The Knotts Company

Industrial Automation and Motion Control Blog | The Knotts Company

Top 5 Industrial Automation and Motion Control Blog Posts of 2011

Posted by Mark Howe

Dec 21, 2011 1:50:00 PM

2011 is quickly coming to an end so here is a look back at our Top 5 Blog posts for the year.

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Topics: industrial automation nj/ny, aluminum extrusion, knotts company

5 Reasons You Need Vision Inspection on Your Food Packaging Line

Posted by Mark Guida

Nov 1, 2011 8:30:00 AM

“The hand is quicker than the eye” is an old adage from magicians and illusionists.  Indeed, the human eye can be fooled from time to time.  And when it comes to food processing and packaging it is important that our eyes are not fooled.  With advances in vision inspection equipment, machines can help with visual inspections.  This automation can greatly improve quality, safety and efficiency in a food packaging operation.

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Topics: industrial automation nj/ny, knotts company, vision, automated inspection

How Can Industrial Automation Help Your Business Compete and Succeed?

Posted by Rick Howe

Oct 27, 2011 8:30:00 AM

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Topics: industrial automation nj/ny

Why Outsource Technical Support? 5 Ways Outsourcing Can Help Your Business

Posted by Rick Howe

Oct 11, 2011 1:49:00 PM

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Topics: cost effective, industrial automation nj/ny, resource, core competencies

Machine Guarding (Aluminum Extrusion) is Serious for Plant Safety

Posted by Mark Howe

Sep 30, 2011 2:00:00 PM

Plant managers and engineers know the importance of safety. OSHA regulations are always at the forefront of safety related decisions, but there are additional precautions that help not only with OSHA compliance but with overall plant and production line safety.

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Topics: manufacturing, industrial automation nj/ny, aluminum extrusion in nj, aluminum extrusion, machine guard, Machine Guarding

Machine Solutions on EtherCAT

Posted by Mark Guida

Sep 19, 2011 1:58:00 PM

What is EtherCAT?

  • EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology)

  • Open Ethernet-based fieldbus standard utilizing IEEE 802.3 Ethernet components

  • Utilizes off-the-shelf wiring: RJ45 connectors, CAT5 cables

  • Real-time optimum Industrial Ethernet Protocol for controlling Servo, AC Drives and I/O.

  • More information at

Why EtherCAT?

EtherCAT is the fastest fieldbus network on the market that enables high performance architecture solutions. Its use of open standards and freedom of topology make it easy to implement, easy to use, and easy to maintain. Control systems designed now can support future architecture advances because it eliminates limitations found in alternative network technologies. EtherCAT is Omron Industrial Automations standard for fieldbus networks, and its standard for high performance motion control.

In a highly competitive and global market, OEM's constantly strive to achieve more for less when it comes to machine automation. This intensifies as users of automated equipment in the America's drive for specific needs such as - smaller production quantities, wider ranges of sizes, higher throughput, and more uptime. EtherCAT as a fieldbus technology that enables the convergence of Sequence, Motion, I/O, Vision, and Safety. Omron's implementation of EtherCAT suite of products enables automation platforms to increase overall efficiencies for machine builders and achieve higher performance.

Would you like to learn more about EtherCAT?

Omron is sponsoring a full-day seminar in Boston on October 11th, 2011. This is a great opportunity to learn more about how EtherCAT technologies can help you.


Learn more about Omron EtherCat Solutions.

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Topics: cost effective, industrial automation nj/ny, knotts company, ethercat

Automation 101 - Programming Robots Made Easy

Posted by Mark Guida

Sep 6, 2011 10:43:00 AM

Welcome to Automation 101, a weekly "tips and tricks" post where we will discuss technologies and programming of today's top automation products.

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Topics: cost savings, manufacturing, industrial automation nj/ny, technology, automation control, electric cylinder, motion control

How to Determine the Right-Sized Cylinder for Your Job

Posted by Mark Howe

Aug 10, 2011 10:48:00 AM

Technical Tip and Guest Post from Bimba

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Topics: cost effective, industrial automation nj/ny, resource, air cylinder, knotts company, bimba

Air or Electric Cylinder. How Do You Choose?

Posted by Mark Howe

Jul 12, 2011 2:44:00 PM

It is becoming an increasing important question when building automated machines. What is best for my application? Pneumatic or Electric actuator.  Both actuators have their pros and cons.  When it comes down to it, there are a handful of reasons why to use one over another.

While they are different as night and day, the way you size them is very similar.  You just need to know some basic information to start the decision process.
  • Load
  • Speed or cycle time
  • Stroke
Once you know this information you can size your cylinder as needed.  Beyond that information, air and electric start to differ.

Air will never be replaced.  No matter what anyone says, air does have its place and it has some key features that eclectic just can’t match up to.
  • Speed
  • Power
  • Size
  • Simplicity
To get an air cylinder to move faster, the air flow needs to be increase.  The size of the unit versus the power it puts out can’t even be matched by an electric cylinder.  If all you need is two points then air is the way to go and simple compared to electric.

Like air, electric cylinders do have their merits.
  • Multiple Positions
  • Overall Cost
  • Acceleration and deceleration
  • Accuracy and Repeatability
These are just a few aspects that air can’t match electric.  With an electric cylinder, you have complete control over the acceleration and deceleration. An application example for acceleration and deceleration is handling of liquids or fragile materials.  Electric cylinders give you the ability to program and control multiple positions with high accuracy and repeatability.  And last, there is the ‘Green’ factor.  The overall operating cost of electric can be anywhere from 1/3 to 1/10 the cost of air.  

So overall they both have their benefits over each other and it really comes down to if it fits the application.  If they both fit the application, then it really just comes down to what the user prefers as well as the application.  Air or electric?
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Topics: cost savings, manufacturing, cost effective, industrial automation nj/ny, technology, electric cylinder, air cylinder, knotts company

A Real Life Experience with the 80/20 Extrusion Mobile Showcase

Posted by Mark Howe

Jun 28, 2011 2:18:00 PM

Recently a Knott's customer contacted us and arranged a visit from our 80/20 Aluminum Extrusion Demo Van to see some of the latest products being offered.  Our account manager Jerry pulled the van right up to the shipping bay to set up shop.  The 80/20 Demo Van contains a fully loaded gurney that shows all the extrusion profiles as well as hands on demos.  Jerry pulled the gurney out and set up shop before the customer's engineers arrived on scene.

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Topics: industrial automation nj/ny, resource, aluminum extrusion in nj, aluminum extrusion, t-slotted extrusion, knotts company