Category: Hardware

Mechanical and electrical hardware

My New Trainers!

Well, its official. I have my first actual PLC trainers, in addition to the ones on the wall in My Little Factory. I think they’re awesome! They did take 8 weeks to build, but as more are made I think

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Posted in My Little Factory, PLCs, Trainers, Training Tagged with: , , , ,

Ladder Logic 208: System Routine 2

Today’s post is a continuation of the series on PLC Ladder Logic I started several years ago; for more of these post click on the PLC tab at the top of the site. In particular this continues my discussion of

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Posted in PLCs, Software & Programming 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

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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

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

Unitronics

Today’s post, as promised last week, is written by Ryan McCarthy, a reader of this blog. While I always offer to place a reciprocal link to the website of whoever contributes guest posts to this site, amazingly Ryan is neither

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Posted in PLCs, Vendors and Manufacturers 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

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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

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

Automate/Promat 2017

Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending my second Automate and Promat show in Chicago. I wrote an earlier post on the Automate 2015 show, but when I went back and re-read it I realized that I actually

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Posted in Robots, Sales and Marketing, Vendors and Manufacturers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Birth of the Programmable Controller

Today’s post is extracted from my new “generic” PLC course manual, PLC Hardware and Programming – Multi-Platform. In the manual, I also cover the origins of the computer, beginning with the Babbage Analytical Engine, all the way back in 1823!

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Posted in PLCs Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sensors 101 – Control System Inputs

In today’s post I’m going to ask you to think of sensors in a different way. Most engineers who are specifying equipment think of sensors as discrete or analog devices, proxes or photoelectrics, flow or pressure sensors, thermocouples and the

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Posted in Automation Concepts, Sensing, Sensors Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,