., wrote an article for the January 2019 issue of Control Design magazine, titled Honing in on Machine ... Read More
 
What is a Pneumatic System?

What is a Pneumatic System?

In machine automation a pneumatic system provides a simple and cost-effective means to move, clamp, rotate, grind and screw. A pneumatic system is a collection of interconnected components using compressed air to do work for automated equipment. Examples can be found in industrial manufacturing, a home garage or a dentist office. This work is produced ... Read More
 
Logic Circuits – PLC Fundamentals

Logic Circuits – PLC Fundamentals

For a better understanding of PLCs, let’s take a closer look at one of the fundamentals of automated control – logic circuits. Electrical components can be hardwired in a way to allow certain decisions to be made electrically. They can provide physical “If, then” statements that systems can use in their decision making. “If this ... Read More
 
Industrial Controller Selection: Look Beyond the Basics

Industrial Controller Selection: Look Beyond the Basics

Winn Paulk, automation controls group product manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the January 2019 issue of Control Engineering magazine, titled Industrial controller selection: Look beyond the basics. See below for a summary, or click on the link above for the full text. Industrial Controller Selection Most industrial controllers, such as programmable logic controllers ... Read More