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Old January 23rd, 2018, 08:25 AM   #31
PLC Pie Guy
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Sometimes things happen that help stress...... Sometimes the biggest fear about getting some calls, is simply the fact that you know when the phone rings you have no spare parts for most situations that could arise. Running just over 40 processors of various shapes and sizes. Leaving you always improvising. Not having so much as a spare L43 on the shelf... Why the **** not? As great as thinking on the fly may be, and making it go with less is, its nice to have the right part available to do a quick swap and get home quickly.

I was sent to evaluate a pallet received from an auction purchase. Scared for what I might find based on auction history...... two pallets. Full of new gear.
L33, L43's complimented by FULL racks, ENBT's, two new PV1000, sweet. New 5 HP 525, and everything in between packed in 2 snazzy, never been cut cabinets.

Just like Xmas!!! In terms of spare parts I just went from rags to riches.
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Old January 23rd, 2018, 08:54 AM   #32
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Stress is a funny thing - some appears to be required in order to motivate me to get things done. Too much and I spin in circles wondering what to do first. Too little and I am bored. I think variety is important. A few easy problems mixed in with small projects that can be worked on between times, and the occasional head-scratcher ... keeps me engaged. Not sure that I've ever HAD that mix ... but I think it would be good ... better than the normal vague complaints about systems being all F***ed up with no specific info Turn-arounds that always have too little time are stressful. But in the end it works. You get through it.
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Old January 23rd, 2018, 10:25 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by PLC Pie Guy View Post
Sometimes things happen that help stress...... Sometimes the biggest fear about getting some calls, is simply the fact that you know when the phone rings you have no spare parts for most situations that could arise. Running just over 40 processors of various shapes and sizes. Leaving you always improvising. Not having so much as a spare L43 on the shelf... Why the **** not? As great as thinking on the fly may be, and making it go with less is, its nice to have the right part available to do a quick swap and get home quickly.
I stopped being stressed when there were no spare parts. I always check, tell the boss that this part is going out and needs to be bought and put in stock... obviously in writing.
If he doesn't want to spend the money, when the call comes, I forward the hot potato for him to decide what to do and to get the heat.
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Old January 24th, 2018, 02:04 PM   #34
mandzhalas
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Thanks for replies everyone
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Old January 25th, 2018, 01:55 PM   #35
Greg Dake
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Old January 25th, 2018, 02:22 PM   #36
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I hope we are not scaring you off too much. As control engineers, we like to understand the process, and work out the best methods of controlling the complex system. Stress is just another control problem, and we are probably very good at managing it.

If you ask a control engineer if his job is stressful, he will mention those few times where he let himself get stressed, although he is quick to tell you how he now is able to manage such situations to avoid unacceptably high stress limits.

Is anyone over-stressed right now? If so, do you have plans in place to return to normal operating conditions?
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Old January 29th, 2018, 01:09 PM   #37
Jsu0234m
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I wouldn't be worried about how stressful it is, that will vary depending on what your working on and your experience. The biggest thing to know is that more than likely you will be the first person there on shutdowns/holidays and the last person to leave. If your OK with this then you should be ok.

If your married or have kids working weekends and holidays will be stressful for them as well. I've been doing this for 10 years and have gotten used to working all kinds of hours and getting calls in the middle of the night, my wife on the other hand is not usually happy with middle of the night calls. She has built up a pretty good vocabulary of troubleshooting questions and could probably walk our maintenance guys through fixing some problems though, just from her hearing me do it so much.

Don't let any of us talk you out of it if your interested because there's nothing like seeing something you spent months designing, building, and testing finally come to life and do what you built it for.

When your program/system does what you designed it to do, its an awesome feeling.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 02:09 AM   #38
cardosocea
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Originally Posted by AustralIan View Post
As control engineers, we like to understand the process, and work out the best methods of controlling the complex system.
This is a pretty good definition of another of the possible stress sources as a controls engineer. People (or customers, if you will) don't want to understand why it happens... they want it solved yesterday and expect you to know why it happens there and then.

The problem is that if you put what they want in place, you create more problems than you solve because they tend to rely on written pieces of paper for organic fallible old robots to follow instead of letting the controls engineer cut the fallibility out of the equation.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 05:57 AM   #39
Lord Farquaad
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Stress is not an outside force. Stress is within you and can only be allowed by you. If you control your mind and create internal peace within your environment, you can be stress-free regardless of what is going on around you.

Some people are stressed when they have nothing more to worry about than whether their socks match. On the other hand, some people are calm and relaxed while people around them are panicking and screaming at them.

It all depends on the person.

So, now that I'm done philosophizing, the pressures that come with being an automation specialist can be pretty high, but depending on where you are in your career and personal growth, can vary greatly.

For example, as others have already stated, if you're early in your career and find yourself in the field doing start-up on systems with which you are less-than-thoroughly knowledgeable, the pressure can be very high. If, however, you have learned strong troubleshooting skills, proper tools, and have in-depth knowledge of the system on which you are working, the pressure can be significantly less.

Later in your career, when you've reached a more senior level, the pressure can mount again when you become responsible for core design decisions or begin managing others. Again, as you gain experience with those and develop with your people, the pressure can often lower.

Finally, as you get really, really old, you get grumpy and can close the door to your office. People leave you alone. Sometimes they will slide papers under the door and, sometimes, not. This is your goal, the ultimate target. No pressure and no stress unless, of course, your socks don’t match.
I always say "Stress is what people experience that can't handle pressure". Call it pressure or stress, doesn't matter. I thrive on it.
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