They say experience is the best teacher, and I’m sure we can all agree with that. After all, you only need to get shocked once to learn that “it should be off” doesn’t mean it’s actually off. And you only need one “free” haircut to realize how costly it can be to your self-confidence. These little life experiences, that we hopefully learn from, make us better, wiser individuals. At AutomationDirect, we want to take that a step further and use your experiences to be a better, wiser company. We strive every day to improve the experience you have with us as a customer because we don’t just want your business, we want your trust. But we can’t do it without you. So please let us know how we are doing. Visit the “Company Reviews” section located under “Learn More” on the left-hand side of our homepage ( or any product overview page to submit company and/or product reviews. Tell us how you really feel and don’t hold back, because anyone can sell a product, but it’s the experience that counts!

This issue of NOTEBOOK is loaded with informative content such as our PLC Speaking section, which discusses the importance of PLC scan time in any control system. We also have a great Cover Story on how designing with maintenance in mind can reduce downtime and provide a bigger ROI from your automated systems. The User Solution shows how the Do-more PLC was able to provide precise temperature control for cold, warm and freezer chambers at UNC Chapel Hill, and our Student Spotlight catches up with Copley High School’s engineering students and their recent projects. In the FYI section, we answer commonly asked questions about our multi-conductor cable, the New Product Focus portion provides information on our absolutely free online PLC training and the new WEG variable frequency drives, and the What’s New section highlights some of our many informative content pieces. As always, the Break Room is stocked with fun brainteasers so see how many puzzles you can solve.

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In this issue of the Automation Notebook…

Company NewsIssue 41 - 2019NewsNotebook IssuePress ReleasesPress Releases

AutomationDirect Offers Free Online PLC Training

AutomationDirect first partnered with Interconnecting Automation in 1996 to create a hands-on training program to familiarize customers with the ins and outs of their PLCs. Eventually, this program led to the creation of an online video training series that encompasses various levels of training from entry level programming to advanced PLC functions. Due to the…
Issue 41 - 2019New ProductNewsNotebook IssuePress ReleasesPress Releases

WEG High-Performance, Compact Size AC Drives from AutomationDirect

AutomationDirect has added a new line of AC variable frequency (VFD) drives for motor speed control and other industrial control applications. The WEG CFW300 variable frequency drive is a high-performance VFD for three-phase induction motors. It is ideal for applications on machines or equipment that require precise control with easy setup and operation. The CFW300…
+Tech TopicsFAQIssue 41 - 2019Notebook Issue

Bulk Multi-Conductor Cable FAQ

Bulk multi-conductor cable is a convenient way to connect electrical power and signals. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bulk multi-conductor cable: Why use a shielded cable? What is the difference between cord and cable? Why use VFD cable? What does ‘Exposed Run’ mean? What is the difference between…
Issue 41 - 2019Notebook IssueProductProgrammable Control

Importance of PLC Scan Time in any Control System

When designing a PLC controlled system, one aspect that should not be overlooked is how the PLC scan will affect your operation. The PLC scan consists of a sequence of operations the CPU will follow repeatedly. The amount of time the CPU needs to complete this sequence is known as scan time and it can…
+Tech TopicsApplicationAutomationDirect SpotlightIssue 41 - 2019Learning ResourcesMachine ControlNotebook IssueSystem Integrators

Mastering Machine Maintenance

Machine builders, robot builders and system integrators offer advice for maintaining industrial machines. In the May 2019 issue of Control Design magazine, the cover story focus was machine maintenance. The story, titled Machine design with maintenance in mind, discussed best practices for maintaining machines, with input from numerous sources including machine builders, robot builders and…
Company NewsIssue 41 - 2019NewsNotebook IssuePress ReleasesPress Releases

Basic Pneumatic Circuits - White Paper from AutomationDirect

AutomationDirect announces the release of a new White Paper, “Basic Pneumatic Circuits”, which discusses common pneumatic circuits that can be used alone or as building blocks in larger pneumatics systems. This white paper examines pneumatic design best practices and presents four basic pneumatic circuits commonly used in machine automation. The four basic pneumatic circuits examined…
ApplicationApplication StoriesAutomationDirect SpotlightFacilitiesIndustryIssue 41 - 2019Notebook IssuePLCProcess ControlProductProgrammable ControlSystem Integrators

Open System Provides Precise Temperature Control

System integrator Affinity Energy worked with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to design and install a new temperature control system for their research chambers. By Allan Evora, President of Affinity Energy The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill was spending too much time and money supporting an existing control system….
Automation NotebookAutomationDirect SpotlightIssue 41 - 2019Learning ResourcesNotebook IssueStudent Spotlight

Copley High School Student Project and Update

We’ve covered the engineering students at Copley High School twice in recent years here in the Student Spotlight. Copley HS is a suburban, public high school just west of Akron, Ohio.  The school’s engineering program works closely with local industry and with their disabled employees to help automate various processes to achieve additional productivity for…
Automation NotebookIssue 41 - 2019Learning ResourcesNotebook Issue

Brainteasers - Issue 41, 2019

Running towards danger? Smiley Guy leaves home at a mad sprint, he runs a distance and turns left, he runs the same distance and turns left again, then he runs the same distance and turns left yet again.  When he finally gets home, there are two masked men waiting for him.  Who are they? Don’t…