Issue 47 -2022

Issue 47, 2022

“It’s never that easy”. As a homeowner, I’ve learned that this is one of the truest statements ever spoken. Something that seems like an easy fix, in the blink of an eye, can become a lot more difficult. Case in point, my son, like most kids his age, is a serious gamer. But his games aren’t what I grew up with. They don’t have simple plots like defeating an angry ape who has mastered barrel weaponry or helping two friends, Ryu and Ken, travel the world to fight in the streets. These games are very advanced with intense graphics and when playing online, require lots of bandwidth. So much so, that a Wi-Fi connection doesn’t really cut it. Which leads to my “easy” project of running an Ethernet cable to his room, through the attic, from the room with the modem two doors down. Since I had already done this for a different room, this would be a piece of cake. My first step was to head into the attic to plan the easiest route for the cable. While in the attic, to get a closer look, I stepped toward the edge of the attic’s platform only to realize there was no more platform. The platform’s edge was covered with insulation, and I made the wrong assumption. As you may know, sheetrock doesn’t offer any support for a 250-ish pound person, and my leg ripped through it like it wasn’t even there. Luckily, the rest of me didn’t follow through and I got stuck between the rafters. After a short moment of shock, I pulled myself up and realized first, I was lucky to only have minor scratches. Second, that my “easy” $30 job just became a whole lot more and third, that my son was already on the phone ratting me out to my wife. The morale of this story is that you can’t plan for the unexpected at home or in the field. But when in the field, if the job takes a turn for the worse and becomes much more difficult, we’ll be here to help with low-cost solutions and free technical support.    

This issue of NOTEBOOK is full of interesting and educational articles including our Tech Threads, which discuss important VFD safety features and how process pump automation can enhance pump performance. We also have a great Cover Story on the benefits of implementing an end-to-end remote access solution that utilizes cloud technology. The User Solutions show how pneumatics and open-source control were used to turn discarded bottle caps into works of art, and how CLICK PLCs helped to quickly produce sanitizing products used to combat Covid-19. Our Student Spotlight discusses how AutomationDirect components helped Georgia Tech students melt metal with their homemade induction furnace. For information about exciting events happening in and around AutomationDirect, including some recent product awards, take a look at the Business Notes. In this issue, you’ll also find information on our newest products, such as Quadritalia modular enclosures, the new CLICK PLUS 2-slot CPUs, Norgren air preparation components, UPS-capable DC power supplies, additional ReeR Mosaic safety controller components, and more. As always, the Break Room is stocked with fun and challenging brainteasers, so give them a try and see how many puzzles you can solve.

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In this issue of the Automation Notebook…

Issue 47 -2022Student SpotlightStudent Spotlight

EMMA wins Design Competition at Georgia Tech

By Michael Probst, BSEE ’22 The Georgia Institute of Technology Engineering Department requires two semesters of design experience, with a course known as “senior design”. Students divide themselves into teams of 4-6 students, often comprised of members from within a single department, or students can form interdisciplinary teams. The projects themselves come from three sources:…
Issue 47 -2022

BrainTeasers - Issue 47, 2022

Team Colors Joe, Bob, Sue, and Robin are members of an FRC robotics team.  Their team roles are, not necessarily respectively, President, Treasurer, Electrical Lead, and Mechanical Lead.  They wear (again not-necessarily-respectively) red, blue, black and green shirts. You are told that the President is better at math than Bob, and that Sue and the…
Company TopicsIssue 47 -2022News

The CLICK PLUS PLC Wins the 2022 Control Engineering Magazine Engineers’ Choice Awards for the PLCs, PACs Category

AutomationDirect’s CLICK PLUS PLC is the next generation platform for delivering reliable and familiar functionality for basic control applications, combined with advanced features like Wi-Fi, data logging, and increased security measures. All starting at just $89! On February 7, 2022 the AutomationDirect CLICK PLUS PLC was announced as the Control Engineering 2022 Engineers’ Choice Awards…
Issue 47 -2022NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

New General-Purpose, High-Performance, and Harsh-Duty AC Motors Available at AutomationDirect

December 15, 2021 – AutomationDirect has added a host of new motors from Regal Rexnord to its existing portfolio, including two new series of Marathon® motors and Leeson ® specialty motors. The new Marathon Globetrotter motors are high-quality 3-phase general-purpose motors that can be controlled by an inverter and are rated up to 200hp. Globetrotter…
CommunicationsIssue 47 -2022Product

Secure Remote Monitoring of Process Systems

A solution using cloud-capable routers and cloud-based computing services enables streamlined and secure remote monitoring and access for process systems. Jonathan Griffith, product manager for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the October 2021 issue of Processing titled Remote Monitoring Powered by Cloud Services. Here’s a summary, click on the link above for the full text….
Issue 47 -2022NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

New RHINO Power Supplies with Integrated UPS and Power Boost Technology from AutomationDirect

November 17, 2021 – AutomationDirect has added open frame and panel mount power supplies, with integrated UPS functionality, to their RHINO SELECT series of power supplies.  The integrated UPS feature provides seamless battery switchover to keep critical operations running when there is an unexpected loss of power. These industrial power supplies support a wide operating…
Company NewsCompany TopicsIssue 47 -2022News

CLICK PLUS PLC is a Finalist for Plant Engineering Magazine 2021 Control Systems Product of the Year Award

AutomationDirect’s CLICK PLUS PLC, starting at just $89, is the next generation platform for basic control applications, building on reliable and familiar functionality, while adding advanced options like Wi-Fi and data logging. AutomationDirect’s CLICK PLUS PLC was announced as a Plant Engineering 2021 Product of the Year Finalist in the “Controls Systems” category. Check out…
Issue 47 -2022NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

CLICK PLUS Serial Communication Option Slot Module and 2-Slot CPUs from AutomationDirect

November 10, 2021 – CLICK PLUS PLCs combine the simplicity of the original CLICK PLC with advanced features, including Wi-Fi capability, MQTT communication, data logging, and mobile access. The new CLICK PLUS 2-slot CPU offers an additional built-in option module slot for even more PLC I/O customization. Over 400 option slot I/O module combinations are…
Issue 47 -2022NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

New ReeR MOSAIC Safety Controller Components

November 10, 2021 – AutomationDirect has added new ReeR MOSAIC safety controller components for expanded capability. The Reer MOSAIC (MOdular SAfety Integrated Controller) makes it easy to manage safety systems and sensors. It is modular, expandable, and configurable for managing all safety functions of a single machine or an entire plant. The new MOSAIC-MV series…
Issue 47 -2022NewsPress ReleasesPress ReleasesUncategorized

Norgren Excelon Plus Air Prep Components from AutomationDirect

November 3, 2021 – AutomationDirect has added Norgren Excelon Plus air prep components to its existing lineup of pneumatic air prep products. Norgren, a well-known name for pneumatic components, manufactures products that provide exceptional performance, and their Excelon Plus air prep components are compact, lightweight, and suitable for most industrial applications. Norgren Excelon Plus 82…
Issue 47 -2022NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

Quadritalia Modular Enclosures from AutomationDirect

October 27, 2021 – AutomationDirect has added new Quadritalia modular enclosures to their selection of over 7,000 high-quality enclosures. This new modular enclosure line adds enclosures that can be easily assembled on-site to fit any application while maintaining the required NEMA rating. Quadritalia modular enclosures are available as kits that include all the necessary components…
ApplicationApplication StoriesIssue 47 -2022Machine ControlOpen SourcePneumaticsPneumaticsProduct

Upcycling with Automation

An innovator found a way to upcycle bottle caps into extraordinary products, an activity that also helps support local children’s charities. By applying practical AutomationDirect devices and components, he has efficiently scaled up production. When Nathan Rues started a hobby of collecting bottle caps while in college, little did he know that one day this…
ApplicationIssue 47 -2022ManufacturingMotor ControlsProduct

Process Pump Automation Options

Whether pumps are automated with hardwired controls or PLCs, designers can provide enhanced functional and protective features using control and monitoring relays. Lenny Filipkowski, Product Manager at AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the August 2021 edition of Process Instrumentation magazine titled Exploring Options for Process Pump Automation. Pump control is a common application used in…
ApplicationApplication StoriesIssue 47 -2022Machine ControlManufacturingPLCProductProgrammable Control

Quick and Clean Automation Implementation

To help meet COVID-19 needs for sanitizing wipes, an HVAC contractor used their multiple-discipline experience and AutomationDirect products to quickly create automated filling machines. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer of 2020, a St. Louis manufacturer wanted to utilize available factory space to produce pails filled with sanitizing wipes. They engaged…
AC Motors and ControlsIssue 47 -2022MotorsProduct

What is VFD Safe Torque Off, and How Does it Improve Safety?

The safe torque off function built-in to modern VFDs significantly improves the integration of emergency stops. Kevin Kakascik, Technical Marketing Engineer with AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the May-June 2021 issue of Industrial Equipment News. The article, titled Motor Drive Safe Torque Off Improves Equipment Safety, explains the capability and how to use it. Here’s…
Issue 47 -2022NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

MurrplastiK Cable Entry Systems from AutomationDirect

May 12, 2021 – AutomationDirect has added more choices to their offering of Murrplastik cable entry systems. The addition of the KDL/D MONO series cable entry system provides the same benefits as the existing KDL/D series in a round frame form. This series allows a cable to be installed through an enclosure or other bulkhead…