Top 3 Reasons to Use Wire Ferrules

Posted by Jacob Miller

Jan 12, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes

A wire ferrule is a copper plated tin tube that slides over the stripped end of a stranded wire. It is available in both insulated and non-insulated versions.  The insulated wire ferrule contains a nylon extruded jacket intended to reduce signal leakage, creepage and reduce gas intrusion.  The nylon jacks are color-coded by wire AWG (American Wire Gauge) or the Cross-Sectional Area of the conductor in millimeters squared (mm²).   The color code will either follow the Industry Standard, which is commonly found throughout North America, or the DIN Standard (German Institute for Standardization) commonly found throughout Europe.

There are many benefits to using wire ferrules that far outweigh the minor cost per piece and additional labor and tools required to install them.  Below is a list and explanation of the more common benefits, to help you make an educated and informed decision before using or omitting them.

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Topics: engineering

5 Keys to a Solid Design Plan Checklist

Posted by Jacob Miller

Dec 15, 2017 4:44:40 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes

A successful Kick-Off Meeting is one of the most critical aspects of a design project, as it sets the tone and trajectory of the entire project.  Often, in the excitement of introducing and starting a new project, many important yet seemingly small details can get misinterpreted or simply forgotten.  When missed details surface late in the project, they result in higher implementation costs, increased frustration, and lack of confidence in the design team.  A simple, yet fundamental tool to help mitigate this risk is the Design Plan Checklist.  A Design Plan Checklist, is a collaborative list of pre-conceived, common questions.  Asking each of these questions during every Kick-Off Meeting will not only help guide the meeting, but will help spark deeper conversation and deeper confidence around decisions on critical points.  Below are five key areas to address when developing your Design Plan Checklist:

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Topics: engineering

7 Considerations for GD&T

Posted by Jack Quillin

Dec 1, 2017 4:01:53 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Engineering CAD software is a constantly evolving tool that allows engineers to design more rapidly and efficiently than ever before. However, one basic element that has been consistently required over time is a detailed drawing. Drawings are the key piece of communication between Engineers, Machinists, Fabricators, Vendors and Customers.

An important and critical way an Engineer conveys the design intent within the drawing is with the use of GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing). This isolates the functional and non-functional features, and creates a relationship from one feature to the next. GD&T provides a lot of information regarding how a part or assembly will be manufactured or assembled. Most importantly, it allows for repeatability for parts and assemblies in order to ensure that consistent quality is achieved. Below please find seven tips on using GD&T and things to consider when adding GD&T to your drawing:

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Topics: engineering

Benefits of Standardized Schematic Naming Conventions

Posted by Mike Basile

Nov 17, 2017 5:08:12 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes 

When it comes to naming drawings, wires, and devices in an electrical drawing package, it is extremely important to stick to a standardized numbering structure across all projects. The benefits of doing so are endless. Including the necessary components of a schematic naming convention can provide the following benefits:

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Topics: engineering

Industrial Sensor Fundamentals

Posted by Steve Milchuck

Nov 3, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Sensors for industrial machines are used to detect a variety of process signals for a given application. A few examples of process signals are, material color, pressures, flow, fluid levels, temperature, and human presence.

The most common type of sensors are:

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Topics: engineering

3 Tips in Reducing Metal Fabrication Costs

Posted by Jim Torres

Oct 27, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes

You hear it all the time from fabricators: engineers have a habit of designing for ideals without taking the required processes into account.  In these scenarios, not only does the engineer risk limiting the number of fabricators who will take the job due to its complexity, but they also miss out on the opportunity to use a fabricator’s wisdom to optimize a part.  Understanding that most fabricators have a wealth of knowledge at their disposal can help engineers simplify the part, reduce costs, and result in better quality.

While there are some situations where a complex design is necessary, keeping the fabrication of the part in mind during the initial design stages will prevent the possible need for redesign. Below find three tips on ensuring that a partnership with fabricators is successful:  

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Topics: engineering

What’s the Difference Between Servo and Stepper Motors?

Posted by Jacob Miller

Oct 20, 2017 4:40:13 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Servos and Steppers are the names of two different device types used to control motors.  From a distance, both device types can appear similar, as they both allow a user to control speed, position, and torque.  However, the control methods, capabilities, and prices of each type differ enough that it becomes important to understand, even from a high level, so a system can be properly sized, both for performance and for the cost.  Below are the three main differences, as well as an introductory overview of those differences, to help you choose the best method of control:

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Topics: engineering

5 Keys to a Successful Engineering Release Meeting

Posted by Jim Torres

Aug 18, 2017 5:55:34 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

An engineering release meeting is a well-established part of most manufacturing companies and often can have a major impact on the health of a project.  All too often, engineering release meetings are carried out in haste and lead to issues down the line that could have been resolved before they even arose.  Listed below are five keys to keep in mind when planning an engineering release meeting.

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Topics: engineering

What is the Difference Between PNP and NPN Configurations?

Posted by Mike Basile

Jul 28, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds 

When it comes to solid state devices, such as PLC transistor outputs and sensors, the concept of PNP and NPN configurations can be easily confused. The difference between these two configurations is simply the direction in which current flows.

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Topics: engineering

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