Difference between AC, DC, and EC Motors

People have been using different types of motors for ages. Primarily, motors can be broadly classified into AC and DC types, depending on the power source they require to operate. However, the basics of operation remain the same for all types of motors. Current running through a wire generates magnetic fields around it, and if there is another magnetic field present such as from an external magnet, the two interact to generate a mechanical force on the wire capable of moving the wire. This is the Read more [...]

Robotics and Motion Control

Across the industrial space, automation is a growing trend in factory floors throughout the world. This is essential to improve the efficiency and production rates. When creating the automated factory, engineers may introduce a robotic system or implement a motion control system. Although both can essentially accomplish the same task, they have their own unique setups, motion flexibility, programming options, and economic benefits. The Basics A straightforward concept, motion control initiates Read more [...]

Salt Water Makes Li-Ion Batteries Safer

So far, high-energy lithium-ion batteries were always a matter of concern on account of safety. If you wanted to remain safe from exploding batteries, an aqueous battery such as made from nickel/metal hydride would be preferable, but then it would give you lower energy. Usually, 3-V batteries using aqueous electrolyte technologies are unable to achieve higher voltages because of the cathodic challenge. This happens as the aqueous solution degrades one end of the battery made from either lithium Read more [...]

Use the Raspberry Pi as a PLC for Automation

If you thought the popular single board computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) is suitable only for children learning to write programs in computer languages, you need to think afresh. Vytas Sinkevicius is using the RBPi as a PLC for applications in automation. Increasingly, others are also using the RBPi as a PLC replacement in automation applications. Basically, the RBPi replaces the actual PLC, and works as the main controller. The design specifications for the RBPi PLC are: 8 digital Inputs Read more [...]

How Do Piezoelectrics Work?

Piezoelectrics, found almost everywhere in modern life, are materials that are able to change mechanical stress to electricity and back again. One can find them in sonars, medical ultrasound, loud speakers, computer hard drives, and in many more places. However popular piezolectrics may be as a technology, very few people truly understand their way of working. At the Simon Fraser University at Canada, and the National Institute of Standards, researchers are working on understanding one of the main Read more [...]

Monitoring Sound & Vibration for Process Control

In a production environment, one can always find two common themes for the successful application of acoustical or vibrational monitoring. Usually, workers judge the noise or vibration event as being the start or end of a particular process. Initiated by such an event, an automated control system can easily minimize any loss of production. On the production floor, control of manufacturing processes have used continuous monitoring of sound and vibration for the past several years. For instance BrĂ¼el Read more [...]

Raspberry Pi Shake 4D Detects Earthquakes

Recent years have seen a rise in the interest of home automation and devices for local environmental monitoring. More people are now using solutions related to home science, such as weather stations. Not only does this help in better understanding of the factors that affect local environments, these solutions also offer accurate information in real-time. With the help of these home science devices one can measure what so long one could only feel and sense. Although this includes air temperature and Read more [...]

Sensing Temperature with NTC Thermistors

Temperature sensors using NTC thermistors are built from sintered semiconducting ceramic material. Such materials contain a mixture comprising several metal oxides. The specialty of these materials is they possess charge particles, which allow current to flow through the thermistor, and display large changes in its resistance value even when the change in temperature is rather small. The manufacturing process allows standard NTC thermistors to operate effectively in the temperature range between Read more [...]

What is PID Control and How Does it Work?

We use control loops all the time. For instance, it is much easier to place an object on a tabletop with your eyes open than it is with the eyes closed. The eyes provide us with visual feedback to control the hand to place the object in the required position on the tabletop without error. In the same way, modern industrial controls regulate processes as a part of a control loop. The user sends a set point request to the controller, which then compares it to a measured feedback. The difference between Read more [...]

Raspberry Pi and Automated Greenhouse

Many people set up greenhouses to grow tropical plants that need plenty of warmth and moisture. Usually these areas are enclosed in steel bracings holding glass/plastic panels that allow sunlight in and prevent moisture from going out. Greenhouse owners control the temperature by opening panels to allow ventilation. In winter, maintaining temperature could be difficult without use of heaters. Manually controlling temperature and humidity could be a tedious task taking away from the actual task of Read more [...]