Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reduce Downtime Troubleshooting!

Actually it does not matter if you have hardwired, Modbus, Devicenet or wireless sensors as far as troubleshooting time goes. (although any of the above can add to number of problems to be found. Like Modbus communication going out.)

The two primary factors in troubleshooting with a PLC is training and documentation. Using a PLC, it typically takes 5-10 minutes for a properly trained technician with discriptored ladder logic and an electrical layout diagram, to find a problem, no matter how complex the system. Time to fix varies on actual problem found.

Items that can increase troubleshooting time in order of most negative effect are ...

  • · Lack of proper training.
  • · Lack of proper PLC program documentation.
  • · Over complicated PLC ladder logic.
  • · Lack of electrical layout and schematics.

  • System Designs in order of most timely to troubleshoot are ...

  1. DCS (Mostly proprietary and designed for only OEM to use.)
  2. SCADA (Often proprietary, non-user friendly and training deficiencies. Seek Wonderware® and Factorytalk® training.)
  3. PAC (Ladder Logic easy, but function block diagram is not always, structured text is a more complex computer programming language.)
  4. PLC (Ladder Logic, easy for electricians and mechanics too if tought properly.)
The bottom line is that all the above systems could be easy (quick) to troubleshoot if one is constantly trained, the system is well documented and designed for the laymen to easily understand.

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What is world-class asset management?

Check out this Industrial Training Newsletter and comment on it below. What do you define as world-class asset management?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PLC Programming Jobs

Click to see large ladder logic
Below are some tips for those looking for PLC Programming Jobs. I suggest those looking for PLC programming jobs AND those who are looking for PLC Programmers (single project or full time job), connect with me. In the online social media arena, I am well connected within our industry. Just by following, friending, connecting with me, you will add to your visibility in our industry.

If you would also like to connect on facebook, see

Also, I know I have mentioned it before, but we have set up to automatically find related jobs as soon as they are posted on the Internet somewhere, and tweet them to you. So I would recommend following @IndTraining too.

But, on to advice for finding PLC Programming jobs. first of all, study the rung of PLC logic above, it speaks your language. :>) the ladder logic may also give you some insight into areas you can open more contacts. (Pun intended) The old school method of looking for jobs in search engines, even older school method of live networking events, calling each manufacturer/engineering firm, snail mail, classifieds are equal to a slow boat to China nowadays.

You need to get social, that was my advice to a friend recently, seeking PLC Programming job. This is the only way in today's world, to find the jobs quick, before someone else does. Below are excerpts from my reply to William W. (if you need a good programmer, contact me, I'll send you William's resume.)

  • Get on FaceBook, I am connected with 50+ manufacturers, make a post letting them know you are seeking a job.
  • Create a detailed contact profile/resume on LinkedIn, I am connected with 350+ in the industry, you could be too.
  • Today, smart employers want Internet savvy PLC programmers, be smart, get up to speed and get online.
More from my reply to William ...
"... Search the jobs posted on you will find ones like Controls Engineer - Manufacturing Engineering Group at Intralox posted by Kathy 4 days ago.

Or Lead Electrical Design Engineer at Bauer Controls posted by Kelly today. (you want to sort your search by day posted, and reply to the jobs most recently posted first, and work your way down to the older job listing. If you are contacting a company through LinkedIn where they can see all your information, you are more likely to get an interview than if you just cold call some company, not having a person within the company to contact.

Also if you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands, you should post frequently to related discussions like those at …  (Rick Zabel
is VP and is a connection of mine on (most of the major site owners are connections of mine. And could be yours too. :>)

The links above are to job areas, but you want to join in on the regular discussion groups to establish yourself online as an expert. (ending with your signature stating you are seeking employment.:>)

The bottom line, using google search for “plc technician jobs” and “plc programmer jobs” to find the hundreds of jobs out there, you should try to apply/inquire for at least 10 jobs per day.

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)