Welcome to our Content Collections page! Here you will find a variety of content paired together by topic. Topics range from PLCs to safety and much more! Alright, it’s time to start exploring.

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You'll Always Land on Your Feet with EtherCAT®

In the fast-paced world of industrial automation, even a millisecond delay can have a ripple effect, disrupting production lines and costing valuable time. This is where EtherCAT steps in, offering a solution to the real-time communication challenges faced by factories and other industrial environments. Developed by Beckhoff Automation, EtherCAT builds upon the familiar foundation of…
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Practical Guide to Pneumatics eBook

Learn the ins and outs of PLCs with a variety of articles from AutomationDirect such as “What is a PLC?” to more complex topics involving ladder logic. There’s something from the beginner to the expert. Don’t forget to download our eBook to dive even deeper into the topic. Click to learn more.
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AC Motors and Controls | High Efficiency at an Affordable Price

All factory automation involves some sort of moving machinery, and the most common source of that motion is an electric motor.  Whether you need an AC or DC motor – or if your application requires speed, position or even torque control – there is a motor and control technique to provide that motion.  Simple systems…
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Sensors! The Eyes and Ears of Automation

Sensors are a vital component used in any type of automation. Sensors allow us to know when an object is present, in place, missing, or maybe even defective. Other sensors may tell us even more about what is going on such as how close or far away an object is or how big or small…
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Safety, It’s Not Just Common Sense

Do you need to protect the machinery and personnel in your manufacturing facility? According to OSHA’s website, machinery and machine Guarding was the 9th most frequently cited standard violated during the fiscal year 2018. Not only can this result in a costly fine, but injuries and fatalities can also occur by ignoring this. These are uncomfortable statistics…
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Pneumatics, Pneumatics & More Pneumatics!

The wonderful world of pneumatics is one you’ll want to explore for all of your linear power transmission projects. Although alternatives such as hydraulics and electric work better in certain machine automation applications, pneumatics is often the preferred solution. This is particularly the case when lower upfront costs and reduced long-term maintenance are important, along…
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The How’s and Why’s of HMIs

One of my favorite parts of automating a system is designing the HMI. Laying out an HMI screen to be both informative and visually pleasing to an operator can be fun and challenging. Many times, “leaving well enough alone” is a good phrase to go by to avoid over complicating the design. Animations, colors, alarms,…
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Using Cloud Technology for Machine Efficiency and Improvements

Most of us are familiar with cloud technology and use it in our everyday lives as convenient online storage for photos, videos, apps, and documents. Microsoft OneDrive® and Apple iCloud® are a couple well-known cloud storage platforms that are readily available and easily accessible from phones and computers anytime we need to store or retrieve…
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Pneumatic Control: Strength & Reliability without Overthinking

In this day and age everyone typically wants faster, smarter, more compact, and less complex. We want everything done for us, and we want computers to do all the heavy lifting. We want a smart home. We want our vehicles to be better drivers – checking blind spots, alerting us to cars, people and objects…
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Free PLC Training from AutomationDirect

No Purchase Necessary for Free PLC Training As the world around us becomes more and more automated, an understanding of electrical control systems becomes more and more vital. Manufacturers, as well as the technicians, integrators, and/or engineers they employ, know firsthand the benefits automation provides. In fact, for many, automation has been the key to…
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Data and IIoT | How AutomationDirect.com Can Help!

Data collection is becoming one of the most important features of a control system. Whether it’s used to determine the morning run rate or the cost of production over the last fiscal year, it’s imperative that system data be collected and be available. Today there are many ways to go about collecting data, from complex…
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Motor Controls: Essential Components of Automated Systems

Most factory automation involves moving machinery driven by electric motors. These automated systems frequently use general-purpose motors with simple on/off (across-the-line) control.  Although these applications seem deceptively simple, NEC article 430 provides lengthy guidelines for motor installations, wiring, and controllers. It covers the requirements and specifications for motor control components, such as: •            Disconnecting means…
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Old Reliable Just Got a Little Smarter

When we think of pneumatics we think of simple, reliable, easy to troubleshoot, easy to fix, and just all-around something that always gets the job done and always works. It is no wonder why either since in manufacturing facilities, compressed air is so widely used that it is often regarded as the fourth utility after…
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Material Handling. Just like it sounds.

Material handling is a broad industry that can mean many things and include many different technologies. At the most basic level, this can include racks, which simply hold products, or pallet jacks and fork trucks which require human intervention. More complex systems include conveyors, high-speed sorters, pick-to-light systems, palletizers, robotics, case erectors, identification systems, and…
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Industrial Open-source control – what you need to know!

As an online supplier, we take our customers’ feedback to heart and try our hardest to accommodate all wants and needs. But besides the valuable suggestions and requests our customers provide, we also pay close attention to industry trends, research studies, and surveys. Recently, there was one trend that stood out from the pack. One…
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The Ethernet Explosion | AutomationDirect.com

In the world of technology, nothing seems to evolve faster than communication and the effects are felt across many industries with industrial automation being no exception. When you think of how much communication has changed and how many options are available today in terms of transmission media and protocols, it’s really quite astounding and that’s…
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AutomationDirect's Food & Beverage Idea Book

The Food and Beverage industry is a growing and changing field that’s becoming more and more reliant on automation and finding efficiencies. Click below to download our Food and Beverage book to see all of the latest trends. Topics Include:
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Simple PLC & HMI Solutions for Small Applications

What do you need in a PLC or HMI? Are you looking for ones with advanced features like onboard data logging or a built-in webserver? Great, we can help you with that. Or do you just need something basic, a simple controller or interface that’s easy to program and that almost anyone can maintain? Well,…
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Safety, Prevent Accidents with Proper Planning

It can happen at the best workplaces and in the safest environments but it’s always chilling news when you come into work and hear that there has been a workplace injury. Whether you are in charge of safety, are a production manager, or are a plant manager, so many questions go through your mind at…
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Cut To Length – A Great Money Saving Solution!

If you work for any type of industrial facility, whether it’s Food and Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Automotive or any other type, then you are constantly buying cables for new installations or repairs. If this is the case, a good design practice is to minimize the variety of types and colors to simplify ordering and reduce waste,…
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Equipment Safety | Protect More Than Just Your Equipment with AutomationDirect

No matter what industry you’re in, there is always electrical/electronic enclosures and cabinets along with the machinery and other ancillary equipment that independently or together contribute to complete a process efficiently. Some of this equipment is designed to run automatically controlled by a PLC and other automation equipment depending on existing conditions in a production…