Archive For: Motor Controls

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
 
Machine Automation Basics

Machine Automation Basics

Automation systems must integrate multiple power and control subsystems and components into a coherent whole. Read on to learn more about machine automation basics. Chip McDaniel, who works in technical marketing for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the Mar/Apr 2019  issue of InTech magazine titled Machine Automation Basics. In the article, he first lays out ... Read More
 
Programming and Setup Considerations for VFDs with Integrated PLCs

Programming and Setup Considerations for VFDs with Integrated PLCs

Control capability built-in to VFDs are moving machine intelligence to the edge. Jeff Payne, Product Manager for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the March 2019 issue of Design World, titled VFDs with integrated PLCs for motion and machine controls: Programming and setup considerations. Payne explains how AC drives can be controlled by either an external ... Read More
 
Let’s Ride the Roller Coaster! – An AutomationDirect Case Study

Let’s Ride the Roller Coaster! – An AutomationDirect Case Study

Manny Salazar, the Manager at Automated Integration LLC, wrote an article titled Roller Coaster Overhaul for the April 2018 issue of Automation World. The article told the story on how Automated Integration replaced an old PLC, a bunch of relays and what seemed like miles of wire when upgrading the control and safety system on ... Read More
 
Overview of AC Motor Control Options

Overview of AC Motor Control Options

Most automatic controls involve motor control in some way, especially in factory automation. Applications such as pumps, fans, robotics, and conveyors use motors. Whether general-purpose 3-phase ac motors, which are great for simple on/off systems, or the inverter-duty motors specifically designed for operation with variable frequency drives (VFDs), one could say that motors are ubiquitous in nearly ... 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
 
How to Select a Soft Starter for Your Motor

How to Select a Soft Starter for Your Motor

What may seem to be a simple task of selecting a soft starter for your motor may be a more demanding task than first meets the eye. “I just need to know the HP and Voltage to pick the correct one, isn’t that right?”
 
WEG| Small Town Touch with a Global Reach

WEG| Small Town Touch with a Global Reach

It’s not every day that a 92-year-old founder of a global company comes to a sales meeting but that’s not unusual at WEG. This type of corporate culture defines the company and makes its customers eager to work with them. Whether it’s hosting backyard barbeques with executives or working side-by-side in the office, WEG has ... Read More
 
AC Motor On/Off Controls | Automation Notes

AC Motor On/Off Controls | Automation Notes

Most control systems have to make things move, and that usually involves motors. Lifting, pumping, robotics, conveyors, fans – pretty much everything uses a motor of some kind. General purpose one- or three-phase AC motors are great for simple on/off systems; Inverter-duty motors are specifically designed for operation with variable frequency drives or VFDs. General ... Read More
 
Specifying and Sizing Motor Starters

Specifying and Sizing Motor Starters

There are four basic motor control options available: Basic contactors, traditional starters, manual motor starters, or combination starters. A basic contactor is a special purpose relay that is used to control large electrical currents. Similarly, a traditional starter utilizes overload relays, auxiliary and alarm contacts, and mechanical interlocks to create a reversing unit. On the other ... Read More