Monday, December 30, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

12 Days of Maintenance

Merry #Christmas

The 12 Days of Maintenance - Lyrics by Joel Leonard of

 (Rock version of The 12 Days of Christmas, except lyrics for #maintenance)

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

Saturday, November 9, 2013

TPS Elevator PLC Program

Could Applying TPS to Elevator PLC Programs Worldwide, Save Billions?

Could Applying TPS to Elevator PLC programs Worldwide, Save Billions?

Most of the time discussion surrounding TPS, Lean-Six Sigma, and component thereof are about implementing, adapting other’s best practices and sustaining the initiative. In the spirit of constant improvement, instead of talking and reading about how to duplicate other’s success, I lean (pun intended) towards new applications, improvement through automation and using today’s technology to make TPS more lean and successful.

I usually advocate on what I call “Lean to the Top” encouraging others to apply Lean (TPS) throughout their company meaning don’t stop with production and office workers, TPS the sales team and executive management too. But this time want to focus on new applications and automation.

Out of the hundreds of examples for new automated application of TPS, I propose here the elevator application idea. It is one of my favorites, as it not only demonstrates a new application, but using automation to implement. In addition, as I ride one of the 4 elevators to the top of our building, I am running the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) control program in my head seeing all the inefficient wasted time and motion. Commonly the resting place for the unused elevators is the 1st floor, sometimes the elevator PLC program leaves elevator where it last drop off someone. Because most of the elevator industry has not heard of TPS and/or thought to apply the methodology to elevator PLC program design, customers wait longer than they have to and more importantly, there is much wasted travel, wear and energy use.

If in reality, the first floor is only the busiest during certain times of day, like in the morning before work, and evening after work. Therefore, for 2 hours out of a 10 hours day, they operate reasonable efficiently. The rest of the 80% of time, extreme waste is experienced (maybe 70% because lunch traffic is similar to start/end time of workday).  When they could use automation to predict where the most optimum floor for each particular elevator to rest, for that particular time of day, that particular day of week, that particular building. The TPS elevator PLC program could even be auto-adaptable, monitoring it own use to predict where is best placement during idle time.

TPS Elevator PLC Program Examples: Elevator #3 might learn the 8th floor has constant traffic all day long 5 days a week due to the company leasing an office on 8th floor is recruiting company. Therefore, the TPS PLC elevator program makes sure one of the 4 elevators always rest on the 8th floor. However, it has to be an automated prediction, because that company on the 8th floor may move to another building when their lease expires. The resulting TPS elevator PLC program will most likely have one elevator idle on first floor from 7am-6pm, after 6pm when cleaning crew is primarily the only elevator users program may automatically adapt to leaving elevator on floor someone last exited.

Elevator program may learn on Saturday, the 2nd floor has the most traffic and adapt accordingly. The elevator PLC program may count number of pickups and drop-offs on each floor. Further TPS improvements could be made if automation sensor where added (like motion sensor to see if someone is waiting, inside elevator, vision recognition to see if people heading towards elevators, smart phone app so elevator knows worker is coming ahead of time, etc.)

TPS Example 2: A time study or estimation may show that often customers go to both the “B” and the “L”. A RCA of the problem may result in a kaizen for button labels created to spell out “Basement” and “Lobby”, saving thousands a year by reducing the operator error.

  • What other ways do you see TPS being applied to Elevator PLC programs? 
  • Do you have any other examples of how TPS can be automated? 
  • Do you have an idea of a new places to apply the TPS methodology to? 

Please share if you do, I would love to hear and discuss your ideas.

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prepare for PLC Shutdown

Preparing For and Stopping PLC Shutdowns. 

PLC failure rates

In preparation for machine and even plant shutdowns due to PLC failure, engineers tirelessly search for the ever elusive PLC MTBF rate (Mean Time Between Failure). As this blog post and associated more detailed article point out ... Stop wasting your time searching for PLC MTBF. Instead approach the root of PLC controller failure by looking at the why and what to better prepare for increased reliability, what parts to stock, etc., to reduce PLC failure related downtime.

WHY PLCs Fail? (From most likely to least.)

#1 Factor:   Environment
#2 Factor:   Brand/Model
#3 Factor:   Electrical Design supporting PLC
#4 Factor:   PLC Management

WHAT PLC Part Fails? (From most likely to least.)

  • PLC output modules
  • PLC input modules
  • PLC communication modules
  • PLC power supply
  • PLC processor module

All Equipment Failure (physics)

  • Mechanical devices are more likely to fail than electrical,
  • Electro-mechanical devices are more likely to fail then solid-state devices,
  • High current devices are more likely to fail than low current devices.
To read details about the above, see ...
This article answers the question... What are PLC controller failure rates? It also covers equipment failure rate from a PLC failure rate perspective (automation controller).

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Electric Actuators-Safety

4 Industrial Safety Solutions for Electric Actuators

4 Industrial Safety Solutions for Electric Actuators.
By Progressive Automations

According to statistics, the number of fatal injuries at the workplace is declining. Preliminary data* for 2012 reports that there are almost 2,000 fewer fatal injuries at the workplace than there were in 1992  - down to 4,383 from 6,217. That isn't to say we've made it to the golden age of safety, we can now offer up three cheers and throw our safety helmets into the air while the machines are running. In fact, this data begs the question ‘how can we further increase industrial safety among workers?’ This is where electric actuators and industrial safety solutions come in.

It’s hard to think of a manufacturing industry that doesn't make use of electric actuators, but if you don’t have enough information about these systems, it can be surprisingly easy to make an honest mistake in which the least of consequences is losing your sanity during the worker’s claim process. Nobody wants to see injuries on the job happen, so we've compiled this list of electric actuator safety solutions designed to inform workers and managers in industrial settings.

Safety Solution #1: IP Rating
Know your IP rating. Electric actuators follow the IP Rating system for Industrial Instrumentation. Any electric actuator used in an industrial setting must have an IP rating of IP54 at the very least. If not, you might as well get your pen ready for that worker’s claim. IP54 (Ingress Protection) means your system has a protection rating of 5 and 4. This will protect your fingers from getting caught in the component and from most dust, but won’t protect you if you dunk it in water or take a swim with it.
Knowing what you can and cannot do with and around your actuators may just prevent an unnecessary injury. 

Safety Solution #2: PPE
Just because your car has a seat-belt and an airbag doesn't mean you should careen down the road at four times the speed limit with your head out the window screaming, “It’s okay! I’m wearing a seatbelt!” Same goes for industrial safety. You might feel like a dork wearing safety glasses, but you'd feel like even more of a dork if you lost an eye. Wear your PPE. PPE for any electric actuator includes proper gloves, eyewear and forethought before taking any action. If an electric actuator is rated for that particular system, the unexpected can still happen. After long periods of use (months or years depending on the quality), these components can become more likely to fail.

Safety Solution #3: General Maintenance
Maintenance for electric actuators takes almost no work at all when you put it up against a pneumatic or a hydraulic actuator. If the entire system has been installed correctly, the only thing you should have to worry about is normal wear and tear, and lubrication. If you’re concerned about lubricating your actuator, don’t know how or aren't sure how to tell if it needs lubrication, contact your manufacturer, and they should be able to inform you on the process.

Safety Solution #4: Prevent Project Failure
One of the most common reasons for project failure is improper loading. Since gravity is a force that will take precedence for the foreseeable future, we must obey it. That means that if you've side loaded or off-centered your electric actuators, the time it takes for normal wear and tear to affect your component is accelerated. For lead screw actuators, the screw can rub up against the housing of the mechanism, wear away at a faster rate than is normal and cause failure at a moment when you’re not expecting it. This is simply a case of measure twice and cut once. Just be sure that everything is level and that you know what to expect from your actuators before you hit that ‘on’ switch.
The statistics for workplace safety have been showing a positive trend over the past decade, but without proper education and implementation of new and already-existing procedures for safety, those statistics don’t take on much meaning – not to mention they'll start to look a lot worse again. If you work with something that moves, chances are that you’re working with actuators. Take a step toward industrial safety solutions for your industry, and educate yourself, your coworkers and your employees.

*Preliminary data does not necessarily reflect the actual numbers.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2013. 


Progressive Automations manufactures and distributes affordable, high-quality automation products all across North America. As they continually strive to keep their name synonymous with new, innovative technology, they place an unsurpassed value on customer service and mutual benefit. 

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

Friday, October 11, 2013

Free Lean Manufacturing Training

Free Lean Manufacturing Training

"Lean manufacturing success requires  top-to-bottom understanding and commitment to the  lean transformation and that requires training." (by Bill Gaw)
Free Lean Manufacturing Training by Bill Gaw

Leader in lean manufacturing implementation Bill Gaw, not states continuous Lean raining is the key to success, he provides a wealth of free Lean Manufacturing training below. So valuable, we decided to share with you.
Strategic Planning 1 of 2 Strategic Planning 2 of 2
Materials Requirements Planning Lean Manufacturing
Performance Management The Balanced Scorecard
Recourse Management * Kaizen - 5Ss
Supply Chain Management 1 of 2 Supply Chain Management 2 of 2

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

Sunday, October 6, 2013

G+ Industrial Communities

The Best G+ Industrial Communities...

Click link below to visit, then while at community, click Join community.
1,357 members
1,451 members
1,350 members
1,010 members
412 members
521 members
Manufacturing News
365 members
Industrial Automation
252 members
Manufacturing Professionals
225 members

173 members
244 members
Materials and Manufacturing
273 members
SCADA Security
302 members
Control Engineering and Automation
361 members
Oil and Gas contractors
218 members
American Welding Society
387 members
Electrical Training ✰
186 members
136 members
Industrial Safety
166 members
Automation World
126 members
60 members
Reliability Engineering
43 members
Conveyor Automation
88 members
Process Excellence Network
78 members
Lean manufacturing
89 members
Industrial Maintenance
94 members
PLC Training
87 members
Women Engineers
23 members
Commercial & Industrial Boilers
61 members - Private

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

Friday, September 27, 2013

Manufacturing Leaders in Innovation

Does a state's policies lead to manufacturing innovation?

Followers of our blog are typically highly educated, as they are maintenance, engineers and manufacturing managers. Educated readers tend to put more weight on facts and stats, analyze them and look for trends, then draw conclusions accordingly. (Can you say 'SPC'?) The above map shows 4 out of the top 5 high-tech innovative manufacturing states are northern. I wonder, could the commonality that drove these states to lead in manufacturing be liberal policies that look to the future? Could it be there state policies embrace change as opposed to clinging to the past?  Could it be these state just had more money to invest in education and innovation? Or is it just that cooler weather yield higher production and innovation, LOL? Or could it be they do not have a common driving force, each one excelled for totally unrelated reasons?

So my question to our intelligent readers, whom I value your opinion, is ...

  • What do you think could be a common element that allowed these state's manufacturing to surpass the rest in using high-tech innovation?

Use the comment section below to give me your thoughts, it will be interesting and much appreciated.     

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Does a Maintenance Electrician have to be a Licensed Electrician?

Does a Maintenance Electrician have to maintain an electrical license like residential/commercial electricians do??

A friend asked this question after reviewing an industrial maintenance electrician job description, the answer will surprise you. Below is my reply ...
The above video and many more at BIN952 YouTube channel 
will give you an idea of how much more knowledge and skills 
a maintenance electricians has to have compared to a 
residential/commercial electrician. Every year the requirements 
grow and change too. Subscribe to our channel to keep up to date,
then share with others. 

I know it doesn't make sense, but most manufacturing electricians (IE: maintenance tech, instrument tech, maintenance mechanic, etc., whatever that particular employer is calling them at that moment) as describe in the industrial maintenance job description example he referenced ....

Do not maintain an electrician's license, in the USA anyway. Half of them or more, never had an electrical License. Its one of those "exceptions to the rule" I am always talking about. lol

It just evolved that way as in the beginning most manufacturing maintenance were primarily mechanics, then as automation and more electrical control evolved in the industry, and a couple cross job training phases/trends occurred, next thing you know, 'maintenance mechanics' where electricians too. :) Somewhere in that history, trade schools sprung up teaching industrial electricians and later instrument technicians too, but still not OJT trade requirement and annual renewal 'Electrician's License' requirement.  In part all this came about because maintenance managers hired primarily based on what you can do, and what you have done in the past. Not what license, certificate or other piece of paper you had.

And the other way around is true too, the typical residential electrician, commercial electrician does not have anywhere near the skill and knowledge base required to be an industrial electrician (maintenance tech, instrument tech, maintenance mechanic, etc., whatever that particular employer is calling them at that moment).

What has been your experience with this? Is this basically the same for other countries? What about building maintenance? Apartment maintenance? Please use the comment area below to let me know.

Subscribe to our channel to keep up to date,
then share with others. 

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

Friday, August 16, 2013

Future Global Manufacturing Trends

Don weighs in on question posed in Google+ Manufacturing News community:

The Future Global Trends of Manufacturing Developing Countries

"What areas of manufacturing will be shifted to developing countries like brazil, south africa, Mexico and others?"

R&D will due low-cost researchers and research facilities.

You will see more small manufacturers start up in developing countries (like CNC machining shops). Larger companies are more restrained by staying where raw resources are.

Developing countries will continue to see their large share of labor intensive manufacturing like clothing, furniture and assembly required. Natural economics and raw materials will continue to grow the manufacturing of  'consumables'. Also naturally a developing country will see increases in manufacturing of goods needed locally , brought on by growth. Such as vehicle manufacturing, machinery manufacturing (OEMs), rubber and plastic, paper manufacturing.

Entire production processes to meet the needs of the poorest will increase as the middle class in developed countries erodes (the gap between rich and poor grows). As the U.S. market is expected to remain weak because of middle class erosion, companies will ramp up their search for new customers in developing countries.

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

Friday, August 9, 2013

Selling Renewable Energy to Americans

Selling Renewable Energy

Even in the 1920s the American public had to be sold on the idea of Electricity, its usefulness and why they should switch over. Hopefully Americans are a little smarter today, than they were back in the 1920s!

The New York Edison Co. had to place ads like the one above (click to see full size) pointing out why consumers and industry alike needed to switch over to electricity.

Use the comment area below and tell us your sales pitch as to why Americans should switch over to Renewable Energy. Then share this post with friends so they can see your ideas and others.

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Maintenance Management Software Survey

New Maintenance Management Software Survey

From Software Advice CMMS Analyst Michael Koploy
Maintenance Management Software Evolution Mirrors Maintenance Management Shortcomings
Click above graph or link to see Full Maintenance Management Software Survey.

Maintenance Management Software Evolution Mirrors Maintenance Management Shortcomings 

It is most likely no surprise to those of us in the industry that maintenance management software's weaknesses mirror those generally found in maintenance management today. It also is no surprise that the suvey above shows the process industries (oil/gas/mining) report the same disatisfactions as the biggest user of maintenance management software (CMMS), the manufacturing industries. Those who follow us and have read our many articles and blog post on the CMMS industry, know we focus on pointing out the weaknesses in hope of directing the maintenance management software industry in a more productive direction.

The maintenance management software survey results mirror the industry evolution itself.  IE: Maintenance management started out managing work orders, then PMs and thus those are commonly the strong suites of maintenance management software. With predictive maintenance (PdM – like condition monitoring) tracking and reporting satisfaction lacking from most maintenance management software, because the software industry has not caught up with today’s current maintenance management methodologies.

We feel management software providers should be leading maintenance management methodologies to reduce cost, not trailing them. And if they where, that would be indicated in maintenance management software surveys. Although the industry as a whole is not yet to maintenance LSS, the software vendors should already be incorporating LSS elements within the design of their software. Also the software vendors should be designing their software with a proactive approach, not a reactive. A proactive design would increase end-user use and satisfaction as well as ROI.  Proactive in respect to the software should be designed so best-practices and full use of maintenance management software should be the default. And if the the end-user wants to optionally turn off features, not fill in in a PM comment area, the software should be discouraging them with a "Are you sure?" or "remind me in X days". (Just like consumer software such as Windows OS, MS word, your web-browser, etc. are designed to do if you decide not to fill in a field or turn off some functionality of the software.)

Please click on the maintenance management software survey graph picture above to gain more insight from the full survey.

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

Friday, July 26, 2013

USA Company Avoids Workforce Skills Shortage

How to avoid US workforce skills shortage.

CNC Plasma Cam
CNC Plasma Cam
We can all learn from the example how one USA company avoids the workforce skills shortage, (Fastenal of La Crosse, WI). Below is an excerpt from Tim Borkowski's, (VP of Manufacturing for Fastenal) post as a reply in one of the LinkedIn discussions.

Tim Borkowski • "If you are a manufacturer and need skilled labor you will have to be pro-active and invest in your future employees. We recruit in area High Schools in a 50 mile radius of all of our Manufacturing facilities. We offer a sponsorship program where the student will get 30 hours a week of OJT will attending the local Technical school. The student pays the tuition up front so there is a personal commitment and no free rides. The students must maintain a "B" average and we monitor their attendance. After completion of a two year program we hire them full time and reimburse their tuition in six month increments for the next two years. During the two years after graduation they are assigned a mentor and a rotating schedule so that they get experience on all areas of our manufacturing floor. Our retention rate at the end of this four years is 99%. If an area High School provides us with 4 candidates or more we re-invest in that High School by donating a CNC Plasma Cam to the school so that they can expose High School students to present Technology. This has been an excellent program for us. I can't wait for someone else to educate our employees. Our Facilities are short run, safety critical fasteners and machined parts where we produce over 7,500 different jobs per month."

My own 'out of the box' idea... Local high schools, community colleges and companies team up to build a local community micro-manufacturing facility (non-profit) that produces supplies needed for local high schools and community colleges on demand. Local high school adding shelves or even an extra room? Local community micro-manufacturing facility (LCMM) can produce angle brackets to save school money, produce desk, chairs, rulers, pencil holder, hinges, etc. Because the LCMM is non-profit, doesn't have marketing and packaging expenses, raw material donated tax deductible  the community saves. but most important, the student working at their LCMM learn valuable skills.

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

Sunday, July 14, 2013

LEAN Maintenance Practices

LEAN Maintenance Practices

The Industrial Maintenance Black Belt, A Look at the Current Supply and Demand.

The future demand for the Industrial Maintenance Black Belt is around the corner. I know, you say "What?". Is American manufacturing on the upswing, or is it still declining? There are headlines describing how more factories have moved their operations to China and farther afield. Then we see articles on the re-shoring of manufacturing and increasing output here in the U.S. What explains this contradiction? The answer is: automation.

The United States has followed Japan's lead in automating its factories. Instead of a facility with thousands of people, we see retooled facilities with thousands of robots, pick and place machines and automated inspection equipment. This equipment represents a massive shift from human capital to capital expenditures. Since the manufacturing equipment is much more expensive and far more costly when it stops running, industrial maintenance becomes all the more important. A facility full of robots still needs to be maintained. And optimization of maintenance resources has a fantastic ROI. While automation has decreased the need for unskilled labor in the factory, it will increase the demand for the industrial maintenance black belt. Companies with distributed manufacturing will hire industrial maintenance black belts to keep their production lines humming. And professionals with industrial maintenance black belts will see demand for their skills rise as the need for them improves.

To prepare, we need to ask the question ...

Click above or see to learn the barriers we need to overcome. Please comment below with your insight, your take on this.

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Is Manufacturing Maintains Middle Class, Misleading?

Manufacturing Maintains Middle Class?

A... not as much as you may think.
The Allen Bradley clock tower in Milwaukee above the global headquarters of Rockwell Automation. (Sophie Quinton)
Below is a link to a very informative article that while the irony of it may entertain you, it brings to light some good points. Many proclaim "Manufacturing maintains our middle class", but when you think about it, as the author of this article does in exploring the Rockwell Automation manufacturing company, you too may say...
... a, not so much.

The highlights of the article linked to below are: While one may tout "for every 10 manufacturing jobs, another 5 are supporting jobs are created", in context, that can be a misleading statement as far as USA middle class jobs are concerned. The writer points out the fact that many of those manufacturing jobs require a 4 year or greater degree. Also the author points out two other important facts. Those 5 additional supporting jobs created by new manufacturing often don't pay a living wage (not middle class) and not all 5 will be in the USA in today's global economy. Those are 3 very important points to consider when someone proclaims manufacturing supports the middle class now days. It may be as the author alludes to... manufacturing used to support the middle class.

Click This Is the Way Blue-Collar America Ends - Sophie Quinton - The Atlantic: "supply chain supporting manufacturing" to read this informative and enlightening article.

Oh yea, the irony. The company the author picked to use as an example, Rockwell Automation is in the business of automating manufactures so they are more productive with less employees.

What do you think? Please tell us by commenting below.

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

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What is SCADA?

What is SCADA?

Above are some sample slides from our SCADA Basics course.

We can't assume everyone reading this "What is SCADA" blog post even knows the bare bones SCADA basics. Or even what the acronym means. So I will speak of some of the most basic SCADA principles below, the sample SCADA Basics Course PowerPoint above will give the unknowing reader a little more. If you want to learn even more about SCADA, see our new SCADA Basics Course in its entirety by downloading from

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition - A computer software used as operator control interface (Supervisory Control/HMI) with the ability to record data from real-world equipment it has been programmed to monitor (Data Acquisition). This SCADA software allows operators to interact with equipment and company to record data from equipment used in industries like manufacturing, process control (like oil and gas industries), infrastructure (like sewer and water, power, transportation, etc) and buildings (like security, HVAC, etc.).
Human Machine Interface - A computer software used as operator control interface (Supervisory Control) This HMI software allows operators to interact with equipment used in industries like manufacturing, process control (like oil and gas industries), infrastructure (like sewer and water, transportation, etc)and buildings (like security, HVAC, etc.).
I included the HMI definition above so you can see the similarities. For a better understanding of exactly what is SCADA. For example, if you take away the ‘Data Acquisition’ part of SCADA, what you have left is an HMI where the operator is capable of controlling multiple machines. An HMI is a software typically use for operator controls, but only one piece of equipment, one machine. It is really just semantics. Because the capabilities of this advanced HMI changed so much, the vendors gave it a new name/acronym … SCADA. Just like when the capabilities of the PLC changed so much, the vendors gave it a new name … PAC.

The real and full control of equipment is done by PLCs/PACs/RTUs/BAS. The SCADA software just gives operators a limited control decided by both the SCADA programmer and the PLC programmer. A more accurate acronym for SCADA would be 'OCADA' for 'Operator' Control and Data Acquisition. But that name choice would have hurt sales of this very expensive software. :) It could have been really shortened to "OCD" (Operator Control Data), but that would have really hurt sales. Especially since the software vendors want you to keep repeating your payment for software when you want to add more tags. (you can learn about tags/memory address names in our training course.)

One of the big features/functionality of SCADA data acquisition is for a programmer to set up alarm points and record them. The PLC/HMI commonly have alarms set too, but seldom record the history of alarms and other data due to memory limitations. As HMI software is running on a computer, it could be designed to record alarms too as there is plenty of memory, but then the vendor would call it SCADA. (So the vendor could charge you for using the memory on your computer. :)

The SCADA Basics course sampled above is from a maintenance perspective, not the operator or programmer's perspective. A maintenance person or industrial engineer may have to go into SCADA software and use predefined functions of the software to adjust or create alarm set points. Maintenance may have to do minor programming too, like adding monitoring points and operator interfaces like device graphics and operator buttons. Of course, maintenance will have to troubleshoot SCADA systems too. (The 'SCADA Systems' term as opposed to using the term "SCADA Software' is just another case of semantics.)

SCADA System
A term used to refer to a plant/city where PLCs/PACs/RTUs/BAS perform the equipment full control, but a brand of SCADA software has been interfaced with them. IE: "That pump control is not in the in the SCADA system."

What is SCADA?

I'll leave you with this thought...
What if someday 'SCADA System' evolves to a PAC using standard HTML (web page) interface so it is a onetime purchase instead of an ongoing expense, where you have unlimited expandability and any webmaster can program it for you. The purchase price, maintenance cost, and downtime cost would all be drastically reduced. (No more paying for new tags and additional memory either.) Hmmm...

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

Thursday, May 9, 2013

PLC vs PAC & PC vs PLC videos

Which of these two PLC vs PAC & PC vs PLC videos do you like the the best?
 (Please vote thumbs up on the one you like best.)
Feel free to share with buddies too. :)
Or do you like this one best ...

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

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The True Cost of Bearing Lubrication

igus®' Inc. put out a great whitepaper titled ...

"The True Cost of Bearing Lubrication"

As the author of "The True Cost of Downtime" and founder of "True Downtime Cost® (TDC), their white paper caught my eye and I just have to share with our followers. Click "The True Cost of Bearing Lubrication".

Also to help reduce your bearing lubrication cost, have your people use our Bearing Lubrication Simulation Software CD that is part of our in-house reliability training 4 CD set.

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

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

PLC vs PAC Training comparison

PLC vs PAC controversy

When it comes to  PAC training, there should be no PLC vs PAC controversy. Yes when it come to automation control design, you need what you need, call it what you will. But in fact, the PLC PAC difference is like night and day, the amount of new concepts a typical industrial maintenance person or electrician will have to learn compared to a PLC, is huge. The learning curve can be even larger for industrial maintenance and electricians; as the PAC is designed with IT and computer programmers in mind. Unlike the PLC which is designed with the maintenance and industrial electrician in mind.
PLC vs PAC Training difference

The PLC vs PAC comparison chart above highlights just a few of the differences between a PLC and a PAC. After reviewing it, be sure to read details at PLC vs PAC difference defined and PLC vs PAC training requirements clarified <<< by clicking on the links.

Also help educate others in our industry by sharing this blog post or the article with everyone else. Thanks for doing your part.

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

Friday, March 1, 2013

☯ Industrial Robots Playlist (Robots Create jobs)

"Robots Create Jobs" is such an important message to counteract the mindset by general public that 'robots cost jobs' and 'a robot will replace you'. Please like, share etc. to help change the bogus mindsets.

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

US Manufacturing: You Broke It You Fix It !

Large US Manufacturing (and rest of Corporate America) has been put on a pedestal in the USA.

Large US Manufacturing (and rest of Corporate America) has been put on a pedestal in the USA.

US Manufacturing alone is not responsible for breaking the US Economy. It is widely due to the majority of Corporate America. In a past blog post about the manufacturing skill shortage solutions, it was also pointed out how manufacturings never ending thirst to not only make a profit, but constantly increase that profit; largely resulted in the manufacturing skill shortage we face today.

But when it comes to what’s wrong with today’s US economy as a whole, manufacturing is not solely to blame, the cause is most of Corporate America, as Michele Nash-Hoff points out in her great article for the Huffington Post. (“What Do American Manufacturers Owe Their Country?”)

Corporate America has been place on a pedestal by America’s State and Federal Government in behalf of ‘we the people’. Corporations have been placed on a pedestal in the respect that ‘we the people’ considered them more important than others, like small businesses and individuals. Michele Nash-Hoff points out in her article; it was not a free ride we gave them.  In return for the special privileges of limited liability, eternal life, etc. that the State and Federal Government granted them, the Government representing the citizens expect the corporations to give back to the society that granted them these special privileges that made their success and profits possible in the first place.

Simplified, the USA granted them corporate status, and in return it is the Corporation's responsibility to make sure they benefit the USA more than they do any other country. Like provide more USA jobs than they do in other countries they are operating in. And as Michele Nash-Hoff describes in her article, throughout history the Government has had to take actions to restore balance when corporations started to benefit other countries and individuals more than the USA society as a whole. This course correction is taking place again as more, and more corporations are reshoring jobs back to America.

As Clyde Prestowitz put it referring to corporations, "They may well provide benefits to other societies, but their main purpose is to provide benefits to the societies (not to the shareholders, not to management, but to the societies) that create them." By using the words “create them", Mr Prestowitz is referring to the country that granted them corporate status and privileges that allowed them to excel.

Another excerpt for Michele’s article …
"We do not question multinational companies' right to invest offshore." However, it is another thing to transfer all or most of the manufacturing of your products to be sold mainly in the U. S. market to another country, at the cost of hundreds, if not thousands, of American jobs.”
She goes on to make a good point that the owners of American companies pledged allegiance to our country, which is defined as "the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government."

As our pledge goes: "We, the American people, promise to defend and advance a simple ideal: liberty and justice . . . for all." It is time for US manufacturers and US corporations to renew the "Contract for the American Dream."

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

Friday, February 1, 2013

Industrial Training Scam

Industrial Training Scam...

Unethical industrial training companies list seminars in every major US city

We received a call from a customer the other day, asking if we where going to cancel our PLC training seminar due to low attendance like last time. I proudly replied "we don't ever cancel any seminars, has had that policy since 1995. Even if only 1 person registers, the show must go on. Are them 'fast food' like training seminar providers ruining the training industry's reputation by listing 100s, in every major city only to cancel them all unless they get enough attendance? never does that, when we list a date and location, you can rely on it, and I think that reputation is why we filled so many of our seminars for so many years ... consistency.

Another tip in looking for industrial training providers is to see if they are creditable enough to be listed with the Better Business Bureau and have a rating of A or A+. If you are internet savvy, you can also do a who is search for their website to see how long they have maintained a website and how long that domain is registered for. (those not sure of company future only register website for a year or two at a time. Have a website page rank of 5 or better. An example of a Reputable industrial training companies is who has ...
  • Never canceled a seminar due to lack of attendance...
  • Maintained an A+ status with the Better Business Bureau ... 
  • Has a company presence on the internet for over 15 years ... 
  • Company domain name registered for 5+ years 
  • Maintains a page rank of 5+
What do you think about those training companies deceiving customers with bogus training dates and locations?

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

Sunday, January 6, 2013

5S Lean plus Safety (6S)

5S Lean? ... No 6S

Duralabel adds a sixth "S" for Safety in their infographic below, and it's great.

6S Lean is 5S Lean with Safety added

Also see our 5S Lean Training video

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