Long, Long Ago in the Land of Cleve

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As I was flying back from the Cleveland PROFINET one-day training class I had some time to compose a few thoughts about the class and the memories it conjured up from my own Cleveland area work history.

There were a few developers of automation devices in the class.  The class provided an overview, but we try to provide individual help during the development process.  So if you are adding PROFINET to your products, please give me a call.  We have a developer webinar to get you started, too.

Interestingly, we had at least a couple mechanical engineers in attendance as revealed in these comments in the Course Evaluations:

I’m a mechanical engineer on the management staff at our facility, so my electrical knowledge is limited.  I wanted a taste of this topic – which I got!

Tons of info to process.  My background is mechanical engineering with not much hands-on with networking.  But this was a great source and start for me.

Another Course Evaluation lamented that we didn’t talk enough about diagnostics.  I hope we remembered to mention in the class that we did a webinar on diagnostics.

Another wanted to hear more about the details of the protocol.  We already have a very full day.  I recommend the PROFINET Certified Network Engineer class for those who want more depth.  Attendees get a coupon for the member price for that class, saving them $500.

On the Course Evaluations, we also ask how they heard about the class.  One person said they would normally ignore the phone call they got inviting them to the class, but they were just assigned a PROFINET project!

One other interesting comment deserves a longer response, but I’ll save that for the next post.

Off-topic information follows…

When I lived in Northeastern Ohio way back when, I worked for a plastic machinery OEM and took a brief break from there to work as an equipment engineer for a manufacturer of wire and cable.  I was surprised to find someone from that company in attendance and even more surprised that our tenures there overlapped.  We had some time before the class started to catch up and I discovered where some of my old colleagues wound up.

One of the machines there made jacketed tubing bundles for pneumatic signals.  We called it the Telstar from its appearance; copper tubing unwinding from a “Ferris wheel” of spools.  The speeds of the various parts of the line were controlled from a line shaft through variable pitch sheaves and canvas-tipped, wooden cleats on a canvas belt.  I always dreamed of replacing the line shaft with digitally controlled drives.  Now I know they replaced the machine from my era, but I don’t know how the speeds are coordinated on the new one.  Wish I had a picture.  I could really see PROFINET controlling such a machine these days.

Another pleasant surprise at the class was to find a number of graduates from my old alma mater, the University of Akron.  One of the fellows who won a raffled prize told me he graduated in 1994.  That’s about the same time I graduated – well, the same century anyway.

I also got to meet in person Grid Connect’s blogger, Adam Justice.  The Grid Connect blog is here.  There are some synergies between there and here, methinks.

–Carl Henning

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