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Archive For: Programmable Control

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
 
Selecting a Software Programming Platform

Selecting a Software Programming Platform

PLCs are typically programmed with PC-based software, and selecting the right platform is critical to project success and ongoing operations. Bill Dehner, technical marketing engineer at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the February 2019 issue of NASA Tech Briefs titled Selecting a Software Programming Platform, here’s a summary. Dehner says software development and testing is ... Read More
 
Basic Sensors – PLC Fundamentals

Basic Sensors – PLC Fundamentals

For a PLC to monitor and in turn control its application variables, there must be a way for it to sense its surroundings. In today’s industrial realm, there are a huge variety of electrical sensors that provide the input data (position, distance, level, flow, etc.) that control systems need. These basic sensors can be broken ... Read More
 
PLC Fundamentals – The PLC Scan

PLC Fundamentals – The PLC Scan

With PLC control, it’s important to understand the sequence of operations for the CPU. Some may think when an output is set to ON in the ladder code, that this output change is immediately reflected in the output card. Or that when an input is activated, the CPU instantly sees it. While it may seem ... Read More
 
Sinking and Sourcing Circuits – PLC Fundamentals

Sinking and Sourcing Circuits – PLC Fundamentals

Two of the most important fundamentals to understand when it comes to sensors is sinking and sourcing circuits. To properly wire your control device, you need to first know whether the sensor you are using is switching the positive or negative connection. For AC (alternating current) sensors, this is not an issue since AC power ... Read More
 
Logic Circuits – PLC Fundamentals

Logic Circuits – PLC Fundamentals

For a better understanding of PLCs, let’s take a closer look at one of the fundamentals of automated control – logic circuits. Electrical components can be hardwired in a way to allow certain decisions to be made electrically. They can provide physical “If, then” statements that systems can use in their decision making. “If this ... Read More
 
Industrial Controller Selection: Look Beyond the Basics

Industrial Controller Selection: Look Beyond the Basics

Winn Paulk, automation controls group product manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the January 2019 issue of Control Engineering magazine, titled Industrial controller selection: Look beyond the basics. See below for a summary, or click on the link above for the full text. Industrial Controller Selection Most industrial controllers, such as programmable logic controllers ... Read More
 
Configuring Analog Devices to Integrate with PLCs

Configuring Analog Devices to Integrate with PLCs

A variety of analog signals must be transmitted to a PLC for monitoring and control, with each processed to ensure correct operation. Winn Paulk, the Automation Controls Group Product Manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the November 2018 issue of Processing magazine titled Configuring analog devices to integrate with PLCs. All programmable logic controllers ... Read More
 
Effective Process Skid Automation

Effective Process Skid Automation

Process skids are used in many industries and present a host of automation challenges, each of which can be met by using the right controller hardware and software. Jeff Payne, the Automation Controls Group Product Manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article appearing in the September 2018 issue of Processing magazine titled Effective Process Skid Automation. ... Read More