Category: Applications

Special machines and custom projects

A Service Application – Bottle Blower

Usually my work involves designing and building new equipment, or occasionally completely rebuilding and upgrading old machines. Last week I got an emergency call from an existing customer that their production line was down and they couldn’t get help quickly

Posted in Applications, Packaging, troubleshooting Tagged with: , , , , ,

How To Design And Build A Small Controls Project

Today’s post is a response to frustration. Some times when dealing with potential customers you waste a lot of time trying to save them money. They may want you to cut corners, spend a lot of your time (for free)

Posted in Applications, Consulting, Controls Design, Machine Design, Techniques, Thoughts Tagged with: , , , ,

Hands On Training Equipment

This post is both an update on the status of “My Little Factory” and an article on some new fun trainers that I am working on. As you can see in the above picture, all of the hardware for the

Posted in Material Handling, My Little Factory, Process, Software & Programming, Trainers, vision Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Application: Sensor Choices 103

Today’s post concerns how sensor choices are made in real applications. I have written various posts on sensors in the past, and even participated in a Control Engineering webcast and forum last year on the topic. While I have covered

Posted in Applications, Machine Assembly and Fabrication, Photoeyes, Sensing, Sensors Tagged with: , , ,

Starbucks Roastery

A few weeks ago I made a trip to Seattle to visit my daughter Yuki and her family. She used to work at Starbucks’ corporate headquarters, and among other projects was involved in the design and startup of the Roastery, an

Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, Sales and Marketing Tagged with: , , ,

Are Things too Complicated?

Today’s post is inspired by an ongoing adventure I have been having in the design and fabrication of My Little Factory. For those who haven’t been following my post since the beginning of this year, a great deal of my

Posted in Automation Concepts, Conveyors, My Little Factory, Photoeyes, Sensors Tagged with: , , , ,

Super Vision!

As some of you may know, especially those of you who have known me since the 1990’s, machine vision used to be a major part of my career. I could conservatively say I was part of at least 40-50 vision

Posted in Applications, gauging, Vendors and Manufacturers, vision Tagged with: ,

Sensors 102: Signal Conditioning

Today’s post is about what goes on between an actual detection device and the input of a control system. In many control applications you don’t need to think about what goes on inside of a device. The signal is converted

Posted in Load Cells, Process, Product Development, Sensing Tagged with: , , , , ,

My Little Factory – April 2017

This post is the first in a series I am writing about a project I am working on, hence the “April 2017” designation. As most of my regular readers know, I have spent much of the past several years teaching

Posted in Applications, Conveyors, Load Cells, Material Handling, My Little Factory, PLCs, Pneumatics, Process, Sensors, The Course, Training, vision Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Make vs. Buy: An Infographic from Dorner Conveyors

This is a pretty cool article and Infographic from Dorner. I used to use them a lot in the old Automation Consulting Services, Inc. and working with NAS. As they mention in the infographic and in their blog, a lot

Posted in Consulting, Conveyors, Engineering, Machine Design, Vendors and Manufacturers Tagged with: , , , , ,

The IEM Dilemma

First I’d like to apologize for a term I’ve mis-used in the past, that of the OEM. I’ve always considered manufacturers of specific types of industrial equipment to be “OEM”s, or Original Equipment Manufacturers. After looking carefully at the various

Posted in CAD, Controls Design, Machine Builders and Integrators, Packaging, Panelbuilding, Product Development, Vendors and Manufacturers Tagged with: , , , , ,