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 .)