According to Control Design’s e-newsletter of 1/5/18, the most-read article published in their magazine in 2017 was “Arduino vs. PLC for Industrial Control”. This August 2017 cover story pitted an Arduino microcontroller against an AutomationDirect Do-more BRX PLC and asked the question, “Can a $20 micro-controller equal a PLC for a real-world industrial control application?”. ... Read More
AutomationDirect’s BRX PLC was announced as a Finalist in the Automation & Controls category for Plant Engineering’s 2017 Product of the Year. You can check out the new BRX PLC here. Winners will be announced on April 2, 2018.
The world of single-board computers and microcontrollers offers interesting and inexpensive opportunities for automation applications, but can these components be trusted in critical production applications? The assortment of microcontrollers emerging in the “maker” world has been growing rapidly, with no signs of abating. These devices—including Arduino, BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi and others—offer extraordinary capabilities, along with ... Read More
In the world of garage or basement automation and robot builders, numerous low-cost microcontrollers and related software are used for real-time control. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are perhaps two of the most popular out of dozens of options (Figure 1). These open-source controllers are available from several suppliers, but using them in a real-time industrial ... Read More
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are available in a variety of sizes for applications big and small. While the application’s hardware requirements often drive the PLC selection, the programming software’s capabilities should also be considered as it has a significant effect on program development.
Broadcasting is a high tech industry and much of it is cutting edge, such as Ethernet-based audio over IP. Our industry employs the latest technology in many areas, such as the use of coding algorithms for bit rate reduction and remote broadcasting. But when it comes to controlling the radio signals sent out by the ... Read More
The Innovator team at Copley High School in Akron, Ohio needed to design a piece of equipment to snap caps together for Weaver Industries ProPak, a company that has been employing people with disabilities for about 40 years. With the existing assembly method, Weaver was struggling to meet production and contract requirements for component assembly.
In the August 2017 issue of Control Design, the cover story discussed how micro-controllers coming out of the “maker” world hope to someday challenge PLCs in industrial applications. The article makes for very interesting reading, but if a picture is worth 1000 words, a video must be worth 1000 pictures. Doug Reneker and the team ... Read More
Embedding videos is just one way AutomationDirect’s free Do-more® Designer Software does more. One of the big steps for an automation professional is understanding how to control a machine, and a huge part of that is becoming proficient with development environment for the PLC.
Since AutomationDirect is in the business of making automation hardware, including PLCs in all shapes and sizes, we’ve been watching the development of micro-controllers for some time. Indications are these devices can do all sorts of sophisticated functions, rivaling PLCs, at an extremely low price point. We see evidence of users experimenting with them, launching ... Read More