On the edge

While companies merge and purge, readers aim to cover their own assets, strengthening career handholds with knowledge and information.Control Engineering readers—as this edition's cover story reveals—earn more, have more people reporting to them, expect to spend as much or more, and continue to use Control Engineering, online and in print, as must-have resources during techn...

By Mark T. Hoske August 1, 2000

While companies merge and purge, readers aim to cover their own assets, strengthening career handholds with knowledge and information.

Control Engineering readers—as this edition’s cover story reveals—earn more, have more people reporting to them, expect to spend as much or more, and continue to use Control Engineering , online and in print, as must-have resources during technological and organizational turmoil.

Survey respondents averaged 46 years of age, with income of $71,510, and 21 years work experience; 12 years with the present employer. Nearly three-quarters expect to spend as much or more on controls, automation, and instrumentation products and services over the next two years.

Not surprisingly, Control Engineering readers are on the leading edge, ranking “technical challenge” as the top job attraction. Aware of the power of knowledge, respondents ranked “keeping current on technology” significantly higher than “job security” among career concerns.

More on salaries, job experience, education, workplace, spending, and information sources follows on adjacent pages. Throw in your views in a 10-second reader survey at www.controleng.com .

Also in this issue , look into “Developing Intellectual Capital” to get more from training. High quality and lower prices allow flat-panels to leap ahead of CRTs. “Software Enables Information Network” shows how data from multiple locations and systems can serve the enterprise. ISA Expo/2000, IMTS, and Sensors Expo are previewed, and “Product Focus” researches servo motors.

Building shareholder value is automation’s goal, but there’s a right and wrong way to implement and promote automation. A recent press release touted the number of jobs cut as one project’s main benefit. Those implementing automation should not brag about eliminating personnel, but aim to bring more opportunities— allowing those with process knowledge to share expertise throughout the supply chain. For example, director of manufacturing for Schneider Electric’s North Andover, Mass., facility stated with pride that continuing investments in automation resulted in increased throughput, more flexibility, lower inventories—without forced workforce reductions.

Alain Marbach, president of Schneider Electric’s Automation Business, praised the advancements in a June 29 press event, along with announcements on acquisition of Quantronix and a joint venture with Toshiba (“Up Front”). In a continuing quest for connectivity, Mr. Marbach says more than 70 Schneider Electric products will be Ethernet-enabled as of this summer.

Challenging and pushing beyond your personal comfort level has become necessary, advises Lorrie Norrington, president and ceo of GE Fanuc Automation. Ms. Norrington, in a July 11 interview, told Control Engineering she’s enhanced internal communications by posting weekly updates on her own web page. “We’re really asking our people to use the new technologies and think about how to increase personal productivity. GE’s continuous improvement quest has accelerated. We can win by using the Internet to drive leading-edge technologies,” she adds. (See more online.)

Continuous updates of information and listings have become part of the Control Engineering Buyer’s Guide , at www.controleng.com/buyersguide . The print edition, which mailed toward the end of July, contains some 700 product categories from more than 6,000 sources.

Use all of Control Engineering ‘s resources to keep your edge sharp.

Author Information
Mark T. Hoske, Editor-in-Chief mhoske@cahners.com