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  1. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    London, ON
    Posts
    497
    Quote Originally Posted by DL650 View Post
    At least you are lucky to get your own business started!!! I am not in a position to do that. Long story, but for me, virtually impossible.
    It wasn't easy the first couple of years DL. From the beginning I decided that I would not pursue customers of previous employers that had treated me well. This made the first years harder, but I am in my 6th year now and am doing OK.

  2. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    northeast maryland
    Posts
    42
    [QUOTE=DL650;1790857].

    At the company I currently work, management has no clue as to how to make the employees feel valuable. Most of the good workers are gone. No one gets a good pay raise until they hand in their 2-week's notice, then management gives in. QUOTE]

    sounds like a place i used to work.

    dave

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    50

    I feel your pain.

    My story reads the same. I had been with a major HVAC controls company since graduating with a BSME in 1992. After fifteen years (the last five just going through the motions), six offices in four states, I was burnt out. Tried management, but that was not too fulfulling, eye-opening, but empty. I assessed my strengths as a project manager and started to look into commissioning. I found an A/E firm that was looking to grow their commissioning business and was hired on as a CxA and quickly became their resident controls expert. My commissioning duties (Mechanical systems and controls) are mixed in with reviews of all control system designs and sequences. I was recently given the task of revamping the controls and commissioning specificaitions for the firm. Overall, it has been very fulfilling. Since I am now working for a "true" engineering firm, I had to get my PE. I passed the EIT over 17 years ago. Lots of studying, but it all worked out. Commissioning opened this door for me, but I can thank all of the controls contractors that install sub-par systems for creating the need for commissioning in the first place.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    It's probably nice to be in the hero position after all your peers bosses beat the initial installs in the ground. The owners don't think about that at construction time. They wait till they can complain about the lousy controls and conveniently forget about beating down the pricing with the GC who in turn guts the mechanicals further.

    After that time period they spend more than they would originally on a "commissioning" company rather than doing a better job in the beginning.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    London, ON
    Posts
    497
    Good point Sysint. It is tough to do a good job when there is no money there to do it.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    41

    Commissioning

    The last couple of posts have struck a chord with me. We all know the the problem of poor commissioning that continues to dog the industry, it is an discussion that deserves a thread of its own.

    There has been a tendency in Oz in recent years to appoint seperate commissioning contractors for new projects, driven by the needto get points to achieve a Green Star rating. The actual value derived from this is questionable.Firstly the commissioning contractor inevitably is much more comfortable with a water balance as opposed to say tuning a PID loop! Secondly in my opinion it creates the mindset of shifting responsibility away from the installation contractor.

    The industry, in OZ at least, needs a representative body to tackle issues like commissioning standards, training needs etc. There has not been a controls industry association in Australia for at least 15 years. Hopefully the industry has matured to a point where those sorts if issues can be addressed at that level.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Planet Risa
    Posts
    14
    [quote=davemccomsey;1792692]
    Quote Originally Posted by DL650 View Post
    .

    At the company I currently work, management has no clue as to how to make the employees feel valuable. Most of the good workers are gone. No one gets a good pay raise until they hand in their 2-week's notice, then management gives in. QUOTE]

    sounds like a place i used to work.

    dave
    You seem familiar.......

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Planet Risa
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by jdd67 View Post
    ............Commissioning opened this door for me, but I can thank all of the controls contractors that install sub-par systems for creating the need for commissioning in the first place.
    I hear you....many of us controls contractors are slapping together unacceptable systems....but I must also say that in my 20 years of reading plans & specs, many engineering firms are also going downhill when it comes to writing specs on mechanical & control systems, thereby causing many headaches for us controls guys. Out of about 10 engineering firms, I can honestly say 2 are pretty good.

    And yes, commissioning is a good thing. It forces everyone to do their jobs correctly.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,720
    Quote Originally Posted by DL650 View Post
    I hear you....many of us controls contractors are slapping together unacceptable systems....but I must also say that in my 20 years of reading plans & specs, many engineering firms are also going downhill when it comes to writing specs on mechanical & control systems, thereby causing many headaches for us controls guys. Out of about 10 engineering firms, I can honestly say 2 are pretty good.

    And yes, commissioning is a good thing. It forces everyone to do their jobs correctly.
    Plan & Spec Engineering.....it's a cut and paste world.
    True Engineering capability/allow ability is extinct....
    Productivity (accountant's LAW) is KING.
    Hopefully third party Commissioning will become the Check/Balance needed to defeat the monster that has been allowed to grow in this area of our trade.
    jogas

  10. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by jogas View Post
    Plan & Spec Engineering.....it's a cut and paste world.
    True Engineering capability/allow ability is extinct....
    Productivity (accountant's LAW) is KING.
    Hopefully third party Commissioning will become the Check/Balance needed to defeat the monster that has been allowed to grow in this area of our trade.
    jogas
    Well said!

  11. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by DL650 View Post
    I hear you....many of us controls contractors are slapping together unacceptable systems....but I must also say that in my 20 years of reading plans & specs, many engineering firms are also going downhill when it comes to writing specs on mechanical & control systems, thereby causing many headaches for us controls guys. Out of about 10 engineering firms, I can honestly say 2 are pretty good.

    And yes, commissioning is a good thing. It forces everyone to do their jobs correctly.
    Quote Originally Posted by jogas View Post
    Plan & Spec Engineering.....it's a cut and paste world.
    True Engineering capability/allow ability is extinct....
    Productivity (accountant's LAW) is KING.
    Hopefully third party Commissioning will become the Check/Balance needed to defeat the monster that has been allowed to grow in this area of our trade.
    jogas
    LOL ya last night I was doing my walk through and found 2 new water source HP's (both more than 10 tons) had the mechanical room walls built up around them with 1 side less than a foot (1 @ 6") from the unit. Well saw 1 panel off on bottom of unit. Low and behold thats where the control panel is. I can not even get my head between. Installation guide says 18" min. on that side. Guess someone will be moving 2 walls to allow for serviceability. One wall is real nice with hardwood paneling across the bottom 3' ouch. I did not even bother to look and see if the compressors were further down behind the other panels but I have my suspicions.

    For background I'm a serviceman who's boss sold a stationary engineering job on an incomplete building. Wonder if they want me to commission there nightmare. Building is way behind schedule already. Original design engineers have been replaced and am told the new team is having to now deal with the basket case.

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    London, ON
    Posts
    497
    I've serviced a lot of heat pumps like that. Turns a two hour call into a four hour call real fast.

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    162
    Nice Thread!

    I know what you mean tho, I was a mech sparky -> DDC Tech --> Project Manager/Draftsman --> DDC Tech again.
    The thing with working off the tools is you really lose that sense of accomplishment. With DDC your never really done, and you cant see where 90% of your effort went..
    And as someone whos done both as well, I found the difference between being a controls sparky vs DDC Tech and PM was that when things are going easy its easier to be a PM, but when sh*t goes wrong, your better off berin a sparky on the tools...

    The job gets boring once you realise many consultants are glorified Mitsubishi/Daikin sales reps, and that the customer really only wants the same thing so often that when you DO get a design thats outta the square a little, everyone f*&^s it up...

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