what constitues a "control guy"
may be a dumb question but i am curious.what is the job description of a control guy vs. service guy?
The way I see it is..... I do the initial installation , programming , commissioning and then if we are awarded the contract after the warrenty period is up then I will take the controls portion of the contract and the mechanical will go to the service department.
Originally Posted by bdivell
Originally Posted by MatrixTransform
Someone who needs their head checked on a regular basis.
"Open is as open does."
- Forrest Gump
"Can't we all just get a Lon?"
- Garry Jack
"BACnet: integration or interrogation?"
- The Janitor
"Open protocols? You can't handle open protocols!"
- Nathan R. Jessup
“What’s that? Aaa… open protocols? Don’t talk about…. open protocols? Are you kidding me? Open protocols? I just hope we can hardwire an interface!”
- Jim Mora http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE
I was a service guy, for most of my career. With a control install and small programming background. For about three years, I have been doing nothing but controls, including all the programming,and everything start to finish. Just finished a complete school district. With a FX server and 3 jaces, lots of learning with little training. So as I sit here, on Sunday going thru logic for my next job. I would say a will to learn on your own time, a strong mechnical background, a focus on this part of the trade, a ability to deal with people who you feel have no clue to be the final say on job closeout. Always behind, never fast enough, overworked. Its my favorite part of the trade!!!
Sounds like me 14 years ago, I'm still too slow. I've gotten a lot better with the clueless people, much shorter with the people who are paid well to know. Get used to receiving the blame for every mechanical and engineering shortfall that can be imagined. I'm glad I have background I had with HVAC service and installation, just to ward off some of the mystical, half-baked theories of "the control system is causing it".
Originally Posted by Norriski Tech
You should modify that to "receiving the blame for every mechanical, electrical, electronic, ethernet data networking, desktop/laptop computer, and engineering shortfall that can be imagined."
Originally Posted by mechdorn
Give me a bit and I'll think of more.
Those are just the things I've had to deal with in the past couple holiday weeks (short weeks).
But it's my job. I mostly do startup and commissioning and testing. Last controls guy on the job site. So when something isn't working, or isn't working correctly, the finger gets pointed at me.
So I end up troubleshooting programs in controllers, I/O stuff connected to the controllers, graphics and front end residing programs, serial control networks, ethernet data networks (because the IT departments ALWAYS say its not their issue), mechanical systems, regular electrical systems, or whatever. And fix whatever if its something we are responsible for. Or troubleshoot and produce UNDENIABLE FACTS to show its mechanical or electrical .... because those guys aren't gonna come back to the job site willingly, will just blame it on controls unless you can show absolutely, positively its their stuff. Or, as has been the case just last week. I show customer where the design engineer .... THEY HIRED .... specified such and such a sequence of operation which we correctly implemented just as he demanded ... and IT DOESN'T WORK.
LOL ... keeps life interesting.
It's 4:20 am here, and I'm up and have been working on some network traffic analysis problems related to a job, for a couple hours now. System is bogging down. Have to be on the job site by 6:00 a.m.
Yes, today is technically a holiday for me and I should be kicking back and relaxing. But instead I'll be working, have been working. <Shrug> There are deadlines to meet, and all the pre-planning, programming, engineering, etc done back in the office for this project isn't working out as they expected ... so ... it's off to work I go.
LOL ... guess I'm a controls guy.
Holiday?? Job has to be finished by years end...24-7 equals..good I have 17 hrs left!!
Originally Posted by osiyo
Very true holidays don't exist, tomorrow I have to go to a site to verify my cooling tower make up and blow down metering programs flip over to the next year.
I feel for ya brother. I've been jumping through hoops for decades as a control guy. I'll also toss out knowing Fire Alarm codes too as they pertain to shutdowns of HVAC equipment. We get asked to just take an input from the FACP and do global shutdowns for fire and sometimes from the Refrigerant Monitor Panel to shutdown the Central Plant.
I have today off but last year on New Years Day I got a call from the owner that a customer had an AHU shutdown and asked me (salary guy) if I could take a look at it.
Off I went and talked to the facilities guy. He thought it was the fan VFD as they had some past trouble with it. They had a sprinkler pipe leak and soak the carpet a few days before and the carpet was cleaned but the area smelled and was pretty humid so they overrode the OSA Damper to 100%. Of course it was a cold snap with temps below freezing.
The problem was the mixed air low limit tripped and shut the unit down. Facilities people were not too familiar with the system and had no idea what to do. It took me longer to drive there then it did to reset the switch. Fun Stuff.
If you can't fix it with JB Weld, Duct Tape, and Ty Wire it has to be replaced.
No good deed goes unpunished.
If you want to take off friday to go fishing then make sure you train your helper right.
thanks to everyone for the insight about being a "controls guy".
if i may ask what would be your advice about how to go about specializing in controls.......if someone was crazy enough to try after your stories?
Well, I guess it depends on what you think a "controls guy" is all about. At our place we have the install department (installers, PM's, helpers, etc.), then we have the service department. I am in service for a few reasons.
Originally Posted by T.J.
I did air balance for about ten years. I got tired of being a PM, mostly being on sites under construction, wearing construction safety gear and going through ALOT of safety classes, defending myself/my guys/my company all of the time, getting a$$ chewing’s quite often, TONS of paper work, meetings, keeping up with several jobs...etc.
Some guys like that...I don't. They are at the same place usually days, weeks, and months on end. 95% of the time they are dealing with brand new control equipment. Sometimes in service you get to deal with some control equipment that is 20+ years old.
We get new guys that start in service and find out they don't like it at all and end up going to install and like it and vice-versa.
It's funny...the guys in install say they hate service and the service guys feel the same way about install.
So, I guess in rambling on about all of this there are varying opinions on what people think a "controls guy" is. If you come from a service back ground and are OK with it, make sure the company you start with is willing to get you into their service dept.
If you want a change of pace then get into installation. Either way, like everyone else has mentioned be willing to listen, learn, spend ALOT of your own time learning, and be ready for the days of going "what tha' hell?!?!?".
Once you figure that out and you wanted to get in the door some where I would go with a smaller ma and pop company personally. I always hear bigger companies have alot of corporate b.s. you have to deal with.
So what do you think you want to specialize in?
"It's not that I'm smart, it's that I stay with the problem longer”
I have been in this industry for thirty years now, in the service side of it mostly. A few months back I took my first course for BACnet MS/TP training. They offered us a small training package that included the tools cd, bluetooth connector and PCG controller for a very good price. I bought it myself cause the company balked at the price which I thought was very reasonable. I have since built a training board for myself and a couple of the guys that went thru the class with me. I have already put in many, many hours of my own time building my little trainer and learning this stuff and I know it is only the surface of a deep pool (hole?). I did some controls work on older systems, Alerton, Novar, Tracer/Tracker, even Carrier Parker but nothing like this. I must say it is very difficult at the beginning but at the same time it is very interesting to design your own program. My eyes hurt, my head hurts and my wife says I mumble about things she says to me as being BI or AI. I spent the Christmas holiday week off finishing my trainer and playing with the program. I think I may be turning into a controls guy or a need my head examined.