Editor's Note

Happy 2012! This year is already gaining momentum. January has been a busy, busy month; and it still has a few days left in it. All the busyness means one thing; AutomationDirect is ready to provide even more of your industrial application product needs. We are excited about plans for this year. But, above all else, you can count on continued award-winning customer support from all of us. Here's to a great 2012!

This month's newsletter is the start of our new look and feel! But, as always, it contains all the latest information, including company news, new product information, our latest webinar schedule, and more. Be sure to take a break with the Lighter Side.

Don't forget to send us information , about your applications. We are always excited to learn the unique ways customers use AutomationDirect products.

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Volume 14 Issue 1, January 2012
Company News
AutomationDirect among Top 25 Great Places to Work
Latest Product News
Expanded relay line
STRIDE managed
Ethernet switches
WERMA modular stack lights
Online News
New PID video series
Application Innovations
Customer application stories featured in industry magazines
The Lighter Side
A Change in the Weather

company news

AutomationDirect among Top 25 Great Places to Work

The Great Place to Work® Rankings: 2011 Best Small & Medium Workplaces Presented by Entrepreneur® list was announced on October 18 and AutomationDirect was ranked #4 on the list. This annual list recognizes companies that have exceptional workplace cultures. In its eighth year, the competition is divided into two categories, Small (50-250 employees) and Medium (251-999 employees).

AutomationDirect was selected among hundreds of companies vying for a place on the Small Company list this year. Applicant companies opt to participate in the selection process, which includes an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about their programs and company practices. Great Place to Work® then evaluates each application using its unique methodology based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.

"The companies featured on this year's list are truly extraordinary in their practices and achievements," said Susan Lucas-Conwell, CEO of Great Place to Work. "Their leaders recognize the value of creating great workplaces and the competitive edge it provides them."

Organizations named on the list see many benefits that include better financial performance, less employee turnover, higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, more innovative and creative thinking, higher productivity and enhanced public perception.

AutomationDirect CEO Tim Hohmann says, "Statistics show that many productivity issues are caused by personal situations such as health, finances and other family stresses, so we integrated a set of programs designed to help teamers balance their 'wheel of life'. In exchange for allowing the employee to invest their time in the programs they choose, the company benefits from greater productivity as well as better attitudes, toward the company, other employees and customers."

The most recent award reflects the ongoing excellence of AutomationDirect's company culture. Previously, in 2009, AutomationDirect was recognized as the seventh best small company to work for in America by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Great Place to Work Institute, Inc. (GPTW). For this award, two-thirds of the organization's score comes from employee survey responses; one-third of the score includes assessment of organization practices and perspectives from the leadership team.


latest product news

Expanded relay line

We have greatly expanded our offering of to accommodate a wider range of industrial relays applications. Additions to the electromechanical relays include power relay and hazardous location relay styles. The APR40 series power relays, available in SPDT, DPST, and DPDT models, feature open-construction design with high-power contacts capable of switching up to 40A with a maximum contact voltage up to 600V. Power relay prices start at $14.75.

The H782/H750 series Hazardous Location electromechanical relays are hermetically sealed plug-in style control relays designed for applications requiring sealed units for hazardous factory locations. Both series feature high vibration and shock resistance providing high reliability and long life and are available with relay coil voltages of 110/120 VAC, 220 VAC, 12V AC/DC and 24V AC/DC. The H782 series 4PDT cube relays, in 3 Amp and 5 Amp models, start at $34.75; relay sockets are available for $3.75. The H750 series octal relays feature 12 Amp contact ratings and are available in DPDT and 3DPT models. H750 series octal relays are priced from $45.

The Solid State Relay (SSR) line has been extended to include the AD-SSR6 series panel mount relays. This series offers Class 6 solid state relays which withstand high load ratings from 10 Amps up to 75 Amps in a finger-safe "hockey puck" type housing. Switching types include DC switching for low-voltage DC loads and Zero Cross for resistive AC loads. AD-SSR6 relays start at $14.50 and include a thermal mounting pad. Additional mounting pads are available for $18 for a 10-pack.

The AD-SSR8 series features general purpose solid state relays which offer energy efficient current switching in a slim housing ideal for space-saving applications. The series has input ranges of 90 VAC to 280 VAC and 3 VDC to 32 VDC. The DIN rail mountable relays feature internal heat sink, optically coupled circuits and finger-safe terminals. Switching types include Zero Cross for resistive AC loads where the output energizes/de-energizes when control voltage nears zero and Random for AC loads where the output changes instantaneously with the actual voltage. AD-SSR8 solid state relays start at $20.25.

The AD-HSSR8 series HAZLOC solid state relays are Class 8 hazardous location relays approved for Class 1, Div. 2 (Groups A, B, C, D). Switching types include DC switching for DC loads and Zero Cross for resistive AC loads. Switching devices include MOFSET for DC loads and SCR for all types of AC loads. Available in 8 Amp to 15 Amp contact ratings, the AD-HSSR8 series relays start at $54.50.

See our full line of relay products.


Stride managed Ethernet switches

Stride™ industrial-grade managed Ethernet switches feature redundant power inputs with surge and spike protection and auto-crossover. Built with aluminum housings, all models are designed for an operating temperature range of -40 to +75 °C. The Stride managed Ethernet switches' proprietary Real-Time Ring™ technology provides the fastest recovery of all the redundancy options on the switch. Most models feature multiple 10/100BaseT RJ45 Ethernet ports; additional models include ST or SC type fiber optic connections.

Gigabit managed switches are also available, with 10/100/1000BaseT RJ45 ports and advanced combination SFP ports that accept noise-immune fiber optic links. DIN-rail mountable, managed Ethernet switch prices start at $445 and are backed by a two-year warranty. Small form-factor pluggable (SFP) industrial Ethernet fiber transceivers have also been added. The compact, hot-swappable transceivers feature LC fiber connectors to add fiber connectivity at Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet speed. Transceiver prices start at $78.


WERMA modular stack lights

We now offer WERMA modular stack lights in 50mm and 70mm sizes, ideal for use in applications such as machine tools, packaging machines, conveyor systems, loading docks, retail center check outs and more.

The modular system provides total choice and flexibility, allowing for a completely free combination of optical and audible signal elements. The bayonet mechanism allows elements to be mechanically and electrically connected within seconds; elements can be easily and safely changed without the need for tools. Incandescent and LED signal elements are available in five colors and in common 24V DC and 115V AC voltages.

The 70mm diameter KS 71 modular IP65-rated system accommodates up to five elements per terminal. Light elements include incandescent, LED and Xenon tube models; select elements are available in various light effects (permanent, blinking, rotating, flashing). Available lighting sources include incandescent, LED, and Xenon tube; terminal design choices include screw and cage clamp styles. KS 71 models offer audible options in buzzer and multi-functional siren elements. The siren element features a self-adjusting sound output up to 105 dB; with continual measurement of the ambient noise level, the sound output is about 5 dB louder than background noise levels. Prices for KS 71 light elements start at $20.50; audible elements start at $59.

The 50mm diameter KS 50 modular IP54-rated system accommodates up to four elements with either permanent or blinking light effects. A choice of incandescent or LED light sources is available as well as an 80 dB audible element; KS 50 elements feature screw terminals. Prices for KS 50 light elements start at $20; audible elements start at $55.

A wide variety of accessories is available, including mounting options such as wall, base, tube, magnetic, fold away and many more; plastic and metal bases are available, as well as aluminum tubes up to one meter in length.

All elements and terminals are UL listed and CE marked.


online news

New PID video series on learn.automationdirect site

We have begun adding a new PID video series to the learn.automationdirect.com site. In the 11-part series, Tom provides great detail to help you understand what PID is and how to use it with the Productivity3000 programmable automation controller. Be sure to check them out and give us feedback.

Upcoming FREE Webinars

We continue to have great response to our Web seminars. Our 45-minute shows feature both product overviews and more detailed application-based examples. Each seminar includes a question and answer time where our hosts address questions from viewers. You can also view recorded episodes at your convenience.

Upcoming Web Seminars include:

Register today to attend the free online seminars. If you don't see a specific topic of interest, contact us with your idea. Our team will consider it for future seminars.


Application Innovations

Customer application stories featured in industry magazines

We have used several customer application stories in our e-newsletters and our Automation NOTEBOOK. Many of these customer application stories draw the attention of industry magazines. They re-purpose them for use in either printed or online versions of their magazines…sometimes BOTH.

One story about a private microhydroelectric plant used online by Design News has generated quite a comment trail: "Building your own 20kW Hydro Power Plant" using PLC control

And speaking of water, Control Engineering posted this story of how a water utility replaced its old SCADA system with PLCs 17 years ago and is still happy with the flexibility and reliability.

You can check out our complete list of application stories here.


The Lighter Side

A Change in the Weather (from humorvault.tripod.com)

Maury and Martha were sitting down to their usual morning cup of coffee listening to the weather report on the radio. "There will be 3 to 5 inches of snow today, and a snow emergency has been declared," the weather report said. "You must park your cars on the odd numbered side of the streets." Maury mumbled to himself, got up from his coffee, and went out to move the car.

The next day they were sitting down with their morning cups of coffee. The weather forecast was, "There will be 2 to 4 inches of snow today, and a snow emergency has been declared. You must park your cars on the even numbered side of the streets." Again Maury mumbled to himself, got up from his coffee, and went out to move the car.

Two days later, again they're sitting down with their cups of coffee and the weather forecast said, "There will be 6 to 8 inches of snow today, and a snow emergency has been declared. You must park your cars on the..." and the power went out. Maury didn't get the rest of the instructions. He turned to Martha, "Jeez, what am I going to do now, Martha?" Martha replied, "Aw, Maury... Why don't you just leave the car in the garage today?"


We always welcome your comments or suggestions concerning this newsletter. If you have any topics for future newsletters, please let us know.

Leave a Reply

Comments or suggestions for topics in future newsletters can be directed to newsletter@automationdirect.com

How to find us

AutomationDirect is located at 3505 Hutchinson Rd., Cumming, GA 30040 (about 45 minutes north of Atlanta, GA)

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