AutomationDirect E-mail Newsletter

E-Notes from Captain's Log aboard
Volume 6 Issue 1

Welcome to our periodic e-mail update of what's new and happening at AutomationDirect. You are receiving this e-news because you subscribed to the AutomationDirect newsletter. Just go to if you wish to unsubscribe.

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Happy New Year! We hope 2003 was a successful year for you and that 2004 brings even more success!

Believe it or not, 2004 marks the 10-year anniversary of AutomationDirect! We've got lots in store for 2004, including new products, more Web seminars and our first trade show appearance! Check out "Company News" for more information about our booth at National Manufacturing Week in Chicago this year.

Feedback to this newsletter is always welcome at




  • Come see AutomationDirect at National Manufacturing Week in Chicago
  • Schedule for Interconnecting Automation training


  • AutomationDirect partners with FUJI Electric to offer new line of motor controls
  • ¼ to 10 HP Marathon motors now available
  • EZTouch line expanded to include MODBUS TCP/IP
  • DL05/DL06 thermocouple module converts thermocouple signals into temperature readings
  • Fast response discrete I/O module available for DL05/DL06



  • Equipment lease financing option


  • Filtering of Noisy Process Variables


  • Application of the month





Come see AutomationDirect at National Manufacturing Week in Chicago

AutomationDirect HQAutomationDirect is 10 years old this year, and we'd like you to come help us celebrate! We're having a party at National Manufacturing Week, Feb. 23-26, 2004, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, to thank everyone who helped us achieve this milestone. We invite you to drop by Booth 5611 and meet some of our team members, including company president Tim Hohmann, who have worked to give you outstanding service through the years. Join us for technical demonstrations, and see displays and literature for new products, including Fuji Electric motor controls, Marathon MicroMax motors, relays, signal conditioners and more. We'll also be presenting product overviews in our seminar area throughout the week. And the best part - free food! Stop at the Hospitality Desk for A.M. wake-up coffee and brownies, and P.M. popcorn and a refreshing glass of water. Remember, Booth 5611 - see you there!

Schedule for Interconnecting Automation Training classes

Interconnecting 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 first half of 2004:

Introductory Classes:
March 2-4 Atlanta, GA
April 6-8 Irvine, CA
May 4-6 Charlotte, NC
June 22-24 Orlando, FL

Advanced Classes:
February 10-12 Dallas, TX
March 23-25 Milwaukee, WI
May 11-13 Atlanta, GA
June 1-3 Irvine, CA

ICA logoInterConnecting Automation is also now offering a PID class. Doug Bell will team up with Cecil Smith, a 30 years+ expert in PID function. The class is two days and is strictly devoted to PID function. You'll get experience with state-of-the-art equipment and have the benefit of two instructors at your disposal.

The PID class will educate you on the short cuts and tools that the experts know and use. You will learn to setup, tune, troubleshoot and debug PID loops. You'll also get experience adjusting the gain, reset, rate, and many other PID parameters, to see how they affect the loop.

Interconnecting Automation will offer this class only twice this year (May 18-19 and a December date yet to be determined) and it will be held at AutomationDirect headquarters in Atlanta, GA. If you are interested in attending, visit and email your name, address, and phone number. InterConnecting Automation will then contact you with information on this specialty class.

For more information on Interconnecting Automation, call 414-425-8348, email them at or visit their web site.

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Fuji motor controlsAutomationDirect partners with FUJI Electric to offer new line of motor controls

We now carry Fuji Electric's DUO series line of motor contactors, overload relays, and manual motor starters, as well as their Odyssey line of large contactors and overloads. The new offering provides complete motor control solutions up to 300 horsepower. The conventional starters in the DUO line can accommodate motors up to 100 horsepower at 480 VAC, while MMS combination starters can accommodate motors up to 40 horsepower at 480 VAC. The Odyssey Series of contactors come in sizes up to 300 horsepower at 480 VAC. Both the DUO and Odyssey lines will be available in 24 VAC, 24 VDC, 120 VAC, and 240 VAC coil versions. A complete line of accessories will also be available. Prices start at $12.75.

¼ to 10 HP Marathon motors now available

Marathon motorsAutomationDirect has joined together with Marathon Motors to offer Marathon's performance-matched microMAX™motors. Ranging from ¼ HP to 10 HP, the microMAX inverter-duty motor line is offered with dual 230/460 VAC voltages and a base speed of 1800 RPM. The motors feature a constant torque speed range of 1000:1 (TENV) and 20:1 (TEFC). Other design features include linear torque characteristics, superior starting torque (up to 400%), excellent torque-to-inertia, and smooth, low-speed performance. Motor estimated life before maintenance is up to 100,000 hours The motors range in price from $109 to $789.

EZTouch line expanded to include MODBUS TCP/IP

Slim bezel EZTouchWe've expanded our EZTouch line to include 6, 8, 10 and 15-inch MODBUS TCP/IP Ethernet slim bezel models. Models are available with a pre-installed interface card that allows operation with either MODBUS TCP/IP Ethernet or AutomationDirect PLC Ethernet network. As an alternative, the EZ-ETHERPLUS option card can be purchased, which enables panels to connect to PLCs (and other devices, including PCs and WinPLCs) using the MODBUS TCP/IP protocol. Panels with MODBUS TCP/IP pre-installed start at $1,069 and the EZ-ETHERPLUS option card is priced at $239.

DL05/DL06 thermocouple module converts thermocouple signals into temperature readings

The new F0-04RTD four-channel thermocouple temperature input module for the DL05 and DL06 line of PLCs offers 0.1 degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit resolution. The module automatically converts types E, J, K, R, S, T, B, N, or C thermocouple signals into direct temperature readings. Diagnostic features include detection of thermocouple burnout or disconnection. The module is priced at $199. For more information on the thermocouple module, visit

Fast response discrete I/O module available for DL05/DL06

The D0-10ND3F is a fast response 10-point (sinking/sourcing) DC input module with an operating voltage range of 12- 24 VDC. It has 2 isolated commons (5 pts. per common) with a removable terminal. The module is priced at $47. For further details, visit


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Signal conditioners now available

Signal conditionersOur signal conditioners protect your expensive electronic equipment against ground loops with up to 1500 V of isolation. Four models of DIN-rail mountable signal conditioners are now being offered including:

Prices start at $89.

AutomationDirect teams up with Cirronet to develop wireless radio modems

Cirronet™ Inc., and AutomationDirect® announced a partnership to tailor Cirronet's wireless products to the needs of AutomationDirect's industrial automation customers. A variety of wireless serial and Ethernet radio modems will be offered, along with associated antenna, cable, adapter and power plug accessories. Product availability is planned for the first quarter of 2004 through AutomationDirect.

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Equipment lease financing option

AutomationDirect has partnered with Premier Funding Group, Inc., a national equipment leasing company, to provide a lease financing option for purchases over $3,000. This program allows you to spread out payments for your order into convenient monthly installments ranging between 24 - 60 months. This can help you get critical equipment for your business without depleting capital that may be needed for other purposes. Because of the fixed rate, leasing can also help stabilize cash flow and budgeting for your business operations. Credit approvals are typically processed within 4 hours and final lease agreements within 24 hours. If you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact the Premier Funding Group via email at or via phone at (866) 244-6483. If you are interested in pursuing a lease on an upcoming purchase, you can begin the process by speaking with one of our customer service personnel at (800) 633-0405, or while shopping in our online store, look for "Lease Financing" as one of the payment options during the checkout process.

If you have ideas or suggestions on how we can make our Web site serve your needs better, we want to hear them. Please email us at

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Filtering of Noisy Process Variables
by Luis Miranda, ADC Tech Support team member

The problem of noisy signals in the measurement of process variables can typically be solved with careful design, taking into account components, layout, wiring, grounding, shielding, etc. However, no matter which layout you select, electrical noise may still be present in the input signal of a PLC.

In the most severe cases, it is necessary to resort to signal filtering, either by hardware or software, to smooth the reading. The value of the process variable can also be unstable due to the quality of the measuring instrument. For example, in the cement industry, the signal output generated by impact flowmeters of granulated or dusty raw materials results in a value that must be averaged. Even the value of the gasoline level in an automobile tank needs to have an algorithm that calculates the average of several readings, to prevent the needle of the indicator from jumping when the automobile moves.

Running average is one of the methods used to smooth readings of analog values. In this algorithm, the parameters are the number of samples and the sampling period of the signal. This method consists of taking a consecutive number of readings, not necessarily at the same frequency of the CPU scan, and placing them in a table. In each sampling, the new value is placed at the top of the table, all the other values will move downwards, and the oldest value is lost. At the same time, all the values of the table are added and the arithmetic average of those values becomes the running average. Then, in each reading, there is a value that is the average of all the samples. If it is known that the process variable varies slowly, as is the case with temperatures or water level in a tank, this method can be easily applied.

A solution for AutomationDirect's DirectLOGIC PLCs is as follows:

In this example diagram (diagram will open in a web browser window), assume that there is a range of temperature with a noise signal that can cause the value of the signal to jump instantaneously, which can then cause a non-acceptable deviation or enough change to activate an alarm. We want to smooth the reading of a 12 bit analogic signal read by a PLC with a scan time of 9 milliseconds, (i.e., on each 9 msec there is an update of the reading). In the example, we will take a value each 11 CPU scans.

The table to use is V10000, with 10 consecutive registers, or a table of a length 10 (V10000 until V10011). The signal value to be averaged is V4000. The result is obtained in V5000 as a BCD value.

Next you can see an implementation of the algorithm with a period of sampling of 100 milliseconds and 10 samples. This can be extended to more samples, and the period can be changed within the possibilities of the CPU. Furthermore, the averaging and sampling in each CPU scan can be done by slightly modifying the program.

If you have any questions concerning these types of applications, or any other application questions, visit our tech support page on the Web at or call us at 770-844-4200.

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Application of the month: DL205 and EZTouch increases productivity for coil form manufacturer

Products used: DL205 and 6" EZTouch

Description: Cosmo Corporation produces coil forms for the electrical and electronic industries. This includes thermoplastic and thermoset molding as well as round wire, square wire, flat terminals, and assemblies. My challenge was to improve the assembly operations. By implementing systems using the DL205 and EZTouch panels, I was able to build user-friendly controls which include automatic and manual operation, but more importantly, complete diagnostics and data collection at the touch of a button. The new controls and diagnostics reduced maintenance requirements to the barest minimum, and the data collection provides production with accurate, real-time operator, part number, and machine capability information. This being a newly implemented project, the full impact of the improvements is yet to be appreciated, however I can say that the reduction in maintenance, increased reliability, and improved performance has improved productivity by nearly 14%, and the production data provides information for accurate/competitive pricing of our products.

Submitted by:
John E. Horne
Cosmo Corporation

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

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Hidden Countries
In each of the sentences below, the names of two countries are hidden. For example, the sentence: "Interpol and the FBI track down hidden marksmen" conceals the names POLAND and DENMARK.See if you can find all twenty hidden countries:

1. Vladimir and Olga are Soviet names.
2. Have you ever heard an animal talk in dialect?
3. The children put on galoshes to go out in the rain.
4. Extra tuition will help an amateur to improve his painting.
5. In the United Nations we denounce the wholesale ban on atomic weapons.
6. Rash decisions may lead to trouble so thorough analysis is required.
7. The prince has not found a home yet since leaving his fine palace.
8. Such a display could be either really grand or rather disappointing.
9. Give the dog a bone and give him a little water.
10. If an iron pipe rusts you just have to shrug and accept it.

See the solutions at the end of this newsletter.

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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 United States. 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
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Cumming GA 30040
2004 All rights reserved

Solution to "The Lighter Side"

1. Iran and Vietnam
2. Malta and India
3. Tonga and Togo
4. Panama and Spain
5. Sweden and Lebanon
6. Lesotho and Ghana
7. Dahomey and Nepal
8. Chad and Andora
9. Gabon and Mali
10. Peru and Uganda