Most Popular Blogs of 2020: Top 5 x 5

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Most Popular Blogs

This is our fifth year of blogging. Now, as 2020 comes to a close (and many of us breathe a sigh of relief), we’re looking back at our most popular blogs of the year—but not just this year. Going back to 2016, when we started blogging, our posts still get a ton of traffic. In fact, the most visited blog of 2020 went up five years ago.

This post is a great guide to finding the best content on our website, as picked by readers like you.

Top 5 2020

Though automation is a more robust blog section, it’s our safety blog that begins and ends this list—which isn’t surprising. Let’s look at the most popular blogs from 2020.

Most Popular Blogs 2020

#1. 5 Workplace Safety Tips

Based on what our readers search our site for most, this collection of workplace safety tips will help you keep employees, customers, and visitors safe. This detailed list focuses on key safety areas.

#2. Drive Modernization Part IV PowerFlex 70 to PowerFlex 525

The latest addition to our drive modernization series, this post is a step-by-step guide to upgrading your PowerFlex® 70 drive to a PowerFlex 525 drive. You’ll get the instructions and information you need to migrate your drives.

#3. 5 Steps to Digital Transformation Success

Every journey starts with a step, and this post gives you a five-step plan for making your digital transformation. Start your journey by learning how to make the right choices for your organization.

#4. Basic Rules for Dynamic Braking Resistors

Braking resistors are cost-effective, and they don't require any downtime maintenance. Learn how to extend your braking system’s life and reduce mechanical wear with dynamic braking for variable frequency drives (VFDs).

#5. COVID-19 Safety Solutions for the New Normal

There are several key components to consider when selecting the right COVID-19 safety solutions for the workplace. This post will help you revise your safety programs for the new normal.

Top 5 2019

When it comes to our most popular blogs from 2019, it’s all about automation, covering a wide variety of topics.

Most Popular Blogs 2019

#1. Confused by RSLinx Rebranding?

We are an authorized Rockwell Automation® distributor. We’re also your go-to source for questions on RSLinx® software, FactoryTalk® software, and everything automation related. Let’s look at what the rebrand means.

#2. VFD Series: How to Connect the Shield in VFD Cable

This is the seventh installment of our on-going VFD series. In its first appearance on our lists of most popular blogs (but it won’t be the last), this part of the series answers the question, “Do I need to bond both ends of my motor cable, or do I leave one loose?”

#3. Inertia Ratio: Avoiding an Inertia Mismatch

In motion control and in servo systems, both the motor and load have inertia. And the ratio between the inertias impacts your system’s performance. Often overlooked, this ratio is one of the most important aspects of servo motor sizing.

#4. VLANs: Why Do I Need Them?

Learn what a VLAN is and how it can benefit your industrial network. A VLAN allows a group of Ethernet devices to be physically separate while communicating seamlessly and liming broadcast domain traffic.

#5. Drive Modernization Part III 1305 to PowerFlex 525

This is part three of a series on drive migration. This installment will help you avoid legacy drive failure, which can put your facility at risk. Get ready to explore the path to converting a 1305 drive to PowerFlex 525 drive.

Top 5 2018

The most popular blogs from 2018 are all about answering questions and giving expert advice. That makes perfect sense when you consider our seasoned specialists write these posts based on questions they get from our customers.

Most Popular Blogs 2018

#1. Control Panel Best Practices and Options

How are you handling your electrical control panels? Always one of our most popular blogs, this post provides skill-building best practices for your devices and components, covering both layout and technical considerations.

#2. Networking: Ring Topology Protocols

A network configuration, a ring topology is formed when device connections create a circular data path. This post digs into two popular rings, REP (Resilient Ethernet Protocol) and DLR (Device Level Ring). You’ll learn how they work and why to choose one ring or the other.

#3. What is Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE)?

Developed by Rockwell Automation and Cisco®, CPwE globalizes operations, standardizes devices, normalizes network processes, and closely integrates IT/OT with existing automation systems.

#4. How to Calculate Safe Distances

This video post will help you find the right balance and keep employees safe. Learn how to calculate the minimum safe mounting distance to ensure worker safety and avoid excessive distances that use up valuable floor space.

#5. 6 PLC-5 Migration Options

Evaluate your options and make the right choice for your business. If you haven’t heard, PLC-5 reached its end of life phase. In this one, you’ll learn about your migration options.

Top 5 2017

From software to drives to panels to machine safety to networking, it’s hard to find a theme for our most popular blogs from 2017. One common thread, they’re all written by our talented group of in-house experts.

Most Popular Blogs 2017

#1. VFD Series: Good Panel Design

If Kevin Beach had a dollar for every time he’s seen a complete mess of an electrical panel, he would have a whole lot of dollars for sure. This post from his popular VFD series will walk you through the secrets to good panel design.

#2. 5 Safety Control System FAQs Answered

Your machine safety questions answered in an easy to follow FAQ. This post focuses on how to set up a safety control system, covering risk reduction measures and safety-related parts of the control system.

#3. From Dumb Terminals to PCs and Back – ThinManager

Even if you’re not old enough to remember “dumb terminals," our Jim Bischoff is. In those days, terminals were installed in pairs, and only one could be used at a time because they shared the same RS-232 cable! Well, it was the 80s. 

#4. Do You Have Proper Arc Flash Protection?

Defined by the exposure to arc flash or arc blast, PPE is assigned an arc rating. Our Jim Lanz is a certified OSHA Outreach Instructor, and in this post, he covers arc flash and arc blast prevention and protection.

#.5 NAT Makes Your Operations More Effective

Network address translation (NAT) is a feature that takes one IP address (typically a public 10.10.10.X) and converts it to a private IP address (192.168.1.X). Simply put, NAT is a feature that converts one IP address to a private address. 

Top 5 2016

The year that started it all for our blog was dominated by our VFD series. When they weren’t learning all about VFDs, our site visitors also sought out our safety content.

Most Popular Blogs 2016

#1. VFD Series: Motor Cable Length Matters

Finding the right motor can be a daunting task—just look at an industrial motor catalog. This VDF series post breaks down the huge selection of motors on the market to make it easier to choose the right one.

#2. VFD Series: What the Heck is a Variable Frequency Drive?

It’s the blog that started it all—what is a VDF and how can you benefit from using them? In this post, you will learn the uses for VFDs. It also covers the cautions you should take when implementing one.

#3. VFD Series: The Environment Can Kill You

In the past, it was common to see drives hanging on plant walls in their own enclosure, but that’s increasingly less popular. This installment of the VFD series takes a deep dive into the environmental issues that can impact your VFDs.

#4. Pull the Plug on Extension Cord Hazards

You can find them in every workplace and home—they’re essential to powering our day-to-day lives. But power strips and extension cords can also create deadly hazards. Learn how to avoid misuse and overload.

#5. Everything You Need to Know About Emergency Exits

Is your facility prepared for the unexpected? Will your employees, customers, and visitors know how to safely exit your building in an emergency? This post outlines OSHA standards and what it takes to meet them.

Which Blog was Most Popular with You?

We blog for you, our readers. We’re here to answer your questions, provide best practices, build your skills, and share critical information. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for—yet—you can always contact us!