Automation Notebook Issue 37

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We have filled this issue of NOTEBOOK with great articles such as, our Cover Story explaining how machine learning can help you improve the performance of your machines. Our Tech Brief details how to specify fiber optic sensors and our User Solution takes us down to the farm to show how updating automation control improved the way crops are watered. Plus, our Student Spotlight points to engineering students at Portland State University and their beam testing machine retrofit. We’ve included information on some of our newest products and lots more. Of course, Chip McDaniel provides more fun puzzles in the Break Room.

– Senior Editor

Free Info Long

In this issue of the Automation Notebook…

Automation NotebookDiscrete SensingIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesNotebook IssueProduct

New Product Focus

AutomationDirect now offers Datalogic print mark contrast sensors with 6-12mm sensing distances. We also now offer the Contrinex DW-series of extended and triple-distance proximity sensors in 3mm to 30mm cylindrical and 20mm rectangular styles.
Automation NotebookIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesNotebook Issue

Product Snapshots

This issue of Automation Notebook gives you snapshots of some of our latest products. Some of the products you’ll find include Flexible Portable Cord, ACME 3-Phase Encapsulated Transformers, Smaller Size Timing Belts and Pulleys, and IP69K Rated Pushbuttons. You’ll also find more Discrete and Analog I/O Modules For Productivity2000 PLCs, Thermistor Input Module for Terminator Field I/O and…
+Tech TopicsAutomation NotebookDiscrete SensingIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesNotebook IssueProduct

How to Specify Fiber Optic Sensors

Fiber optic sensors work well in tight spots and in applications with a high degree of electrical noise, but care must be taken when specifying these critical components.
Automation NotebookIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesNotebook Issue

Business Notes - Issue 37, 2017

When AutomationDirect began, we were told our business plan wouldn’t work. Instead of creating just another industrial control supplier, we proudly said, “We WON’T do things like that anymore.” And, with thousands of products, and award-winning technical support, we have no intention of stopping anytime soon.
Automation NotebookIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesNotebook Issue

What You Need To Know About Machine Learning

There’s lots of talk about machine learning, but can it help you improve the performance of your machines? It’s becoming easier and cheaper to gather and store data related to the operation of your machines installed at customer sites, but this creates a problem which we’ll label as Data Rich, Information Poor (Figure 1). Machine…
AgricultureApplicationApplication StoriesAutomation NotebookHMIIndustryIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesNotebook IssueOperator InterfaceProcess ControlProductProgrammable Control

Improving Pivot Irrigation Systems with AutomationDirect

If you’ve ever taken a long road trip, you’ve probably passed large fields of crops, which every now and then contained odd looking metal pipe structures on wheels stretching across the fields. These metal monsters, known as pivot irrigation systems, are used extensively in agriculture and have greatly improved the efficiency of the crop irrigation…
ApplicationApplication StoriesAutomation NotebookAutomationDirect SpotlightDiscrete SensingEducation/DIYIndustryIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesMotion ControlNotebook IssuePLCProductProgrammable ControlStudent SpotlightTest and MeasurementVariable Speed Drives

Beam Testing at Portland State

For their undergraduate senior capstone project, a team of Mechanical Engineering students at Portland State University (PSU) recently designed an electronic system upgrade for the control system of a 100-year-old beam testing machine. Using a range of AutomationDirect parts, the purpose of the project was to make the operator experience comparable to modern machines.
Automation NotebookIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesNotebook Issue

Brainteasers - Issue 37, 2017

Many of our readers have told us that once they receive their copy of Automation Notebook, The Break Room is the first section they read. But, you have to be careful not to get so caught up into it that you leave the rest of Automation Notebook behind. Take a mental break for a few…
Automation NotebookIssue 37 - 2017Learning ResourcesNotebook Issue

Brainteaser Answers - Issue 37, 2017

Now that you think you’ve solved our brainteasers, it’s time to check your answers. Maybe you got them all correct. Maybe you were stumped on one of them…but surely not all of them. Whatever the case may be, we know you enjoyed taking your mental break.