I recently spent a morning at EAM getting some video of their latest machine as it was going through its shakedown time. Since I was not familiar with the project yet, some of the people who were instrumental in producing this new machine took the time to explain what it was all about. Although the machine as a whole was impressive, what really struck me was how sophisticated the control system was. You’ll see that I spoke to Peter Robbins briefly in the video. Peter manages EAM’s controls department and he is actually one of EAM’s original employees. Unlike some of us (yes, I’m referring to myself!) who’ve become walking, talking museums, Peter has managed to keep the company at the forefront of technology as far as what makes these machines tick.
He explained that, unlike the traditional controllers that step through the various functions and have been in use for many years, this master controller is actually a computer overseeing many servo-controlled motions. Picture them as dedicated robots. Another interesting thing about this technology that Peter just casually mentioned (but got my attention!) is that these units actually have their own web address and he can log into them no matter where they are being used. This way, he can help the user in real time to analyze what’s happening and help the user improve his efficiencies.
Rather than try to explain this all myself, I am compiling a transcript of the question and answer session that I had with Peter and so he will be able to explain this in his own words. That’s what’s coming up in the next post!
I think everyone can relate to this:
Your parents or grandparents have lived nearby you for almost as many years as you can remember while you’ve gone about living your life, maybe raising a family, building a career, and going through the highs and lows that most of us encounter. They’ve lived near enough so that you see each other on a regular basis and, although you may or may not need to, you know they can be there in a crisis or share in a celebration.
The time comes and they decide to move to say, Florida for their “golden years” and then things change. You can see they really need to stay in touch. They want to know what’s going on with you and your family. They call, they email, and it seems they are always planning their next trip home as if they were exiled instead of just retired.
Well folks, I can tell you now that when it comes to Engineered Automation, I am those grandparents! I stopped working at EAM over a year ago now and I am always looking forward to the next phone call, the next email or visit. I’m always fascinated by news of who is traveling where. I want to know all the details about their current projects and how they are progressing.
As you can probably tell, I was grateful for the chance to blog here and hopefully to bring you news about the folks at EAM from a somewhat unique prospective. You’ll be getting the latest scoop but “psst, not the company line from just an employee”!
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