Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Glossary Terms
Terms that are used on the Manufacturing Automation website


Wait before transmitting positive ACKnowledgment. In binary synchronous communications, this DLE sequence is sent by a receiving station to indicate that it is temporarily not ready to receive.


Wide-area network

Warehouse management systems

Software that integrates activities performed mechanically and by humans with an information system to effectively manage warehouse business processes and direct warehouse activities.

Watchdog timer

A timer that monitors a cyclical process and is cleared at the conclusion of each cycle. If the watchdog runs past its programmed time period, it will cause a fault.


The distance traveled by light (or other radiation) while completing one complete sine-wave cycle. It is expressed in nanometers (nm). Each color has a specific wavelength.

Weighted value

The numerical value assigned to any single bit as a function of its position in a word.


A temporary, usually rectangular, bounded area on a CRT display that includes particular entities for entry, modification, or deletion.


A trough, with hinged or removable covers; for housing and protecting electric wires and cables and in which conductors are laid in place after the wireway has been installed as a complete system. A wireway may be made of either sheet metal or of a flame-retardant nonmetallic material.


A grouping or a number of bits in a sequence that is treated as a unit.

Word length

The number of bits in a word. In a programmable controller, unless stated otherwise, a word has 16 data bits.


The magnitude of a force times the distance through which that force is applied. (work = force x distance)

Work area

A portion of the data table reserved for specific processor functions.


1) A powerful stand-alone computer of the sort used in applications requiring considerable calculating or graphics capability. 2) A combination of input, output, and computing hardware that can be used for work by an individual. 3) A microcomputer or terminal connected to a network.

Wrap around

In a display, when data is moved in one direction through the display, or a cursor is moved though the data, as the data displayed or the cursor position reaches one extreme end, it jumps to the other extreme end so that the movement can continue.


To load data into somewhere (memory, an output, another station).