The Advantages of Buying Refurbished and Overstock Industrial Automation Equipment

The choices when you buy industrial automation parts are varied.  Do you buy new? Refurbished? Overstock surplus? Do you consider repairing your current part?  Some of these decisions will be predicated by the age of your factory automation systems and the availability of parts.  Older, legacy systems that are no longer supported by the OEM give limited options and may offer a challenge when sourcing quality replacement parts. 

Here at AX Control, we stock a wide range of professionally refurbished, repaired, and reconditioned automation parts from companies like GE, Eurotherm, and Reliance Electric, just to name a few.  Every piece of legacy equipment we sell has been inspected, cleaned, tested, serviced, and brought up to proper working order before we place it into our available online inventory. When you order from us, we carefully pack each product so it will reach you in the exact condition it was in when it leaves our facility and is guaranteed to arrive not DOA. 

Reduce(your costs.) Reuse. Recycle.

Other advantages to buying refurbished parts from AX Control include: 

  • Reliability–Since we take such care in preparing our automation parts for sale, you can be confident in their durability.  Additionally, all items are automatically warrantied upon purchase. You can learn more about the warranty terms for a specific product on that product’s individual page. 
  • Price–Refurbished legacy parts at AX Control are typically sold at a fraction of their new cost.   This significant cost savings allows our customers to maintain an inventory of on-the-shelf spares without a lot of outlay of capital.  These available spares, in turn, minimize downtime for your facility. We all know how expensive unplanned downtime can be. 
  • Equivalence–OEM parts that can be swapped out like-for-like is an easy way to avoid compatibility issues that may occur during upgrades to new versions of your existing equipment.  This also avoids the functionality and fit issues that sometimes occur with third-party parts. These issues may not be obvious until an alternative part is ordered, delivered, and fails to work on your system.  
  • Availability–The older your system, the greater your challenge is likely going to be in finding a constant, reliable source for quality replacement parts.  Without pre-planning, this can lead to sourcing issues that impact your facility’s ability to stay productive. 

 Here at AX Control, we are constantly adding inventory to the stock stored in our warehouse.  We have over two football fields worth of space under-roof at our facility, which means we have the room to maintain significant on-hand inventory.  And with our same-day and next-day shipping options, we can get those parts to you in a jiffy.   When you buy from us you will be achieving the three Rs: you will be reducing your costs, you will be reusing like-for-like parts, and you will have the opportunity to recycle parts you’re ready to part with through our surplus purchase program.

What if you decide you want to repair your current equipment? We do that, too. Standard repairs include free domestic ground shipping to and from our facility during the repair and come with a warranty that varies from one year for motors up to three years for parts like PLCs and HMI displays. Refer to our website or talk to our team at sales@axcontrol.com for more information.

View our About Us page to find out more about our shipping options, accreditations, and to access our search bar.

Infographic: Why IIoT is Essential to Manufacturing

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been described as the basis of the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution, otherwise known as Industry 4.0. But why is this technology so necessary for today’s manufacturing industry?

We’ve attached an infographic below to answer that question. If you find it useful, feel free to download and use the high-resolution version available at the end of this article.

Why IIoT is Essential to Manufacturing

Scholarship Winners Announced

Stock image. Scholarship. Study. University.

AX Control, Inc is pleased to announce that Zaven Hamazaspyan is the winner of the 2020 AX Control Inc Academic Scholarship. This year’s scholarship is in the amount of $1,000. The winner was chosen on the strength of a short essay based upon a personal account of an ambition he/she had to establish their own business, or of a small business that had impacted their life.

Due to the quality of the essays received, an additional $500 was awarded to a second student. The recipient of this award is Evan Rene MacLaughlin.

Thank you to all the students that participated in this year’s scholarship process. We received essays from around the country, including from students from Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, as well as other competitive schools like NYU, Stanford, Duke, and Johns Hopkins.

Please check back soon for information on our 2021 Scholarship application.

RTDs vs. Thermocouples

Working Principles and When to Use Each

Measuring temperatures in industrial engineering is a key part of monitoring the operation of the various mechanical, electrical, and electronic systems, determining their performance and evaluating their health. In chemical processes, temperature and heat control may be crucial in achieving the desired end product, and the same applies to welding, heat treatment processes, industrial ovens used for plastic shrinking, and a wide range of other possible applications. That said, measuring temperatures is neuralgic in a wide range of engineering operations, and doing so with accuracy and precision is equally important.

While there are many types of thermometers that can be used for measuring temperatures including the familiar “mercury” thermometers, the bimetallic, and the vapor pressure thermometers, those that are most commonly and widely used in the industrial environment are the resistance temperature detectors (RTD) and the thermocouple devices. Both of these thermometer types have their respective advantages and drawbacks, and they are both suitable and valuable for a distinctively different set of applications.

Working Principle of Resistance Thermometers (RTD)

The RTD temperature sensor is based on the temperature dependence of the electric resistance of metals. As the temperature increases for metal, so does its electrical resistance. Of course, there’s an intrinsic coefficient of resistance for all materials, and a positive value for this coefficient makes specific materials better than others for the measurement element role. With nickel and platinum, for example, there is near-perfect linearity that is introduced by their respective coefficients, resulting in high accuracy and precision across repeated measurements. Moreover, nickel and platinum are generally chemically stable and extremely resistant to corrosion.

Coil-element Platinum Coil In Tube RTD. Source: Burns Engineering. Licensed Under CC-BY-SA-3.0
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Digitalization vs. Digitization: What’s the Difference?

Digitization/binary code

If you read industry publications, you’ve probably already come across the terms digitalization and digitization a couple of times today. But do you know the difference?

It’s easy to confuse the terms. But understanding how they differ will help you gain the most information and understanding of the digital mindset.

What is Digitalization?

According to IGI Global, Digitalization is the “adoption of digital technologies to modify a business model….by exploiting digital network dynamics and the giant digital flow of information.” Digitalization leads to the creation of a digital business which, according to Gartner, is “the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds.” More about this in a minute.

Digitization vs. Digitalization: the Difference

Digitization is where digitalization begins, in the conversion of analog data into a digital form that can be processed by a computer. Digitalization transforms digitized data through the use of digital technologies like automation, computing, coding, AI, or IoT(to name a few) to change how work gets done. And while digitization can optimize and change the process to create a better workflow, reduce costs, or minimize waste, digitalization creates a core change that affects the entire business model.

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An Introduction to Modbus

When you’re running a modern factory, you have many machines that need to communicate with each other. These conversations occur over communication protocols that integrate with whatever native ‘language’ the machines speak, and must translate those languages to allow other networked devices to understand them.

What is Modbus?

Modbus is the oldest and most popular of these communication protocols. Originally published by Modicon in 1979, Modbus was originally used with the company’s programmable logic controllers or PLCs. But since Modbus was developed as an open protocol–meaning that its specifications were published for use freely by anyone without licensing–it has been supported since its original development by many software vendors, manufacturers, and other groups and organizations.

Modbus is a type of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) automation protocol. It is now owned by Schneider Electric. It is used to help devices and equipment communicate by providing a common language all can understand. This allows for different nodes on the Modbus network to interact with request/response type messages.

What Are Modbus Communication Protocol?

The original Modbus interface used serial RS-232 communication. However, as the technology developed, options expanded to include serial RS-485, serial RS-422, and Ethernet. This allowed for more versatile setups where Modbus messages are embedded within formatted Ethernet packets, or networks designed with mixed drops running different protocols altogether (for example, one running Modbus Ethernet TCP/IP, another Modbus RS-232, and a third Modbus RS-485.)

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