We have a PASSION for CREATING  solutions!
Hegwood Newsletter - August 2016
Welcome to this months addition of the Hegwood Electric Newsletter.  Our newsletter delivers a snap shot report for technology updates and industry news about Industrial Automation and Controls..and our role in all of it.  We hope this gives you some "mind candy" to think about and in particular your own applications and requirements.  If you want some more information on any particular subject and how we can assist,  please contact us .
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August, back to school

It's hard to believe that summer is almost over, especially with this 90+ degree heat were having.

It's been a busy summer at Hegwood Electric. Between vacations, visiting friends, softball tournaments, work, and more, there hasn't been much time to relax. But no rest for the weary. We'll be moving my oldest daughter to UGA to start her first year of college and the youngest daughter will be starting her sophomore year in high school.

One of the programs we have at Hegwood Electric is a class we teach almost every Wednesday.  All of our fabricators and engineers take part in this and we review electrical motor controls for integrated systems. It includes text books, homework, and class time. Our goal is not to have robots assembling our control panels, but knowledgeable people. We want our people to understand and grow in their field. In our industry, we don't necessarily go Back to School, but we are constantly In School learning about new products, processes, codes, regulations, and business in general. The reason for this? We have a PASSION for CREATING solutions!
Dwindling automation staffs open door for supplier help

An article in Control Design by Dan Herbert writes, "Service trumps price and performance when selecting a supplier, particularly when redesigning a complex machine's automation system."  

This reminds me of the adage, "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."

The article speaks on several interesting converging points:
  • The commoditization of automation equipment where it's difficult for suppliers to differentiate themselves from other suppliers,
  • The shortage of machine-automation professionals.
  • The necessity of replacing obsolete equipment, but not having the internal technical staff to do so.
Another interesting point he brings up is an inherent conflict, "There is an inherent conflict at this stage of the process-one the machine builder needs to realize and manage. Suppliers make their money by selling products, and they will want to minimize the time spent providing services."

There are two other conflicts that I see as a system integrator.  The first is a supplier getting into the system integrator business.  Secondly, will the supplier necessarily sell the best components for the job or only the components they represent, whether it's the best fit or not?

Our experience and engineering expertise can help you with these decisions.  Give us a call!

Link to the article here -  Dwindling automation staff...

This article by John Rezabek brings today's skills set challenges to the forefront.  "In the ensuing 30 years, there hasn't been a lot of "windfall profits" outside of dot com startups, and hiring new control systems engineers who could be mentored and developed before the experienced people move on or retire has been challenging, to say the least. There's an overall dearth of STEM-capable millennials that even want to work in a "smokestack and flare" industry."

Not only smokestack and flare industry, but nearly all manufacturing industries!

As someone that has developed a few gray hairs over the years, I have the ability to look back into my past experiences in this industry and review those great individuals that mentored me and taught me many lessons that aren't in text books. Because of them and other reasons, we at Hegwood Electric feel obligated to mentor and teach those following the Industrial Controls and Automation path. We're preparing the next generation to keep industry moving.

Link to the article is here - How do we nurture...

I'll end this newsletter with a poem by Will Allen Dromgoole.

An old man going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,
"You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head:
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

I hope you have found this newsletter informative and entertaining. If you have any interest in our products or Hegwood Electric services, please let us know.



Kirk S. Hegwood
Hegwood Electric

Hegwood Electric | 1-770-447-8853 | www.hegwoodelectric.com