Landed a controls job... what to really learn
Well I landed a controls job and recently started. We are a full controls company from start to finish. I've been in mechanical HVAC work for about 3.5 years and moved into controls now. I really think I will enjoy it. I have a couple questions... What do you recommend I really pay attention to and learn alot about? I want to learn all sides of it but that takes time. Anything I should start with more than others? I'm super excited and wanting to jump in it full force. My company is training me 100%. Just want to get some more info from other control guys.
Get used to stress and very little sleep, and the phone ringing all the time!
Beware of the prophet trying to make a profit.
There is less oxygen from knee level to the floor! Check it out next time you tie your boots.
Are you doing any installation? If not I recommend doing at least six months installation, it will also help you with plan/schematic reading. Hopefully your mech experience has taught you how the equipment works (specially the interaction between systems and subsystems), because no matter how good a programmer you become if you don't know the mech side you will destroy something.
"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
When I started out in controls we had a mock up controls system in the shop that I could practice on. Years later I bought a bunch of equipment off ebay and would practice at home. So basically I had my own control system that I built from scratch. It was really cool with a front end, controllers, actuators, and relays. The other thing I recommend is to know how motor control centers are wired, etc...
Ask for the control drawings from one of their larger finished projects and read the different Sequences Of Operation starting with the Central Plant.
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.
I would suggest reading and researching as a good starting point. Since you have been out in the field, have you had the chance to work with factory mounted controllers on larger equipment? As more equipment comes with factory mounted BACnet Controls, many of these manufactures publish a lot of data on line that you can start increasing your knowledge. BACnet Thermostats and other devices which are parameter driven also publish their data, this also is another good resource in order to get your arms around controls. When it comes to specific programable controllers it becomes a little more difficult to obtain those manuals. But the more you learn about different devices you can have a greater transfer of knowledge from one system to another. Visit different manufactures sites and start downloading manuals and reading. As stated by another member, getting your hands on some controllers and building your own system at home is a great way to increase knowledge.
Is your new company focused on one type of control language? One particular manufacture?
OPEN? AX? Bacnet? LON?
answer those and you'll find your answer. Focus on the meat of what you are now representing!
That's where I started. On a government installation with a ton of proprietary systems, a new standard (LNS) came out and I learned it before it landed. Then I learned AX and got the standard changed.
My self education got me raises but most of all respect. You started in the right place. I have and still learn a lot right here.