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Old October 17th, 2017, 08:32 AM   #106
cardosocea
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Originally Posted by gas View Post
rdrast
Much of what you say is true but it goes beyond that.
I sat in a local GM plant and listened to two mechanical engineers try to size a gearbox for a conveyor. They called in a sales guy who was just that. He called the factory and they sized it over the phone. This was nothing special, just a 5hp conveyor.
I wanted to shout over the wall "HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A BROWNING CATALOGUE?"
The engineers didn't know and the sales rep didn't either.
Is that scary or what?
It is as scary as companies not accepting a mistake by their staff... have you considered that they don't want liability or risk their job or progression chances by ordering the wrong part?
They happen to make a mistake and boom... they're screwed. The sales guy makes a mistake or the guy over the phone sizing it and he has an excuse, they messed it up and therefore it's not his fault. I don't say I agree with it, but it's perhaps more a sign of corporate culture than it is of people knowing something or not.

Don't get me wrong, but having looked at certain catalogues (particularly Siemens switchgear and accessories) I wouldn't want to decide without actually having it in my own hands first to prove that everything fits correctly. A gearbox seems a slightly simpler example, but I'm not a mechanical engineer to say.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:02 AM   #107
John Morris
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Originally Posted by gas View Post
The engineers didn't know and the sales rep didn't either.
Is that scary or what?
Thank you Google!!!

IMHO, people would rather run to Google then use their own faculties and critical thought processes to solve problems. Always seeking out others opinions rather than producing their own.

Not to mention when you tell people you can do a job, then get scared when you have to MAKE a decision and put yourself at risk. God forbid.

I have risked being wrong for thirty plus years. But I have always been honest about what I can do, and what I thought was possible. So when I risk, I only risk being wrong. Not being exposed as a liar.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 02:38 PM   #108
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being overly pedantic (15 hrs helping a rum bottle and a beer carton to empty inside of me and now the sun has come up, does that happen every morning?), if it doesn't work out because of a lie, or being wrong, same thing.Being wrong is a lie that you thought was true!
I'm sure he who writes 500 words, when 20 will suffice will correct my perspective.
Now back to Sons of Anarchy series 5.
Is this USA every other day or everyday?

Last edited by PLCnovice61; October 17th, 2017 at 02:41 PM. Reason: added more dribble
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Old October 17th, 2017, 05:07 PM   #109
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I feel very fortunate, my dad was a pipefitter and I can still remember him telling me about a tech school when I was 12 years old and urging me to go that route. He didn't want me going into his trade as the work started drying up in the early 80's compared to what it had always been for him in his trade.

After graduating high school, I was not ready for tech school or college, still had a bunch of growing up to do. I enlisted in the military with the intention of getting a GI Bill to help pay for my education when I got out. I finally enrolled at Perry Tech in Washington when I was 23 and thought the $14k tuition was a lot of money back in the late 90's. But my GI Bill payed for the majority of it.

I have worked in automation consistently ever since. The thing is, I have tried to tell young adults how they can make good money with just two years of education, but most do not want to hear about the trade school route.

I'm quite sure the tuition is close to $40k now almost 20 years later, maybe a little less, but every student that was in my class all had jobs before graduating making it doable even if you have to get student loans.

To the original poster looking for techs, I would contact trade schools around the country and place your open positions with them, we had 11 out of the 19 in my class back then take jobs out of state. People will move if the wages are right.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 06:02 PM   #110
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+1

Didn't go to Perry Tech, but went to Bates Technical College in Tacoma.. I believe it's about half the price since it's a state tech school. I was more than eager to move to where the work was to get my foot in the door..
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:47 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by John Morris View Post
IMHO, people would rather run to Google then use their own faculties and critical thought processes to solve problems. Always seeking out others opinions rather than producing their own.
I'm always amazed that people laugh at me on the rare occasions that I suggest they simply use math to solve their problem, instead of guessing and checking.

When I was an intern, I had a manager that was trying to use some gears to lift something, but the system had some constraints with how big they could be. He's been re-prototyping it for months, trying to find just the right combination of gears that matched the force vs distance traveled he wanted. I did some quick math and showed him that with the friction in the system he's seeing, it should never work, no matter what combinations he uses. He was still sending the prototype out to be adjusted when I left. That product definitely never made it to market....
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Old October 18th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #112
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When I was an intern, I had a manager that was trying to use some gears to lift something, but the system had some constraints with how big they could be. He's been re-prototyping it for months, trying to find just the right combination of gears that matched the force vs distance traveled he wanted. I did some quick math and showed him that with the friction in the system he's seeing, it should never work, no matter what combinations he uses. He was still sending the prototype out to be adjusted when I left. That product definitely never made it to market....
I'm not sure if I should be shocked anymore but the amount of "engineers" I have met that have never been to college (maybe not even graduated high school) is higher than I imagined.

Last edited by VAN; October 18th, 2017 at 09:57 AM. Reason: reasons
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Old October 18th, 2017, 10:11 AM   #113
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I'm not sure if I should be shocked anymore but the amount of "engineers" I have met that have never been to college (maybe not even graduated high school) is higher than I imagined.
I have been doing this nigh-on for 15 years, all with my degree in Economics, does that count?
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Old October 18th, 2017, 10:12 AM   #114
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I'm not sure if I should be shocked anymore but the amount of "engineers" I have met that have never been to college (maybe not even graduated high school) is higher than I imagined.
You would be surprised how many people out there have the ability to learn on their own. I would take my hard knocks education over a college engineering program again in a heartbeat. I am a (un-degreed) automation engineer that worked my way up from an entry level mechanic. The practical stuff I learned hands on over the years can't be taught in a classroom. I have had freshly degreed engineers come in that can't even tap a hole.

And my student loan total......$0.00
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Old October 18th, 2017, 10:32 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by janner_10 View Post
I have been doing this nigh-on for 15 years, all with my degree in Economics, does that count?
Interestingly that is probably quite handy to put it in economical terms the importance of doing things right with the automation controls and not cut corners.

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You would be surprised how many people out there have the ability to learn on their own. I would take my hard knocks education over a college engineering program again in a heartbeat. I am a (un-degreed) automation engineer that worked my way up from an entry level mechanic. The practical stuff I learned hands on over the years can't be taught in a classroom. I have had freshly degreed engineers come in that can't even tap a hole.
Obviously people can learn by themselves and become engineers through experience. It's the time frame that is important here... it took you a long time to get to a position of automation engineer and a fresh graduate could possibly get there in a year or two.

What I don't get is people complaining that a graduate can't even tap a hole... well, is that the purpose of going through university to get a degree? To tap holes perfectly?
And how do you know that he wouldn't learn by himself, and probably faster than most, how to do it?
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Old October 18th, 2017, 10:47 AM   #116
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What I don't get is people complaining that a graduate can't even tap a hole... well, is that the purpose of going through university to get a degree? To tap holes perfectly?
And how do you know that he wouldn't learn by himself, and probably faster than most, how to do it?
I am not saying they wouldn't learn by him/herself. What I am saying is to be successful as an engineer in this field, you not only have to understand the theory, you have to be able to apply it. You have to be the designer, builder, commissioner, maintainer, and troubleshooter. You have to fully understand all parts of the project i.e. hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical, etc. to be able to properly design and integrate them.
In my experience here most of the young fresh "engineers" coming out of college are severely green when it comes to hands on application of the knowledge that piece of paper says they have.
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Old October 18th, 2017, 07:51 PM   #117
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I am not saying they wouldn't learn by him/herself. What I am saying is to be successful as an engineer in this field, you not only have to understand the theory, you have to be able to apply it. You have to be the designer, builder, commissioner, maintainer, and troubleshooter. You have to fully understand all parts of the project i.e. hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical, etc. to be able to properly design and integrate them.
In my experience here most of the young fresh "engineers" coming out of college are severely green when it comes to hands on application of the knowledge that piece of paper says they have.
This is what I've been preaching. A lot of it depends on your chosen industry. I was informed the other day that, "there is no reason to be able to read VB, PHP or even C because those languages are on their way out the door." In a bleeding edge industry, this may be true. Generally it is not.

Customer: We need some help getting more accurate plant metrics.
Automation Eng: Sorry, but your data-collection infrastructure is on its way out the door. Call me when you upgrade.

I think not. Anyway, the thing I see most in the university engineering program across all disciplines is that most students just chose the degree for something to do. They really aren't sure what they like or how to apply that knowledge. I still have yet to meet another student that is interested in going into industry. That being said, I have sparked a few people's interest, and given them the disclaimer that this can be hard, dirty work but you get to wear so many hats that it is really rewarding at the end of the day when everything fires up and works.

Oh, and the other thing I have been doing is encouraging engineering students to try and talk companies into giving them internships in the maintenance department so that they can get hands-on real-life experience doing actual work if they are interested in manufacturing.
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Old October 18th, 2017, 08:41 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by dploof23 View Post
I am not saying they wouldn't learn by him/herself. What I am saying is to be successful as an engineer in this field, you not only have to understand the theory, you have to be able to apply it. You have to be the designer, builder, commissioner, maintainer, and troubleshooter. You have to fully understand all parts of the project i.e. hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical, etc. to be able to properly design and integrate them.
In my experience here most of the young fresh "engineers" coming out of college are severely green when it comes to hands on application of the knowledge that piece of paper says they have.
At my university, there was a separate degree track for people who wanted to learn skills instead of focusing on theory. "Engineering" as it was taught was all theory: far closer to science than anything practically useful. My building didn't even have a PLC in it, and we were never taught hydraulics or pnuematics, we were taught generic fluid Dynamics. Specific technologies like those were for the Engineering Tech guys.

Don't blame the peice of paper, look for the RIGHT price of paper.
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Old October 19th, 2017, 02:51 AM   #119
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This is what I've been preaching. A lot of it depends on your chosen industry. I was informed the other day that, "there is no reason to be able to read VB, PHP or even C because those languages are on their way out the door." In a bleeding edge industry, this may be true. Generally it is not.

Customer: We need some help getting more accurate plant metrics.
Automation Eng: Sorry, but your data-collection infrastructure is on its way out the door. Call me when you upgrade.
Just yesterday I saw an advertisement asking for COBOL programmers... How long has it been since that language was on its deathbed?

Quote:
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Oh, and the other thing I have been doing is encouraging engineering students to try and talk companies into giving them internships in the maintenance department so that they can get hands-on real-life experience doing actual work if they are interested in manufacturing.
This is definitely the right way to put theoretical knowledge against hands on and also to learn about old technology. I left University knowing a fair bit about PLC's and field networks and the first job in industry I landed most of their equipment ran on relays. That was a shock...
Plus, there's the development of soft skills which is not taught in any university.
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Old October 19th, 2017, 06:01 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by mk42 View Post
At my university, there was a separate degree track for people who wanted to learn skills instead of focusing on theory. "Engineering" as it was taught was all theory: far closer to science than anything practically useful. My building didn't even have a PLC in it, and we were never taught hydraulics or pnuematics, we were taught generic fluid Dynamics. Specific technologies like those were for the Engineering Tech guys.
That was my point a few pages back... most of our schools are the same they were since the 60's and they need to evolve in the process also, we cant teach the same way and what we taught back then, we need to start teaching basic troubleshooting skills along with fluid dynamics, electrical theory and programming in high schools, still not a big fan of the degree track, somehow we need to figure out a way to teach a more combined skills when we are talking about maintenance skills

The biggest copout that I could not stand hearing was "you need to call blabla they worked on it last" if its not working correctly then try and fix it... make the effort and try for God sake, I hated having to call someone to fix a problem so I made it my goal to learn everything I could so I could make the machine better, not have to call someone everytime....
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