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  In this issue
    Company News
    -AutomationDirect 3D Models make Debut
    Latest Product News
    - CLICK Standard CPUs
    - Light Curtains and Safety Switches
    - NITRA Pneumatics: Compact Cylinders and Tubing
    - Stellar Full-Feature Soft Starters
    What's the Latest Online?
    -Interview with Doug Bell
    -Upcoming Web seminars
    Application innovations
    -Advanced Automation takes baking to the next level
    The Lighter Side

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© 2011
All rights reserved






Volume 13 Issue 1, January 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 newsletter.
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Editor's note:

What a week!

2011 Snowstorm in Atlanta, GA

On Sunday evening, January 9th, snow began falling in Georgia. About two hours later, there was already a little over an inch covering the ground. By the next morning, we were amazed to find over six inches in most places.

For a southern state, this was officially a severe winter storm. Some news reports called it “Snowpocalypse 2011”. Because ice followed the snow, most schools were closed all week and several businesses could not open their doors for two or three days. Even UPS, FedEx, and the postal service were unable to make many deliveries. Conditions caused many to come up with ways to keep life moving.

Here at AutomationDirect, many were able to telecommute, providing our customers with the sales and technical support needed. Our logistics team worked diligently to have orders loaded and waiting for UPS and FedEx trucks to pick up, once roads were passable. By the third snow day, everything was almost back to normal. For everyone’s hard work and patience, we say, “Thank you.”

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

AutomationDirect 3D Models make Debut

AutomationDirect now has 3D CAD models available through TraceParts, an online provider of 2D drawings and 3D models. Customers can find the 3D models by going to and selecting the “AutomationDirect” listing. There are also direct links to the models from the item level pages on the AutomationDirect Web store. We will continue to maintain our libraries of 2D CAD drawings on our store site as well for the foreseeable future.

The TraceParts Online CAD portal is freely available to millions of CAD users worldwide, offering a convenient way to download 3D models in the most popular file formats. This initial launch includes 128 part numbers covering CLICK and Productivity3000 PLCs, C-More micro operator panels, PSP24 power supplies, and GH Series motor contactors and overloads.

We will continue to add 3D models on a monthly basis as new files are completed. Visit to view the complete list of models, and begin downloading at will!

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Latest Product News

CLICK standard CPUs
The CLICK line of micro brick PLCs now includes standard CPU units. The new units feature eight discrete inputs and six discrete outputs, available in four combinations of built-in I/O types. In addition to two RS-232 RJ12 communication ports, the standard CPU units are equipped with one RS-485 communication port and feature real-time clock and battery backup for the internal SRAM. Sold separately, the battery allows data to be stored for up to five years.

CLICK Standard CPU units start at $99. CLICK’s user-friendly programming software is downloadable for free at, providing the tools, layout, and interactivity needed for quick and intuitive program development. In addition, an online help file provides information to help users get acquainted with the software quickly.

To learn more about the Standard CLICK CPU units, visit

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Safety light curtains and limit switches
Safety Curtains and Switches

AutomationDirect now offers machine safety devices for use in industrial applications. Two series of safety light curtains (active optoelectronic protective devices) are designed for human protection and product/machine safety where risks cannot be eliminated by machine design and the process might require frequent and open access during operation.

The YBB-14 series has a 14mm sensing resolution for finger-size protection and an operating distance of up to 3.5 meters; protective heights range from 142 mm to 1,045 mm. The YBB-30 light curtains series has a 30 mm sensing resolution for hand protection and an operating distance of up to 12 meters; protective heights range from 279 mm to 1,827 mm.

All safety light curtains have Type 4 and Cat 4 PL e safety ratings and are IP65 rated. Light curtain sender prices start at $250.00 and receiver prices start at $275.00. Mounting brackets are included with each unit and additional mounting accessories and protective columns are available.

AutomationDirect has also added a line of machine guarding safety switches to detect unsafe conditions and isolate power. Normally-closed contacts are used for a positive break and redundant normally-closed contact and normally-open feedback outputs are available. The safety switches cannot be easily defeated and all units have CE, UL and CSA approvals. Four bases are available: 30mm plastic, 50mm zinc alloy, 40mm aluminum and 60mm aluminum. Four types of interlocks are available for common safety applications including tongue (key), shaft hinge, lever hinge interlocks and pull cord actuators with reset for emergency stop or without reset for simple stop. Safety interlock switches start at $15.00 and safety limit switches start at $12.75.

See the full line of safety products at:

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NITRA Pneumatics

NITRA Compact Pneumatic Air Cylinders

The NITRA™ pneumatic product line now includes a series of compact stainless steel, round body cylinders.

NITRA C-series cylinders

The new C-series cylinders feature type 304 stainless steel bodies with anodized aluminum alloy heads. The type 303 stainless piston rod is equipped with Buna “N” o-ring rod seals and sintered bronze rod bushings. The double-acting cylinders are available in 9/16-inch to three-inch bore sizes and stroke lengths from 0.25 inch to four inches. Optional clevis brackets and rod eyes are also available. Backed with a two-year warranty, C-series compact cylinders start at $33.

The full line of NITRA compact pneumatic air cylinders can be seen by visiting:

NITRA expands tubing and hose offering

NITRA Tubing

The NITRA line of pneumatic components has also been expanded to include new tubing and hose options, including bonded straight and coiled styles.

Available in 50-foot lengths, NITRA bonded polyurethane tubing is made by a continuous bonding process, resulting in a strong, organized, color-coded package with flexibility and kink resistance. The shore A 98 hardness rating provides tight outside diameter tolerance, making it ideal for use with NITRA push-to-connect fittings.
Available in 5/32 to ½-inch and 4mm to 12mm sizes, bonded straight tubing starts at $13.

NITRA polyurethane coiled tubing has also been added. Coiled tubing is available in single, double, and triple bonded configurations with double and triple coils in contrasting colors. Available in three working lengths, and in sizes ranging from 5/32-inch to 3/8-inch and 4mm to 10mm, prices start at $4.50.

The addition of pneumatic air hoses includes reinforced polyurethane straight, as well as coiled and reinforced coiled styles. Available in quarter-inch and 3/8-inch sizes, the hoses are fitted with one rigid and one swivel fitting, based on hose inside diameter.

Reinforced polyurethane hose comes in 25 and 50 foot packages. With a shore A 85 hardness rating, the hose is strong, flexible and kink resistant. Prices start at $11.50 for a 25-foot package.

NITRA coiled and reinforced coiled hoses are available in eight, 12 and 16-foot working lengths. Coiled hose has a shore A 98 hardness rating while the reinforced coiled hose has a shore A 85 hardness rating. Prices start at $12.50 for coiled hose and $23 for reinforced coiled hose.

See the full line of NITRA pneumatic tubing and hoses at

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Stellar full-featured soft starters
Stellar Full Featured Soft Starters

The Stellar soft starters line now includes the SR44 series of solid-state soft starters to control three-phase AC induction motors. The fully digital SR44 soft starters use thyristors in all three motor phases to provide controlled reduced voltage motor control for smooth acceleration/deceleration and reduced mechanical shock and starting stress.

The SR44 series features 115 or 230 VAC selectable control voltage, as well as easily and separately adjustable motor start and stop times. The Automatic Application Setup feature fully configures the starter for specific applications with one entry. The advanced energy-saving Optimizing Mode improves motor efficiency and power while delivering the demanded torque at low rpm.

These fully programmable units are equipped with six-button keypads with two-line, 32-character displays; programmable I/O for remote control applications include a single digital input and two relay outputs. An optional Modbus communication card and remote keypad are also available.

Suitable for a variety of motor loads, Stellar SR44 soft starters can be used for motor reversing, with external contactors, and can be connected “in-delta”, allowing for use of a smaller soft starter.

Stellar SR44 soft starters are UL listed, CE, REACH, and RoHS approved. Size 1 starters, with 9A to 146A current ratings, start at $769; Size 2 starters, with 174A to 370A current ratings, start at $2,030.

To learn more about the full line of Stellar Soft Starters, visit:

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What's the Latest Online?

Interview with Doug Bell

Interview with Doug Bell - Interconnecting Automation

You have read many times about Doug Bell and the training courses he hosts on AutomationDirect products. But, who is this guy and why do our customers rave about him?

Recently, Shane Crider sat down with Doug to find answers to these questions. You can view the interview on our site. [Watch Now]

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Upcoming Webinars

2011 is off to a great start. We have many Web seminars planned over the next several months. 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

  • C-more Micro Advanced Programming
    February 9th 2:00PM EST
  • Productivity 3000 Advanced Programming III
    February 23rd 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

Advanced Automation takes baking to the next level

Advanced AutomationAdvanced Automation, in Riverdale, New Jersey, has developed a minor-ingredient batching system to assist users in the baking industry to follow common regulatory requirements and food safety practices.

The Batch Process Analysis system (BPA) is a modular minor-ingredient batching system with a very small footprint, taking no more room inside a bakery than work benches regularly used today. The system was designed to not only save space but also be time and cost-efficient.

Advanced Automation

The BPA is equipped with stainless steel ingredient hoppers which are mainly controlled by two DirectLOGIC D2-260 PLCs and an industrial PC. User-friendly SCADA software tracks and records the activities of daily production runs, allowing bakeries to adhere to very strict standards set forth by food quality regulation associations, such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Safe Quality Food (SQF) and the American Institute of Baking (AIB).

Advanced Automation

Advanced AutomationThis SCADA technology also enables users to trace individual recipe batches back to unique lot numbers. By integrating major ingredients, such as flour, oil, and water, along with the minor ingredients, bakeries can easily repeat the desired outcome every time. The software also allows users to easily set production schedules as well as create new recipes simply with a few keystrokes.

With BPA’s modular design, Advanced Automation can provide systems to customers with as many ingredient hoppers as needed. Pictured above is the eight hopper system.

Due to the precision of BPA, many bakeries using this system have been pleased with the increased productivity and efficiency. They are assured that information being conveyed to the end user is accurate at all times. The SCADA software populates all production activity which can then be easily sorted to answer various queries, allowing information to be traced from the manufacturer to the retailer.

Advanced AutomationRecently, Advanced Automation demonstrated BPA at the International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas. Companies of all sizes showed great interest in how BPA allows for batching and mixing of minor ingredients and no longer requires human hands to complete recipes. They were further impressed that the entirely automated micro batching system, when integrated with major ingredients, has the ability to track all ingredients and activities from the individual ingredients’ lot number to the end user.

Marcelo Tise, president of Advanced Automation, stated, “We at Advanced Automation believe in the philosophy of ‘Eating with a small spoon.’ We are able to offer this to our customers because AutomationDirect offers good products at fair prices along with superior technical support, which we pass on to our customers.”

For a taste of how BPA works, checkout this video.

Remember, we are always looking for user application stories. 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.


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The Lighter Side
From an email sent to the editor

Winter in Georgia is usually rather mild. Besides the cold temperatures, precipitation we experience is normally in the form of rain. Recently, our state was hit by a severe winter storm. In many places, reports of 6-plus inches were reported. The snowfall was followed by ice. Some news reporters told of roads around Atlanta having as much as one inch of ice in places.

While this would not be considered a severe storm to residents in the northern and New England states, much of the state of Georgia was paralyzed. Schools were closed for a full week. Many businesses could not reopen for a few days.

Sledding in Georgia

It's interesting how a snowfall can bring out the kid in each of us. One of my neighbors built a snow ramp at the top of his driveway, with the intention of sledding with enough speed to cross the street and continue across my yard and down the hill. That was the idea anyway. Check out the video I posted of his first attempt.

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

© 2011
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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