Category: Trades

Jobs in the automation field

Four years ago I relaunched my old company, Automation Consulting Services, Inc. as Automation Consulting, LLC. For the first year or so I spent a lot of time contracting for machine builders and engineering firms, mostly writing PLC and HMI/SCADA …

Teaching and Consulting Read More »

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Today’s topic derives from a project I have become involved in in my “spare” time. Lately I have been spending a lot more time teaching classes. My project in Miami is mostly complete, so I have been able to get …

Fieldservers and Protocol Converters Read More »

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The following story is from my book Industrial Automation: Hands On (McGraw-Hill, 2013). I wrote it to illustrate how a machine or production line is concepted, purchased, designed, built and delivered. This is a pretty typical description of the procedures …

Building The Machine: A Bedtime Story Read More »

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Its been about two years since I made Mastering the Machine available on this website. For those who haven’t read it, it is a short e-book describing the process of concepting, quoting, building and installing custom machinery. I have also …

The True Cost of Custom Machinery Read More »

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Hello from Atlanta, Georgia where I am about to teach a 4 day class on Siemens’ TIA Portal. I have been away from home for two weeks trying to finish up my project down at American Beverage Depot in Miami …

The Big Toys Read More »

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As many of you know from reading this blog, I spend about 40% of my time teaching software programming classes for Automation Training, a Canadian company. I started out teaching the Allen-Bradley SLC and ControlLogix platforms and Siemens Step 7 …

Wonderware Read More »

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When designing a control system, sometimes it becomes necessary or advantageous to communicate with devices that were not made by the PLC manufacturer. If these devices need to be placed on an Ethernet, DeviceNet or Profibus network there are methods …

Non-Native Devices: .eds and .gsd files Read More »

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When mapping out a new machinery or system project it is critical that the correct decisions are made before beginning design. The choices of products, vendors and service providers can make or break a project before it even gets off …

Finding Project Resources Read More »

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Today’s topic involves a project I have been working on over the last few months. The project consists of adding process equipment including tanks, pumps, valves and instrumentation to an existing system… while it is running. Because production runs 24 …

Ladder Logic 303: PLC Forensics Read More »

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Hello from Miami again! I do feel bad for all of you who are stuck in the frozen Northland, my home town near Nashville, Tennessee is supposed to get 8-12 inches of snow in the next couple of days. Its …

On Site Panelbuilding Read More »

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