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E-Notes from Captain's Log aboard AutomationDirect.com
Volume 3 Issue 3

Welcome to our semi-regular e-mail update of what's new and happening at AutomationDirect.com. You are receiving this e-news because you subscribed to the AutomationDirect.com newsletter. Just go to http://notify.automationdirect.com/newsletter if you wish to unsubscribe.

Misplaced your catalog, or was it borrowed and never returned? Jump to our online request form and get our NEWEST 1,000-page free catalog or catalog on CD, click here or call 1-800-633-0405.

EDITOR'S NOTES

SmileyHave you ever wondered what goes on behind the walls of AutomationDirect? In this issue, we've added a new feature called "Company Spotlight" that highlights one of our employees, or a few employees who share the same job within the company. This time we've focused on the Customer Response Associates, our customers' first line of contact for tech support.

In the future, we're also going to add a "Customer Spotlight" that will give you an inside look at your fellow customers. If you're interested in participating in a Customer Spotlight, or have any feedback for us concerning the newsletter, please drop us a line at newsletter@automationdirect.com.

 

IN THIS ISSUE
NEW PRODUCTS
Centsable 22mm metal pushbuttons, switches, indicating lights
EZText panels
ONLINE SPOTLIGHT
Inventory reduction/clearance items, Discounts on B-stock items for U.S. and Canadian customers
PRODUCT SHORT TAKES TECH TALK
New edition of European Directives Handbook, Application of the month, Question of the month
COMPANY SPOTLIGHT
Customer Response Associates
RACING NEWS
Johnny leads point standings
IN THE NEWS ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

 

NEW PRODUCTS

Centsable 22 mm metal pushbuttons, switches, indicating lights

Centsable 22mm pushbuttons, switches, and lightsNew to our pushbutton family of products is a line of 22 mm metal pushbuttons, switches, and indicating lights. The new models include several flush-mount and extended pushbuttons ($5), versions with 40 mm operator faces (a standard 22 mm device), 24 and 120-volt illuminated pushbuttons, emergency stop mushroom pushbuttons, and two-way pushbuttons. All new pushbutton models offer color-coded contact blocks for easy and fast identification. Contact blocks are also stackable for a combined contact capacity of six contact blocks. Monoblock indicating lights in 24 and 120-volt incandescent versions come in six colors. Selector switches and joystick switches are also available. New pushbuttons, switches, and indicating lights range in price from $5 to $24.25.

More information on Centsable pushbuttons, switches, and indicating lights

EZText Text PanelsEZText panels now shipping

EZText operator panels are available in five models, ranging in price from $180 to $240. The panels support the following PLC drivers: AutomationDirect DirectLOGIC, Allen-Bradley DF1, Omron Host Link, Mitsubishi FX series, Modicon Modbus RTU and GE Fanuc SNPX. All models feature five user-defined pushbuttons, a built-in menu system, scroll data entry and isolated power supplies. Four of the panels feature user-defined LEDs and LCD display windows that support two or four message lines and display up to 20 characters. EZText programming software, priced at $26,
offers Microsoft Windows-based programming with simple addressing and bit assignments. Up to 256 messages can be stored and each message can include up to three variables. Messages are triggered by the PLC, or are locally navigated using the keypad. Little or no ladder logic programming is required to support the panels' connection to the PLC.

More information on EZText Panels

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PRODUCT SHORT TAKES

 

KW Software WinPLC

The IEC 61131-3 ProConOS PLC run-time engine for WinPLC CPU modules is embedded in the WinPLC module and offered as a unique WinPLC product. Application development for the WinPLC running ProConOS is performed with MULTIPROG, an IEC 61131-3 development tool. Pricing for the ProConOS PLC run-time engine starts at $659.

More information on the WinPLC

Drives DOP Software SuiteDrives DOP Software Suite

The Hitachi Drive Manager Software Suite is a collection of programming software that covers the full range of our Hitachi drives. The complete package includes the software on CD-ROM, an RS232/ RS422 converter, an RJ45 programming cable, an RJ45 to IDC10 converter, and a printed manual. Software programs include DOP-Professional, DOP-QuickStart and the SRW Simulator. The DOP Software Suite is priced at $172.

More information on the Drives DOP Software Suite

DeviceNet DL105 slave modules

DeviceNet slave modules (F1-DVNET) for the DL105 series of micro PLCs are now shipping. The AC powered modules are priced at $245 each and connect to any DeviceNet master for inexpensive nodes in the following configurations: DC in/Relay out, AC in/Relay out, and DC in/DC out. The slave modules provide powerful relays and high-speed I/O modes.

For more information on the DL105 and DeviceNet slave modules, click here.

To check all the latest product news, go to http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Overview/Catalog/What-s-s_New

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COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

Customer Response Associates (CRAs)

CRAsHave you ever called a tech support line for help, only to be transferred several times before getting your question answered? You most likely end up repeating your question or problem over and over, and waste valuable time on the phone.

CRAsOur Customer Response Associates are here to make sure that doesn't happen when you call our tech support line. If you've ever called AutomationDirect for technical support, then you've had the pleasure of talking to one of our CRAs, Leisa Cudworth or Betty Ranstadler. Leisa and Betty are often referred to as AutomationDirect's "911 operators". Their job is to get the right information from you in order to get your call transferred to the appropriate person the first time. They might even answer your questions themselves!

Betty and Leisa take a lot of calls each day, but they always do it with a friendly attitude. Thanks to our CRAs for their continued commitment to customer service!

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IN THE NEWS

If you happen to be watching PBS over the next few months, keep your eyes peeled for an American Business Review segment featuring AutomationDirect. Several weeks ago, we had a film crew in-house to film a segment about e-commerce in the automation industry. Interviews were conducted with our e-commerce expert, Russ Slabaugh, and with one of our customers. Each PBS affiliate station chooses when to air the segment, so we can't tell you when and where to tune in, but if you see it, be sure to give us your feedback at newsletter@automationdirect.com.

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ONLINE SPOTLIGHT

Inventory reduction/clearance items

This section is new to our Web site and offers major discounts on certain products. It's a great place to stock up on products you may need. Some of these items have limited quantities and are subject to availability. If you are interested in making a purchase, you may perform a stock check before submitting your order.

To view the items that are available at a discount, access our home page at www.automationdirect.com and click "Inventory Reduction" on the left side of the page. Note that in the product descriptions, it indicates if the part has limited availability, or if it is simply an overstocked item.

Discounts for purchases of B-stock items for U.S. and Canadian customers

We are now offering select re-manufactured parts to U.S. and Canadian customers at discounted prices. You will receive a 20% discount off the catalog price of any available items, and we will give you a full 1-year warranty from the date of purchase against defects and workmanship. No 30-day money back returns apply for this offer.

The products are offered on a "first come first serve" basis while supplies last! You will need Web access to view product availability. Just click the link below, then fill in your company information and the products you wish to purchase. Once the system verifies the products and quantities, simply print the form and fax it to the number provided on the form. Your order will be sent to a company sales representative, who will then fill your order. (You'll want to save this link address and check it often.)

Other Terms and Conditions for Remanufactured parts:

Click here to view the B-stock items available for purchase.

Reminder concerning online orders

Please remember that in addition to credit cards, we also accept purchase orders for online orders. You can set up an account by completing and sending our online credit application or filling out the credit application form located in the catalog.

And don't forget about our FREE shipping and handling for online orders. See bottom of newsletter for terms and conditions.

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TECH TALK

New edition of our European Directives Handbook

Check our Web site for the latest edition of document DA-EU-M, the European Directives Handbook. This document will help you understand the European CE standard for electrical equipment built for export to Europe. Click here to view or download the document (in PDF format).

Cubex dye machineApplication of the month: DL250s and DSDataServer perform batch management in textile dyeing facilities

Products Used: DL250 PLC with I/O, H2-ECOM Ethernet Module, DirectTouch HMI and DSDataServer32 (OPC communication)

Description: Cubex, Inc. has developed a Windows based Batch Management System that utilizes the AutomationDirect DL250 line of processors. All production data for historical trending, alarm logging, machine control and production/efficiency/cycle reporting is provided through OPC and housed in a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database. Tools are included for controlling, configuring and scheduling machines, formula management, procedure management, reporting and troubleshooting. The system has recently been installed in four textile dyeing facilities controlling 23 textile dye machines. The flexible system allows the machines to run in either stand-alone or hosted modes, using a DirectTouch touch screen for local machine setup and control. Another application, Process Explorer, uses the same architecture for collecting and reporting process data. Process Explorer is generally geared more for discrete processes such as assembly and packaging. For more information visit Cubex at www.cubexcontrols.com

Question of the Month: How do I know what size proximity sensor I need?

Answer: Choosing a proximity sensor depends on two things: mounting space and sensing distance. Each application has a specific space available for the sensor to be mounted in, and each application also has a requirement that defines how close the sensor can be mounted to the sensing object. You will need to choose a sensor that meets your requirements in both areas.

View our entire library of Frequently Asked Questions or view more information about our proximity sensor line of products

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RACING NEWS

2001 Race CarJohnny has been cruising right along this season. He posted a second place finish at Long Beach on April 8, after a
close race with Lou Gigliotti, who finished first. Then on May 20, Johnny finished 3rd at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario. He now leads the way in 2001 Trans-Am Championship points. For more racing information, including coverage of all the races, visit the Miller Racing Web site at www.milleracing.com.

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

Technology Trivia
Questions
1. What was the first spreadsheet called? Who developed it?
2. What was the first Radio Shack computer called? How much RAM did the original model have?
3. Who coined the term "software"?
4. What was the name of the first electronic digital computer?
5. What video game did Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the inventors of the Apple Computer, design for Atari?

Answers:
1. VisiCalc was invented by Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin, and was the first spreadsheet in which you could enter data directly into the cells. Bricklin came up with the idea for Visicalc while an MBA student at Harvard, and enlisted his friend Frankston's help to create it. The two created a company named Software Arts, Inc. to sell Visicalc.
2. TRS-80. The first models had 4 K RAM (and 4 K ROM).
3. The late John Tukey, professor of statistics at Princeton.
4. ENIAC was the first electronic digital computer. It was developed as a military project to compute ballistic firing tables. The project was completed in 1945 and officially announced at a press conference on February 1, 1946.
5. They designed the game "Breakout" for the old Atari game system.

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International customers (outside the U.S. and Canada), check our list of affiliates in over 23 countries to find the one nearest you.

Special Terms and Conditions, Free Shipping and Handling Offer: DIN rail and enclosures are excluded from the offer and will be billed at their normal rates. This offer applies only to orders over $300 in value with UPS Ground delivery selected. This offer can not be combined with any discounts or other special promotions. Offer expires with the publication of the subsequent AutomationDirect.com catalog in 2001.

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

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