Category Archives: Guides

What is Industrial Connectivity?

Engineers include any component involved in the path of delivering control signals or power for doing useful work as part of industrial connectivity. Typically, components such as terminal blocks, connectors, motor starters, and relays are part of industrial connectivity. Engineers divide industrial connectors into four categories depending on the environments in which they operate—commercial, industrial, military, and hermetic. Commercial applications do not consider temperature and atmosphere Read more [...]

Wireless Charging for Drones

Drones face a significant operating challenge—their limited battery capacity places a constraint on their flight time. More flexible and efficient recharging solutions can address this issue. A 4-year old startup, WiBotic, now has funding to explore this avenue. WiBotic designs and manufactures solutions to charge robot and drone batteries. WiBotic offers power optimization and wireless charging solutions for mobile, aerial, marine, and industrial robots. Their Adaptive Matching technology Read more [...]

Protecting Against Ground Faults

Faults are instances of something happening when it should not. Electrical faults are when electric current flows where it should not be flowing. Electric current flowing from the live wire to the ground in place of the customary neutral wire constitutes a ground fault. There are two major problems that a ground fault may cause. One is excessive current may cause overheating and fire may break out. The other is a ground fault could be fatal for any person being a part of the ground circuit. That Read more [...]

What are Motor Starters?

Starting up small motors is usually through a manual starter that can make or break the power supply line to the motor. The method is also known as DOL or direct online start. If the motor gets too hot due to an overload, a thermal protection circuit in the starter opens and disconnects the motor. DOL starters are the most common method of starting and stopping single-phase motors up to 5 HP, 230 VAC, and three-phase motors up to 15 HP, 600 VAC. Magnetic starters can have controls such as float Read more [...]

How Terminal Block Contacts Work

Quick-connect type terminal block contacts consist of a flat blade or a simple tab with a design that accepts a push-on connector holding the end of a wire. A force-fit metal sleeve pushed over the tab makes the contact. Such quick-connect type terminal blocks are meant for thin wires up to AWG 12. Tubular contacts are a length of rectangular metal tubing, with screws threaded through the top of the tube at both ends. In tubular screw contacts, the flat bottom of the screws secures the inserted Read more [...]

Electronics for Indoor Farming

With global population growth, there is increasing concern over the sustainability of ecologically friendly farming. Farmers are now adopting innovative technologies for improving the overall efficiency of farming. Among them, the Internet of Things or IoT shows a greater promise with real-time, wireless, and remote sensing, monitoring, and control of indoor farming conditions and operations, such as humidity, moisture levels, soil pH, temperature, and lighting. Most of the functions mentioned Read more [...]

Flexible Heaters and Multiple Heating Zones

Flexible heaters are suitable for a wide range of uses that require variable heating options. While providing optimal heat transfer, they also offer the right temperature for products like foodservice, medical devices, sensors, instrument panels, and electronics. We are accustomed to thinking of heaters in standard shapes like square, round, and rectangular. However, customized flexible heaters are available in a wide variety of shapes that have the requisite shape to wrap around specific objects Read more [...]

Motor Run & Motor Start Capacitors

Electric motors exploit the interaction between two magnetic fields for rotating a shaft. The stator windings generate one of the fields, and the rotor windings provide the other. In some DC motors, permanent magnets replace one of the windings, while the commutator, whether brushed or brush-less, changes the direction of the current in the other winding to continuously alter the interaction between the two magnetic fields to allow the motor to rotate.
In three-phase AC motors, the interaction between Read more [...]

Storing Data with Light

Currently, we have several methods of storing and transmitting data. The most common method followed is storing data on a magnetic hard disk in the form of bits. Here minute magnetic domains form a North and a South pole pair, with the direction of the magnetization of the poles defining whether the stored bit is a digital 1 or a 0. Writing the data means physically switching the magnetization of the relevant bit, one at a time.
Switching or changing the magnetization of each bit requires the application Read more [...]

Role of LEDs in Horticulture

While LEDs have revolutionized indoor and exterior lighting methods, they have been revolutionizing operations involving indoor grow facilities. This is mainly because LEDs are highly flexible in their spectral output, while their efficiency is very high. That means they emit much lower heat.
A new standard from ASABE specifies the performance of LED lighting products for horticulture applications. The standard spells out the test methods to measure the optical radiation from LEDs in the range 280-800 Read more [...]