AutomationNotebook Issue 25
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In this issue we have an article explaining the ins and outs of different types of encoders. We also focus on a group of students from the Illinois Institute of Technology and their use of the Productivity3000 in a Hybrid racing competition. Plus, read about how Mel-O-Cream Donuts uses AutomationDirect products to improve their packaging process, and our cover story discusses the use of robotics in manufacturing.

– TJ Johns
Senior Editor

In this issue of the Automation Notebook…

Automation NotebookIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesNotebook Issue

Brainteaser Answers - Issue 25, 2013

In each issue of the Automation Notebook we feature a section of brainteasers. These are the brainteaser answers from Issue 25, 2013 of the Automation Notebook. The brainteaser questions are repeated in black. The answers to the brainteaser questions are highlighted in red with explanations. You can view the brainteasers from Issue 25, 2013 without the answers…
Automation NotebookIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesNotebook IssueThe Break Room

Brainteasers - Issue 25, 2013

1. Circular References A factory has a circular work cell, which they wish to divide into four equal sections, using three safety curtains, each the same length. How might this be done? Extra Credit: What is the length of the three safety curtains? 2. The Circling Cart That same factory has a four wheel cart that rides…
ApplicationApplication StoriesAutomation NotebookAutomationDirect SpotlightEducation/DIYEnergy/UtilitiesIndustryIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesMachine ControlNotebook IssueOperator InterfaceProductProgrammable ControlStudent SpotlightStudent Spotlight

Illinois Institute of Technology Competes in Hybrid Racing

A student team, lead by Donald Ruffatto, from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) SAE International chapter contacted AutomationDirect in late 2011, asking detailed questions about our Productivity3000 Programmable Automation Controller (PAC). They were planning to use it to control an electric car that they were building for the Formula Hybrid International Competition, hosted by…
+Tech TopicsAutomation NotebookIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesNotebook IssueProductProgrammable ControlTech Thread

Productivity3000 FAQs

Q: What are key differences between the P3-530 vs. the P3-550 CPUs? A: Cost is the key reason to select a P3-530 vs. a P3-550 CPU. The P3-550 doews have distinctive advantages in advanced features, as shown in Table 1 on the next page. But in many case the 530’s features are more than adequate….
Automation NotebookAutomationDirect SpotlightIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesNotebook IssueProductProgrammable ControlSIDirectSystem Integrators

DG Controls

In this issue of Automation Notebook, we introduce you to Dan Gulley of DG Controls in York, Alabama. With over 30 years of designing and troubleshooting industrial machine controls and system integration, they are experts when it comes to custom control panels and retrofitting equipment. How did you get started in your Controls/Engineering career? My…
ApplicationApplication StoriesAutomation NotebookDrivesFood and BeverageFood Beverage AutomationIndustryIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesMachine ControlMaterial HandlingNotebook IssuePackagingPLCProductProgrammable ControlUser SolutionsVariable Speed Drives

Automating a Donut Packaging and Labeling Line

When people hear the name Mel-O-Cream, they usually think of donuts. Founded in 1932 as a retail shop in Springfield, Ill, Mel-O-Cream International ( manufactures bakery products, primarily for wholesale distribution to supermarkets and bakeries.
+Tech TopicsAutomation NotebookDiscrete SensingIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesNotebook IssueProductTechnology Brief

Encoders Explained

What is an Encoder? An encoder (for industrial controls) is a special sensor that captures position information and relays that data to other devices. The position information can be read in many ways (optically, magnetically, capacitively, etc.). There are two basic geometries for encoders: linear and rotary. A linear encoder typically consists of a scale…
ApplicationApplication StoriesAutomation NotebookCover StoriesIndustryIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesMachine ControlMaterial HandlingNotebook IssuePackagingPLCProductProgrammable Control

Robot Use Becomes More Widespread

As robot capabilities expand and costs drop, machine builders and system integrators are creating tightly integrated robot-automation solutions for production lines.
Automation NotebookIssue 25 – 2013Learning ResourcesNotebook Issue

Product Snapshots - Issue 25, 2013

We have added several exciting products since our last edition of the Automation Notebook. Here are some highlights about some of those new products including:  Ultrasonic Liquid Level Sensors and Transmitters, ProSense Temperature Transmitters, New Capacitive Proximity Sensors,  More Sensor Cables, Additional Crossfire Safety Glasses, New RUKO Cutting Tools, More ZIPport Multi-Wire Connectors, SureStep Dual-Shaft Motors and Low-cost Microstepping…
Discrete SensingIssue 25 – 2013NewsNotebook IssuePress ReleasesProduct

New Koyo Encoders

New Koyo Encoders with Inch-Size Shafts, as well as Miniature Bodies. Koyo inch-size light and medium-duty encoders have been added to our line of positioning and motion control products. These stainless steel solid-shaft encoders provide a cost-effective solution for many applications. The TRDA-2E series light-duty encoders have a 0.25-inch diameter stainless steel solid shaft and offer…