Putting Advanced VFDs to Work in More Applications
ProductVariable Speed Drives

Putting Advanced VFDs to Work in More Applications

New VFD features and technologies improve the control, safety, networking, and efficiency of motor control for a growing number of applications. Jeff Payne, product manager for the drives & motors group at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the June 2021 issue of Plant Services titled Advanced Variable Frequency Drives are Working in More Applications. Here’s…
Fermenting a Homebrew Automation System
ApplicationApplication StoriesManufacturingPLCProcess ControlProductProgrammable Control

Fermenting a Homebrew Automation System

AutomationDirect PLCs and products help a hobbyist automate his homebrew equipment, taking quality to the next level. Back in 2012, Jason Wilson toured a local brewery, and soon thereafter became a homebrew enthusiast. He was fascinated by the detailed science and math underlying the production process, and quickly realized automation would be key to precisely…
Quick and Clean Automation Implementation
ApplicationApplication StoriesMachine ControlManufacturingPLCProductProgrammable Control

Quick and Clean Automation Implementation

To help meet COVID-19 needs for sanitizing wipes, an HVAC contractor used their multiple-discipline experience and AutomationDirect products to quickly create automated filling machines. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer of 2020, a St. Louis manufacturer wanted to utilize available factory space to produce pails filled with sanitizing wipes. They engaged…
How to Control a Stepper Motor
Motion ControlProduct

How to Control a Stepper Motor

Stepper motors use specialized control methods to achieve better precision than standard variable speed motors, while avoiding the expense and complexity of servo systems. For industrial automation, the term motion control usually means using an electric motor to positively drive the position, velocity, and acceleration of a physical system. Pneumatics are economical, and hydraulics can…
Safety Laser Scanners – Making Safety Painless
ProductSafety

Safety Laser Scanners – Making Safety Painless

There are many safety devices available to ensure machine safety and to detect personnel entering unsafe areas. Cable pull switches, safety light curtains and interlock switches (non-contact and the many types of tongue interlock switches) are just a few of them. Most of you have probably heard of, or used, these devices in some capacity,…
Automation Designed for Resiliency
Programmable Control

Automation Designed for Resiliency

To achieve the automation resilience needed for most industrial applications, a balanced combination of products and practices must be integrated. Bill Dehner, technical marketing engineer for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the May 2021 issue of Control Engineering titled Automation Built for Resiliency . Here’s a summary, click on the link above for the full…
Modern PLCs Break Out of Industrial Automation Limitations
Issue 46, 2021Notebook IssueProductProgrammable Control

Modern PLCs Break Out of Industrial Automation Limitations

Old-fashioned automation architectures suffer from complexity and slow communications. See how today’s PLC advances boost simplicity and performance. Damon Purvis, PLC Product Manager at AutomationDirect, an article for the April 2021 edition of Machine Design. The article is titled The PLC Breaks Out! and it looks at how modern PLCs can streamline classically rigid architectures…
What is VFD Safe Torque Off, and How Does it Improve Safety?
AC Motors and ControlsMotorsProduct

What is VFD Safe Torque Off, and How Does it Improve Safety?

The safe torque off function built-in to modern VFDs significantly improves the integration of emergency stops. Kevin Kakascik, Technical Marketing Engineer with AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the May-June 2021 issue of Industrial Equipment News. The article, titled Motor Drive Safe Torque Off Improves Equipment Safety, explains the capability and how to use it. Here’s…
What is a Solenoid Valve?
PneumaticsProduct

What is a Solenoid Valve?

Valves are fundamental devices for controlling gas and liquid flow, and adding solenoids enables them to be remotely controlled and automated. Valves come in many shapes and sizes and are a basic type of mechanical component used in all manner of equipment, machinery, and processes. Valves can physically be opened or closed completely, and sometimes…
Electronic Circuit Breakers Provide Smarter Protection
Circuit ProtectionProduct

Electronic Circuit Breakers Provide Smarter Protection

New technologies deliver higher performance and advanced monitoring and control capabilities as compared to traditional fuses and circuit breakers. Kevin Kakascik, Technical Marketing Engineer with AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the April 2021 issue of Design World. Titled Machine Circuit Protection Gets Smart, the article describes traditional circuit protection methods and how there is now…