by The CC-Link Team on 20 June 2012

We at CC-Link are very proud of the fact that we have supported the training of future engineers in a number of locations in Europe. An example is Lodz, Poland, where a recently established training centre combines the products of our key partners Festo and Mitsubishi Electric to equip engineers with the skills they will need to ensure Poland stays a competitive manufacturing economy.

Our view is that bringing on the next generation of engineers is a serious responsibility and that everybody in industry and education should do their part in this directly or indirectly.

Automation tends to be a subject that many universities do not touch. While students may study the advanced mathematics behind control theory, often they lack the “real world” skills that would allow them to actually design and programme a PLC based control system. Although perhaps ladder logic is starting to be replaced by more modern programming methods such as structured text, or even C++, etc. there is still a tremendous installed base of controllers using this 40 year old standard. Hence it’s vital that for students to offer the right skills to future employers, they need to also have a firm grasp of these practical skills.

From an employer’s perspective, finding a graduate who even knows what a PLC is can be quite a challenge. Hence those students who are looking to develop a career in manufacturing can make themselves quite marketable by studying some of these seemingly “obscure” technologies.

Many engineers will never use automation in their careers, but in our view it is a core subject that all of them should have at least some understanding of it; in the same way that they benefit from an appreciation of mechanics, thermodynamics and electrical circuitry. Perhaps it should be included as a subject in all engineering degree courses.

In fact some youngsters begin to learn (and usually soak up) control theory at home when they are given construction sets for Christmas or their birthday; as they build robots and dump trucks they may also be learning to programme a mini PLC. Let’s use this early start to develop more interest in automation and ensure Europe has the engineers it will need in the future to ensure our manufacturing bases stay strong and competitive against the rest of the world.

About the CLPA
The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is an international organisation with over 1,600 member companies worldwide. The partners’ common objective is promotion and technical development of the CC-Link family of open network technologies. Over 1,200 certified products are now available from over 250 manufacturers. CC-Link is the leading industrial fieldbus in Asia and is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and the Americas. The European headquarters is in Germany, with offices throughout the continent.

Reader contact: CLPA Europe: John Browett
Tel: +44-(0)776 833 8708 Fax: +49 (0)2102 532 9740
Web: www.the-non-stop-open-network.com
Email: John.browett@clpa-europe.com
Address: Postfach 10 12 17 40832 Ratingen Germany

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: