What’s This About?
Thanks for visiting The Automation Primer! My goal on this site is to create a free community-focused resource dedicated to automation concepts and terminology. The tabs at the top of this page should help you find what you’re looking for…
I love what I do! I was not a good student in High School, in fact I failed to graduate. After joining the US Air Force following a series of minimum wage jobs, I found that I had an aptitude for electronics. This led to being a thirty year old Electrical Engineering student at the University of Tennessee, where I concentrated in control systems.
I spent the first four years following graduation learning all of the components and industrial landscape in my area, after which I started my first company back in 1996. I realized during this period that I had not learned the practical elements to be successful in either my field or in business. Much of what I learned during this time came from some very good mentors and lots of trial and error.
The Automation Academy is my full-time project now that I am nearing the end of my own career. This is a website that can help you define your career Goals and Path, learn valuable industrial automation skills, and interface with others who are also learning. It’s also a very inexpensive way to learn PLC programming and machine-building techniques!
Engineers learn a lot of mathematical and scientific concepts that give them 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. I hope to fill in some of those gaps with the resources and posts on this site. This website is free and always will be. It has no advertisements (other than my own :-P) or annoying pop-ups.
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 articles on PLC programming focused on making you comfortable using multiple platforms; for a good start on the subject check out my book Advanced PLC Hardware and Programming on Amazon and at other booksellers. Also stay tuned for my online courses here, on YouTube, and soon to be released on my business website.
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.
Author of Industrial Automation: Hands On and Advanced PLC Hardware and Programming
I also provide automation training 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!