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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
 
Cable-Pull Safety Switches

Cable-Pull Safety Switches

Full coverage E-Stop protection around your machinery We all know the importance of having emergency stop devices near and around machinery. There are numerous regulations (ANIS, ISO, IEC) that define emergency stop device requirements. In short they all state that they are actuated by a “single human action”, should be used to de-energize equipment to ... 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
 
Locking Safety Interlock Switches

Locking Safety Interlock Switches

Most of us are familiar with safety interlock switches that can disable a safety circuit and notify us if a guard has been removed, the gate is open or something has been tampered with. There are many options to chose from including tongue interlock switches, hinge safety interlock switches and non-contact safety switches. Many of ... Read More
 
What is a Relay?

What is a Relay?

When used in electrical power and control circuits, relays allow lower power circuits to operate higher power circuits, while providing isolation. By Brent Purdy PE, Product Manager, Power & Circuit Protection at AutomationDirect Relays are a fundamental device for switching an electrical circuit on or off, much like a toggle switch or a limit switch. ... Read More
 
Choosing the Right HMI

Choosing the Right HMI

Human-machine interfaces are available with many hardware and software features. Users should work backwards from the target application to make sure all needs are addressed. Bill Dehner, a Technical Marketing Manager at AutomationDirect, authored an article for the June 2019 issue of Control Engineering titled Choosing the Right HMI. Here’s a summary, click on the ... Read More
 
Bypass-Resistant Safety Devices Ensure Effective Machine Guarding

Bypass-Resistant Safety Devices Ensure Effective Machine Guarding

Machine safeguarding devices protect operators at points of access and operation. Here’s how they work. Jim Krebs, Technical Marketing Engineer at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the April 2019 issue of ISHN titled Bypass-resistant safety devices ensure effective machine guarding, where Jim describes the need for machine safeguarding, and how the various types work. The ... Read More
 
Regulations Require Surge Protection for Safety Circuits

Regulations Require Surge Protection for Safety Circuits

Recent additions to the National Electrical Code (NEC) mandate surge protection for safety interlock circuits to protect operators and machinery. Brent Purdy PE is the Product Manager for Power & Circuit Protection products at AutomationDirect. Brent authored an article for the June 2019 issue of Automation.com titled Regulations Require Surge Protection for Safety Circuits. Here’s ... 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