by Rodney Howard P.E., CAP
One of the most difficult parts of starting a new job or learning a new craft is the training process. It can be grueling, difficult, and downright stressful, but Werner Electric, an electrical distribution company headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, is taking the stress out of learning with a brand new, state-of-the-art, process control trainer, also known as MIA.
MIA is an 82”x26”x80” mobile unit which can be transported and brought to customers, colleges, and high schools for process training. The unit has different types of instrumentation components to simulate many processes that can be found in manufacturing plants. MIA will provide customers and students alike, a safe, hands-on learning environment to try out process control techniques and learn from their mistakes.
The renderings for MIA were designed by Werner Electric’s Rodney Howard, A&B Process Systems, and in partnership with the International Society of Automation (ISA). Werner Electric presented the renderings to ISA and ISA approved the design and made the recommendation to include a temperature control loop on the machine. ISA, already a training partner with Werner Electric, will utilize MIA for custom training opportunities once MIA is complete.
MIA training can range from simple to complex. For example, MIA can simulate the cheese-making clean-in-place (CIP) process and train customers on how automatic process control in a cheese plant might take place. This includes temperature, pressure, flow, level, and batch control. MIA replicates each process, the only difference being, there is no real product at stake.
MIA is a mobile unit which can be transported to customer locations for on-site educational training. Werner Electric hopes to use MIA for a variety of training opportunities which may include: Deep dive sessions: Customers are trained in the fundamentals of automatic process control and taught how to set up instrumentation and develop supporting control logic; Process training: MIA is used as a simulated skid in a manufacturing facility to show employees how to extract and utilize relevant company data; Alarm Management: ISA will come to Werner Electric and teach the fundamentals of Alarm Management; Single day classes: MIA is transported to customers’ locations for a day of customized on-site training.
Most of the process instrumentation on MIA has been donated by vendors and partners of Werner Electric. Currently MIA is in the fabrication stage. However, MIA is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018 with training to follow shortly thereafter.
MIA is getting a lot of buzz and Werner Electric is excited to share this process control training program with its customers. To learn more about MIA and the services Werner Electric Supply provides, visit wernerelectric.com.
Rodney Howard is the Process Product Manager for Werner Electric Supply. He has been with the company since July 2016 and has more than a decade of process control leadership experience. Rodney wanted to develop a process control training program to offer customers a safe, hands-on environment in which to learn. As a result, Rodney designed a new, innovative approach to training with a tool called MIA (Multifunction Instrumentation Asset).