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  In this issue
    Company News
    -C-more remote HMI App is a Control Engineering Magazine Engineers’ Choice Finalist
     
    Latest Product News
    - Basic Soft Starters
     
    Online News
    - The Latest Automation NOTEBOOK is Online
     
    Upcoming Web Seminars
     
    Application innovations
    -Corrugated Cardboard Box Maker Improves Efficiency
     
    The Lighter Side
   
   

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Volume 13 Issue 11, November 2011
We hope you find this issue of our e-mail update of what's new at AutomationDirect informative. You are receiving this e-news because you subscribed to the automationdirect.com newsletter.
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We always welcome your comments or suggestions concerning this newsletter.

Editor's note:

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2011Once again, feasts are being planned across this great nation as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Turkeys will be roasted, smoked, fried, stuffed, you name it. Cakes and pies a plenty, breads of all kinds, innumerable green bean casseroles, sweet potatoes galore, all prepared to welcome friends and families. Enjoy the holiday. But most of all, give thanks for the many blessings you have received this year.

This month’s newsletter contains all the latest information, including company news, new product information, our latest webinar schedule, and more. Be sure to take a break with the Lighter Side.

Don’t forget to send us information, about your applications. We are always excited to learn the unique ways customers use AutomationDirect products.

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Company News

C-more Remote HMI App is a Control Engineering Magazine Engineers’ Choice Finalist

Once again, an AutomationDirect product is part of Control Engineering magazine’s annual Engineers’ Choice Awards competition. This year, the C-more Remote HMI Mobile App is a finalist. Control Engineering magazine will send ballots to its readers, allowing them to decide which products deserve the Engineers’ Choice award. So, when it arrives in your mailbox, don’t toss it. Read about the C-more Remote HMI Mobile App and cast your vote.

Learn more about the app

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Latest Product News

Basic Soft Starters

Basic Soft Starters

The Stellar™ SR33 Series basic soft starters are designed for general purpose applications where traditional across-the-line starting or wye-delta starting would typically be appropriate.

The SR33 semi-conductor soft starters, available in 22A to 482A sizes, are suitable to control three-phase AC induction motors with a wide variety of motor loads. This series is an ideal substitute for a Star/Delta starter as it fits into a similar footprint, simplifying installation. All units feature two-phase control, easily and separately adjustable motor start voltage and start and stop times, and depending on model, fault indication of 4 or 7 fault types: SCR or Power Supply, Overheat, Control Power Supply, Bypass Relay Failure, Shearpin, Overload, and Overcurrent.

Ideal for applications such as pumps, blowers and conveyors, the SR33 series soft starters use thyristors for controlled reduced voltage motor starting and stopping, and then switch to internal contacts for efficient running at rated speed. Backed by a two-year warranty, SR33 series soft starter prices start at $490.

A heat-shrink insulation kit designed to maintain UL compliance when connecting field cables is available for $8.

See the entire lineup.

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ONLINE NEWS

AutomationNotebookLatest Issue of AutomationNotebookThe newest issue of Automation NOTEBOOK is now available online.

You’ll find interesting articles sharing trends in automation and creative control solutions, such as a great story about a small-scale hydroelectric plant in Columbia, South Carolina. Other featured articles are “Starting with Steppers, Part One” and “10 Tips for Specifying VFDs, Part Two”. The full issue is just a click away.

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Upcoming FREE Webinars

We continue to have great response to our Web seminars. Our 45-minute shows feature both product overviews and more detailed application-based examples. Each seminar includes a question and answer time where our hosts address questions from viewers. You can also view recorded episodes at your convenience.

Upcoming Web Seminars include:AutomationTalk

  • New Products –
    December 7th 2:00PM EST
  • Productivity3000 Advanced 3 – January 11th 2:00PM EST
  • Behind the Scenes –
    February 1st 2:00PM EST

Register today to attend the free online seminars. If you don’t see a specific topic of interest, contact us with your idea. Our team will consider it for future seminars.

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Application Innovations

Corrugated Cardboard Box Maker Improves Efficiency

Corrugated Cardboard Box Maker Improves Efficiency

At the Rusken Packaging plant in Jackson, Tennessee, corrugated cardboard boxes are produced on a network of five machines. As can be expected, scrap is generated in the production of these boxes, the amount of which varies depending on the type of box being produced. This waste is removed by a central vacuum system. Each of the five box machines is equipped with a conveyor to catch the scrap. At the end of the conveyor is duct pipe with a door. The door is opened and closed by a pneumatic cylinder controlled by a Mac air valve.

The conveyors and doors were controlled by an Allen-Bradley SLC5/2 PLC which cycled from one machine to the next, opening the door and starting the scrap conveyor for about 15 seconds per machine. Bypass switches on a central control panel allowed a machine to be bypassed if that machine was not running.

The problem with this system was that if a machine was bypassed, the PLC did not actually skip the machine. While neither door nor conveyor was activated, it still spent 15 seconds at the machine. This meant that if four of the machines were bypassed, it still spent 60 seconds on machines that were not running. While instructions in the PLC program could be changed, Rusken did not have the software to do so.

Philip Potts solved this problem by removing the SLC5 and replacing it with a Click micro brick PLC and an additional output module. He wrote a program to control the doors and conveyors, and if one is bypassed it is truly bypassed. If four machines are bypassed, the lone machine's door and conveyor remain on at all times. If three machines are bypassed, the system will cycle between the two machines, spending 15 seconds at each machine. Replacing the entire SLC5/2 PLC system was less expensive than purchasing the software to reprogram the Allen-Bradley PLC.

As a result, production time has improved and Rusken now has a much more efficient system.

 

You can check out our complete list of application stories here.

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The Lighter Side

Now, that’s just corny-mazing

 

And you thought YOU had the next great idea…

And you thought YOU had the next great idea…Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “I wish I had thought of that,” or “Someone needs to come up with a way to…” or even, “If I only had a thing that would…” Well, chances are, someone has. Of course, there are things we see often that make us think, “Now why would anyone make THAT?” Did you ever stop to think that maybe they made it to win an award?

On September 29th, the 21st annual Ig ® Nobel Prize ceremony was held at the Sanders Theater at Harvard University. Check out the list of this year’s winners. Some of them are sure to make you say, “Really?!”

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Thanks for your time!
Comments or suggestions for topics in future newsletters can be directed to newsletter@automationdirect.com

© 2011 AutomationDirect.com
All rights reserved

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