Archive For: Tech Topics

Comparing Ladder Logic and Object Oriented Programming

Comparing Ladder Logic and Object Oriented Programming

Jerry Reaves, PLC silo product manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the July 2018 issue of Control Engineering titled Comparing ladder logic and object oriented programming In the article, he discussed how many young automation professionals are comfortable with object oriented programming (OOP), but Reaves says ladder logic remains the standard for industrial automation applications: ... Read More
 
Ethernet Basics

Ethernet Basics

Ethernet is the most widely used network in industrial plants and facilities, here’s a primer covering its foundational concepts. By: Bill Dehner, AutomationDirect Ethernet was first conceived and deployed in a research setting in the 1970s and was soon standardized in the early 1980s under IEEE 802.3. This quickly led to commercial adoption in office ... Read More
 
PLC Training Classes | Sign Up Now

PLC Training Classes | Sign Up Now

If you’re searching for clear, no-hype training on industrial automation products, you’ve in the right place. InterConnecting Automation prides itself with technical instruction delivered in a clear and concise method. Founder and instructor, Doug Bell provides tutorials that cover time-saving suggestions and advanced programming techniques, as well as showing programming examples that are common on simple ... Read More
 
How to Choose a General Purpose Motor vs. Inverter-Duty Motor

How to Choose a General Purpose Motor vs. Inverter-Duty Motor

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
 
Compact Modular Valves Simplify Pneumatic Design and Operation

Compact Modular Valves Simplify Pneumatic Design and Operation

A quick look online for control of fluid power shows many types of pneumatic valves for use in factory automation, most of them standalone and individually mounted. But there are also many valve manifold options, including compact modular valves, which are often the best option in multivalve applications because they simplify selection, installation, use and ... Read More
 
There’s a Video for That

There’s a Video for That

Embedding videos is just one way AutomationDirect’s free Do-more® Designer Software does more. One of the big steps for an automation professional is understanding how to control a machine, and a huge part of that is becoming proficient with development environment for the PLC.
 
Is a Micro-controller a Practical Replacement for a PLC?

Is a Micro-controller a Practical Replacement for a PLC?

Since AutomationDirect is in the business of making automation hardware, including PLCs in all shapes and sizes, we’ve been watching the development of micro-controllers for some time. Indications are these devices can do all sorts of sophisticated functions, rivaling PLCs, at an extremely low price point. We see evidence of users experimenting with them, launching ... Read More
 
New Software Adds Programming Efficiency

New Software Adds Programming Efficiency

While the correct selection of PLC hardware has a big effect on the success of any industrial automation project, the capabilities of the software programming platform should also be considered as the right software will enable quick and efficient coding. Opening the software and starting to program- and configure-on-the-fly are one option, but some PLC ... Read More
 
Pump with Efficiency

Pump with Efficiency

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975 marked the beginning of energy conservation standards for industrial, commercial and consumer products and equipment. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created 60 plus categories of applications and equipment, affecting 30 percent industrial energy use.
 
In the Hacker Age, how secure is your PLC?

In the Hacker Age, how secure is your PLC?

Let’s face it, we are living in the age of the hacker and in the cat-and-mouse game of cyber warfare, hackers have racked up some pretty impressive scores. From the most recent WannaCry attack, to exposing Ashley Madison, to reportedly “stealing an election”, hackers have been busy exploiting vulnerabilities and gaining massive notoriety.