Blog Archives

Tips on Starting an Automation Business

Today’s post is in response to Barry Brock, who asked: “I have been doing machine modifications and automating/upgrading machines for many years . I really am at a point of starting my own business and would appreciate any advice getting

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Posted in Business, Machine Builders and Integrators, Me

Building The Machine: A Bedtime Story

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

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Posted in Machine Assembly and Fabrication, Machine Design, The Book

The Big Toys

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

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Posted in Applications, Machine Assembly and Fabrication, Machine Builders and Integrators, Me

Machine Start-Ups

As I prepare for a trip to Japan and China, I am reminded of the many machine start-ups I have participated in over the past twenty years or so. One of the things I used to enjoy about project work

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Posted in Integration, Machine Assembly and Fabrication, troubleshooting

More On Custom Machine Building

Over the past several years I’ve had the privilege of working with quite a few machine building companies. I’ve seen how they operate from the inside; some more successfully than others. In a series of guest posts while I was

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Posted in Machine Builders and Integrators

More Startup and Debug

After spending the last several months working on some of my entrepreneurial ideas and teaching PLC programming classes, I just spent the last couple of weeks contracting on a machine and system startup/debug job. I feel very fortunate to have

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Posted in Applications, Automation Concepts, Contracting, Machine Builders and Integrators, Software & Programming, troubleshooting

ATS Automation

When I was at Wright Industries, one of the companies that we often competed against for projects was ATS Automation. Though Doerfer and Wright are very large as far as custom machine-building companies go, ATS is a much larger organization.

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Posted in Machine Builders and Integrators

Munitions Disassembly Application

Munitions Disassembly As I mentioned a few weeks ago, sometimes I get to work on stuff I can’t talk about. If you click on the “Munitions Disassembly” link above, you will see a video of a project I was involved

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Posted in Applications, Engineering

Raytheon Missile Material Handling Application

In my previous life as a project engineer at Wright Industries (a Doerfer company), I worked on some projects that I couldn’t talk much about, being either government-related or potentially breaching confidentiality agreements. The project discussed in this post was

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Posted in Applications, Engineering, Machine Assembly and Fabrication, Material Handling

Mechanics of Vibratory Equipment

The system I am currently working on is a machine that packages small plastic components. It consists of a number of hoppers with linear vibratory feeders that convey the parts into a mechanism that weighs the parts and feeds them

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Posted in Automation Concepts, Conveyors, Machine Assembly and Fabrication, Material Handling, Packaging, Vendors and Manufacturers
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