Vision Sensing Becomes Practical for More Applications
Discrete SensingProcess Sensing & ControlSensors Automation

Vision Sensing Becomes Practical for More Applications

Smart vision sensors incorporate on-board machine learning, empowering users to deploy them in common applications, without the cost and complexity of traditional products. Common photoelectric (PE) sensors are the most basic type of “vision” device, but traditionally it has required much more advanced technology to capture and analyze actual images for advanced detection. In an…
Linear Actuator Options
Mechanical Power TransmissionMotion ControlProductProgrammable Control

Linear Actuator Options

Linear actuators, driven with servo or stepper motors, are an effective way to implement accurate automated machine motion. Chip McDaniel at AutomationDirect wrote an article for the January 2023 issue of Design World’s Linear Motion Tips. Titled A Straight Line to Effective Linear Motion, this article explains linear actuator technologies, and it shows how they…
Consider Newer Electrical Safety Products and Technologies
Equipment SafetyProductSafety

Consider Newer Electrical Safety Products and Technologies

Designers can improve personnel safety by incorporating modern products and technologies, and by following a “design for safety” approach. Marty Kronz at AutomationDirect wrote an article for the February 2023 issue of Applied Automation. Titled Addressing Electrical Safety Hazards, this article identifies how some newer products, sometimes in combination with automation, can increase the effectiveness…
Making a Clean Connection with Automated Carwashes
CommunicationsCommunications and EthernetIssue 50 - 2023Product

Making a Clean Connection with Automated Carwashes

This automated car wash supplier needed a better way to connect with a multitude of remotely-located digital systems, and it found the solution with AutomationDirect StrideLinx. Industrial automation isn’t just for factories, as it surrounds us and provides safe, reliable, and consistent performance for elevators, traffic lights, and even the neighborhood carwash. Aulio Gil is…
Light-Operate or Dark-Operate Photoelectric Sensors. Which is Better for your Application?
ApplicationMaterial HandlingProcess Sensing & ControlProduct

Light-Operate or Dark-Operate Photoelectric Sensors. Which is Better for your Application?

When choosing a photoelectric sensor for an application there are many things to consider. One of these considerations is whether to select a light-operate or dark-operate photoelectric sensor. The terms “light-operate” and “dark-operate” refer to when the sensor activates its output. For a light-operate sensor (also called light-activated, light-on, or simply L.O. sensor), the output…
Cybersecure and Remote-Friendly?
CommunicationsProduct

Cybersecure and Remote-Friendly?

By implementing layers of hardware, software, and procedural defenses, industrial automation systems can be made both cybersecure and remote-friendly. Damon Purvis, PLC Product Manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the November/December 2022 issue of InTech. Titled Defending Remote-Friendly Environments from Cyberattacks, this article describes how cyber defenses can be layered, while still delivering usable…
What is PID Control?
ProductProgrammable Control

What is PID Control?

PID is the most common industrial technology for closed-loop control. Despite the elegant mathematics behind PID loops, they are easily implemented with modern PLC technology. Closed-loop control, where a digital system monitors a measured value and then controls some device to accurately drive the process to a desired setpoint, is a fundamental strategy widely applied…
Practical Motion Control Using Micro-PLCs
Issue 50 - 2023Motion ControlProductProgrammable Control

Practical Motion Control Using Micro-PLCs

Designers working on smaller automation systems can now take advantage of advanced yet economical motion control by using micro-PLCs and stepper motors. Conor Perry, Technical Product Manager for the HMI and CLICK product groups at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the October 2022 issue of Applied Automation. Titled Micro-PLC Motion Control Made Practical, the article…
In-House Automation is the Key to Customization
ApplicationApplication StoriesHMIManufacturingOperator InterfacePLCProductProgrammable Control

In-House Automation is the Key to Customization

Manufacturers are finding they can rapidly and flexibly adapt to changing production needs by engaging in-house personnel to deploy automation solutions. Automation is essential for improving productivity and quality, but many manufacturers serve markets where production volumes and product options vary drastically. As a senior maintenance and integration supervisor at Keytronic, Jose Luis Rodriguez Persona…