Process Pump Automation Options
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Process Pump Automation Options

Whether pumps are automated with hardwired controls or PLCs, designers can provide enhanced functional and protective features using control and monitoring relays. Lenny Filipkowski, Product Manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the August 2021 edition of Process Instrumentation magazine titled Exploring Options for Process Pump Automation. Pump control is a common application used in…
What is a Contactor?
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What is a Contactor?

Contactor Definition 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…
Machine Automation Basics
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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…
Programming and Setup Considerations for VFDs with Integrated PLCs
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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…
Let’s Ride the Roller Coaster! - An AutomationDirect Case Study
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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…
Overview of AC Motor Control Options
AC Motors and ControlsMotor ControlsMotorsProduct

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…
How to Choose a General Purpose Motor vs. Inverter-Duty Motor
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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…
AC Motor On/Off Controls | Automation Notes
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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…