Endress+Hauser Process Training University
In 2012, Endress+Hauser saw more than a 50% enrollment increase its Process Training University, and a greater increase is expected for 2013. Companies are sending new hires as well as experienced engineers and technicians to available courses in record numbers; not all attendees are Endress+Hauser customers. Training goes beyond the classroom to encompass advanced hands-on instruction.
Twelve standard courses cover major instrumentation topics, such as flow, level, pressure, and temperature. Customized training also is provided. Both have instructors with real-world experience. Endress+Hauser customers are demanding one-on-one customized training the most, requiring more instructors and training locations. Customized training is tailored to meet specific customer needs, including the use of particular instruments and processes. Endress+Hauser has seven U.S. locations with E+H Process Training Units (PTU), expected to expand to 12 PTUs within three years, allowing training closer to customers. Additional program expansion is expected to meet the demands of the untrained workforce nationwide.
Skills needed by the next-generation workforce in the areas of automation, controls, and instrumentation primarily involve learning the features and functions of “smart” instruments, such as:
- Preventive maintenance capabilities
- Intelligent device management
- Digital protocols
- Integration with programmable automation controllers (PAC) or programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
- Remote configuration and troubleshooting
- Plant asset management tools
As modern process manufacturing moves toward digital communications solutions based on Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, HART, and EtherNet/IP, process automation training will need to move in that direction as well.
Advanced training tools
Endress+Hauser PTUs are mini process plants with online instrumentation and controls. Using these PTUs, operators and technicians get hands-on experience (photo) with the types of operations, diagnostics, and troubleshooting found in process plants. Included are Endress+Hauser instruments integrated with Rockwell Automation’s PlantPAx systems. Rockwell Automation PlantPAx system controls the PTU by actuating control valves and adjusting the speed of pump drives, for example, giving trainees hands-on experience in working with real instruments and a live automation system.
The live working environment separates Endress+Hauser simulation training from training from other suppliers that may not have as wide a range of product offerings or partnerships. No company can permit training on an operational plant, but with real-life simulation training, students can gain valuable experience that is as close as practically possible to actual plant operation. Endress+Hauser training goes far beyond the typical maintenance and repair content taught by other providers. Trade schools and community colleges provide general academic and even some specific technical training, but generally can’t provide the most-important hands-on instruction and simulation using actual working instruments and automation systems.
– Jerry Spindler is customer training manager, Endress+Hauser. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org.