As I wind down on my current project and start working on my next I am feeling the stress of having too many things to do and not enough time to do them in. My next job involves system integration and controls for another automotive-related project. The machine has been designed mechanically and is scheduled for power up in less than a month and a half! It has three robots, three vision systems, RFID readers and a couple of hundred I/O points. The saving grace is that there are fifteen such machines in this system and mine is one of the last in the line.
As I mentioned before I have been contracting as I establish my new business. My ultimate goal is not to be a contractor but right now it allows me to get ahead of the financial curve so I can do some more entrepreneurial product development things later. The Smartbench will be undergoing some new developments within the next year, keep your eye on this site!
Anyway, this project is due for completion and shipment in the October timeframe and the first station is about to be powered up this week. Ideally there would be a controls engineer for every station but right now there are only enough engineers to assign two stations to each. The machine builder is frantically looking for engineers but nearly every available contractor has been either pulled in already or is busy somewhere else. So anyone who is reading this, there are jobs available in the middle Tennessee area immediately for skilled automation engineers!
I have started my PLC program and have a good interface design for the HMI. Robot training on the particular platform we are using is next week and a refresher vision course is scheduled soon after. When I lay out the schedule for the next month or so it is evident that there is not nearly enough time to get all of the work done, so what do I do? Answer: keep on plugging away. Be as efficient as possible. These things have a way of working themselves out.