Remote Monitoring with Telemetry, Part 2


In Remote Monitoring with Telemetry: Part 1,  we reviewed the top 10 advantages of using radio telemetry for remote monitoring. Those benefits included faster response time, lower cost, security, low maintenance, ease-of-use, and more. But there’s also more to telemetry than the basics. In Part 2, we’ll take a look at transmission distance and signal power for use of telemetery in automation solutions.

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The 3 Tiers of Automated Quality Inspection


Implementing or integrating an automated quality inspection system can be a daunting task. To justify the cost, the system must be highly accurate, provide analytical insight, and allow the operator to communicate with and control the system. There are three tiers to quality inspection that can help you achieve the most value from an automated system.

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Automation Solutions: Effective Alarm Management


How many blinking lights register as background noise for the operator on your plant floor?

In the design or planning phase of a project, alarms may be touted as central to the safety and efficiency of a process. But without considering the realistic use for an alarm and taking steps to ensure truly effective reactions, alarms may do more harm than good.

The real danger is that important alarms will get lost in the static. Known as “alarm fatigue,” it can dull an operator’s sensitivity to alarms when a dangerous or costly situation occurs. 

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Automation Solutions: Eliminating EMI


“Please turn off all personal electronic devices, including laptops and cell phones. Thank you!”

Many of us who have boarded a commercial flight are familiar with this quirk of air travel. If you own a smartphone, it likely features a toggle called “Airplane Mode” somewhere in your settings. Why? And what does it have to do with manufacturing?

The answer is Electromagnetic Interference, or EMI.

Historically, cell phones are considered a culprit of EMI, which can impact the performance of navigation instruments in a plane. In manufacturing, EMI plays an even bigger role in producing “dirty power” that can pollute an electrical system.

This could be a major factor behind your factory’s unplanned downtime when equipment falters or the entire system shuts down.

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Automation Solutions: Remote Monitoring with Telemetry, Part 1


What is Telemetry?

Telemetry is defined as the sensing and measuring of information at one location and then transmitting that information to a central or host location (PLC / DCS). There, it can be remotely monitored and used to control a process at the remote site.

The basic concept of remote monitoring with telemetry has been in existence for a long time. Radio telemetry provides a classic but versatile wireless method for transmitting information. Telemetry using radio waves or wireless offers several distinct advantages over other transmission methods, from cost benefits to resilience and security.

In Part 1 of this guide, we’ll look at the benefits of using telemetry in your automation solutions. Continue reading “Automation Solutions: Remote Monitoring with Telemetry, Part 1”

Automation Solutions: The Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR)



You may have heard of rectifiers before.  From charging our cell phones to powering large industrial processes, there are many types of rectifiers used in a variety of applications.  While commonly used for DC motors, SCR control technology can be found anywhere from steel mills to power plants. Continue reading “Automation Solutions: The Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR)”

How Output Load Reactors Can Save Your Motors


There are many reasons why lead length between Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and motors are excessive.  VFDs are sensitive electronic equipment and must be installed in clean and dry environments, forcing long distances between motor control rooms and the motors that they control.  Also, some applications such as conveyors often use a single drive to operate multiple motors on the line. The length of the conveyor dictates the longest distance between drive and motor. With these constraints, output load reactors are the best answer in drive solutions to preventing motor failure.

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The Basics of a Winder


Winding material into a coil is a common automation application with a lot of technology at the core.  Winders are used in many industries.  The thickness of the material can range from a heavy gauge steel, a thin plastic, standard paper, aluminum foil, to even toilet paper.  Pretty much any material that can be coiled up for more economical transport and delivery to the customer is coiled up on a winder.  In general, the lower the cost of the material, the faster the rates the manufacturers need to run to produce their product efficiently.  Some of these products can be run at many thousands of feet per minute.

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