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  In this issue
    Company News
    -Example Programs get you jump-started
    -New training materials available for online or in office
    Product News
    -Eaton WMZT miniature circuit breakers
    -Enclosure air conditioners
    -NITRA pneumatics line now includes FRL air prep components and solenoid valves
    What's the Latest Online?
    -Try our online Productivity3000 pre-assembled ordering tool
    -Upcoming Web seminars
    User Application Spotlight
    -Productivity3000 upgrades tortilla production machine
    The Lighter Side

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© 2010
All rights reserved






Volume 12 Issue 8, September 2010
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 newsletter.
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We always welcome your comments or suggestions concerning this newsletter.

Editor's note:

Time to hit the books!
Back to School

As far as the summer of 2010 goes, vacations are now memories. Across our great country, school buses are once again running their routes. Our children are back at school. For many, it's the first year of school. For others, it's the last. Ahead, are a lot of lessons to learn and many challenges to face.

AutomationDirect embraces challenges as opportunities. Each day, our tech support team receives calls from customers seeking assistance with various applications. Our sales team assists new and returning customers in making the right product choice for their applications. And, our product management team is always testing and developing new products, to further extend our product offering for you.

This month's newsletter contains information on our latest product releases, the latest webinar schedule, and more. If you need a break, take a breather with the Lighter Side.

Be sure 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

Example programs get you jump-started

Getting started programming with a new PLC, however basic, can be daunting when you're staring at a blank screen. Make it easier by downloading some of the example programs we've posted for our PLCs, most recently for the CLICK microbrick. Sample sections of code include a simple motor control circuit, creating a first-in / first-out (FIFO) stack, and receiving unformatted ASCII data through a serial port. See all the example programs in the Tech Support section of our Web site.

AutomationDirect Example Programs

- General Examples
- Communications Examples
- Counter Examples
- Operator Interface Examples

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Interconnecting Automation

New training materials available for online or in office

Our favorite PLC trainer Doug Bell now has a low-cost CLICK PLC trainer! This portable turnkey trainer, equipped with pushbuttons and indicators, is available for purchase at for $189. The trainer, with a 24 CLICK PLC TrainerVDC plug and play design, lets you code and test simple programs for the low-cost CLICK microbrick controller. And for a limited time, save $10 by purchasing a combination package, which includes a CLICK trainer plus one month of "unlimited access" to the CLICK online video tutorial library, for $219.95. When purchasing the CLICK trainer combo, the subscription time for the video library will be 45 days, which allows for shipping and delivery of the training unit.

Visit the Interconnecting Automation site to view the Table of Contents and watch sample videos offered in the "CLICK PLC 101 Video Library".

Note: The CLICK trainer does not include the CLICK PLC programming cable; if needed, it can be purchased from either Interconnecting Automation or AutomationDirect for the same price. (If you already own an RJ12 (6 pin telephone type connector) programming cable and you use it for DirectLOGIC or CLICK PLC programming, you do not need to order the cable.)

ICA PID Computer Based Training

Also, Doug has teamed up with veteran PID expert Cecil Smith to bring you a new way to learn PLC PID theory in the comfort of your home or office. Cecil has 30 years of experience in PID control, and has wrapped it into a self-guided computer based training (CBT) package that lets you learn at your own pace. It covers all the same topics and material presented in Doug and Cecil's extremely popular 3-day training class. Download the complete set of files ($695), install and start learning on your own schedule.


Major Topics include:

  • Designing and Implementing PLC PID Control
  • Proportional/Integral/Derivative Control Actions
  • Auto/Manual/Cascade Modes
  • Bumpless Transfer
  • Effect of Tuning Parameters on Loop Performance
  • Loop Tuning Methods
  • Windup Options
  • ON/OFF vs PID

Visit Doug's site to view the order form and see a complete list of course topics.

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Product News

WMZT miniature circuit breakers now available

Eaton WMZT series miniature circuit breakersThe Eaton WMZT series miniature circuit breakers include single-pole, two-pole and triple-pole devices, are available in sizes from 0.5 – 40 Amps and offer optimum and efficient protection for branch and control circuits. The series' current-limiting design provides fast short circuit interruption, within one half cycle of the fault, which reduces circuit-damaging let-through energy.

WMZT circuit breakers are available with C and D curve thermal magnetic overcurrent protection characteristics. C-curve devices are suitable for applications where medium levels of inrush current are expected, such as small transformers, lighting, pilot devices and control circuits. D-curve devices provide protection from nuisance tripping where high levels of inrush current are expected, such as motors, transformers and power supplies. The series is also suitable for reverse-feed applications.

The series is DIN-rail mountable and features a trip-free design so the breaker cannot be defeated by holding the handle in the "ON" position.

A selection of field-mountable accessories is also available, including auxiliary and alarm switches, shunt trip, lockout attachments and bus bar systems.

Prices begin at $16.50 for the 0.5 Amp breaker.

Learn more WMZT miniature circuit breakers

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Air Conditioners added to Enclosure cooling options

NEMA-rated Stratus™ air conditioners for enclosures. Heat inside an enclosure can decrease life expectancy in controlling units such as PLCs, HMI, and AC drives. Excessive heat can cause nuisance faults from electrical and electronic components, circuit breakers and fuses. To help alleviate such problems, we've added NEMA-rated Stratus™ air conditioners for enclosures.

NEMA-rated Stratus™ air conditioners for enclosures.These closed-loop cooling systems are recommended for harsh environments, or when there are washdown requirements, heavy dust and debris, or airborne chemicals present. Available in 120V and 230V units, the NEMA 12, 4 and 4X-frame 1,000 to 8,000 BTU/H air conditioners feature free-standing rigid chassis for easy installation and maintenance. NEMA 12 and 4 models are constructed of 16-gauge cold rolled steel; NEMA 4X units are made of 16-gauge 304 stainless steel. All units contain an active condensate management system and protective-coated condenser coils.

Designed to fit enclosures as shallow as 12 inches, each unit features a digital LED temperature controller with visible alarm and is pre-wired for external alarm monitoring. The highly energy-efficient compressors are charged with CFC-free refrigerant and equipped with anti short-cycle protection. All models are UL and cUL listed. Prices start at $1,099.

Replacement filters are also available for each of the three frame sizes, starting at $24.

See the full line of Stratus enclosure air conditioners.

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NITRA™ pneumatics line now includes air prep components and solenoid valves

NITRA™ pneumatics line now includes air prep components and solenoid valvesThe NITRA line now includes several new series of products to help meet a broad range of pneumatic air supply pressure regulation and filtration applications. While each series is designed to work in stand-alone applications, the modular design enables field assembly for combining additional components.

The AF Series particulate and moisture separation air filters are available with 1/8 to 1-inch NPT female port sizes and either a semi-automatic or automatic drain. Polycarbonate bowls are standard on 1/8 through ½-inch sizes, while metal bowl guards are provided on ¼ through ½-inch sizes. The ¾-inch and 1-inch sizes feature all-metal bowl construction with sight gauges. Prices start at $11.25.

NITRA AR Series pneumatic air pressure regulators are available with adjustable pressure ranges of 20-130 psi or 7-60 psi. These regulators feature a locking pressure adjustment knob and integral pressure gauge. The AR series prices start at $17.00.

The AFR Series combines particulate/moisture separation air filters and adjustable pressure regulators, all in a single convenient unit. Available in 1/8-inch through one-inch sizes, the pressure regulator features a locking pressure adjustment knob, integral pressure gauge with adjustable pressure ranges of 20 -115 psi. AFR Series prices start at $23.00.

AL Series mist-type air lubricators are available with 1/8-inch to one-inch NPT female port sizes and a lubrication rate adjustment with sight gauge. The ¾-inch and one-inch sizes feature all-metal bowl construction with sight level gauges. AL Series prices start at $12.25.

Replaceable 40 micron filter elements are standard. When stricter filtration is required, an optional, customer-installable, five- micron filter element is available for $1.00.

NITRA ARV pneumatic manual shut-off pressure relief valves are available with 1/8-inch to ½-inch female ports. The three-way, two-position design is used to shut off upstream pressure and relieve downstream pressure. The manually rotated knob can be locked out with the included padlock. ARV prices start at $19.75.

Three new series of directional control solenoid valves are also available. Solenoid coils for each series are available in either 24 VDC or 120 VAC control voltages. The available single-solenoid models provide two-position, normally closed, spring return operation and double-solenoid models provide two-position, energize open/energize closed operation. DIN-style wiring connectors feature LED indication of solenoid coil status.

AVP series three-way stackable poppet-style valves, starting at $16.75, can be used in individual valve applications or, to simplify piping connections, multiple valves can be field assembled to share supply air.

AVS-3 series valves, starting at $19.75, are body ported three-port (three-way) spool valves with port sizes up to 3/8-inch NPT and flow coefficients (Cv) from 0.78 to 1.67.

AVS-5 series body ported five-port (four-way) spool valves start at $19.75 and are available with port sizes up to 3/8-inch NPT and a flow coefficient (Cv) range of 0.67 to 0.89. In addition, AVS-5 double solenoid models are available with three-position, center closed or center exhaust operation. For multiple-valve applications, AM-5 series manifolds are available in 2, 4, 6 or 8 stations (starting at $9.25).

See the complete NITRA line.

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What's the Latest Online?

Get Productivity3000 bases pre-built using our newest online tool

Productivity3000 bases pre-built using our newest online tool

A new feature on our Web sites lets you order a Productivity3000 controller as an assembled unit. You can start at or on our store item page for a Productivity3000 CPU, power supply or base. Select the base and components for that base using the slot "EDIT" buttons. The cumulative price for the hardware is shown, along with the total number of inputs and outputs chosen. When the base is completed, use the "Assemble this for me" link, and the bill of materials and assembly layout is automatically entered into your store shopping cart. You can then proceed with check-out to have the configured base assembled and shipped.

Notes: An additional assembly charge, based on the number of components, will apply. Assembly lead time of up to one working day applies to the entire order. No 30-day guarantee returns are accepted (warranty issues excepted). See complete details on our configurator page.

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Upcoming Webinars

We continue to add new Web seminars to the schedule on our AutomationTalk site. The 45-minute shows feature both product overviews and more detailed application-based examples. Each live 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

  • Productivity3000 Advanced Programming 1
    September 15th 2:00PM EST
  • Productivity3000 Overview
    September 22nd 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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Productivity3000 Upgrades Tortilla Production Machine

Recently, featured a story about Casa Herrera, out of Pomona, California. They build tortilla preparation equipment for bakery and snack food industries. In this unique application, Casa Herrera uses the Productivity3000 to increase reliability, precision, and speed in the tortilla manufacturing process. Learn how they integrated Productivity3000, C-more operator interface panels, and Ethernet in the process.

If you have an application story to share with our readers, contact us. We could include it in a future newsletter or an issue of Automation NOTEBOOK.

Have you heard the podcast?

Podcasts are a great way to learn more about certain processes and industry trends. Our list of podcasts continues to grow with the addition of contributing editor Dan Hebert's interview with Ron Meade, Casa Herrera's CEO. The two discuss how choosing Productivity3000 for this application helped Casa Herrera improve tortilla production machines.

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The Lighter Side
From various stops along the Internet

Kids in school

Kid in Class

A 3-year-old, excited to start her first day in preschool, spends some time carefully packing a canvas back pack she had decorated earlier in Vacation Bible School.  Once complete, she comes to her mom, wearing it proudly and says, "I am all repaired!"

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her students while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

When Ray was in 3rd grade, he told his mom that he was really nervous about a test he had to take that day. She lovingly told him, "Well, let's pray about it before you go to school." He thought about it for a minute and said, "Mom, would that really be fair to the other kids?"

One day, a 5-year-old told her mom that she didn't want to go to school. The mom said, "I don't want to go to work, but I have to." The little girl replied, "No you don't. You're the mom, and if you don't want to, you don't have to."

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture. "Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.'" Quickly, a small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead."

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah." The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?" The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."

Thanks for your time!
Comments or suggestions for topics in future newsletters can be directed to

© 2010
All rights reserved

AutomationDirect HQ is located at 3505 Hutchinson Rd., Cumming, GA 30040
(about 45 minutes north of Atlanta, GA)


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