A continuing fascination for automation

Automated machinery never ceases to amaze and captivate me. Since I started with machine control systems in the 70's the clickety-clack of a sequenced machine has been music to my ears...  a heartbeat that can't be missed. Even through the transition of relays and drum controllers to PLCs and HMIs the unmistakable rhythm of sequenced machinery is the driving force that manufactures our daily needs. 

Sequences happen so quickly it takes a well-trained eye to discern the individual steps. In some cases, the speed is so fast, even that is not possible. I remember having to rent costly photographic equipment to catch the motion and of course the venerable strobe light was another of our secret weapons. With cell phone cameras catching 250 frames per second, those days are gone unless it's a bullet you want to capture the motion on.

Automation has even more so changed mechanical machinery design. What used to involve complicated gearboxes, cams, detents, latches, etc. is now giving way to servo motor replacements to simplify mechanical assemblies and increase their speed and reliability as well. 

Machine operators and maintainers alike had to know their machinery like the back of their hand in days gone by to troubleshoot problems. With the proper marriage of operator touch screens (HMIs) and PLCs, problem alarms and troubleshooting suggestions can save hours of hunting and pecking looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

If you're looking for a partner in this highly automated world of factory machinery that knows the playing field intimately and enjoys every moment working with customers and their machinery needs, give the Factory Automation Pros at STEM Applications a ring and invite us for a peek at your facility to see what we can do for you.