Control engineers shift roles?
Use control engineering to positively contribute to the business goals of the organization to improve job satisfaction.
Control engineers at manufacturers were surveyed asking: Are you satisfied with your current work status? Does your job bring a sense of accomplishment? Although these are basic requirements for a job, the answers to these questions sound depressing. Many respondents were not satisfied with current work status and did not feel accomplishment and rewards from work. Why?
I believe automation work is kind of job that does not seek to be meritorious, but only to avoid blame. If the equipment runs safely and smoothly, the situation is normal and the engineer would not earn praise by the boss. Every company invests a great deal in labor costs, equipment procurement costs, maintenance costs, and training costs. But once an accident happens and equipment stops, the boss may fly into a rage. Such a cost-centered workplace environment may make it difficult for employees to feel a sense of accomplishment.
If you ask high school students what kind of job they want after graduation, automation is rarely mentioned. Top science scholars in college entrance exams generally choose finance and commerce careers.
The reasons for this are many, both objective and subjective. Most important are a desire to learn how to transcend traditional views, to have greater impact on improving a company’s efficiency and bottom line, and to realize one’s value.
For example, energy savings and raw material savings contribute to a company’s economic benefits and make it more competitive. Could control engineers work on this? The answer is yes.
In another example, consumer electronic products like the iPhone and iPad have extremely high demands on production processes and quality. Applications of leading automation technologies in this field bring both challenge and opportunity.
What’s more, the integration of traditional control systems and manufacturing information systems brings more opportunities for control engineers to be involved and contribute positively to business goals.
Shifting roles and higher visibility are how control engineers are keeping up with the times.
- Sheng Jingwei is contributing editor of Control Engineering China
See this article on the Control Engineering China website. 控制工程师的角色转变？: http://article.cechina.cn/11/1109/03/20111109034013.htm