AutomationDirect E-mail Newsletter

E-Notes from Captain's Log aboard AutomationDirect.com
Volume 5 Issue 2

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EDITOR'S NOTES

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IN THIS ISSUE

COMPANY NEWS
Schedule for Interconnecting Automation training

NEW PRODUCTS
Over 300 new enclosures added
Enclosure sale now in progress
10 and 15-inch EZTouch panels now feature Profibus capability

PRODUCT SHORT TAKES

SUPPORT SOLUTIONS
Top-secret features revealed: GS-EDRV Ethernet communication module communicates with MODBUS TCP/IP and has a built-in Web server

TECH TALK
Application of the month

THE LIGHTER SIDE

 

COMPANY NEWS

Schedule for Interconnecting Automation training

Training by Interconnecting AutomationInterconnecting Automation, an AutomationDirect federation partner, delivers training to customers using AutomationDirect products. Classes for PLC-based systems are held around the country and are delivered by Doug Bell, who has over 20 years experience in the industry. Following is the schedule for training classes for the next few months:

PLC-based Control Systems - Introductory Class
April 8-10 Orlando, FL
June 10-12 Atlanta, GA
September 23-25 Las Vegas, NV
November 4-6 Newark, NJ

PLC-based Control Systems - Advanced Class
May 6-8 Milwaukee, WI
October 7-9 Las Vegas, NV
December 2-4 Atlanta, GA

Interconnecting Automation also offers video courses that include training kits that can be used at home or in the office. For more information on the training kits and for further information on Interconnecting Automation, visit their Web site at http://my.execpc.com/~icauto/


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NEW PRODUCTS

Over 300 new enclosures added

338 new enclosures have been added to our lineup. New models include NEMA 3R enclosures and NEMA 1 wall-mount junction boxes, many of which are perfect for machine builders and electrical construction end users. The new enclosure models start at only $5.00 for a 4x4x4 NEMA 1 junction box.

Enclosure sale now in progress

Hubbel Wiegmann enclosuresAutomationDirect, in partnership with Hubbell Wiegmann, is offering tremendous discounts on overstocked or discontinued Hubbell Wiegmann enclosure products. At up to 78% off, these special discounts must be purchased direct from Hubbell Wiegman and are only available while supplies last. Contact Hubbell Wiegmann Sales at 618-539-3193 (618 539-5794 - Fax) to order or for current quantities. Each line item ordered must reference quote # WGHSADC1. Available quantity on hand will be confirmed at time of order. All products are new in carton and sale items are non-returnable. Standard freight terms apply. For more information on sale items, click to download this PDF document

EZTouch networking10 and 15-inch EZTouch panels now feature Profibus capability

Our 10 and 15-inch EZTouch slim bezel panels are now available with a pre-installed Profibus interface card to allow the panels to operate on a Profibus network. The 10-inch panel with Profibus is priced at $2,999 and the 15-inch panel is $3,999.

 

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PRODUCT SHORT TAKES

Industrial relay line offers excellent contact reliability

Our new line of industrial relays is available in 24 VDC, 120 VAC and 240 VAC coil voltages. The relays feature bifurcated contacts for excellent contact reliability and low-current switching capability. Prices for the relays start at $4.50.

New models added to EZTouch line of touch panels

Slim bezel EZTouch panelsThe EZTouch line of operator interface panels now includes color 10 and 15-inch slim bezel models. The new panels are also available with pre-installed MODBUS Plus, DeviceNet or Ethernet I/P interface modules. The 15-inch panel (with serial protocol support) is just $2,999 and the 10-inch is $1,899.

EZText Multiplexer connects up to five text panels

The new EZMultiplexer (EZ-MULTIDROP) connects up to five EZText panels to a single PLC. Any combination of panel models can be used and each panel may have a unique configuration. Only the PLC settings are common to all five panels. The multiplexer is priced at $299.

Teach-in pushbutton offers instant calibration in 12 mm photoelectric sensors

Several 12mm photoelectric sensors are now available with a built-in teach pushbutton, for instant calibration using a target object. They are available in diffuse, retroreflective and through-beam sensing styles and in axial cable or quick-disconnect models. Prices for the sensors start at $23.

Industrial monitorsPrices lowered on industrial monitors

AutomationDirect is able to pass on reductions in electronic component pricing to you by lowering our FLI and FPM industrial monitors prices by $20 to $400, with the same or better quality and features. For example, the 18-inch touch model has been lowered $400 to just $2,295. Our industrial monitors feature quality LCD screens and controllers with auto-scaling, auto-adjust, and wide viewing angles.

24 VDC power supply offers flexible mounting and saves panel space

The FA-24PS-90 24 VDC compact power supply accepts 95-135 or 190-264 VAC input (selectable) and provides up to 3.7 A continuous output current. The power supply can be panel or DIN-rail mounted and the compact 4.5" by 3" footprint saves panel space. It also features brownout protection, overvoltage and overload protection, and thermal and overshoot protection. It is priced at $69.

USB serial converter connects serial devices to PC applications

Our new USB to RS-232 converter transparently connects serial devices to PC applications via a USB port. The unit features flexible cable and ergonomic molding for easy connections, and is great for users who need to connect to a serial port-based peripheral from a laptop PC that has an available USB port, but no serial port. The converter is industry-standard color coded for easy installation, and offers an LED indicator for power and TX/RX. It is priced at $24.95.


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SUPPORT SOLUTIONS

Top-secret features revealed: GS-EDRV Ethernet communication module communicates with MODBUS TCP/IP and has a built-in Web server
by Carl Tolbert, Tech Support

GS-EDRVWell, these features are not really "top secret". But in technical support, we sometimes feel that certain features just wind up that way. Take our GS AC drives for example. Pareto's principle (otherwise known as the 80:20 rule) dictates that 80% of users will use the popular H2-ERM (Ethernet networking module) configuration with either an H2-WPLC or DL205 CPU like the D2-260 for networking their drives. The other 20% will use a different, less traditional approach to drive networking solutions. An example of the latter, which takes advantage of a GS-EDRV Ethernet communication module's MODBUS TCP/IP interface, follows:

A user has to add 15 drives to an existing SCADA system. The SCADA package has a MODBUS TCP/IP driver or is OPC/DDE compliant. The rest is very straightforward. Have a look at this application note.

Another little-known feature of the GS-EDRV is the module's built-in Web server. The Web server is a very handy tool for drive configuration and troubleshooting. The drive's IP address can be set up under a "favorites" folder on a Web browser and each drive can be clicked on sequentially. The ease of changing parameters, like acceleration time, is simple and fast. Take a look at page 12 of the GS-EDRV manual for more information.

If you need help with applications such as these, or any other type of application using our products, AutomationDirect tech support can help. Applications are just one thing that our technical support department does well. If you have a question on the feasibility of an application or have a quandary concerning an existing retrofit, call us at 770-844-4200 or contact us on the Web.

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TECH TALK

Application: Injection molding machines get productivity boost from DL06 and EZTouch panel

Products used: DL06 PLC, F0-04AD-1 analog input module, 6" EZTouch operator interface

Description: We recently added ten injection-molding machines to our plant. These are high-volume machines that require a material feed and distribution system that will keep up with the demand for material (virgin plastic pellets). I designed a control system using a DL06 PLC interfaced with a 6" EZTouch color touch panel. This system controls two vacuum pumps, six material lines, and 10 feed hoppers. The system can be configured via the touch panel to run two types of material and to control which press to deliver it to. We are also capable of controlling the distribution of material based on frequency of demand. The most useful feature of this system is self-diagnosis of problems and data acquisition. Since vacuum leaks are detrimental and hard to locate on this type of system, I also installed a vacuum transducer on each vacuum system that compares vacuums as each hopper is loading. Any critical reading is written to the touch screen's database. The performance of the system is displayed on the touch screen as a historical trend graph and holds two hours of information. What used to take considerable time to troubleshoot this system now only requires a glance at the touch screen.

Submitted by: Don Hammann, Owens Illinois

View our entire collection of Application Stories or submit one of your own

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THE LIGHTER SIDE

The time had come when the father of two sons was to decide who would receive his fortune. They both kneeled before the aged man as he spoke. "You will both race your camels to the nearest city. The owner of whichever camel arrives at the gates second will receive my fortunes." Confused, both men rode their camels toward the city, step by step, as slow as they could. As luck would have it, the Great Sage was passing by. Seeing him, they pleaded for his wisdom. "How might we resolve this such that it doesn't take the rest of our lives," said the first man. "And yet it must be in a competitive manner," added the second. "Neither of us are willing to concede." The Great Sage stroked his beard and shared his wisdom. On hearing his advice, both men ran back to the camels and raced toward the city as fast as they could. What was the Great Sage's suggestion? (Go to the end of this newsletter for the answer.)

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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.

Terms and Conditions, Free Shipping and Handling Offer for Online Orders: 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 regular UPS delivery selected within the continental US This offer cannot be combined with any discounts or other special promotions.

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

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"The Lighter Side" answer: The Great Sage told them to swap camels. It is the second camel, not person, to reach the city gates who wins.