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  In this issue
    Company News
  Driving down drives and motors prices
    New Products
  SureServo hits the market
  Thin finger wire duct now available
  Sensor line extended
  More 22mm pushbutton options
    Product Short Takes
  C-more touch panels
    Tech Talk
  FIRST Robotics update
    The Lighter Side

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© 2006
All rights reserved






Volume 8 Issue 1, January 2006
Welcome to the first issue of our 2006 e-mail update of what's new and happening at AutomationDirect. You are receiving this e-news because you subscribed to the newsletter. To unsubscribe, see the top of this newsletter for an automatic unsubscribe link.

Remember, we are always looking for more application stories to add to our library of short summaries (100 words or so) online in the Application Story Center , as well as full-length articles on Automation Notebook. If you submit a summary that gets published, we'll credit your customer account $50. Better yet, if the information is developed into a full-length article, it gets you $500 credit. Check out the Story Center and tell us your tale!

We always welcome your comments or suggestions concerning this newsletter.

Editor's note:

Another Successful Year
Thanks to you, our customers, AutomationDirect has once again been voted #1 in customer service. During September, survey forms were sent to about 15,000 CONTROL DESIGN subscribers, who have authority to specify, recommend, or purchase industrial automation and control products for industrial machines.

This voting is entirely and only for machine builder and system integrator readers. According to Joe Feeley, Editor-in-chief of Control Design , the “ballot is what's known as an unaided survey. We don't include a list of vendors or product brands to choose from. We listed 50-odd hardware and software categories and asked participants to name the best company for the products with which they have experience.” Only companies that received a minimum of 5% share of the vote in their specific category were included in the published results.

We realize the importance of serving our customers with the best technical support. That's why we strive to continually train our technicians with the latest information available. With your help, 2006 will be another successful year.

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Company News
AutomationDirect Announces Lower Prices on AC Drives and Motors
Lower prices on Drives and MotorsDrive down the cost of your system! AutomationDirect is lowering its prices on GS1/GS2 and DURApulse drives, as well as Marathon motors. You can now save an average of 18% on the complete line of GS1, GS2, and DURApulse drives, as much as 24% on certain models.

The Marathon lines of MicroMAX, Black Max, Blue Max, and Blue Chip inverter duty motors have been reduced 10% on every part number. Prices for drives and motors now start at $99. This gives you more flexibility to match up our drives and motors cost-effectively (the more restrictive combo pricing program is being eliminated). Check out for more information and new pricing.

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New Products

SureServo Digital Servo Systems Now Available New Sureservo systems
AutomationDirect now offers the SureServo line of digital servo systems. The l ine includes eight standard AC brushless servo motors, in both brake and non-brake models, and can be operated in combination with one of three standard servo drives. These servos can be used with Direct LOGIC PLCs or any other host controller.

The SureServo drives feature on-board indexer and adaptive tuning modes. This allows for the highest possible level of performance for precise control of position, velocity, and torque. You will also find a broad range of power with the SureServo system (up to 3 kW). Plus, with its closed-loop control, you can expect a higher response. Count on more torque at speeds up to 5,000 rpm.

The SureServo line offers everything you need: motors, drives, cables, software, and various accessories. Prices for drives start at $479 for a 100W low inertia model. Motors start at $319.

More information on SureServo systems

Thin-Finger Wire Duct Thin-finger wire duct

The new T1E series thin-finger wire duct is ideal for applications requiring compact wiring. The narrow thin-finger design is compatible with thinner screwless terminal blocks. The thin-finger wire duct is available in 2 meter lengths and comes with a non-slip flush cover. It is available in single pieces (cover included) or by the case. Single pieces are available for $14. .

More information on Thin-finger wire duct

Sensors, Sensors, and More Sensors
AutomationDirect expands its sensor line with a number of new series.

UHZ ultrasonic seriesThe UHZ ultrasonic series is available with an 18-30 VDC input supply range and PNP or NPN transistor outputs.  The UHZ series has a maximum sensing distance of 300 mm, is IP67 rated and features electrical protection from short circuit, overvoltage, and reverse polarity. The UHZ series is sold as a through-beam pair starting at $159. 

The FARS series, starting at $45, are 18 mm non-metal tubular diffuse sensors featuring background suppression. All models are available in a choice of 10-30 VDC PNP or NPN transistor outputs.

The MQ series AC diffuse photoelectric, with a unique 90-degree optic NEW sensorspackage, fits in a standard 18 mm mounting bracket or mounting hole. These 20-250 VAC sensors with background suppression feature an M12 disconnect. Prices start at $59.

The 8 mm tubular stainless steel HEE/HER series consists of through-beam sensor pairs available in a choice of 10-30 VDC PNP or NPN transistor outputs. Prices start at $80 for an emitter/receiver through-beam pair.

More information on sensors

New 22mm Pushbutton Configurations Available
Red, green and black 22mm metal momentary flush and extended pushbuttons are now also available as assemblies without contact blocks.  These pushbutton operators have 30mm actuators and mount in a 22mm hole. Each unit includes the operator and support base only. Both pushbutton styles are CSA, IMQ (where specified), and UL approved. Contact blocks can be purchased separately in packs of two or five. The contact blocks can be mounted up to three deep and two wide.
Price for these new pushbutton assemblies is $4.50

More information on Pushbuttons

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New Products

C-more touch panelsC-more Touch Panels
The new C-more touch panel programming software features a project simulator which saves the developer hours of programming and debugging time by providing the ability to view the project on the PC screen exactly as it will appear on the touch screen.
C-more touch panels start at $425.

More information on C-more touch panels

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Tech Talk

FIRST Robotics Team Update
The Forsyth Alliance, a team of local high school students sponsored by AutomationDirect to participate in the FIRST organization's 15th Robotics competition, spent the fall months building last year's robot to gain the experience needed to hit the ground running this January when this spring's competition was officially launched. Skills the students have learned in the last twelve weeks include: microprocessor programming, principles of servos, hydraulics and pneumatics, welding, CAD and 3-D modeling programs, and more.

See for pictures of the completed test robot in operation.

At the Kickoff two weeks ago, all teams were shown this year's game field for the first time and will receive a common kit of parts and a manual of game rules and regulations. Registered teams then have 42 days to take the 300-lb. pile of parts and design, build, test and ship a 130-lb. man-sized robot to a FIRST regional competition in their area starting in March 2006. 

The game this year is named “Aim High”, and is similar to a basketball court. On each end is a wall with three goals. The objective is simple – to shoot, push or roll balls through any of the goals for pro-rated points. The game consists of three periods in which two alliances of three robot teams each compete against each other.

In the first period, one team alliance is on offense, the other is on defense. In the second period, the roles reverse. During the final period of the game, both goals are turned back on and both alliances can score. During the last 40-second period, teams will need to get all three robots in their alliance up on a platform in front of each station wall to obtain bonus points. Teams winning their regional competitions will move on to the Championship event at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in April.

For more information about FIRST and the competition,

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The Lighter Side

Favorite Christmas funnies from or heard by our teamers
“Now that the holidays have past, it's fun to reflect on the memories of family gatherings. All those enjoyable times meeting at Grandma's house for the huge dinner can never be forgotten. This is especially true when things don't go too smoothly. Oftentimes, my mother reminds me of the time I was a young sprout of about four.

Like every year, my aunt had brought her family of four up from Atlanta to spend Christmas with our family of five. My cousin and I were notorious for being, shall we say, mischievous. He and I woke up before everyone else on Christmas morning. You can only imagine the shock and delight we experienced when we saw what Santa had left under the tree. In our minds, there must have been a gazillion gifts. We quietly began pilfering for our presents. Since neither of us was able to read yet, we opened all of them. The only thing we knew for sure was the dolls had to be for our sisters.

To this day, my mother still reminds me of what a hard time she and my aunt had trying to remember, with five kids in the house, who got which gift.”

“I was anticipating that this past Christmas would be the one where my youngest daughter, 11, figured out that Santa Claus was not real. However, it was clear that wasn't going to be the case after she opened a gift from Santa I knew she had wanted very much, and exclaimed ‘Santa must be like God, because he knew what I wanted and I didn't even put it on my Christmas List!'”

Heard on a local radio station:  “We had gotten a beautiful Christmas tree from a tree farm, and after decorating it in high style, concluded it was the best one we'd ever had. The feeling changed to horror when we noticed two dark lines emanating from the tree, and discovered it was fire ants! We hustled the tree outside, doused it with chemicals and let it sit for a few days before bringing it back inside. By then it had started to turn brown from the rough treatment, but we put it up anyway, not wanted to spring for another one. Right after Christmas, we went out and bought an artificial tree – we won't have that problem again!”

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

© 2006
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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