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Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 4

Machine Automation Basics

Automation systems must integrate multiple power and control subsystems and components into a coherent whole. Faced with ever-increasing cost pressures and demands for improved performance, machine builders are actively seeking new automation solutions with improved cost/performance ratios. In response to these demands, vendors must often incorporate commercial off-the-shelf components and other technologies to deliver more performance at lower costs in smaller form factors.

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White Paper – Choosing an Industrial Automation Controller 

AutomationDirect announces the release of a new White Paper, “How to choose an Industrial Automation Controller”, which discusses the evaluation of critical factors required in the specification of an automation controller for the industrial environment. The controller selected, such as a PLC or PAC, can control a single station, a machine, a process unit, a whole assembly line or an entire plant.

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Now Available

Snap-Action Micro Limit Switches

 Starting at $8.50

Wall Mount Polycarbonate Enclosures

 Starting at $28.50​​​​​​​

Control and Signal Cable in Specified Cut Lengths

 Starting at $0.20​​​​​​​ per foot


Working with the Cloud

Using the cloud for data logging and remote access can improve operations, cut costs and simplify interactions. There are several advantages of cloud-based data storage and access systems as compared with on-premises systems. Worldwide cloud connectivity only requires access to the Internet via a wired, Wi-Fi or cellular link. On-premises connectivity is considerably more complex, particularly for users located offsite.

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Programming and Setup Considerations for VFDs with Integrated PLCs

Control capability built-in to VFDs are moving machine intelligence to the edge. Though AC drives can operate in standalone, they often integrate into automation systems to control speed of three-phase AC motors that commonly run conveyors, fans, and pumps. For such speed control, AC drives most often pair with PLCs. But AC drives are becoming more intelligent … and some now include built-in PLCs to work as smart drives.

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Supplier Profile: Trumeter Measurement Products

J.R.R. Tolkien’s highly acclaimed fantasy novel “The Hobbit” was published in the United Kingdom in 1937. That same year, Trumeter was founded in Manchester, U.K. to provide mechanical-based length measuring equipment for the textile industry. That year was a good start for Tolkien and Trumeter, as both the book and the company have earned enduring praise the world over since that time.

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Video of the Month – Cut to Length Cables

All cable from AutomationDirect is now available in your specified lengths, so you can eliminate waste and purchase only as much cable as you need. We offer one low price per foot for each cable type, low minimum lengths, and NO cut charges, NO inflated shipping charges, and NO hidden fees. Combine these benefits with our standard business policies* including: FREE shipping on orders over $49, sameday shipping if you order by 6:00pm ET, and our no hassle 30-day returns (yes, even on custom-cut cable). 

Watch the video