Sunday, December 30, 2012

PAC replaces DCS

2012 Proves PACs Continues to Replace DCS in Developed Countries.

ARC graph showing old DCS systems sales continue to grow in underdeveloped countries.
But old DCS technology sales grow in developing countries.
Just as underdeveloped countries like India and China and other Asian countries seem to lag the USA in culture like clothing styles and fads, so do they in Industrial Technology. While in developed countries like the USA and UK replace the old DCS technology (Distributed Control Systems)  with the relatively new PAC  (Process Automation Controllers) and SCADA  (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) combination technology, underdeveloped countries in Asia purchase the old DCS technology instead, according to ARC's 2012 market research.

According to ARC's 2012 study, it looks like the old DCS technology market has found a new home in developing countries like India and China that are seeing rapid growth and industrialization. Even with China's 2012 growth slowing down, according to ARC they still account for 35% of the world's DCS technology purchases.

The old DCS technology has always been popular in process industries like oil, gas, mining, city water works and power industries and continues to be. While developed industrialized countries phase out the old DCS technology with the newer PAC/SCADA systems, the developing countries like India and China  will continue to drive DCS market for many years to come.

A couple weeks ago I had the great pleasure to fill in as training instructor delivering PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) training to the San Jose waterworks department that serves the world's leader in advanced technology, Silicon Valley. While they still use some DCS, much of the systems have been converted over to PACs that interface to the old DCS and to new SCADA systems. It is quite interesting to see technological evolution in progress. (And comforting, being this is my country. :)

A great source for education and smooth migration from legacy DCS to PLC/PAC/SCADA is Rockwell Automation's webinar at

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

Monday, December 24, 2012

#HappyHolidays This #Christmas morning

This #Christmas morning, here is a gift for you valued at $40, free to you and any friends your share it with. (App requires iPhone or iPad and just scan QR code with phone) 
scan happyholidays qr code for free iphone and ipad app this christmas morning

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Small Business Saturday Nov 24

Small Business Saturday Nov 24

What about online small business?

The National Small Business Day on November 24th as stated by one of its primary founders AMX is "... is about supporting local, independently owned and operated brick and mortar businesses", not online businesses. On-like businesses is promoted via Cyber Monday, according to AMX.

But then with a mixed message AMX goes onto state "The day is for all to celebrate you and the contribution your business makes to the community and the economy. Thus, whether you are a brick-and-mortar retail store, restaurant or online-only business, just by being a small business owner, you’re already a part of it."

So A National Small Business Day is not only for local small businesses but for online-only small businesses too. 54% percent of small businesses surveyed said they did not have a website. So online small business are a mix of those brick-and-mortar, those that are not, those that are local and those that are not. The bottom line, support our nation's small businesses. I would add, give extra effort to support Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSB), and support them online by sharing their sites with your friends and associates. (Sharing you can do even if spending doesn't work for your circumstance. So no excuses. :>)

For those of you who own small businesses, and heard "It's a myth that every company needs a website" (Even you local small businesses), think about this...

There are 4 primary reasons a small business needs to be online too (in order of importance)...

  • Marketing
  • Non-Local Sales (larger market)
  • Global Sales (growing # prefer online shopping)
  • Creditability

If a small business does not want to increase their profits, they would be correct in thinking they do not need a company website. The rest do need a company website to remain competitive.

With 82% of Small Businesses reporting they rely on word-of-mouth to get new customers (AMX/SEMPO survey), a social media strategy for small businesses is a no-brainer. And guess what? A small business needs a company website to go long with that social media strategy for reasons mentioned above. According to manta, of those small businesses who do have an online presence established, they expect 41% of their holiday sales to come from online company website.

Given the economy, one would think it would be smart for Small Business Saturday, Nov 24th to promote online small businesses as well as it does local brick-n-mortar small business. So I hope you all will do your part, and at least spread the word.

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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans Day - Thank You

Thank you fellow Veterans!

Semper Fi ... OohRah!
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top! Good night chesty Puller ... where ever you are...

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Future Maintenance Engineer

The Future Maintenance Engineer 

(AKA: OEM Eliminator)

We've seen manufacturing plants becoming more and more automated. This had maintenance supervisors looking for a different type of maintenance man. There will always be a need for General Maintenance, but with technology in the plant advancing exponentially, manufacturers would be wise to evaluate and redesign their maintenance department, with an emphasis on "Technical Maintenance". A good Technical Maintenance team will need employees with a well balanced blend of electrical, electronic, PLC, and computer skills. A person with such a wide range of technical skills will be able to utilize cost saving technologies such as PLC programming, and Preventive maintenance programs that use infra-red ("hot spot"), vibration analysis, and predictive maintenance. A plant without a good Technical Maintenance team will find themselves at the mercy of the vendor. It is not uncommon, with down time, parts, and service call expenses, of one machine, to spend what it would have cost to pay a skilled maintenance technician’s annual salary.
Click to veiw full size. Millman.gif  (feel free to copy)

Finding an employee with a wide range of technical skills, may be a difficult process. You may have to hire someone who is strong in a couple of skills you are looking for, and send them to school for the other areas. However, when you school an employee, you take the chance of them taking their new found knowledge to another employer for higher pay. So protect your investment, by giving the employee the job title and pay to match their new value to the company. This is best done by taking an existing maintenance employee, who is motivated and willing to learn, and putting them through additional schooling. Somebody who has been with the company for years, will be less likely to change jobs.
Creating a Technical Maintenance team will certainly be a valuable asset to your company. By preparing for the future now, you will ensure a profitable maintenance department, and help keep your manufacturing plant competitive in the fast paced world of technology advancement.

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Industrial Android App replaces VOMs

Will industrial smart phones apps some day replace VOMs (Volt Ohm Meters)? 

Will industrial smart phone apps replace VOMs?

 Electrical workers can diagnose electrical problems safely and easily with Extech's new remote display Industrial Android App.The new industrial app displays large, easy-to-read values for the following functions: AC/DC voltage, AC/DC current, capacitance, resistance, frequency, diode test, and temperature (both from a Type-K thermistor probe and from the meter’s built-in non-contact, laser infrared thermometer). Function indicators highlight which measurement mode is selected on the meter. Additionally, Data Hold and Min/Max functions are also remotely displayed. The “EX845 METERLiNK app for Android.” also features a log of recent readings for quick reference, basic trending and more context. The app is available now at the Google Play™ Store app by visiting

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Missouri: Workforce development programs to be cut by 20%

If Congress fails to stop sequestration, workforce development programs will be cut by 20 percent more. #wkdev

2013 BCA Sequestration will cut missouri jobs

The NSC states "The Budget Control Act (BCA) was enacted in 2011 to increase the national debt ceiling in exchange for more than $2 trillion in federal funding cuts over the next 10 years. Under the BCA, $109 billion in automatic, across-the-board cuts (“sequesters”) to both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs will go into effect on January 2, 2013."

"If Congress fails to stop sequestration, workforce development programs will be cut by 20 percent more. Missouri job training programs will lose $12 million in 2013 and will serve 37,000 fewer people."

Read more of how 2013 cuts can effect Missouri Jobs. << click to read

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WTC 9-11 #NeverForget911 - Also Important, Learn from 9-11

Pentagon & WTC 9-11    - Also Important, Learn from 9-11

While we all honor those fallen and their families from the terrible tragedy that occurred 9-11-2001, I started thinking like Engineers do, what have we learned from this tragedy? Those of us in the industrial controls industry constantly improve controls to protect humans from the automation in which they work with. So the thought came to me today, did we learn from Pentagon and WTC attacks on 9-11, and add self-preservation automation control to our airplanes? Do the airplanes a decade later no longer allow pilots to fly into buildings even if they wanted to? Instead of just beeping a warning that hundreds may be killed because the airplane is going to crash, does the automation control now take over control of the plane to protect it's passengers from operator error? (Oh course ground control would have codes to override if necessary.) Did we learn from 9-11 ??

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

Maintenance Planning and Scheduling

Maintenance Planning and Scheduling ...

(Which course do I take?)

A customer inquired, which of the two Maintenance Planning and Scheduling course we offer should he purchase. So I thought i would share my opinion about the difference between the to here.

First of all and most obvious, one is the  Maintenance Planning and Scheduling training software ($249.95), the other other is the  Maintenance Planning and Scheduling 3 day course PowerPoint ($49.95). The training software version while 5 times more expensive because it is interactive software, works best for those seeking just the knowledge with questions on that material validate printing a certificate of completion. As the software version does not require learner to apply knowledge to earn certificate, it works best for those who do not yet have a Maintenance Planning and Scheduling position.

The 3 day course PowerPoint version with lessons is for those who are good self learners, self motivated seeking more detail and challenge while learning and practicing practical application of learned material. To earn a certificate with the PowerPoint Maintenance Planning and Scheduling course, the customer must complete the exerciser in their workplace and email to instructor for verification of applying Maintenance Planning and Scheduling course material in the real world.

My personal recommendation is the $49.95  Maintenance Planning and Scheduling 3 day course PowerPoint as it offers a much greater return on your training investment and is a much greater challenge. It should also be noted that both courses are by two different instructors. so if you could afford it and want to be the best at your job, i would recommend taking the software version 1st, followed by the PowerPoint version.

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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

STEM - Engineering Jobs Future

Engineering Jobs Future Looks Bright

According to Kelly's info graphic, the "E" in "STEM", the engineering jobs future looks bright up to 2020. (Click pic to see Kelly's full info-graphic PDF)

Engineering jobs future growth will be great stemming many secondary jobs

Career counselors and high school students should be looking at studies to see what future job opportunities look like before selecting college direction. And according to this one Industrial Engineering looks like a great selection. It makes since as engineers create new products and demand thus secondary job market growth.

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

Sunday, August 5, 2012

2012 Global Valve Market

2012 global valve Market for Energy, Chemical and Mining...

Thanks to a post by my friend Anand Radhakrishnan over at VALVE SOLUTIONS, I realized how one part part of a system alone can be a very big market when looking at it globally.  Grant it, it can be physically a big part, .. and a big part as it relates to importance of industries like Oil and Gas, Power, Refining, Chemical, Wastewater (and Water industry too), Pulp and Paper, Iron and Steel, Pharmaceutical, Food and Mining industries.

For many of those industries, it can be a bottleneck too, like conveyors can. So the maintenance and support for valves should be big too. Even when not a bottleneck, maintenance and support are critical warranted just by the volume of valves per facility/system. Just like the frequency drive market.

The industrial valve market article Anand pointed to in provided the data we created the valve market chart above from, so you can visualize just how big the valve market is. Below is quote from their article, click here to read the whole article.

"The situation in the Americas mirrors that of Europe only with slightly higher numbers. US valve manufacturers are gaining a strong foothold in the power, pharmaceutical, chemical and other high-tech industries in Asia."

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

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

NEW - You Can Be Maintenance Hero. Free Prizes

How to be chosen as the Real Maintenance Man/Woman: 

Sprayon® Products / Krylon® just started the "Industrial Real Men/Women of Maintenance Contest and it is awesome!!

Why? To promote our heroes behind the scenes who keep our facilities and machines up and running.

Nominate and vote for your maintenance man or maintenance woman today!
This contest they put together is amazing on so many levels, not just because they they are having  3 Grand Prizes: Eachconsisting of  $2,500 Gift Card to Bass Pro Shops and other gifts totaling $20k+ to each winner. It is also amazing because they are promoting and recognizing the often undervalues maintenance profession. As if that where not enough, they put together a genius marketing team with a  genius  website development team to build the awesome contest website above.

The more maintenance personnel you nominate, the wider the plant grows on the page above. you scroll through, when holding cursor over a darkened silhouette he/she glows. Click on him/her to see name and why they where nominated, and to vote. So just getting nominated give each maintenance person some recognition. Please share this news to help promote the maintenance profession and our industry's hero who where nominate. Vote while you are there too, nominate an unsung maintenance hero you know! Visit

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Learning through Application for Return On Training Investment Learning through Application for Return On Investm...: As we develop new curriculum for our clients, we have put an incredible amount of focus on moving them from "training for training sake" to ...
PLC training that results in reduce downtime, increased reliability and safety

Click the above link to read Shon Isenhour's great blog post. I would add the following comments to shon's post ...
Excellent post and topic Shon. As our PLC training for maintenance and engineering focus on working with PLCs (plant automation) more safely and reliably, it is difficult for students and management to track and realize actual safety instances avoided (and $ saved) as a result our training. Likewise with with tracking $ saved from increased reliability after PLC training. So we focus on conveying the reduced downtime as a result of our training, as it is traceable and a dollar amount can be associated with it. 

To do so and keep it simple, the facility must know before training their Average Annual Downtime and their Average Downtime Cost per hours. As many report back how just 1 method learned in class saved them 10 times the cost of training, the realized savings is even greater for those who understand the True Downtime Cost® (TDC).

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

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Global Market Share of PLC Brands:

Global Market Share of PLC Brands:

Click to learn more about Global Market Share of PLC brands

Click above to learn more details ab out the global market share of each PLC  brand.

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

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Engineering Funny Connections - Maintenance Crisis NOT so funny though.

Engineering Funny Connections Playlist: "

1st video - Maintenance Crisis - don't cut Education


The 1st video in this playlist is more serious than funny, at least the results are if we do not invest in education and address the crisis NOW! Please share so others can make informed decisions.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Great Educational Speakers - A YouTube Playlist

Great Educational Speakers - A YouTube Playlist

Great Educational Speakers - YouTube: <<< SHARE THIS PLAYLIST WITH OTHERS!
 It important messages to get these out.

  • Bill Gates on how to keep and create more top teachers and the importance that we address this issue.
  • William A. Wulf on changing the way we educate Engineers.
  • Mike Sondalini is an innovative thinker on using non-boilerplate methodology, to work towards world-class reliability.
  • Karin Lindner with thought-provoking questions to create a bright manufacturing future for North America!
  • Sir Ken Robinson on makes an entertaining case for education system that nurtures creativity.
  • AND Many more at Great Educational Speakers - YouTube Playlist
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)Be sure to to stay on top!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Survey: Skills Gap Hits Employee Morale and Company Revenue

Skills Gap Hits Employee Morale and Company Revenue

"Prolonged job vacancies are taking a toll on employee morale and the bottom line, according to survey results released by Careerbuilder. Thirty-four percent of employers surveyed reported that job vacancies have resulted in a lower quality of work due to employees being overworked, and 23 percent cited a loss in revenue, according to the survey."

The report goes on to state ...
"With unfilled positions often translating into longer hours for existing staff, 33 percent of employers said vacancies have caused lower morale and 17 percent pointed to higher turnover within their organizations."

Via ... Survey: Skills Gap Hits Morale, Revenue:

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

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Engineering Education in the 21st Century

Engineering Education in the 21st Century

Please share this "Engineering Education in the 21st. Century" video with as many colleges as you can. The wisdom and insight is very important to our kid's future. Please Click Share NOW. Thank you for doing your part.

Related blog post: See #3 Solution to the National Skills Shortage.

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Manufacturing Plant Reliability

Manufacturing Plant Reliability

The "Plant Wellness Way" by Mike Sondalini of Lifetime Reliability Solutions

The above video is the first hour of a free online 3 day "Plant and Equipment Wellness Way" seminar graciously presented by Mike Sondalini, President of Lifetime Reliability Solutions (LRS)

LRS offers Exclusive Consultant License, securing consultants around the world the use of the Plant Wellness Way enterprise asset management and maintenance methodology, tools and techniques for world class Operational Excellence.

Side note: Mike is also the author of many of the training products we offer at

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

Monday, June 11, 2012

In memory of Dr. Genichi Taguchi (January 1, 1924 - June 2, 2012)

Guest Post: by Dr. Ranjit Roy Ph.D., P.E., PMP  , Author, Trainer and Consultant aNutek Inc.
In memory of the honorable 

Dr. Genichi Taguchi (January 1, 1924 - June 2, 2012)

Dr. Genichi Taguchi (DOE practitioner)

"I was deeply saddened to learn that Dr. Genichi Taguchi passed away in his native Japan on Sunday, June 2, 2012. Dr. Taguchi made a remarkable and lasting impact on the Quality revolution of automotive and manufacturing industries, which was prompted by the oil embargo of the late 1970's and continues today. "

"Dr. Taguchi elevated the utility of the Design of Experiment (DOE) statistical technique which was originally introduced by the UK's Sir R. A Fisher in the 1920's. Taguchi's constant effort to make the DOE technique more effective by standardizing experiment designs and offering a method for handling influence of noise factors toward robust designs was readily adopted by quality professionals and industrial experimenters worldwide."

With his passing, the world lost another great innovator and contributor to quality.

"Dr. Roy"

My sentiments too Roy, thanks. Don Fitchett

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lean in manufacturing,what is Jidoka?

Lean in manufacturing,what is Jidoka?

Jidoka can be described at Automation with a Human Touch. 

Also known as "Autonomation". To learn more see

Question for you ... In what ways do you use Jidoka in your facility? (Please use comment area to reply.)


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

Friday, June 1, 2012

PLC Training Workshop Calendar

Test of pasting Google Calendar with our ...

Public PLC Training Workshop Schedule

(SEE July and September)

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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Help with Maintenance Training Program Matrix

Below is an example Maintenance Training Program where it is shown how some of the 100+ maintenance training product offers helps with Maintenance Training Matrix.

201.16   Basic Electricity and Troubleshooting:
V4 Electrical Troubleshooting Skills Series see
AB PLC Trainer (Training Equipment) with lessons see
Presentation Version - Electrical Safe Work Practices CDs see

201.07   Bearings and Lubrication:
Lubrication training CD in Autonomous Maintenance CD set see

201.15   & 201.13 Understanding Hydraulic Schematics and Symbols:

201.09   Maintenance Fundamentals:
Autonomous Maintenance CD set see
Problem Solving Skills Training DVD (training video) see
Hazardous Area Instrumentation Training Download see
Mechanical Seal and Seal Selection Process Training see
CBM and Condition Monitoring Techniques Training see
Total Productive Maintenance - TPM PowerPoint  see
Reliability and Maintenance Management Training PowerPoints see
Steam Turbines & Governing Systems Training see
Machine vibration fundamentals see Vibrations Basics

201.03   EZ Laser Shaft Alignment Training:

301.01   Motors single and poly-phase:
Rotating Equipment Reliability Excellence PowerPoint see

301.07   Advanced Electricity and Troubleshooting:
Advanced Troubleshooting Simulation Training Software see
Troubleshooting PLC Control Circuits Training Software see
PID Tuning Blueprint - Calculator and software download see
VFD Trainer Freq Drive Training Software CD see
ControlLogix - RSLogix 5000 Training CBT CD see

We also have many supplemental ebooks where experts give real-world knowledge in plain language. See

For order form see …

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

Friday, May 4, 2012

Incorporate Best Practices into Training

Applying lean principles to training methods and topics increases work ethics.
(And saves time and money!)...
Smart Training picture: Applying Lean principles to training method.
Smart Training = Lean Training
As trainers, one thing we can do to help instill better work ethics with the current generation of new workers is to incorporate Best Practices into training. (as opposed to only or mostly providing how to and theory). Our younger students appreciate and become advocates of best practice methods for the how-to when we explain why each method we teach is better than other ways to perform the same task. We find not wasting their time teaching them things they'll never use in the workplace helps bring them on board too. When they 'feel' they are entering the workplace confident to perform the job safer, more reliably and in less time than even seasoned professionals, their work ethics start out high. As long as the people they work with don't drag them down or hold them back, their motivation/work ethics should remain high.

Both lead to better understanding and acceptance of knowledge transferred and builds greater self confidence and ownership of job task. (self confidence is critical to new employee entering the workplace.) Ultimately these lead to better work ethics. When a student is not only told, but believes the material being learned will actually be valuable and used in his/her occupation, they learn better too.

Also an over simplified formula ...
Greater love for job and people working with = greater work ethics.

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Best Practices for Conveyor Maintenance

Conveyor Maintenance

What is your input on Best Practices for Conveyor Maintenance? via LinkedIn Discussion:

These are some highlights, see full discussion above on LinkedIn Plant Reliability & Maintenance Professional group at link above for more advice.
  • Be aware of and avoid overloading conveyors.
  • Inspection of conveyor drive components.
  • Inspect belt wash/ scraper system regularly.
  • Install Catenary sag gauges.
  • Auto lube systems for non-sealed points.
  • Use sealed bearings.
  • Use good Autonomous maintenance practices.
  • Evaluate design and procedures to limit starting and stopping as much as possible and to increase life-cycle.
  • Use CBM like IR on conveyor belts, rollers, motors, couplings, and control cabinets.
  • Do oil analysis on large conveyor gearboxes.
  • Keep area conveyor clean to stop possible fire or other issues safety wise
  • Clean conveyor system photo eyes too.
  • Use timers in PLC control to monitor conveyor product travel speeds for early mechanical problems detection.
  • Get initial load amperage reading of conveyor motors during commissioning, and compare to current readings for early problem detection. 
  • Nanocoat conveyor bearings and gearbox
  • Load transfer should be in center of conveyor.
  • Consider (TCO) when ordering or specifying conveyor parts.
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)Be sure to to stay on top!

Monday, April 23, 2012

7 Mistakes you don't want to hear your PLC Tech say.

WARNING: Your PLC Tech is most-likely not telling you about these mistakes made in the past or currently being made. If they had our PLC training, then they are most likely not making these mistakes anymore.

plc tech

In order from least likely mistake to most likely mistake.

7. PLC Tech makes PLC programming change that causes harm to others.
6. PLC Tech makes PLC programming change that causes damage to machine.
5. PLC Tech makes changes to PLC program that caused problem they are being requested to fix.
4. PLC Tech mistakenly takes hours instead of minutes to find the problem with equipment.
3. PLC Tech forgot to enter revision notes for PLC program changes
2. PLC Tech didn't realize safety risk of using 'force' function for PLC inputs and outputs.
1. PLC Tech forgot to make backup copies of all PLC programs.

If your PLC Tech gets our PLC troubleshooting, best-practices, safety and reliability training, they wont be making the mistakes above. So stop the 7 common mistakes being made at your facility, register your people for our PLC training today. Reduce risk to your company and set your mind at ease.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Solutions to the Skills Training Shortage

Yea, yea, heard about the skills shortage, but what about the solutions? Lets hear about that for a change!
skills shortage

1st, look at the four primary reasons for the national skills shortage. (In order of most contributed to problem, to least) The bottom line is always about money (not enough paid/cost too much).

1. Manufacturers not willing to pay for the new/right skill set. (Outline in article by Ryan Chittum)
2. Whiplash effect (manufacturing industry sold us out in the past for quick returns via cheap labor)(George Fletcher)
3. Disconnect between education providers and manufacturer's needs, and future needs.
4. Compounded by baby boomers retiring (and a little by economy)

Yes, the topic "Skill Shortage" is overplayed and over simplified. What needs more coverage is "Skill Shortage SOLUTIONS!"

National Skills Coalition is working on number 3 with a lot of viable solutions. But as well as those kind of big slow moving long term initiatives, we also need quick inexpensive short term solutions that appeal to the #1 barrier above (money) as well as the #2 (skills gap). Like real-world interactive troubleshooting training software that allows student first entering the job market to gain years of troubleshooting skills and experience, in just days.

Also specific skill sets that formal educational institutions neglected to teach, being taught by seasoned vets to the industry via short 3 day hands on workshops. (Not the typical seminars where textbook and theory are presented on PowerPoints, but actual hands-on real equipment, best-practices, safety and reliability type training.) These software and workshop solutions will help close the skills gap quicker, at minimum cost and time, there by addressing all 4 of the primary reasons for the skills gap. (links above are examples I know of, sure there are a few others out there too:>)

But back to the bottom line, yes manufacturing and educational institutions will need to step up to plate and spend more money on training to make up for their past shortcomings and short term gains. It always cost most in the long run, costing them more now than they saved in the past by cutting, and will cost them even more in the future if they skimp now. It is time for the industry to learn from past mistakes and do the responsible thing.

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

Friday, April 13, 2012

Autonomous Maintenance Level 2

autonomous maintenance

Autonomous Maintenance Level 2:
"At the core of world-class maintenance performance is something called autonomous maintenance." "...operators perform certain equipment maintenance activities and that maintenance crafts get closely involved in the daily operation of equipment. The focus of the operating team is on cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, monitoring and other such essential daily tasks traditionally within the domain of the maintenance department." (The above are excerpts for article Autonomous maintenance.)

After reading the above article and deciding your facility is on the right track towards wold-Class operation, you need to get the Silver CD set to take your facility to Autonomous Maintenance Level 2. <<< Click to see the maintenance training material and lubrication training software you can distribute to all your personnel in a single facility for one low price. (30 week Autonomous Maintenance training program covers everyone in a single facility for only $10 per week.)

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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Where's my CMMS Smart Phone App?


I lost my smart phone App, it was a CMMS App (Computerized Maintenance Management System) with the following features. Can anyone find me a replacement? My company was saving thousands using this mobile technology for our mobile facilities management. The features are ...
  • Scan QR code on machine to call up machine history, work-orders etc. automatically with your smart phone or tablet.
  • Scanning QR code also starts clock recording more accurate arival, downtime, repair time etc. for future analysis, process improvements and cost records. 
  • Record audio comments when noise levels permit to save time typing on small keyboard. 
  • Attached picture of machines current state/problem area directly to work order of machine history. 
  • Scan part bar-code to automatically look in inventory and see if part is in stock, with out wasting time to walk to parts room. 
  • Import infrared, vibration or other predictive maintenance report from tool directly into machine history database via Bluetooth or WiFi (Requires Bluetooth compatible PdM equipment for this feature)
  • Access/view past predictive maintenance readings stored in CMMS machine history database. 
  • Email copy of work-order status, special notes etc to appropriate manager/supervisor. Etc. Etc. 
  • Uses exiting smart phones as a mobile app to link to desktop software so no additional hardware required. 
  • Just install app on employee's smart phones, print QR codes and stick on machines. That's it!

Use comment area to let me know. ha ha Also if you have some additional ideas for mobile CMMS features comment here with them.
Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!