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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

RSLogix 5000 Programming Tutorial


Free RSLogix 5000 Programming Tutorial:



This RSLogix 5000 tutorial video is a sample of the Free Online RSLogix 5000 tutorial course. The online mini course shows how in Studio 5000 logix designer, programming task and programs are laid out and provides an introduction to tag based programming.

Note some call it 'PLC programming', but as you will see in the free online RSLogix 5000 tutorial linked to above, PAC programming (what a Controllogix 5000 really is) is much different than PLC programming. That is why mastering PLC programming is recommended to be done first, before moving on to PAC programming. As a PAC is an industrial computer, not a microprocessor, so the Studio 5000 logix designer is designed in a computer programming structure that IT and computer programmers will be most comfortable with.

In contrast, PLC programming software like RSLogix 500 is designed so that an electrician will be most comfortable working with.

 Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)Be sure to to stay on top!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Electrical Engineering Information Overload

How does an Electrical Engineer student deal with information overload?


What a great question an Electrical Engineer student recently asked me. In running an industrial training company (BIN95) for decades, with the motto “We make learning fun”, I am in a unique position to answer that question. It's actually one of those questions millions of students around the world have, but seldom speak up and ask.

As with any solution, the first step is to identify the problem. We could do root cause analysis of the problem of electrical engineering student information overload, but that kind of detail would add to the problem of information overload. :) So in short…

  • In the engineering field, there is whole lot of information needed.
             - Compounded by the fact the required information constantly evolves and increases beyond the foundation and theory realm.
  • The problem is compounded even further by the fact that Engineering student information is taught via an antiquated ancient Greek system we call college.
             - Why is the ancient educational system a problem? Because the outdated system/approach requires the students to memorize mass amounts of information and theories, history, etc.
                               * The outdated educational system does not take into account each particular student's learning style strengths (audio, visual or Kinesthetic).
                                 * The existing educational system does not take into account what each individual actually needs to learn, to perform the particular job functions, specific to the job they are seeking to to do upon graduation. (Too generalized)


      So the solution to the learning information overload syndrome many electrical engineering students experience is actually quite simple. Especially for a civilization as advanced as ours.
      Teach using blended learning styles (audio, visual, kinesthetic), and only teach what is needed for a particular job, not an entire field. Teach how to find technical data if and when the need should arise, in contrast to the existing method of having to memorize everything.
      An approach BIN95 industrial training has taken since 1995. If it is so simple, why didn’t our institutionalized educational system evolve as civilization did?
      The bad news is keeping social acceptance based on 2, 4 or 8 year degree systems (instead of focused on knowledge/skills need, not time in school), keeps big colleges in business, but this capitalistic approach to higher education has been a barrier to the evolution of learning. The good news is, colleges like MIT are starting to evolve. They are flipping the old ancient Greek system upside down. Like instead of making students sit through a long  lectures by professors (audio learning style only approach), expecting students to absorb, and retain mass amounts of information in a short period of time, and then do homework to prove they understood and retained enough information. MIT has recorded lectures, so students can listen, and study at they're own pace, followed by discussion and hands on labs in the classroom. 
      Eventually the leading colleges will evolve even further, making the upside down approach  even more effective, by applying the same approach our company has for the last couple of decades. Taking that professor's audio lecture only approach and incorporating it into Computer Based Training (CBT) courses like we deliver. At BIN95 we have seen the future of real world simulation training software, and the future is bright. The ability to learn on your own schedule, customizing curriculums to meet your specific goals. With increased CBT implementation and technology, education becomes more cost effective, and with real world simulations, students are not only taught, but can actually be trained! 
      So what advice is there for a student stuck in the old school college?
      First and most important, don’t stress out about it. Second, only worry about remembering the mass amount of information, one test at a time. Third, fill the college gap simultaneously with computer based training, interactive, real world training simulation software courses like we sell. They use the blended learning approach  (audio, visual or Kinesthetic), and while they may not help you memorize mass amounts of information you will never use in your life time, they will give you a better understanding of that information. (And a better chance at guessing the correct answer on the quiz due to your better understanding of practical application.). Our CBTs will also make you more aware of what is important to remember long term, what you will actually need to know out in the real world.
      Another example,  is all of our many PLC Training courses, you will find the history of PLCs is not covered. I have never needed to know that in the work place either. We call that filler (fluff) so the learning institution can keep you busy for X amount of hours, or years. One of the most common questions I get from college instructors and apprenticeship programs is “how long does it take to get through training software course? I need to fill 70 hours” for example. It is very common that institutions decide how long the course will be, before deciding what content will be in the course, which leads to fluff, and ineffective education or training. 

      But there are exceptions to every rule. There may be scheduling or financial constraints that limit the length of a course. When that exception arises, we prioritize content by what is most commonly used in the workplace, what is most important in the workplace, and include as much as we can within the time and financial constraints. However, with some electrical engineering topics, like Proper PLC training, that could result in damage to man or machine if not done properly, we will decline a request to reduce training below the minimum time our expertise in the field dictates. Training and education decisions are not black and white. We would rather not make a sale, than only deliver enough training to build false self confidence in the student or employees. If we can't do it properly, we won't do it at all!

      Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

      Tuesday, July 12, 2016

      HVAC Training

      HVAC Training Support

      HVAC training videos and free online HVAC training assessments!

      Online HVAC Training

      Below are some great resources for those delivering HVAC training or those about to receive it. Start by testing yourself, employees or students with these recently added free online HVAC training assessments.

      HVAC Training Test:


      1. Uf HVAC SPECIFIC TESTING
      2. UF SPECIFIC (alt 2)
      3. HVAC TEST
      4. HVAC Test 2
      5. HVAC Test 3
      6. HVAC Test 4 (Final)


      Then to supplement your training, check out these online HVAC Training Videos. A great source to watch instructor teach real world practical application of your newly gained HVAC knowledge. While BIN does not currently offer their own HVAC course, there many related certificate courses here.

      Certificate courses like ...



      Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

      Saturday, May 7, 2016

      CNC PLC Programming

      CNC PLC Programming:

      CNC PLC Controls Troubleshooting

      CNC PLC programming may be done within the CNC controller/CNC operator control panel or as in most cases there is a separate PLC for CNC machine. In the latter, maintenance would connect directly with the PLC and use that particular PLC vendor's software to access the CNC PLC programming.

      This post and article referenced is about troubleshooting the CNC PLC control, and who can do what. Typically the CNC machine operator troubleshooting task is limited to responding to alarms on CNC control panel and visual inspections. Then if CNC operator can not resolve issue, maintenance is called and they will often use PLC ladder logic to speed more technical troubleshooting process as shown in the CNC PLC Control troubleshooting flowchart. The multi-meter is another supporting tool maintenance uses once the PLC ladder logic has quickly narrowed down the area of the system to test.

      CNC PLC Controls Troubleshooting


      The PLC programming for CNC machine is commonly simple as the PLC typically only controls peripheral devices that support the CNC controller. Like this CNC PLC Control troubleshooting flowchart article example, the CNC door closed confirmation signal is detected by PLC and then communicated to CNC. The PLC may control and/or monitor other supporting device too like the coolant pump, the chip conveyor, indicator lights, air solenoid, etc. That article is a great example of use of PLC in CNC machines and sheds some additional light on difference between PLC and CNC machines. 

      There are exceptions to every rule, so in some more rare CNC designs, things can get more complicated than described above. Instead of the PLC communicating to the CNC (industrial computer), the PLC could be emulated by the CNC controller itself. (Just like a PAC does, as a PAC is an industrial computer emulating a PLC.) Also if the CNC is having motor drive issues it can get more complex. Some CNCs communicate axis speeds and feeds to PLC which then in turn sends data to motor drives, some CNCs send data directly to drives and only use PLC for peripheral device.

      Increasing CNC operator maintenance level training is a growing trend to help reduce maintenance workload so maintenance can better  keep up with the ever growing technological advances in the industry and to reduce downtime waiting on maintenance to arrive. That possibility is explored in article linked to above using the CNC PLC Control troubleshooting flowchart with door closed signal example, If PLC LEDs are made visible to CNC operator, and they receive basic PLC training, they can often narrow down problem even further saving maintenance time. (... without using a computer or multi-meter) Often figuring out on their own and not needing maintenance, thus reducing downtime.

      What are your thoughts?

      Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

      Tuesday, April 26, 2016

      PLC Communication Protocols

      PLC Communication Protocols:

      (Fieldbus Communication Protocols)


      There are a lot of PLC Communication Protocols out there, especially when you consider the evolution of the PLC to the industrial computer (PAC)  and  Ethernet. But today lets explorer some of the most popular Fieldbus Protocols.


      From Foundation Fieldbus protocol to ProiBus, to HART and even ASibus protocol. the above video introduces them all, the Online Fieldbus Training course dives into the details of each. They are often used PLCs to DCS, most common in process industries, but in manufacturing too. Even in building automation systems (BAS).

      Because of Fieldbus and other communication protocols and technology, process controllers no longer need to be located close to the process. The analog sensors and actuators can communicate with PLC/PAC over greater distances than if the field device was just hard wired into the PLC analog input or output card.

      In order to understand the workings of a Fieldbus based system, the Fieldbus course below first starts with Fieldbus basics teaching you about the various types of signals uses in an automation system. From the 4 to 20ma current loop, to digital signals like Manchester encoding. Bit oriented buses like ASi are covered, byte oriented buses like CAN and DeviceNet, and message oriented buses like Foundation Fieldbus and ProfiBus are discussed.

      You'll learn about the various topologies ...master, slave, star, ring, FISCO, etc. Get familiar with DCS architecture, power supplies, troubleshooting, applying Fieldbus in hazardous areas. Even a walk through of a Fieldbus project, from beginning to end! And so much more in this huge course coverall the popular PLC communication protocols.

      Hope you like and share the Fieldbus Technology Tutorial video above. Thanks

      Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

      Friday, April 1, 2016

      Industrial Process Control | Pressure Transmitters

      Industrial Process Control

      >> Pressure Transmitters |  Differential Pressure Transmitters


      Differential Pressure Transmitters
      What is a Differential Pressure Transmitters? A sensor to detect and measure process pressure.

      The differential pressure transmitters is a sensing element connected by pipe work and flexes in proportion to the pressure. The resulting distortion produces an electric signal that is amplified and converted to a value on a read-out. The process side of the sensor sees the pressure to be measured while the other side is connected to a reference pressure. The reference pressure can be full vacuum, atmospheric pressure or another process pressure. Also  by connecting the differential pressure transmitters across an orifice plate in a pipeline, the pressure difference across the orifice can be put into a formula to calculate flow.

      To prevent chemicals from damaging the differential pressure transmitters, a flexible diaphragm made of  materials that protects against pitting and stress corrosion cracking is used. Temperature may also need considered when working with differential pressure transmitters as outside temperature can cause the oil fill expands or contracts giving the sensor distorted and false pressure reading. Of course the sensing diaphragm on which the liquid pressure acts must be kept clean too.

      For more about industrial process control sensors, see Instrumentation and Process Control Training article.

      Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

      Tuesday, March 8, 2016

      Industrial Automation Control Software

      What

      Industrial Automation Control Software

      should be...
      Industrial Automation Control
      PAC/IPC


      Industrial automation control software's end-user design friendliness varies from vendor to vendor, and varies from PLC to PAC or other industrial PCs (IPC). But when it comes to answering the question, 'what should industrial automation control software be?', I agree with Jerry Reaves, of AutomationDirect...

      Jerry: “They [End-Users] want to quickly install the software, connect to the controller and start programming, debugging or troubleshooting,” Reaves points out. “They don’t want to chase different software revisions, buy software upgrades or recite software revision levels to technical support.”
      If you agree, let your voice be heard, share this with others.

      Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!