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  In this issue
    Company News
    -Get your Warranty Return number the easy way - online!
    -VEX Robotics World Championships
    Latest Product News
    - M18 Rectangular Photo Sensors
    - 65mm Mushroom Head Push Buttons
    What's the Latest Online?
    -Upcoming Web seminars
    Application innovations
    -Renewable energy on the road
    The Lighter Side

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© 2011
All rights reserved






Volume 13 Issue 4, April 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:

Ready for the next phase

Almost time for the future!

As April comes to a close, many families are preparing for high school and college graduation ceremonies. But it doesn't stop there. The next phase begins. For many, college begins. For some, it's the beginning of a military career. For everyone, it's taking that next step.

Here at AutomationDirect, we continue on to the next phase with the introduction of new products and continued award-winning technical support of over 10,000-plus products.

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

Get your Warranty Return number the easy way - online!

Easy returns online


We have tried to make our product return process one of the easiest and least stressful you've experienced. As a matter of fact, we get "love letters" from customers telling us how pleasant it was to return a product to us! (We love to hear that, but we don't recommend doing it just for the experience.) But when you really do need to return a product that is under warranty, you can now obtain the Return Authorization under your account via the Web. (All date codes and/or serial numbers must be supplied before the RA can be issued.) The process is this easy:

  1. After you have logged in to your AutomationDirect account, visit our Returns page and choose the appropriate return reason.
  2. You'll see a list of your orders which fall within the selected return window. Choose the order which contains the items you wish to return.
  3. Verify your contact information, view the list of items from your order, and enter the quantities you need to return. Then "Submit" the return.
  4. The Returns Team will look over your return request, and if everything checks out, the necessary paperwork and instructions will be sent to you immediately. (You can also obtain a 30-day money-back return authorization online.)

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AutomationDirect sponsors VEX Robotics World Championships

VEX 2011 ChampionshipAutomationDirect was pleased to sponsor the recent VEX Robotics World Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (within Disney World) near Orlando, Florida April 14-16. Over 500 teams comprised of 3500 high school, middle school, and collegiate students came together to celebrate their accomplishments and compete with (and against) the best of the best. These were the top robotics teams from over 200 VEX tournaments that took place around the world from May 2010 to March 2011.

Eleven teams from our local school system (Forsyth County, GA) qualified to attend,and one of those teams (from NorthForsyth High) made it to the semifinal round! Congratulations to all the teams who made it to Orlando.

Forsyth AllianceAfter a series of intense back-to-back matchesandelimination rounds, the High School Champion alliance emerged with teams comprised of Massachusetts' Green Egg Robotics Club, Washington's W.A.S.A.B.I. 2 and Ontario, Canada's Simbotics teams.

The Middle School Champion represented an alliance of China teams from Sichuan Chengdu Longjiang Road Primary School and the Shanghai Luwan Teenagers Activity Center.

The College Championship title went to Massey University from New Zealand. In addition, one team from each of the three divisions was presented with an Excellence Award, the highest honor in the VEX Robotics Competition, given to the team with the most well-rounded VEX Robotics Program. Middle School, High School and College Excellence Award winners included, the VEXMEN: NightCrawler team from Downingtown Area Robotics in Downingtown, Pa., the Cheesy Poofs from Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Calif., and Massey University in New Zealand.

Learn more about VEX:

Watch some videos from this year's event.

Final 2011 standings can be found here. Click within subcategories to see results list.

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Latest Product News

M18 rectangular photo sensors now available

M18 rectangular photo sensors

Our photoelectric sensor offering now includes 18mm rectangular plastic DC models. The IP67 rated sensors, available in 12 models, feature an 18mm diameter threaded lens and M12 quick-disconnect.

The GX3 series is a diffuse photoelectric available with either NPN or PNP light-on outputs and features background suppression technology with fixed sensing distances of 100 mm or 150 mm. GX3 series prices start at $49.

The GXP series is a polarized reflective photoelectric available with either PNP light-on output or NPN or PNP dark-on output and feature fixed sensing distances of up to 20 meters. GXP sensors include one round reflector. GXP series prices start at $39.

The GXR/E series are through-beam photoelectric models available with either NPN or PNP light-on or dark-on outputs and offer fixed sensing distances of up to four meters. GXR series receiver prices start at $35. GXE receiver-dependent emitters are available for $30.

View the full line at

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Fuji 65mm Mushroom Head Pushbuttons

Fuji 30mm push buttons with 65mm operators

Our selection of pushbuttons now includes Fuji Command 30mm metal pushbuttons with 65mm mushroom-style operators. The momentary non-illuminated pushbuttons are available in four colors and come with either a single normally-open contact block (red available as normally-closed) or with one normally-open and one normally-closed contact block. Replacement contact blocks are available in single packs. UL listed and CSA certified, prices start at $19.

See the Fuji Command 30mm pushbuttons at

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What's the Latest Online?

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 -
    May 11th 2:00PM EST
  • DirectSoft 5 Advanced I -
    June 8th 2:00PM EST
  • AC Drives -
    June 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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Application Innovations

Renewable energy on the road

The Green Power Alternative Demonstrator, or G-PAD, is a portable electrical generation station used at fairs, festivals and other events - for demonstration of green energy applications, and related electrical and automation functions. The G-PAD collects, stores, and delivers clean electrical power and is often used to help power these events using its built-in solar panels and extendable wind turbine.

The G-PAD was engineered and built by Industrial Technology Solutions, a systems integrator in Columbus, Ohio for the Electrical Industry of Central Ohio Labor Management Cooperation Committee (LMCC) and the Electrical Trades Center. The LMCC is comprised of the Central Ohio Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 683.

The G-PAD incorporates numerous AutomationDirect products including a DL06 PLC, two GS2 Variable Frequency Drives, 2 ¼ hp Ironhorse Motors, and an 8" C-more Touchpanel HMI. Look for a full article about the GPAD in a future Automation Notebook issue.

For more information, including some events/dates where you may be able to see the G-PAD in action, please visit:

You can check out our list of application stories here.


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The Lighter Side

From the minds of the future
(Test answers given by young students)

The Light Side

Q: What is a nitrate?
A: Much cheaper than a day rate

Q: What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common?
A: Unusual names

Q: What was one of the early Romans' greatest achievements?
A: Learning to speak Latin

Q: What is the name of Orpheus's wife, whom he attempted to save from the underworld?
A: Mrs. Orpheus

Q: Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed?
A: At the bottom

Q: What is a fibula?
A: A little lie

Q: What is a stand-alone computer system?
A: One that doesn't come with a chair.

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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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