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Article - September 2002
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Reformat Your Hard Drive
All your efforts and hard drive have gotten you to where you are today. Will this be enough to keep you on top of our industry's new directions in the future?

Ken Sinclair,
 AutomatedBuildings.com

As published in the 
September issue of 


Is it time to reformat your hard drive with a new understanding of industry changes? If you have not yet had a chance to grasp the significance of how e-commerce, e-mail, web-based facility operation, online training and web-based everything will affect you and your company please take the time to quickly educate yourself. The August supplement in Engineered Systems entitled "Facility Operation Evolution or Revolution - A Guide to Web-Based Facilities Operation" is fodder for the reformatting process. It outlines new approaches that will significantly change the approach to the creation and maintenance of automation in our large buildings. This of course is not the only area where change is occurring in our industry. We must seek to understand the significant changes around us to successfully reformat our thinking and the direction of our drive. The changes are often so significant that the hinges from which all logic and previous decisions were made have been moved, altering our perspective. Opportunities are lost and gained with the successful acceptance of each new web-based concept.

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Not only must we reformat our drive we must encourage our followers, peers, and the industry in general to reformat. Reformatting is occurring in small pockets of the industry but a more general acceptance must be strived for to achieve transitions to the new ways. We no longer have the luxury of a prescribed training path. We need to create our own learning paths suitable to our own goals. Fortunately the new web-based approaches can provide us an easy online method of learning what we need to know. Our training path can be custom created to match our needs.

To aid the reformatting process AutomatedBuildings.com is working with the industry to provide linkage to, plus has created its own online courses. Please check out our resource http://www.automatedbuildings.com/online/index.htm. New opportunities are being presented daily for control designers and contractors to create successful web-based integration. As the opportunists move ahead reformatting themselves there is a strong need to reformat new people to backfill the basics needs of our industry.

We recently added an introductory course COURSE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. This course is a primer for ongoing DDC and Web-based control courses. "This course is designed to provide the participants with a working knowledge of how electric, pneumatic and electronic controls operate and how they are applied to commercial heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment in the "real" world. Emphasis will be placed on how the individual controls work and the interrelationship between them when they are united to create a control "system". Control theory and terminology will also be studied and by seminar's end the participants will be introduced to the latest generation of controls' technology available, microprocessor based controls or, as they are more commonly referred to, direct digital controls."

Other courses offered are Direct Digital Control - A Guide to Distributed Building Automation and Open Systems for Building Automation.

We feel that online courses like these and others offered by the industry will help with reformatting process.

Reliable ControlsThe concepts presented in " A Guide to Web-Based Facilities Operation" suggest super operators will be controlling extremely large portfolios of buildings over a wide geographical area. This suggests that skilled support personnel with be required to interface with each web-based facilities operation to implement the necessary day to day support and implement repairs. Our industry is short of good people to fill these jobs. The focus in the last decade on DDC and the Web, plus the entry of many new players has left us with a critical shortage of skilled control workers who have had the training in the basics of control theory, terminology, working knowledge of how electric, pneumatic and electronic controls operate and how they are applied.

Our industry must address this shortage and provide both the basics and the specialized online training that is necessary to allow a better understanding the complexities of overlaying conventional control, DDC, and the new Web interfaces.

As two of the industry's leading publications Engineered System and AutomatedBuildings.com are prepared to be the connecting resource for making you aware of available online information to reformat your hard drive and get prepared for our industry's new order.

Anyone having online training or other educational resource information please contact us for free linkage at Online@automatedbuildings.com 


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