What are encoders? An encoder (for industrial controls) is a special sensor that captures position information and relays that data to other devices. The position information can be read in many ways (optically, magnetically, capacitively, etc.). There are two basic geometries for encoders: linear and rotary. A linear encoder typically consists of a scale (a ... Read More
The Midwest Propulsion Group is a jet engine club dedicated to increasing the engineering knowledge and experience base of students by providing real-world engineering tasks related to gas turbine restoration and performance analysis, as well as finding vehicular applications for such engines.
Internet and cellular technology make monitoring and control easier than ever. The automation world, with its distant and often isolated sites, has long sought reliable remote access to cut costs and improve reliability. Instead of sending technicians to distant locations, operators can now access critical information and control systems quickly and easily.
Advanced Automation, LLC, in Riverdale, New Jersey, is an automation systems manufacturing company specializing in creating solutions for companies in need of more efficient automated processes. One such need is in the baking industry. Food associations, such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Safe Quality Food (SQF) and the American Institute of Baking (AIB), are ... Read More
Pacific Coast Automation, Inc., located in Modesto, California, was founded in 2008 based upon the need for a competent, dependable and reasonably priced control system engineering firm, and not just a “controls tech” company which bases its existence on service calls. Since its meager beginning, PCA has seen an almost 500% growth from 2009 to ... Read More
This is part two of a two-part series on variable frequency drives. In Part One, we discussed how choosing the right variable frequency drive (VFD) can reduce energy consumption, improve realtime control, and lengthen motor life. Here are more expert tips to consider. Select the Proper Control Mode VFD control mode choice greatly depends on ... Read More
The University of Wisconsin Formula SAE team competes against over 130 universities from around the world in an annual competition held at Michigan International Speedway. The competition is based on the design and manufacture of a small scale open wheel, open cockpit racecar. Teams are usually comprised of engineering students who, in the fall semester, ... Read More
Michael Miles and Investors (M.M. & I.) has been in the commercial and industrial electrical markets since 1986. The company began by offering Web-based database and Visual Basic applications supporting school systems. In 1994, we ventured into the computer market, becoming proficient in information technologies and high level programming. In 2002, we saw a need ... Read More
In the 1960s, NASA conducted a research program to develop a small lightweight water purifier. The purifier was for use in the Apollo spacecraft, so low power usage and minimal maintenance were a must. The 9-ounce purifier, slightly larger than a cigarette pack and completely chlorine-free, was designed to dispense silver ions into the spacecraft’s ... Read More
Sam Flournoy first contacted Automation Direct in February of 2009. As a 14-year old who had just finished building a biodiesel processor in his garage, he now wanted to automate the process. We immediately began looking around for the candid camera! But it turns out he was serious, as he was producing about 180 gallons ... Read More