Supplier Profile: NIDEC
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
20h ago
Nidec Corporation prides itself on being an international conglomerate that handles “everything that spins and moves.” Similar to an NBA star who can spin a basketball with expertise, skill, and passion, Nidec continues to thrive with expertise, skill, and passion in the industrial motor industry. Nidec is the world’s number one comprehensive motor manufacturer. Nidec’s motors can be found in products ranging from cell phones, computers, and home appliances to municipal water, industrial mining equipment and more. To understand how this organization is winning in the industrial motors game, l ..read more
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Harnessing the Power of Play: Engaging PLC Students with a Vehicle Simulator
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
3d ago
John Harpell at the control panel. Students in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, have found a way to combine their passion for video games with the industrial controls coursework they are studying at the Centennial Secondary School. The team  of 11th  and 12th year students was guided by their instructor; John Harpell, an electronics and automation controls veteran with thirty years of experience. The result of this effort was the creation of a vehicle simulator, similar to the “full motion race simulator”, or “racing cockpits” that are commercially available for gamers and race car drive ..read more
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From Ethernet to EtherCAT and Beyond
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
3d ago
Once only suitable for sheltered office installations, Ethernet media and protocols can now efficiently serve and future-proof a variety of industrial applications. Once upon a time (think 1980s), Ethernet was a relatively specialized computer connectivity technology, administrated by experienced gurus under highly-controlled office settings. Since then, technology and performance have advanced incredibly, and much of the world’s population uses wired and wireless (Wi-Fi) Ethernet in their everyday lives. Networking has likewise been essential for industrial automation purposes, also as early ..read more
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Mining Sunbeams – Solar Thermal Leverages the Sun for Producing Heat Energy
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
1w ago
Solar thermal installations need advanced control systems to optimize energy harvesting, storage, and distribution at remote mining operations. For certain applications in the right geographic areas, solar thermal can be a cost effective and low carbon way to supply large-scale heat energy. Flemming Jørgensen, of Jorgensen Thermal solutions, supplies these systems, and he needed to develop a control system capable of maximizing heat production, while efficiently managing the distribution of heat to a variety of processes. Jørgensen recently wrote a Control Design March 2024 article titled PLC ..read more
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Leuze 18mm Front/Bottom Threaded Rectangular Photoelectric Sensors from AutomationDirect
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
1w ago
April 3, 2024 – AutomationDirect has added Leuze 28 series 18mm threaded rectangular sensors that feature flexible mounting options with front and bottom 18mm threads and 3.1mm through-holes, sensing distances up to 10m, and rugged ABS thermoplastic housings with an IP67 protection rating. These new photoelectric sensors are offered in diffuse, polarized retroreflective, and through-beam sensing styles, and in highly visible red LED or infrared models. Leuze 28 series photoelectric sensors are ideal for a variety of industrial applications such as material handling, packaging, wrapping, and s ..read more
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Datalogic PowerScan 960X Handheld Barcode Scanners from AutomationDirect
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
1w ago
April 3, 2024 – AutomationDirect has added Datalogic PowerScan 960X cordless handheld barcode scanner systems to their Barcode/RFID/Vision category. These scanners feature an ergonomic shape with a rugged design that can withstand demanding environments. The new PowerScan scanners provide an omnidirectional reading of 1D stacked, 2D, and postal codes with 1280 x 800 optical resolution, and an inductive contactless charging system. Cordless communications options include 910MHz RF or Bluetooth® to a receiver base that can communicate via USB or RS-232. The accessories available include power s ..read more
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Using the LS-Electric XGB PLC and iX7 Servo Systems for EtherCAT®-based Servo Motion Control
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
2w ago
Modern multi-axis servo systems require a network for coordination of all the various movements. EtherCAT provides a high-speed cyclic mode that can update all the servo systems on the network within a few milliseconds. EtherCAT multi-axis servo systems can be created using the LS Electric XGB PLC in conjunction with LS Electric iX7 servo systems for high-performance multi-axis control in demanding applications. With an EtherCAT system, you can define up to 400 position setpoints per axis in the PLC, then trigger those moves over the network. All the motion parameters are stored, loaded and tr ..read more
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Product Pointers March 2024
Automation Direct Blog
by Michael Mullins
3w ago
Featured Products LS Electric XGB PLCs are advanced controllers geared for motion applications with many high-level features, such as IEC programming, that can be beneficial in any automated system XGB CPU starting at $299 C-more Micro touch panels give you lots of options for a little price, with free programming software starting at $146 Pneumatic Automation Link (PAL) is an electro-pneumatic system that can contain electrical I/O as well as a solenoid valve bank Solenoid valves start at $33.50 DEHN surge protection devices are modular, DIN-rail mounted, and offer protection f ..read more
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Helukabal TOPFLEX® 600 Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Cable from AutomationDirect
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
3w ago
March 20, 2024 – AutomationDirect has added Helukabel TOPFLEX 600V VFD cable designed to handle the power needs of VFDs and limit the effects of electromagnetic interference, helping to prevent costly machine downtime. This cable is available in 16 AWG to 2 AWG sizes with individual class K flexible stranded tinned copper conductors covered with cross-linked Polyethylene (XLPE) insulation. The special PVC outer jacket is free from cadmium, silicone, and substances harmful to the wetting properties of lacquers and paints, making these cables ideal for painting, plating, and coating application ..read more
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Issue 51, 2024
Automation Direct Blog
by Morgan Collett
1M ago
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 tel ..read more
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