Automation Notebook

Issue 51, 2024

Learning how to catch and clean a fish, how to change a flat tire, and how to drive a stick shift are some of the many important life lessons I learned over my years. Those lessons have served me well, but at this stage of my life I have found another, equally important lesson and that is how to master a great dad joke. I once didn’t appreciate the value of a dad joke and would often react with eyerolling or sighs of embarrassment. But now with a family of my own, I have become one of the great arbiters of “cringe”. At least that’s what my teenagers call it these days. I have no shame for telling dad jokes, after all, these jokes are an extremely important foundation of society. Just think of a world without this gem, “What has four wheels and flies?…A garbage truck” or this one, “Which bear is the most condescending?…A pan-duh” or my father-in-law’s favorite, “It’s 30 degrees outside but they say it’ll be 12 at midnight!” Sometimes it’s the little joys in life, like the panic in your son’s eyes when you tell his friends, “Wait, I have a good one”, that make it all worthwhile. So, remember to do your part for society’s sake and take a moment here and there to get your “cringe” on. And don’t worry, you can still tell dad jokes even if you’re not a dad, it just makes you a faux pa!

This issue of NOTEBOOK is loaded with informative articles such as our Tech Briefs, which discuss the time-saving Modbus Scanner feature of Do-more PLCs and how the IIoT is only as good as the fieldbus you use. We also have a great Cover Story on how modern PLCs go way beyond basic control and provide many edge computing capabilities. The User Solution covers how a cheese manufacturer developed in-house automation capabilities to keep legacy equipment running and how AutomationDirect components were used to upgrade a camping resort’s waterpark control systems. Our Student Spotlight shows how Eagle Motorsports and Georgia Southern University have been using AutomationDirect products to collect valuable data on automotive suspension systems. For information about exciting events happening in and around AutomationDirect, check out our Business Notes. In this issue there is also information on our newest products, such the ProductivityCODESYS CPU, LS Electric XGB PLC, LS Electric EtherCAT servo systems, Toshiba motors, Endress+Hauser Picomag series flowmeters, and more. The Break Room has a fun and challenging crossword puzzle, so see if you can complete it and compare your answers at

In this issue of the Automation Notebook…

Issue 51 2024The Break Room

Brain Teasers Issue 51, 2024

Can you figure out our crossword puzzle? Click here for a downloadable version!
AutomationDirect SpotlightIssue 51 2024Student SpotlightStudent Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Eagle Motorsports at Georgia Southern

Eagle Motorsports and Georgia Southern University have been using AutomationDirect for two years to collect valuable data in order to improve our engineering decisions regarding suspension. It is important to know how fast the suspension on a vehicle moves in order to properly adjust the stiffness of the shocks and springs. These velocities can be…
Issue 51 2024ProductProgrammable Control

The Do-more Way – Easy Industrial Communication with No-Code Modbus

The Do-more BRX PLCs are very powerful controllers that utilize device-centric programming, allowing common functions to be configured as “devices” that run in the background without any ladder code and independent of the PLC scan. One such function is Modbus communication which, with the release of Do-more Designer 2.9.1, can be done via the new…
Issue 51 2024NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

New AchieVe and ProSense Submersible Level Transmitters from AutomationDirect

January 31, 2024 – AutomationDirect has added a variety of ProSense and AchieVe brand submersible level transmitters to their growing lineup of level sensors.  ProSense GPLT series general-purpose submersible level sensors are designed for water applications and offer a slim housing diameter in several sensing ranges and cable lengths. ProSense NFLT series non-fouling, submersible level…
Issue 51 2024NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

Productivity Codesys PLC Series from AutomationDirect

January 24, 2024 – AutomationDirect has added a low-cost CODESYS PLC solution for those who prefer CODESYS programming. CODESYS is the most widely used manufacturer-independent IEC 61131-3 development system on the market, and the new P2CDS-622 CPU features a CODESYS engine housed in a Productivity2000 controller form factor. This CPU offers plenty of communication capabilities…
Issue 51 2024NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

New LS Electric EtherCAT® PLC Modules and Servo Systems from AutomationDirect

January 17, 2024 – AutomationDirect has added EtherCAT controller modules for the LS Electric XGB PLC family.  These new modules work in conjunction with our new lineup of LS Electric iX7 EtherCAT servo systems for highly accurate multi-axis motion control functionality. Both 4-axis and 8-axis EtherCAT controller modules are available; up to two of these…
Issue 51 2024NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

Toshiba EQP Global SD Severe Duty Motors from AutomationDirect

November 1, 2023 – AutomationDirect recently added the EQP Global SD severe duty motors from Toshiba. The Toshiba EQP SD series motors are designed to withstand the most severe conditions. Since most AC motor failures are a result of failed bearings, these inverter-duty motors feature oversized 300-series bearings for maximum motor longevity. The Toshiba EQP…
Application StoriesDrivesIssue 51 2024ProductVariable Speed Drives

VFDs Keep the Good Times Pumping

This resort site uses AutomationDirect VFDs to control waterpark systems, in the process adding the capability to manage and upgrade their own equipment. When the Triple R Camping Resort enhanced their facility to include a waterpark with interactive water features, they also needed to upgrade some behind-the-scenes elements, such as pumps, and the VFDs controlling…
Issue 51 2024NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

WEG Electric IEC Safety Contactors and Motor Controls from AutomationDirect

August 30, 2023 – AutomationDirect has added a wide assortment of quality WEG Electric contactors and motor control devices to their lineup of motor controls and safety equipment. The CWBS series IEC safety contactors provide a safe and reliable way to control electrical power in industrial and commercial applications. Available in ratings up to 80A,…
Issue 51 2024NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

Endress+Hauser Picomag Series Magnetic-Inductive Flow Meters from AutomationDirect

August 16, 2023 – AutomationDirect has added Endress+Hauser Picomag series magnetic-inductive flow meters to their growing line of flow sensors. Picomag series flow meters offer reliable measuring and monitoring of conductive liquids such as drinking and industrial water with a minimum conductivity of 10 μS/cm. These magnetic-inductive flow meters allow simultaneous measurement of flow, temperature,…
ApplicationApplication StoriesFood and BeverageHMIIndustryIssue 51 2024Machine ControlOperator InterfacePLCProductProgrammable Control

In-House Automation Focuses on People, Plant, and Profit

A cheese manufacturer developed in-house automation capabilities to keep legacy equipment running and responsively adjust to production demands. Many companies rely on external firms for automation upgrades and changes, and this works well for countless applications. But Pacific Cheese Company faced a dual challenge of maintaining and improving manual and legacy systems, while at the…
Issue 51 2024NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

Advanced XGB PLCs by LS Electric from AutomationDirect

July 27, 2023- AutomationDirect has added XGB PLCs designed and manufactured by LS Electric, a well-established global PLC manufacturer with over 40 years of experience. This PLC family offers advanced controllers geared for motion applications but with high-level features, such as IEC programming, that can be beneficial in any automated system. These stackable LS Electric…
Issue 50 - 2023Issue 51 2024NewsPress ReleasesPress Releases

Productivity2000 PLC CPU and Starter Kit from AutomationDirect

June 14, 2023 – AutomationDirect has added the next generation CPU for the Productivity2000 PLC line. The P2-622 CPU has all the functionality of the original CPU including up to 50MB ladder memory, embedded OLED status display, remote I/O and multipurpose Ethernet 10/100Base-T (RJ45) ports, and a microSD card slot. In addition, this new CPU…
CommunicationsData and IIoTIIoT and DataIssue 51 2024

Building IIoT with Field-Level Communications

IIoT projects should begin incrementally at the edge, using proven combinations of fieldbuses and controllers. Basic hardwired connectivity has long been typical for automation system designs. However, this approach is shifting as digital transformation and IIoT initiatives are expanding. InTech April 2023 features an article titled Field-Level Comms Improve IIoT Implementations, where Bill Dehner at…
CommunicationsData and IIoTData System MonitoringIssue 51 2024Operator InterfaceProgrammable Control

Modern PLCs Provide Support for Advanced Data Access

Although many think of PLCs as primarily for real-time control, modern versions make it easy to implement extensive data connectivity and analytics. While everyday consumers are familiar with getting things their way, this type of flexibility has often been less available within the industrial manufacturing arena. This is an issue for many end users when…