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Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) Explained

Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) Explained

In the world of industrial automation, a Factory Acceptance Test or FAT is simply a test for a newly manufactured control system that takes place at your factory or your workshop before you ship the control panel to the customer. With a Factory Acceptance Test, you...

Phoenix Contact PLCnext | How to Configure the I/O Modules

Phoenix Contact PLCnext | How to Configure the I/O Modules

This is the third of a series of articles about the Phoenix Contact PLCnext Starterkit. You can order a Starterkit from the RealPars Marketplace.  In this article, we’re going to accomplish two things: First, we're going to take you through the steps to ensure that...

Boolean Logic to PLC Function Blocks | Fundamentals

Boolean Logic to PLC Function Blocks | Fundamentals

Have you ever wondered how skilled PLC Programmers create, install and test programs when presented with complex system requirements? Today’s successful PLC programmers possess knowledge and skills in electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. In addition to...

Sinking and Sourcing PLC Inputs | What is the Difference?

Sinking and Sourcing PLC Inputs | What is the Difference?

In this article, we're going to talk about Sinking and Sourcing PLC digital input modules and how they are connected to field devices. We will be using a Siemens digital input module 6ES7321-1BP00-0AA0. If you want to order this module online, head on over to the...

Turbine Flow Meter Explained | Operation and Calibration

Turbine Flow Meter Explained | Operation and Calibration

In this article, we’re going to discuss a very common flow measuring device called a Turbine Flow Meter.Depending on who you talk to, a Turbine Meter has one or two major parts. Some will tell you that the Turbine Meter has only one part: the Mechanical component....

Sinking and Sourcing PLC Outputs Explained

Sinking and Sourcing PLC Outputs Explained

In this article, we're going to talk about Sinking and Sourcing PLC digital output modules and how they connect to field devices.As we’ve discussed in our other articles, the two types of PLC output modules are Digital and Analog. Drilling down even further, Digital...

What is an Instrument Calibrator?

What is an Instrument Calibrator?

In this article, we're going to discuss instrument calibrators and show you how they can be used in the process control industry for calibration and troubleshooting.  Ok… so, what is Calibration, and what is an Instrument Calibrator?When calibrate instruments?If the...

PLCnext Starterkit | What’s in the Box?

PLCnext Starterkit | What’s in the Box?

This is the first of a series of articles about the Phoenix Contact PLCnext Starterkit. If you are interested in a powerful but inexpensive PLC, you might want to consider the PLCnext Starterkit.Here are a few reasons to help you decide to get one. The programming...

Motor Starter Explained | Motor Starter Types

Motor Starter Explained | Motor Starter Types

As automation engineers, we write logic programs for PLC and DCS systems that monitor process variables, open and close valves, set control loop modes, and start and stop motors for pumps, compressors, and conveyor systems. Most digital outputs on control systems...

Introduction to Omron PLC

Introduction to Omron PLC

There are dozens of manufacturers of Programmable Logic Controllers that are used in the automation industry. One of the leading makers of compact PLCs for machine automation is Omron PLC. Omron offers a flexible line of scalable industrial PLC controllers for use in...

PLC Output Types | Solid State vs Relay

PLC Output Types | Solid State vs Relay

In this article, we're going to explore the differences between Solid State and Relay outputs on PLC Digital Output Modules. We’re also going to talk about the pros and cons of each.The purpose of a PLC Output module is to operate or control a physical device based on...

PID Tuning | How to Tune a PID Controller

PID Tuning | How to Tune a PID Controller

In our previous article, What are PID Tuning Parameters?, we supplied a couple of simple examples of controlled processes and began to explain the specific terms of a PID controller.As stated previously, you can enable each parameter, those being the proportional,...

What is ISA100 Wireless?

What is ISA100 Wireless?

Have you ever stopped to think about how data from a temperature transmitter on a vessel in a tank farm at the edge of the plant is brought into the control system?You probably would answer: Over a pair of wires connected between the transmitter and an analog input...

What is a Transistor? | Working Principles

What is a Transistor? | Working Principles

In this article, we're going to introduce you to an electronic component called the Transistor. Believe it or not, your phone has hundreds of thousands of transistors in it. Your computer has millions! It’s not an exaggeration to say that life would be much different...

High-Performance HMI Design Basics

High-Performance HMI Design Basics

Welcome back, in our previous article, What is High-Performance HMI?, we discussed the state of most current HMIs, their drawbacks, and design flaws. We then covered why a High-Performance HMI is becoming the standard for processes around the world, and some basic...

What is High-Performance HMI?

What is High-Performance HMI?

High-Performance HMI is the industry answer for a standardized, easy to use, and more productive HMI graphics system to implement and in some cases, replace a poorly designed HMI. As we know, operator control of processes is done using a graphical representation of...

Manometer Explained | Working Principle

Manometer Explained | Working Principle

What is a manometer? In this article, we're going to introduce you to the manometer which is one of the oldest pressure measurement devices still in use today. A manometer is one of the most accurate devices for measuring pressure in the lower ranges. Since manometers...

What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?

What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?

Automation and Internet Cloud Computing are evolving and merging into a space allowing for Artificial Intelligence (AI) programming to facilitate improvements in productivity and efficiency with many economic benefits.Industry 4.0Along with Internet Cloud computing...

Terminal Blocks Explained

Terminal Blocks Explained

In this article, we're going to introduce you to the Terminal Block which is an important component in any industrial setting. Terminal blocks are components with an insulated frame that has the sole purpose of securing two or more wires together.Why use terminal...

SCADA Applications in Water Treatment

SCADA Applications in Water Treatment

In previous lessons, we discussed SCADA applications and systems, and the components within them. Here is a quick recap of what was previously discussed. SCADA is a collection of hardware and software components. Plant floor devices such as pumps, valves, and...

Diode Module | How does it work?

Diode Module | How does it work?

So how does a diode module or diode block work?  For you to be able to understand how a diode module works, you first need to understand how a single diode actually works.What is a diode? A diode is a device that allows current to flow in only one direction. That...

What is a Floating License?

What is a Floating License?

So, what is a floating license and how is it different from a standard software license? In short, a standard software license is for exclusive use whereas a floating license is for shared use.You buy a floating software license when you want to share the use of...

Limit Switch Explained | Working Principles

Limit Switch Explained | Working Principles

There’s probably not a day that goes by where you don’t use or encounter a limit switch at home, or at your workplace.Types of limit switchesThere are 4 general types of limit switches: 1. Whisker 2. Roller 3. Lever 4. Plunger Depending on the application, a limit...

Applying an ABB PLC to a Small Process

Applying an ABB PLC to a Small Process

There are many manufacturers of Programmable Logic Controllers that are used in the Automation industry. One of the leading PLC manufacturers in the world is ABB. In the previous article, An Introduction to ABB AC500 PLCs, we introduced you to the various PLC models...

What is a NAMUR Sensor?

What is a NAMUR Sensor?

In this article, we're going to introduce you to a sensor called a NAMUR proximity sensor. We’re going to discuss how this NAMUR sensor differs from other proximity sensors, and we’ll show you where and why these sensors are used in the field.     NAMUR proximity...

What is the Best HMI Panel?

What is the Best HMI Panel?

The HMI Panel is a valuable tool that is used by operators and engineers worldwide to visualize and monitor the process, provide control targets and set-points, execute programs and initiate sequences, and troubleshoot problems via trends, alarms, and events. In this...

How to install TIA-Portal V16

How to install TIA-Portal V16

Siemens has made their TIA-Portal version 16 available at a reduced price for a period of time. In this article, we will show you how to: - Purchase the TIA Portal version 16 software, - Download and install the software, and - Install the software license so that it...

What is a Control Valve?

What is a Control Valve?

A control valve is a power-operated device used to regulate or manipulate the flow of fluids, such as gas, oil, water, and steam. It is a critical part of a control loop and is an example of a final control element. The Control Valve is by far the most common final...

Smart Sensor Explained | Different Types and Applications

Smart Sensor Explained | Different Types and Applications

In this article, we’re going to introduce you to a very powerful group of devices called Smart Sensor.The 4 Industrial RevolutionsAlright…let’s go. The Smart Sensor plays a very important role in the Smart Factory of Industry 4.0 which is considered as the fourth...

PLC Hardware Explained

PLC Hardware Explained

In this article, we’re going to introduce you to a typical PLC and its associated hardware. First of all, let's start with the term PLC, and talk about what it means. PLC is short for Programmable Logic Controller.PLC industrial applications A PLC consists of a...

What is a Sensor? Different Types of Sensors, Applications

What is a Sensor? Different Types of Sensors, Applications

Different types of sensors are a part of everyday life at home and work. There’s probably not a day that goes by where you aren’t impacted in some way by a sensor. In this article, we’re going to talk about what a sensor is, what it can do, and how it can be used in...

ABB PLC | An Introduction to ABB AC500 PLCs

ABB PLC | An Introduction to ABB AC500 PLCs

There are many manufacturers of Programmable Logic Controllers that are used in the Automation industry. One of the leading PLC manufacturers in the world is ABB PLC. ABB offers a full line of industrial PLC controllers and safety PLC controllers with a wide range of...

Transmitter Explained | Types of Transmitters

Transmitter Explained | Types of Transmitters

In this article, we’re going to introduce you to a very important device used in process control today – the Transmitter.First of all, let’s talk about the term transmitter because it has more than one definition. In the Telecommunications world, a Transmitter is a...

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