Call us! 512-349-0334 or (877) INDUSOFT

History of Automation: The Triode Vacuum Tube the Evolution into Automation, Industrial, and Machine Control

In 1904, Sir John Ambrose Fleming invented the two-electrode vacuum-tube rectifier, which he called an “oscillation valve”. He received a U.S. patent on November 16, 1904. The device also had other names: Thermionic Valve, based on the principle of the thermionic electron emission from the hot cathode; the Vacuum Diode, based on the fact that the electrodes were suspended and operated in a partial vacuum, and the operation of the device only allowed current to flow in one direction (diode operation); the kenotron, from “kenosis” (emptying) & “electron”; a Thermionic Tube (American word for British “valve”); and the Fleming Valve or Fleming Oscillation Valve. At the time of discovery, it was not understood that the valve could be useful for rectification, and Fleming’s intent was simply to create an oscillator. Early radio reception was accomplished by the use of “crystal sets” or “cat whisker radios” and this valve pioneered the movement into more sensitive and effective instruments. Continue reading

Thursday Podcast: Interview with John Parsons of PML Exploration Services on Mud Logging and Gas Analysis for Oil and Gas Drilling

This week, we are pleased to introduce John Parsons. John has over 35 years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry. John was VP of Engineering at Varco (now NOV), and has worked for some notable companies such as Baker Hughes as director of engineering, Dresser Rand as General Manager, and is currently the President & CEO of PML Exploration Services. PML provides mud logging services for oil & gas companies in the United States. It offers one and two technician mud logging services, remote mud logging services, and digital recording services. The company was formerly known as Petroleum Mud Logging, Inc. and changed its name to PML Exploration Services LLC in November 2006. The company was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. John has introduced innovation and modernization to a traditional industry by utilizing an IIoT application for servicing its customers. Continue reading

Trends in Automation: Forecasts and Trends for Automated Vehicles

This January, President Obama pledged $4B for what he calls a “21st century transportation system.” This new transportation system was revealed, in part, to $4B earmarked specifically for research and development of automated vehicles. As a part of this new budget spend, federal regulators are working hard to clarify the “rule interpretation requests” sent in by manufacturers like BMW. These requests allow governing agencies to determine whether features like automated parking assistance fit into current driving standards and regulations. This opens up a dialog between car manufacturers and agencies like the NHTSA, which will allow rules to be adjusted as technology adapts to automated vehicles. Continue reading

History of Automation: Water Clocks – Water as Automation and an Alternate Energy Source

For millennia, humans have been using water as an energy source. There are early examples of hydropower, where energy could be created by attaching a paddlewheel to a device to harness the rotary power provided by the energy of flowing water. Millers have used this technique for thousands of years to refine grains. Other, more novel ideas have been used over the centuries to use the properties of water to advantage. Continue reading

Thursday Podcast: Matt Presley, Chief Technology Officer of Conestoga Energy

Matt Presley was raised in Eastern Kansas and moved to Southwest Kansas in 1993 at which time he began work for Harvey & Son Electric. In 1996, while working for Elkhorn Construction, he received his Journeyman Electrician. At Knab Pipeline, he acquired certification in Automation. In 1999, Matt began working with Duke Energy as a Specialist, gaining Microsoft Gold and DCS certifications. Matt’s love of information systems and networking inspires his success. Currently, Matt is Manager of Information Technology Solutions/Automation for Conestoga Energy. Matt writes and creates programs to make the company excel within the ethanol industry. Continue reading

Patch Two Available for InduSoft Web Studio 8.0

InduSoft has just added Patch Two for InduSoft Web Studio 8.0. In this newest patch we have added several major improvements to the InduSoft HMI/SCADA software, as well as solving some minor issues from previous versions. Continue reading

Thursday Podcast: Chuck Adams of Capstone Works Discusses IT Best Practices

This week we are pleased to introduce Chuck Adams, of Captstone Works. Capstone Works has been providing professional IT support for businesses since 2001. With over 33 years in technology, Chuck brings a unique perspective to adding value through technology to the small to medium sized business marketplace. Chuck’s diverse experience in marketing, sales, executive leadership, and “boots on the ground” technology implementations has allowed him to accumulate a wealth of solutions, tools and techniques that benefit small to medium sized businesses. Capstone Works specializes in delivering managed IT services, network support, cloud backup, cloud computing, and disaster recovery. Continue reading

The History of Automation: The Hollerith Tabulating Machine

There have been many examples of early computers, but one of the earliest devices to use an early form of programmable logic was the Hollerith Tabulating Machine, which was designed to aid in tabulating the 1890 census results. This very early computer used cards with punched holes, and a wire passed through them to a cup of mercury. The opening and closing of the circuit represented an early binary logic. In 1924, Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Co., and two other firms were consolidated into International Business Machines. Continue reading