About Us

Automation.com is the leading online publisher of automation-related content. Visit Automation.com frequently for the latest industrial and commercial automation news, insights, new-product information and other resources. Our mission is to help automation professionals improve production efficiencies, secure and optimize facilities, and transform their manufacturing and industrial businesses.

Attracting more than 140,000 unique automation professionals from around the globe each month, Automation.com is the leading online content provider and the only pure electronic magazine in the automation industry. Since 2007, Automation.com has been publishing more content than any other publication, reinforcing its position as the leading online content provider. According to third-party traffic ranking websites such as Alexa.com, Automation.com is the most frequented automation-related news and information site on the web, out-ranking the websites of many of the well-known, more established industry trade publications.

Automation.com organizes information with dozens of topic-specific Automation Portals, providing an efficient and effective way for site visitors to find information. Each portal includes articles, news, white papers, case studies, product announcements, resources, and events. In addition to the main website and portals, Automation.com publishes a weekly e-newsletter and variety of automation portal topic e-newsletters, all of which are distributed to more than 140,000 automation professionals world-wide.

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Our Story

In March of 2000, Automation Resources, Inc. was founded by Alan Carty. Carty subsequently launched the website www.automationtechies.com, a job board focused on the factory automation and plant process control industries. Based on positive feedback from both advertising clients as well as site visitors, the website began to evolve into much more than a job board. By 2001, the website began publishing technical articles, application stories, product announcements and other resources applicable to the industry. At the same time, the job board evolved into a full-service recruiting and contract staffing business.

Rick Zabel officially joined Automation Resources in June of 2000 and focused his efforts on managing and growing the website business, while Carty focused on the recruiting and contract staffing business. In September 2004, in an effort to separate the two businesses, Automation Resources, Inc. purchased the www.automation.com domain name and imported all the content from www.automationtechies.com to www.automation.com. The automationtechies name and website is currently used for the recruiting and contract staffing business.

With the sole purpose of providing information to automation and controls professionals, Automation.com content and traffic continued to grow quickly. According to third-party traffic ranking websites like Alexa.com, Automation.com became the most frequented automation-related news and information site on the web, out-ranking the websites of industry trade publications.

By 2007, Automation.com was publishing more automation-related news and product stories than any other publication, reinforcing its position as the leading online content provider and the only pure electronic magazine in the industry. Since automation encompasses so many smaller topics within this niche industry, Automation.com introduced a number of Automation Portals – topic-specific content areas of the site. The Automation Portals are an efficient and effective way to organize content for site visitors by topics including: Automatic Identification, Building Automation, Fieldbus, HMI, Motion Control, Process Control, Robotics, Safety, Security, Sensors and Wireless, to name a few. Now the site hosts more than 40 unique topic-specific portals. Each portal includes articles, white papers, application stories, product announcements, company news, project news, resources, training, seminars and events.

A key feature of the Automation Portals is, they not only organize content published by Automation.com, but also include summaries and links to applicable articles and resources published on other industry sites. The intent of the Automation Portals is to give industry professionals one place to find relevant, up-to-date information on dozens of automation topics.

Automation.com is updated multiple times each day by an industry-experienced content and editorial team. Each month, the website publishes more than 300 articles, news stories and product announcements. Plus, the site adds more than 100 previews and links per month to relevant automation articles published on other industry websites.

In addition to the website, Automation.com publishes a number of electronic e-newsletters. Automation Weekly is issued each Wednesday and covers the week’s latest general automation articles, news and products. Also, in conjunction with many of the Automation Portals, Automation.com publishes portal e-newsletters at various frequencies. While the Automation Portals act as an archive of information on each topic, the portal e-newsletters push out the latest content to subscribers via e-mail.

In October of 2009, The International Society of Automation (ISA) selected Automation.com as exclusive supplier and distributor of their technical electronic newsletters. Automation.com produces the now co-branded Automation Weekly and automation portal e-newsletters. All of these co-branded e-newsletters are distributed to Automation.com subscribers, ISA members and customers, and InTech subscribers, creating a combined distribution of more than 100,000 automation professionals world-wide. Since Automation.com was already selling sponsorships in the e-newsletters, and in an effort to maximize synergies between the two companies, ISA also selected Automation.com to be their sales representative for all of InTech print, digital and online publications.

In October of 2014, ISA announced the acquisition of Automation.com. Under the acquisition agreement, ISA owns Automation.com, including its website, intellectual property and all associated products, trademarks and copyrights. ISA incorporated a new wholly-owned subsidiary called Automation.com, and Rick Zabel remains the Publisher and Managing Director. Automationtechies.com and the recruiting business built by Carty will remain part of Automation Resources, Inc.

The acquisition by ISA was a natural progression of the 5-year, successful publishing relationship between the two companies. Post-acquisition, Automation.com leverages ISA’s technical assets with Automation.com’s proven digital expertise to give the marketplace an unmatched, robust and integrated media offering

Significant milestones in Automation.com history:

  • 2000 - Started business as automationtechies.com, original focus was selling online job postings
  • 2001 - Evolved into two businesses: Recruiting/staffing company and Online magazine
  • 2004 - Purchased the Automation.com domain to create two separate businesses
  • 2005 - Re-launched website at www.automation.com domain
  • 2009 - ISA selects Automation.com to publish and distribute InTech e-newsletters
  • 2010 - Automation.com celebrates 10-year anniversary
  • 2014 - ISA acquires Automation.com
  • 2020 - Automation.com celebrates 20-year anniversary, rebrands logo, and launches new website

There is no cost to become a subscriber of Automation.com or the various e-newsletters.  Click here to become a subscriber.

In addition to daily news and information, Automation.com hosts event listings, directories of product suppliers, systems integrators and machine manufacturers, products, job center (job search and posting). For all those social networkers, Automation.com has created groups on popular networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Group Publisher & Managing Director

Rick Zabel - Managing Director, Publisher, Occasional Editor


Rick has been with Automation.com since it's original inception in 2000 as automationtechies.com. In late 2014, the International Society of Automation (ISA) purchased Automation.com and Rick was named Managing Director of the wholly-owned subsidiary. Rick oversees the Automation.com business, acts as Publisher and occasional Editor, and is responsible for all publishing activities, including website, e-newsletters and digital magazine. Rick provides oversight, guidance and direction of all publishing and editorial activities, advertising solution/product development, sales and account management, and all related administrative activities. In addition, Rick works closely with advertisers to tailor online advertising campaigns that will best meet their goals.

Rick has a diverse background, most recently having worked with Wunderlich-Malec Engineering, Inc. of Minnetonka, MN. There he served as the Marketing Manager for the Process Control and Software Integration Business Groups. Previously, Rick held positions of Application Engineer, Account Manager, Sales Engineer, and Regional Sales Manager for automation product manufacturers and distribution companies. Rick is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.