Subscribe and listen to AW’s podcast!
Subscribe and listen to the Automation World Gets Your Questions Answered podcast!
Listen Here

Web Site Resources for Automation Users

Chris Anderson, of Long Tail book fame, proclaimed that the web was dead in 2010. He proclaimed that the Web was dead and the next phase of the digital revolution was to be peer-to-peer communication, mobile.

Acromag offers faceted search to access specific content quickly.
Acromag offers faceted search to access specific content quickly.

But, what about all that money that automation suppliers dumped into their web sites for the last 20 odd years? Don’t fear, end users still need to find information, and the web is not dead yet.

This month, I’m presenting some fine web site tools and resource pages. One of my favorites is faceted search—something I don’t see all too often—and a solid example can be found on Acromag’s web site, This tool allows a visitor to select three different values to complete a search, allowing for much more refined results. At Acromag’s site, you can select a resource type (content type), a product category and then enter in a model number. For example, select data sheets, embedded systems and COM express, and then a model number. Voila! You have quite the targeted search, and very quickly (see image).

Many automation vendors are large companies and finding a distributor for their products can take time. Rockwell Automation ( offers up a “find a distributor” page; once you enter a Zip code and hit enter, a list of companies appear. The whole process keep you on the Rockwell site, and provides contact and location information right on the site. Find it at

What about resources? Most vendors offer case application pages, but most are poorly categorized or designed. Beckhoff Automation ( offers a case application page divided up by industries.  Also, the “application and solutions” navigation option appears on every page.

Popular Stories by taxonomy on 

Dynamic Processes Call for Virtual Plant Technology

Process control simulation software is on its way to becoming essential to process plants, and the engineers and operators who run them

EtherNet/IP: A Fieldbus First, Network Second
Wanting to replace multiple fieldbuses with a single control network standard, a Tier One automotive manufacturer chose EtherNet/IP.

Historian Best Practices

Historians enable deep insight into the behavior of a process at a given point in time, but depending on which member of the automation team you are, you may not know enough about the data you’re capturing or how to optimize its use.

Cloud Computing: 
ProficySCADA Now Available for iPad

In this era of a mobile workforce and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD), the ability to get the same HMI/SCADA functionality on a tablet device--the Apple iPad--brings 25 years of legacy software into the 21st Century.

Popular Videos on

IMTS 2012 | Robotic Solutions for Small Applications

The Automation Conference | Remote Diagnostics at Coke

Skills Gap: Keynote on Stihl’s Training Program

IMTS 2012 | How To Simplify Panel Wiring


Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
Take Automation World's machine learning quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
Discover New Content
Access Automation World's free educational content library!
Unlock Learning Here
Discover New Content