What’s this about?

Welcome to The Automation Primer, the culmination of one of my biggest professional goals: to share my hard-won knowledge from years of experience in automation technology. When I began writing my book, there simply wasn’t something like this out there — a free community-focused resource dedicated to automation concepts and terminology.

Industrial automation is tricky: the theoretical requirements are great, but the practical knowledge necessary is even greater. The traditional ways of teaching automation simply don’t transfer the practical knowledge you obtain after years of experience. Sure, you can learn a lot of mathematical and scientific concepts that will give you an excellent theoretical understanding of the field, but which fail to provide the necessary practical knowledge that normally comes from years of trial-and-error.


On this site, you’ll find samples of my book, Industrial Automation: Hands On, published by McGraw-Hill Professional, a complete tutorial on industrial automation.

You’ll also find user-submitted articles and blog posts that run the gamut of automation techniques and tips. Have something to add to the discussion? Want to promote your product or site? Contribute an article. I’ll edit, format, and publish it with full attribution to you.

This is the site I wished for when I was getting started in automation.

—Frank Lamb
Author of Industrial Automation: Hands On
Founder, AutomationPrimer.com.


I also provide automation systems and services through my company Automation Consulting, LLC, located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Some of the subjects you will find covered on this site: Industrial Automation, machine design, control systems, software and programming, PLCs and HMIs, SCADA, motion control, robotics, sensors including proxes and photoeyes, systems integration, Six Sigma/Lean Manufacturing, packaging machinery, material handling and conveyors, machine vision, metalforming machinery, jobs and trades related to the automation industry, assembly machines, gauging and a host of other subjects. If you see something missing, let me know!

21 comments on “What’s this about?
  1. Paul Bellan says:



    1. An extensive, simple-to-read, physics-based tutorial on the various forms of electrical interference and how to deal with them. The tutorial discusses electrostatic coupling, inductive coupling, radiative coupling, ground loops, and transmission line issues.

    2. A description of the Loop Slooth diagnostic for rapid troubleshooting of electrical ground loops in complex situations.

  2. Phranc says:

    Thanks, looks like a useful tool as well as valuable information. If you are interested in posting an article here for one of my two weekly posts please let me know.

  3. AK says:

    Would be interested in more content on motion automation

    • Phranc says:

      You’re right, I haven’t covered that much. I’ll address it in today’s post but would love if you’d do a guest post or article sometime, always appreciate feedback.

  4. sharath says:

    The way explain is good
    Boost Electronics: Design & Supply of Electrical & Automation Systems , Control & PLC Panels manufacturers, Electronic & Contract Manufacturing Services,Relay cum Field Interfacing Modules manufacturers, Custom built Active & Passive Interfacing Modules.

    • Phranc says:

      I appreciate all comments and links related to automation contributed by anyone on this site, unfortunately sometimes the links don’t work. I would like to check these links out, could you post the actual websites here? I can also add them to my “Resources” page.

  5. Automation says:

    Traditional or bookish knowledge is not enough at all, practical knowledge is very important, thanks for sharing your books with us.

  6. garrymoore says:

    hi to all automationprimer.comers this is my first post and thought i would say hi –
    speak soon
    garry m

  7. Hi there,

    I just read a post on lockout tagout you posted a while back on your blog: http://automationprimer.com/2012/09/16/safety-standards/

    I thought you might be interested in a resource of free lockout tagout safety powerpoint presentations we just published, check it out: http://complianceandsafety.com/blog/lockout-tagout-powerpoint

    You’re more than welcome to use any of the content in this resource on your site. We want it to help as many people as possible.

    Thanks a lot!

    Matthew Pelletier
    Director of Public Relations
    Compliance and Safety

  8. Doug W says:

    I’m just finding all this information mind boggling. I really appreciate this practical knowlege sharing. i haven’t been able to find this kind of stuff anywhere. I work on automation in the real world and these subjects have already explained a lot to me as well as taught me some new tricks. I’m really going to like this.

  9. This is such a great informative website! Nice work Frank!

  10. nadim says:

    This is a great site
    I be been looking for some books on panel designing, but did not get anything but now I found this site is very useful for new design engineers. Like me.
    Thank you Frank.

  11. Matt H says:

    This is great information! Keep it up!

  12. I have a large collection of white papers and case studies from various manufacturers in the automation space. Rittal, Panduit, etc. http://www.bgbsupply.com/page/whitepapers. There is also the blog that has some resources as well. http://www.beyondthegraybox.com/

  13. This site is excellent, any way to make it a community of sorts to help with contributions? I work with a number of control panel builders and system integrators and we are creating all sorts of collateral. Videos, best practices, product guides, etc.

    • Frank says:

      I’d love for this to become a forum for discussions etc, but that is really more up to the people who visit the site rather than me. I try to post relevant and interesting automation-related information here and always welcome contributions.

  14. aeab says:

    Great information about the Automation. Click here for more information on Siemens solution partner

  15. Yes! Finally something about MITSUBISHI PLC Training Software.

    • Frank says:

      I have mostly covered A-B and Siemens in this blog with a couple of guest posts on Idec and Panasonic. I would love to have someone do a post on Mitsubishi since I don’t know much about it.

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