PLCs Can Deliver Advanced Motion Control
ProductProgrammable Control

PLCs Can Deliver Advanced Motion Control

Motion-optimized PLC platforms combine traditional controls functionality with advanced multi-axis motion control, providing a streamlined automation solution. Industrial motion control applications range from simple to complex and are generally considered a design specialty. Currently, there are some entry-level solutions, and designers are also aware of high-performance motion control platforms. However, there are many cases where…
Starting Digital Transformation from the Edge
ProductProgrammable Control

Starting Digital Transformation from the Edge

Edge-enabled PLCs are an accessible and affordable way for most users to collect and create value from use field-sourced data. While many operations personnel at production and manufacturing companies are aware that their automated equipment can be a source of valuable data for analytics and other purposes, far fewer companies are positioned to create the…
PLCs: Predicting the Next 10 Years
ProductProgrammable Control

PLCs: Predicting the Next 10 Years

Improved technologies and expanded user demands have pushed the evolution of industrial automation technologies, and PLCs continue to advance and meet these needs. Almost a decade ago, Jeff Payne at AutomationDirect wrote a Control Engineering article titled Future of the PLC . At that time, PLC technology was already 50 years mature but still a…
Installing a Rock-Solid Automation Retrofit
Application StoriesHMIOperator InterfacePLCProductProgrammable Control

Installing a Rock-Solid Automation Retrofit

This electrical contractor relied on AutomationDirect PLC and HMI hardware and software to rapidly rip-and-replace the controls on a failing rock crusher. Equipment used in rock quarrying operations is subjected to extremes of dirt, vibration, heat, and more, pressing mechanical and electrical systems to the limit. When the crushing equipment legacy automation at one site…
From Ethernet to EtherCAT and Beyond
Motion ControlProductProgrammable Control

From Ethernet to EtherCAT and Beyond

Once only suitable for sheltered office installations, Ethernet media and protocols can now efficiently serve and future-proof a variety of industrial applications. Once upon a time (think 1980s), Ethernet was a relatively specialized computer connectivity technology, administrated by experienced gurus under highly-controlled office settings. Since then, technology and performance have advanced incredibly, and much of…
Mining Sunbeams – Solar Thermal Leverages the Sun for Producing Heat Energy
Application StoriesHMIOperator InterfacePLCProductProgrammable Control

Mining Sunbeams – Solar Thermal Leverages the Sun for Producing Heat Energy

Solar thermal installations need advanced control systems to optimize energy harvesting, storage, and distribution at remote mining operations. For certain applications in the right geographic areas, solar thermal can be a cost effective and low carbon way to supply large-scale heat energy. Flemming Jørgensen, of Jorgensen Thermal solutions, supplies these systems, and he needed to…
Redundancy Options for Smaller Automation Systems
Electrical PowerOperator InterfaceProcess Sensing & ControlProductProgrammable Control

Redundancy Options for Smaller Automation Systems

There are many practical and cost-effective ways for designers to incorporate automation redundancy for systems of any size. Automation redundancy has largely been reserved for larger process automation systems due to cost and complexity. However, there are now more products and design strategies suitable for applying redundancy to smaller-scale systems. Rin Irvin at AutomationDirect covers…
Automation Expands a Machine Shop’s Success
Application StoriesHMIOperator InterfacePLCProductProgrammable Control

Automation Expands a Machine Shop’s Success

By partnering with a local systems integrator and using AutomationDirect products, this machine shop enhanced its capabilities, allowing it to deliver the services required by its customers. Throughout the country, networks of small businesses—including machine shops and systems integrators (SIs)—innovate and integrate to deliver successful projects. One example is a collaboration between Stephens Machine and…