Friday, December 9, 2011

Connecting to PLC and other Industrial Equipment via USB

Some customers where having difficulty figuring out how to connect to our Micrologix PLC Trainer using the supplied USB to RS232 converter cable. It can be difficult if it is the 1st time using a USB converter, and the procedures hang some up. So I hope this pictorial with step by step instructions help.

RS232 Communication with PLC
RS232 DF1 driver setup procedure overview:
The USB converter picks a com port number randomly, you have to set DF1 com port to the same number as the USB.

Step by Step (Stage 1 - Device Manager):

  • Click PC "Start" button at bottom left of your computer screen.
  • Click 'Control Panel", then click "System" icon
  • Select "Hardware" tab and click on "Device Manager" button
  • In Device manager, scroll down tree until you see "Ports (Comm and LPT)"
  • Click the "+" (plus sign) to expand the tree and reveal the com number of the USB converter.
  • Write down the comm number shown. (In our pictorial example, it is "COM6")

Step by Step (Stage 2 - RSLinx):

  • Open RSLinx (May find under "Rockwell Software" folder in Program files)
  • Click on "Communications" from RSLinx pull-down menu and select "configure drivers"
  • Select RS232/DF1 driver from list and click "Configure" button on the right. (If DF1 driver not available, add new by using "Available Driver Types" pull down list.)
  • In DF1 driver, change com port number from 1 to what ever the com number was on your USB port. (In our pictured example, we would be changing to "Com 6".)
  • Then click auto config. (If you are plugged into Micrologix PLC and the PLC is powered on, you will see "Configuration successful" in auto-config window.)
  • Then click "OK" button, minimize RSLinks and you are ready to open RSLogix software to go online.

Hope this helps, please share with others in case they need help too. Thanks
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Beef up that Resume with PLC Training

Your best, quickest, easiest and least expensive path to adding PLC capabilities to your resume is our 3 day PLC Training seminar in Atlanta or St. Louis.
PLC Training

May 22-24, 2012 is the next one coming up in St. Louis, SEE …

Then the next one is in Atlanta in July 24-26, 2012, SEE …

Why is the three day PLC training seminar the best solution for a resume?

  • Nice Certificate
  • 1.6 CEUs
  • All hands on experience
  • Practical real world knowledge
  • Learn to talk the talk, and walk the walk during that interview

What make this PLC training different than all other providers?

  • We don't just present the information, theories, things you never use like others do, we Train you on task you'll actually use in the real world.
  • We don just show you how to perform a function like others do, we Train you on the best-practices! 
  • We don't just use a PLC simulator like others do, you get Trained on actual equipment!
  • Plus we teach you the safest and most reliable way to work with PLCs!

We provide you with extra learning material and encourage you to continue to build on the strong foundation we have given you. all for a lower price than other providers charge. That is why everyone is amazed at the quality of PLC training we deliver. Living up to our reputation of providing "The Best for Less".

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are you wasting your time and money on a college degree for which there are no jobs?

No surprise those majoring in medical fields would have the most likely chance to find a job when they get out of college. But #6 on the list is of particular interest to us; those who take Industrial Production Technologies college have a better chance of finding a related job when you get out of college. As opposed to IT field for example, which is saturated with students seeking employment.

# 12 Mechanical Engineering and #25 Electrical Engineering made the top 25 most likely to find a job after college too!

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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thinking Out Of The Box: "No Labor" Manufacturing Goal

It's all about competing with China now days. The only way to compete with cheap labor (should that be the primary competitive advantage and Gov is not capable to help with), is to embrace a different kind of manufacturing industry. And it wont be easy.
manufacturing competing with China

Instead of current industry model, "To get a manufacturing facility that employs a lot of people". Embrace the future and compete with other country's cheap labor, by an "No Labor" approach. Where the NEW goal is "manufacturing facility that employs the LEAST amount of people, and get more of those manufacturing facilities".

"No Labor = Increase manufacturing facilities built but employing less people in each." (IE: instead of 1 facility with 300 employees and 3 million is sales, have 3 facilities with 100 employees each, each doing 3 million is sales for a total of 9 million in sales. 300% increase in USA revenue, same number of employees employed.)

The high technology/Automated "No Labor" approach allows USA manufactures to compete with low tech cheap labor countries. More manufacturing facilities increases construction jobs, technical jobs like industrial engineering and maintenance technicians and increases support  jobs like admin, sales, logistics, suppliers, etc. But more importantly increases USA exports volumes, helping secure our country's financial future.

No doubt a Radical,  Out of the box type thinking concept like this will meet with much controversy and discussion. So please feel free comment. (No cussing though, ha ha)

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

USA - Maintenance Managers Wanted is a great place to find jobs under the radar sort of speak. Below are Maintenance Manager job openings for US residents only that are no more than about a week old.

Maintenance Manager within the Automotive, Industrial and/or Agricultural Industry. Please contact me at I am currently working with a proven Stable and Growing company that is one of the world’s premier bearing manufacturers and is located in the Midwest Region.

Maintenance Supervisor West Chicago IL General Mills plant
Functional Area(s): Manufacturing
Laurissa Gauvitte 2nd on LinkedIn - Job Description: Provide manufacturing leadership to deliver a world-class maintenance operation. Lead, motivate, and develop a team of mechanics to drive
losses out of our systems, while leveraging Continuous Improvement (Lean/TPM) tools, improving individual skills, and enhancing teamwork.

Joseph Ray on LinkedIn - Electrical Engineer - Maintenance Supervisor - Birmingham, AL
United States Steel Corporation has an immediate opening for a Shift Manager – Central Shops Electrical at the Fairfield Works facility in Fairfield, AL.

Tom Worcester on linkedin 2nd - Change Agent Maintenance Manager for Chemicals or Plastics. Seeking the right individual who wants to make a difference in the way maintenance is done
To direct the maintenance of the St. Louis Plant equipment to assure the optimum reliability and maintenance cost for production operations, through implementation of new and or improved techniques for predictive and corrective maintenance. In order to accomplish the Operational Excellence Goals, the Manager will be involved with employee supervision, planning, training, purchasing, inventory control, engineering and regulatory compliance. Driving continuous improvement in the plant’s maintenance programs is crucial. This company is unable to sponsor at this time. Please feel free to contact me at tworcester @ or 919 957 2270

Scot Newcom on linkedin 2nd - Ready to run your own department, I am looking for a Maintenance Manager for a company located in South Carolina. The ideal candidate must have gear Hobbing and CNC turning experience. Bachelor’s degree preferred (Technical Degree and experience can be an option)

2+ years’ experience in a heavy in a heavy industrial environment Electrical/PLC, hydraulic, mechanics and pneumatics, welding with a minimum of 3 years of experience.
Must be familiar with TS 16949 and/or ISO9000 requirements. Demonstrated knowledge of Microsoft office computer software applications.
2-5 years in CNC repair, general maintenance and other maintenance responsibilities that would include the ability to recognize electrical, plumbing, and mechanical malfunctions or equipment failures.
Fanuc control, ladder logic and PLC experience. Gear Hobbing, CNC Turning

Mr. Lozano on linkedin 2nd - Sr. Maintenance Manager Modesto, CA Frozen Foods Industry 120K ATTN Bruno Lozano patdifuriaco @

Kirk Clermont on linkedin 2nd - Plant Engineering and Maintenance Manager, Northern Indiana, to mid $80’s plus bonus, call Jeff Tuholski;; 800-800-3617 x107
Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience, in an Engineering discipline
Solid experience in food processing with strong preferences for refrigerated (Ammonia) and/or liquid filling operations
Must have background in maintaining PLC controlled equipment 3 years Supervisory experience including selecting, developing and retaining good people
AutoCAD and experience managing capital projects are also required.
Familiarity with Good Manufacturing Practices new Sanitation and Quality regulations
Continuous Improvement experience
Excellent verbal/written communication skills.
Strong team player and leader with the ability to work across multiple functions and disciplines.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oil and Gas Refinery Debottlenecking, clean exchanger tubes.

Mike Watson show in his article Oil and Gas Refinery Debottlenecking, clean exchanger tubes. how being green, reducing CO² emissions can increase production and profits in his cleaning technology for refinery heat exchange tubes.
refinery debottlenecking by cleaning the tube heat exchangers
A must read article if you are in the oil, gas, petrochemical and energy industries; or use heat exchangers in your process.

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

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Problem Solving Skills Training Video

Problem Solving Skills Training Video:

Every company should have all employees watch this DVD because it increases productivity across the board.

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 discount of 11% on TwitPic

11/11/11 discount of 11% on TwitPic:

11 hours to grab this 11% discount on Industrial Electrical Training Video Course.

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Maintenance Troubleshooting Skills Training

Scott Dunsmuir made 2 very good points on a Google+ discussion about an article that I had  ed Manufacturing Skills Certification System there. Below I would like to share Scott's 2 points with my readers.

Scott: "Even before increasing the pool of "qualified" applicants though, schools need to start teaching/training 2 things..."

  1. Job Place Safety (electrical, arc-flash, confined space, etc the things work places are training in their safety programs)
  2. Troubleshooting ("We get nobody out of trade school that has the first clue how to trouble shoot.")

Scott goes on to add in his comments, that in 5+ years, no new maintenance person out of school has score more that 60% in their hands-on electrical troubleshooting test his company gives new-hires.

My respond to Scott and Companies who hire maintenance personnel is they need to get the schools around their company to at least use the cost effective safety/troubleshooting real-world training tools we provide. (Tell them to see and These two real-world simulation software not only require student to use safety procedures like lockout/tagout, teaches them good foundations in troubleshooting, times, records and reports their ability to troubleshoot, but serves up enough simulated faults for hands-on troubleshooting that would take them years to acquire with OJT or in the normal workplace daily routine. also just started offering a training video DVD that students may need to watch before learning electrical troubleshooting. Below is an introduction...

The combination of the 3 training solutions above make for a highly skilled troubleshooter.
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Free On-Line 5S Lean Manufacturing Assessment

Have you tested your employees on 5S Lean lately? Yourself?

Follow the link below for a free online 5S Lean Assessment Tool to test yourself and all your employees! Get more productive and profitable today! There is a mechanism so you can receive test results from each of your employees after they take the short 15 question test at their convenience too. 

SEE (May have to open link in new window or paste in your browser.)

5S Lean Manufacturing is probably the most familiar phrase to you, but now days 5S Lean is used in offices, restaurants and every business type imaginable to make them more productive and profitable. Something every company needs now days. So please share with all your business associates.

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

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Best Engineer (Music Videos)

VOTE NOW - Best Engineering Music Video !!

Click to Watch
Engineering Paradise

Click to watch
I Wanana Be An Engineer

(If you know of a better Engineering Music Video, use comments section to let me know about it.)

Thanks, hope you had fun.
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Millwrights Get The Job Done!

Millwrights Get The Job Done!

A little something our company artist, Esther put together for the Millwrights.
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Industrial Jobs Require Technical Clarity

It is ironic in such a highly technical industry as production process and manufacturing that job titles are so technically incorrect, non-standard and most not listed by the Government's Occupational Outlook Handbook, or listed accurately for the 21st century.

I argue that our production process and manufacturing industries could be much more efficient and profitable on a large scale across the country, if only an official entity clearly define the CURRENT job titles in the industry. The country's industry as whole would have less turnover rate, better qualified individuals in each position, and more productive workers.

This rant was brought on when I ran into yet another job posting for "Maintenance Mechanic", yet the description of job duties for the job opening was not just mechanical, it was primarily electrical and even PLC experience was required. It should have been listed as a "Maintenance Technician", or at least a "Millwright" or "Maintenance Electrician". Some job posting just say "Maintenance Person".

You have no doubt seen my other posting and articles expressing my frustration with our industry's and Government's lack to define and communicate clearly job titles for the production process and manufacturing industries. Now days we not only have Mechanics, Electricians and Millwrights, we have general maintenance workers, maintenance technicians, PLC technicians, instrumentation technicians, maintenance planners... and the list goes on. If anyone out there is working toward clarifying the production process and manufacturing industries job titles and descriptions, please let me know.

Signed: A frustrated Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Frustrated Maintenance Technicians and Maintenance Managers

I have a couple solutions for the frustrated maintenance technicians side of the problem and the frustrated maintenance managers (or whoever is doing the hiring) side of the problem.

1. When hiring maintenance technicians and others, use the internet for pre-screening before deciding who gets to send a resume in for your review. You can develop your own customized little quiz with the free online assessment tool at After you receive an acceptable score for your quiz from a potential candidate, you can email them instructions on how to get you their resume. (this will cut out computer illiterate, bogus applicants to reduce # of resumes you need to consider)

2. Promote throughout our industry the need to define the “Maintenance Technician” job, training and certification, so employers are more likely to get what they expect and maintenance technicians can know what pay they should expect. I have written a new article to help start to organize this grey area called the “Maintenance Technician”. The more industry leaders see this, the better chance they will come together to correct it. Resulting in a stinger industry and trade. So please share my observations with others in the industry.


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

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Craft Maintenance Training: Blueprint for Success

Getting ready to come out with an article about a clear career pathway to becoming a Maintenance Technician (And what the hell is a maintenance technician anyway. ;>), and while doing research for the maintenance technician article, found the article below I feel everyone in the industry needs to read.

Please read "Craft Maintenance Training: Blueprint for Success" Thank you everyone who is doing their little part to help the industrial maintenance trade. Even if it is just sharing this blog post with your friends. Enjoy your Labor Day!
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Middle-Skill Jobs in the American South's Economy

A 36 page report titled "Middle-Skill Jobs in the American South's Economy" done in August 2011 for the Southern Governors' Association found middle-skill jobs which require more than a High School diploma, but less than a 4 year degree, among the "Top 10 hardest to fill jobs". The studies show on average 5% of America's unemployment is due to the skills gap. There are middle-skill jobs to be had, but not enough middle-skilled people to fill them.

You can see from the chart above the future demand for middle-skilled employees will grow while the demand for others will shrink. Of particular interest to our readers is the data in the report showing Advanced Manufacturing job numbers far out way other sectors like IT, R&D, construction, and public safety. Manufacturing was second only to Healthcare industry demand. These are facts our educators, the unemployed and those preparing to enter into the job market should consider. A really smart choice is those skilled trades that cross over to several of those industries, like an electrician. (Electricians find employment in residential, HVAC, Construction and manufacturing.)
While the above report is based on data for surveys of employers for the southern States, it is a sample of  our country as whole. I highly recommend those seeking advice in which way their career should go and what education they should seek, take a look at the two reports linked to in this post. There are also some great video interviews with employers stating exactly what they are looking for in an employee for the upcoming years.

Another must read... "America’s Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs: Education and Training Requirements in the Next Decade and Beyond" by the National Skills Coalition

Excerpt: "While middle-skill jobs have declined slightly as a portion of total employment nationwide,
roughly half of all employment today is in middle-skill occupations. And nearly half (about 45 percent) of all job openings between 2004 and 2014 will be at the middle-skill level. This compares with one-third of job openings in high-skill occupational categories and 22 percent in occupations requiring no more than a high school degree."

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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Can our educational system fill the skills gap?

As you read the great article below, keep in mind the Solution:
"Companies need to send recruiters to their local high schools and compete with Military recruiters, offer guarantee jobs for the students if they attend and pass vocational schools, instead of boot camp." That is my solution.

Can our educational system fill the skills gap?
Joel Leonard, contributing editorJoel Leonard advocates funding of quality vocational programs.

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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cost Justifying Industrial Electrical Training

A Sr. Training Specialist at the worlds top bearing manufacturer recently asked me to cost justify our Industrial Electrical Training Video Course. Here was my reply...

The most compelling argument for employees to receive our industrial electrical training video (DVD) course is …

“Although the most common machine breakdown is mechanical, the most downtime is involved in finding the problem, not fixing it. Both Electrical and mechanical problems in today’s technology requires diverse electrical knowledge to find the problem quicker. Therefore extended electrical training has the greatest ROI towards reducing downtime.”

For this particular electrical training product, the savings to a company is extended even further by …

• The most complete knowledge base being delivered (an entire industrial electrical course)
• No costly site licenses.
• No travel expenses.
• Great for refresher training program.
• Unlimited amount of employees can be trained (IE: New employee training)
• Stop/Start anytime.
• Each DVD can be checked out to employees so they optionally train at home on their own time.
• Covers safety issues related to electrical training too.
• Customers learn how to better protect electrical equipment extending machine life cycle.
• Learn how to reduce energy bills.
• Learn about Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) which controls most every machine and is a tool to troubleshoot even quicker.
• Apply knowledge learned to increase equipment reliability and the company’s

Cost justification can further be displayed by comparison of …

• Sending one person to equivalent trade school course would cost around $5000, sending 5 employees - $25,000 sending 50 employees over many years $250,000 … Yet this DVD Course only cost $3000

• Downtime can often cost $10,000 per hour to a manufacturer, so after this training saves 20 minutes of downtime, it has paid for its self. Most investments take 3-5 years to pay for themselves.

• One accident that this training could have prevented, could cost a company $1,000,000

So basically this Industrial Electrical Training Video Course saves a company 1.25 Million dollars or more and only cost 3K. Sure, your numbers may be smaller, but still easily cost justified training.

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

Monday, August 8, 2011

100s of Free Industrial Training Videos

this video will give you insight into the hundreds of free industrial training videos available. Something for electricians, mechanics, maintenance, engineers and manufacturing. Even funny engineering videos and STEM related videos. Enjoy...

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

Friday, July 29, 2011

Business Industrial Network, a Certified Veteran Owned Business providing training to maintenance and engineering since 1995.

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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Training Half Life (worker retraining)

Some valuable advice from guest poster Sam McNair PE, CMRP of Life Cycle Engineering. Click Worker Refresher Training case study and advisory to read.

Here is an excerpt from Sam's article...

refresher training offer great ROI
In both cases we embarked on some very focused, high quality training which included a required demonstration of proficiency at the end. In both cases the effects were dramatic. It was not cheap to provide god training. In fact it cost about $60k to train and certify 22 millwrights, and about the same to train and certify about 180 operators plus their supervisors in a more limited scope of tasks. The actual payback in both cases was about 3 months. We knew this because we continued to perform RCFA and post maintenance testing. Time passed and we observed that the gains we had made were slipping away, and by 2 1/2 years they had reduced to 50% of the previous level. Limited refresher training was provided and the results jumped back up to the original level. We joking called refresher training “fighting against the dark forces of evil and entropy”.
Click Worker Refresher Training case study and advisory to read more ...

It is an informative article by Sam McNair (CMRP) on job retraining. Points out employee retraining every 2-3 years is very profitable and what the turnaround on that work retraining is.

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

Monday, June 27, 2011

What has happened to the skilled labor force?

"What has happened to the skilled labor force?" Is a question I just replied to in the LinkedIn Industrial Maintenance group. 119 comments so far. Below is my take on the topic...

I hear you all, with the baby-boomer skill shortage and slow economy creating the most challenging paradox. In the recent past it might have been corporate profits driving companies to look for the 'Jack of all Trades', but now the economy is making the policy stick even more. (Maintenance Mechanic, Electrician and PLC tech all rolled into one person. :>)

The paradox being you typically can only find a new employee experienced in all three trades, being at the end of their career cycle. Which would require the employer to pay top dollar to win and keep the rare employee, knowing it would be a relatively short term investment. They would most likely retire in 10 years or less. Which is even harder to justify in today’s economy.

In the early stages of our industry, logic prevailed with the Maintenance Mechanic, the Electrician and the PLC Tech being separate job titles to deliver to the employer the best of each. (‘Jack of all trades but master of none’ used to be a bad thing on a resume. Anyone remember that? Haha) The boom of the unions only strengthened this employment environment, insuring a mechanic didn’t cross over into the electrician’s turf, and insuring the more technical positions received more pay. Then the desire for more corporate profits turned the tables, sacrificing some of the expertise by combining all 3 employees into 1 maintenance employee. The same profit driven agenda also diminished unions, as it was a barrier. So that the ‘jack of all trades - master of none’, became a good thing on a resume. (Employer and employee would both ignore the fact, most employees couldn’t possibly master all three. :)

The only viable solution (as some have already leaned towards here), look for strengths in one of the 3 occupational fields, and train them in the other lacking skill sets. A compromise that admits the mistake of the past that companies/managers made by combining all three, but now are economically powerless to correct fully. Use on-site training so logistics better allows cross training giving you an even greater return on your training investment. It is very common when we deliver on-site PLC training, to train the electrician to be a PLC Tech also, that employers stick maintenance mechanics in the classes too. (maintenance managers pick up what they can too as time allows.) Because we simplify our PLC training, when the PLC Tech and the Electrician are not available, in some situations, the maintenance mechanic can get the machine back up and running, saving downtime.

The bottom line is, there is not an overwhelming shortage of mechanics, or electricians, just PLC Techs. But there is an ever growing shortage of employees experienced and/or properly trained in all three fields. (As mechanics and electricians are available from many other industries besides manufacturing. The cross over to industrial mechanic or electrician is not that great education wise.)

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

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I want to be an Engineer, so freakin' bad...

I Wanna Be An Engineer - (Billionaire Geeked Out Mix)
by: Only Won - the Lyrical Engineer

I wanna be an engineer so freakin' bad, optimize the things I've always had
I wanna be on the cover of PC Magazine, Smiling next to Pentium machines.

oh everytime I close my eyes, I calculate a new design efficient way to quantify oh ai..I swear
my patent would be here...If I was an engineer

Yeah, I wound have a show on Discovery, hoping that e-ve-ry..
body in the country would watch me on their HD.
I'd probably pull an Orville Wright and a Wilbur
Build a plane and take the rudder and dip it in silver.
Give away a few smartphones, like, Einstein here have this
Take my protractor out and do some mathmatics

It's been a couple years since I've been single so
you can find me working late and living off Ho Ho's.
Brain food for the intelligent, sometimes I like to complement
myself for being smart, but you can call me brilliant.
Yeah...Call me a geek or maybe even nerd
but face the facts, we da ones be ruling this world.

Everytime I close my eyes (what cha see, what cha see?)
I calculate a new design (uh huh uh huh)
oh efficient way to quantify oh ai..I swear
my patent would be here...If I was an engineer

ohhh ohhhh....Yeah, I'm an engineer! oohh ohhhh....

I be playin Xbox with some scientists, workin' with geologist
maybe ask a girl out and get lucky with little kiss.
Or not because I have to...formulate a program
in C++ or going back and using Fortran.
Toss a few equations in just for the heck of it.
Solve my own problem just so I can delineate
Yeah, I be comin' on a whole new level.
Like comparing HDMI to a coax cable.
Sometimes I give directions with Euclidean vectors
And transfer files faster on eSATA connectors.

...I know we all have a simular dream
to build cantilever beams, makes me wanna sing

I wanna be an engineer so freakin' bad, optimize the things I've always had
I wanna be on the cover of PC Magazine, Smiling next to Pentium machines.
Everytime I close my eyes, I calculate a new design
an efficient way to quantify oh ai..I swear
my patent would be here...If I was an engineer

ooh ohhh....("Yeah! Solve it!) If I was an engineer! ohh ohh
I wanna be an engineer so freakin' bad

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

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Industrial Training - Education - Facebook Fan Page

Please check out our new FaceBook Fan page and tell me what you think. If you like it, well...
there is a button for that. ha

See it now by clicking link below. Industrial Training - Education - Saint Louis, Missouri Facebook

Looking forward to your feedback.

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Electric Automobile Manufacturing Industry

Which Would You Buy?

When entering or creating a new consumer industry such as electric cars, I think the emphasis should be on initial cost. One should first focus on market saturation with it being cheaper to buy an electric car than a gas car. Then approach your customer base later with a new improved model via upgrades. A new option/add on you can purchase, only if you can afford it, greater speed, range, power, efficiency, etc.

The above business plan better meets our goal of getting more people to choose electric automobile car over a gas car sooner which I will explain. When the economy was good, people bought Hummers like crazy, even though the gas mileage was bad, because of looks and they could afford it.

In today’s economy and environment awareness, should be number one concern, after safety of course. So the winning business model and industry approach for a country will be “buy electric because you can’t afford to buy a gas car at this time”. Also utilize and grow your automobile repair industry by employing them to install future optional add-ons consumers purchase to get better speed, range, power, efficiency … as they can afford it. Utilize your existing car rental businesses for when the electric car consumer needs to take a long trip out of town, they rent a gas car.

This will result in the country/company that adopts this approach being the leader in electric car production getting more people sooner, choosing electric over gas. The current market is only the 10% high income can afford to buy electric, no matter how well the electric car scores in the other parameters. We don’t want electric car to be the Hummer of the 90s, but rather the VW Bug of the 70’s (but look cooler:>). You seen a lot more of Bugs on the road back then, than you did Hummers later, because they were cheap and good on gas, a larger market base. But you have to remember looks is second most important because consumers have a personal connection with their automobiles. From a company point of view in a new industry, focus on a niche like those who hardly leave the city, a cool go to work and back car. (Got a long trip, vacation? Rent a gas car.)

Electric Automobile Manufacturing Industry Goals ...

1) Low Initial Cost
2) Cool Looks
3) Great Efficiency
4) Longer Range
5) Acceptable Speed
6) Acceptable Power

People buy the best looking car they can afford, and only dream about the rest.
Do you want to sell cars or dreams?

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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lights Out Factory - Robots Replacing Workers

People fear (complain)Robots are Replacing People!!

• The truth is I would rather see my children and grandchildren teaching, designing, inventing, changing the world they live in, than working in a factory doing repetitious work just to keep the country/world at the status quo.

On the same line as the last point, I would rather see my country being the R&D and knowledge source for the world, getting a royalty off of all the parts all the other countries are manufacturing instead of the other way around. That which we do manufacturer in the future, I would like to see being done by lights-out totally automated manufacturing plants, with our people just keeping the automation running and inventing new automation and products. But one more truth …

• Humans resist change with more energy than it would take to make the change its self. Changing our 200 year old mind-set isn’t going to come easy. Typically it take a catastrophic event to speed change (evolution) up. :<(

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

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Free Industrial Knowledge App (AnDroid App version)

New Free Industrial Knowledge App

Bussiness Industrial Network (BIN) anounces new free Industrial Knowledge App that provide access to BIN's vast amount of free Industrial Training resource right on your smart phone.

All free industrial knowledge resources provided by Business Industrial Network of interest to maintenance, engineering and manufacturing in general.
As AnDroid is currently outselling Iphone, the Droid App version is the 1st released, but in the next day or so the Iphone version will be out too.
To download the free Industrial Knowledge App, << just click it.

After downloading our new free Adroid App, please rate it via your phone/market place. If you are not viewing this via your Droid, the QR Code to the left can be scanned with your phone's barcode reader.

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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Industrial Training - Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

Industrial Training - Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

PLCs control the world’s infrastructure, yet most do not know the risk they are taking. I have been making the world aware as much as I can, ever since I started my own industrial training company 15+ years ago. PLCs control our water, power, traffic lights, elevators, and every machine in every industry. Yet most people working on and with PLCs have not had our safety and reliability focused PLC training yet. People learn in college or from PLC vendors how the PLC works, how to program, but not what are best practices, how to work with and program them safely and reliably.

The world has taken the approach ‘here is a drill, go drill something with it’. In line with this metaphor, instead of teaching say safety, what is the best bit to use with what material, how to drill better quality holes, faster.

I have tried to educate the industry about the great risk they are unknowingly taking via my video and articles like and my most recent article and I have also been published in major trade magazines. Even though our company has the top internet presence around the world for industrial training, we have hardly made a dent in educating the world about the risk.

With the recent Stuxnet virus that shut down a nuclear SCADA system, more attention to PLC risk has been made than all my years of effort. But the general public is still un-educated, think Stuxnet was the worlds first PLC virus, when actually it was not, it was just a computer virus, not a PLC virus. SCADA is just a computer software program, just like windows, your browser, Microsoft Word, etc.

So if you need an industrial training expert or PLC expert for advice, I am you man.

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

Roadmap for Education Reform for Manufacturing

Business Industrial Network has always applied manufacturing principles like “lean” to reduce education costs to our customers while focusing on  competency-based education for maintenance and engineering. When I seen The Manufacturing Institute Releases their Roadmap for Education Reform for Manufacturing and it too recommended a lean approach to competency-based education, but for the nation. I had to share it with everyone. With the influence that NAM carries, this initiative will greatly improve our industry and it's competitiveness.

Please read and share with others The Manufacturing Institute's Roadmap for Education Reform for Manufacturing.

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

Friday, April 22, 2011

Investigating Power Outages At A ‘Mud’ Plant

Investigating Power Outages At A ‘Mud’ Plant is a great article by Frank Healy.

Also a great follow up to our blog series on electrical PM. Frank's Mud Plant is a real world example of what happens if you don’t stick to your Electrical PM.

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Are Robots Taking Our Jobs?

Below is a post I made to discussion "Will Robots Make People Obsolete in Manufacturing?"
over on NAM's LinkIn group. So you know my thoughts on the topic.
Someone has to keep these robots working.
Automation, Technology ... Robots! free up humans from remedial and repetitive task so humans can evolve to higher intelligent task. Yes, manufacturing will require less and less humans. But those humans who would have been loading a part in a machine all day will have to be educated to perform a more skilled job. Like quality control or even fixing and programming the robots.

And that very essence of evolution is what separates humans from lower life forms. So Robots and other technology should be embraced, not feared. I am glad humans no longer have to shovel out outhouses. A monkey can be trained to load parts all day, but only a human can be trained to fix robots, of design new products.

Some day in the far ... far ... future, we may be proud of the USA because we only invent products, design and build plants that make those products, not like those 3rd world countries who still use humans to make parts. (In the far ... far future:>) We may even consider it slave labor to be making humans do something a robot could do. :>)

Also in other areas besides manufacturing, like yard work. If our lives become too busy, or we just don’t want to be our own landscaper, robots will do it for us. The more we as society, country, race invest in education and R&D, the quicker we will evolve, the more we get out of life.

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

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do your know FMECA/RCM/RCA results point to Training Needs / Knowledge gaps?

First of all, thank you to Tarapada Pyne for posting this statement as a reply to SMRP - Group for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals discussion titled "What are your thoughts on technical training?"

It would be much appreciated to all who read this, to post a reply of examples where a FMECA/RCM/RCA analysis resulted in cuase being related to Training Needs / Knowledge gaps.

Lets build a library of case studies to support employee training when requesting budget from ex-management. Thank you for your support of our industry.

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

Thursday, April 7, 2011

True Downtime Cost (TDC)

When making management decisions on downtime cost, one should use True Downtime Cost (TDC). TDC includes downtime factors commonly overlook, to arrive at a more true value for the cost of downtime.

Used in and with Lean principles, Smart Factory, Connected Enterprise, IIoT, TPM, RCM, PM, ERP, CMMS, EDI, DCS, PLC.

"True Downtime Cost®" is a registered trademark of Business Industrial Network (

I recommend you click True Downtime Cost (TDC) to read full article.
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Industrial Networking Solutions Security - PLC, SCADA

A great article about reducing risk to your manufacturing network. Clarifies industrial network security risk including with PLC and SCADA.

Covers ANSI/ISA-99.02.01 security standard, infrastructure, power security, firewalls and antivirus programs, isolation, surveillance, technical support. also talks about SCADA security risks, Current network security status in our industry and provides a security checklist.
See Industrial Networking Solutions Security - PLC, SCADA for full article.

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Free Engineering Training Software for my Friends

To my Facebook friends only, any of our product and services for free. Follow the link for details.

Free engineering software and videos for training

For free engineering software, free electrical training and free maintenance management software or any other of our 100+ educational products and seminars, you need only click the like button.

Tell Your Friends !
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Manufacturing Ohio: MACHINING 102


An excellent video to provide STEM awareness to our students. For more STEM 2011 videos, please see ...
STEM 2011 Top videos and help support STEM and manufacturing awareness by spreading the word and by subscribing and shareing with others.

Thank you for your support.

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

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Automation in Green Manufacturing

Excerpt from ...
IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

"There has been growing interest in green manufacturing worldwide, which has attracted substantial efforts from researchers in both academic and engineering communities. Green manufacturing deserves efficient production of green technology products, and energy efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing process and system. To achieve this, automation is an essential component. In recent years, significant advancements in technology, the fast growing economy and rapidly changing market have generated numerous opportunities for innovation. At the same time, many new challenges have emerged in order to apply and implement these innovations. Such opportunities and challenges have substantially expanded the scope of automation. The goal of automation is to provide efficient scientific and engineering solutions for green manufacturing. The central theme of this Special Issue is emerging opportunities and future directions in automation for green manufacturing, where information technology based modeling, analysis, control and optimization are the focus areas."

Learn more at ...
IEEE Robotics and Automation Society

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Electrical PM Tools

This is a continuation of the series of post titled; "Electrical Preventive Maintenance Will Keep You Safe and Warm", a collection of guest post by Stuart Smith, MBA, MS.

Electrical PM Tools
By Stuart Smith

Performing electrical preventive maintenance can be done with the help of a number of technology tools. Which tool or combination of that works best for your facility depends on the type, location and accessibility of assets. The most important part about performing preventive maintenance is that is must be planned and be consistent. Regardless of the type of tool used to identify problems all electrical repair/install work should be done by a licensed electrician.

The goals of reliability, condition based, predictive and preventive maintenance are all the same which is to keep assets working in optimal condition for the longest period of time at the lowest overall cost to an organization. Some of the tools available are:

CMMS/EAM software for asset and maintenance management. These are good for scheduling all forms of preventive and predictive maintenance including work orders and inspections as well as tracking vendor documents/contracts for outsourcing of work.

PLC training: PLCs are used for the control of machinery from assembly lines to lighting fixtures. PLCs are designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact.

◦CBM and reliability based maintenance methodologies.

◦Infrared Thermography: Common predictive technology tool that is great for identifying changes in heat or moisture. As previously stated almost all devices run hot before failure. Moisture causes corrosion.

◦Vibration analysis: Most vibrations in electrical motors are unwanted and indicate a loss of energy occurring.

◦Ultrasonic analysis: Not all sounds are audible to the human ear. Ultrasound analysis can detect tightness

◦Laser alignment: Laser shaft alignment can increase the efficiency and lifecycle of motors.

◦Using the senses: Visual, smell and noise changes are important signals of impending problems and they can be used for often than any other form of problem identification.

Please Follow this blog to see the next post in this series titled "Electrical Inspection checklists and resources"

Also if you find this post useful, please share with others using the social media buttons, and your comments below are always appreciated.

About the post author Stuart Smith, MBA, MS: Stuart is an avid writer about CMMS and EAM software solutions for Mintek Mobile Data Solutions.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Electrical Inspection Checklists and Resources

This is a continuation of the series of post titled; "Electrical Preventive Maintenance Will Keep You Safe and Warm", a collection of guest post by Stuart Smith, MBA, MS.

Electrical Inspection Checklists and Resources
By Stuart Smith

Every organization has a unique set of assets. Therefore, it is unlikely that the same electrical inspection checklist will be the same. The following links are examples of electrical preventive maintenance checklist or good resources to develop your own checklists:

NFPA. Order the complete NEC code book.

◦Comprehensive Electrical System Maintenance Checklists Sample Electrical Inspection Checklist.

Ensuring long life for electrical equipment. Solid information about Electrical equipment.

◦Standard for Infrared Inspection of Electrical Systems & Rotating Equipment Infraspection Institute Guide

Please Follow this blog to see future post."

Also if you find this post useful, please share with others using the social media buttons, and your comments below are always appreciated.

About the post author Stuart Smith, MBA, MS: Stuart is an avid writer about CMMS and EAM software solutions for Mintek Mobile Data Solutions.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Electrical Buzz by Don Fitchett

RE: Electrical Contractor: Keeping Electricity Where it Belongs

The author of the article below, Ed Brown, had a good idea in our discussion too. Add Electrical Predictive Maintenance (PdM) to your regular Electrical Preventative Maintenance program (PM). I say even better... PM+PdM+PLCpm

See Ed’s article at …
Electrical Contractor: Keeping Electricity Where it Belongs

Buzz by Don Fitchett from Posted from the web

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

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How Often Should Electrical PM be done?

This is a continuation of the series of post titled; "Electrical Preventive Maintenance Will Keep You Safe and Warm", a collection of guest post by Stuart Smith, MBA, MS.

How Often Should Electrical be done?
By Stuart Smith

Electrical systems should have a thorough inspection by a licensed electrician every 3 to 5 years. Individual assets should be inspected according to manufacturer directions or based upon experience and industrial training in a particular environment. For example, some motors may need to be inspected quarterly, air handlers annually and so on. Preventive maintenance, inspections and work orders are best handled using CMMS software for the scheduling and recording of activity, results and notes.

Preventive maintenance of electrical systems goes beyond the visual or scheduled predictive maintenance work. A full electrical PM is a complete look at the electrical system including;

Sample Electrical PM Items

◦Re-torque connections
◦Checking panel boards
Inspecting PLCs for effectiveness
◦Examining work orders as well as new installs for compliance and uniformity
◦Making sure lock-out tags are in place
◦Inspection of heating and cooling units
◦Shutdown mechanisms
◦NEC code compliance

Please Follow this blog to see the next post in this series titled "Electrical PM Tools"

Also if you find this post useful, please share with others using the social media buttons, and your comments below are always appreciated.

About the post author Stuart Smith, MBA, MS: Stuart is an avid writer about CMMS and EAM software solutions for Mintek Mobile Data Solutions.